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Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt

Duke of Anhalt-Dessau, later Duke of all of Anhalt
The basics
AKA Leopold Frederick
Date of birth Dessau, Dessau-Roßlau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Date of death May 22, 1871 Dessau, Dessau-Roßlau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Mother: Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Homburg
Father: Frederick Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Spouse: Princess Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia
Brother(s): Prince George Bernhard of Anhalt-Dessau Wilhelm von Anhalt-Dessau Prince Frederick Augustus of Anhalt-Dessau
Children: Princess Agnes of Anhalt-Dessau Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau Frederick I Duke of Anhalt
Awards Royal Order of the Seraphim, Order of St. Andrew
Authority VIAF id
The details

Leopold IV Frederick, Duke of Anhalt (1 October 1794 – 22 May 1871) was a German prince of the House of Ascania.

From 1817 until 1853 he was ruler of the duchy of Anhalt-Dessau and from 1847 until 1853 also ruler of the duchy of Anhalt-Köthen. From 1853 until 1863 he was the ruler of the joined duchy of Anhalt-Dessau-Köthen and from 1863 the first ruler of the united duchy of Anhalt.

Early life

Leopold was born in Dessau on 1 October 1794 as the eldest son of Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, by his wife Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Homburg, daughter of Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.

Following the premature death of his father in 1814, he became heir to the duchy of Anhalt-Dessau.


Following the death of his grandfather Leopold III he succeeded as duke on 9 August 1817.

The Duke's Administrative Officer and close friend was Christian Raster, a German statesman.

During the revolutions of 1848 he was forced to grant a constitution to Dessau on 29 October 1848. It was revoked, however, on 4 November 1849, then replaced with a new version in October 1859.

On 27 November 1847 he inherited the Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen from his distant cousin Duke Henry. As a result of a treaty concluded with Anhalt-Bernburg in May 1853 his duchies were joined together and named Anhalt-Dessau-Köthen, because the eventual inheritance of Leopold over all the Anhalt duchies seemed inevitable. The death of another distant cousin, Duke Alexander Karl, on 19 August 1863 resulted in the ruling line of the duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg becoming extinct, thus Leopold inherited that duchy as well. On 30 August he assumed the title "duke of Anhalt."

Leopold died in Dessau on 22 May 1871. He was succeeded by his son Frederick.

Marriage and issue

Leopold's wife Princess Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia

In Berlin on 18 April 1818 Leopold married Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia (b. Berlin, 30 September 1796 - d. Dessau, 1 January 1850), daughter of Prince Frederick Louis Charles of Prussia (brother of King Frederick William III of Prussia) by his wife Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; through her mother's last marriage, she was a half-sister of King George V of Hanover. They had been engaged since 17 May 1816, as the connection had already been arranged by the Prussian court. This dynastic connection was an expression of Leopold's pro-Prussian policies.

They had six children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Princess Fredericka Amalie Auguste 28 November 1819 11 December 1822
Princess Fredericka Amalie Agnes 24 June 1824 23 October 1897 married on 28 April 1853 to Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg.
A son 3 August 1825 3 August 1825 he was either stillborn or died shortly after the birth.
A son 3 November 1827 3 November 1827 he was either stillborn or died shortly after the birth.
Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt 29 April 1831 24 January 1904 married on 22 April 1854 to Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg.
Princess Maria Anna 14 September 1837 12 May 1906 married on 29 November 1854 to Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia.


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