Princess Augusta of Prussia (Christine Friederike Auguste; 1 May 1780 – 19 February 1841) was a German salonist and Electress consort of Hesse. She was the third daughter and fifth child of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt. She was the first consort of William II, Elector of Hesse. Augusta was a talented painter. Among the messages left by her works are also self-portraits.
The marriage of Augusta was politically arranged and unhappy. Augusta and William often came to conflict with one another, which led to aggressive confrontations. In 1806, Hesse was occupied by France. Augusta was in Berlin with her children at the time, and when the army of Napoleon headed toward Berlin, she remained in the capital because of her pregnancy when it was taken by France. Napoleon put guards around her house and gave orders that she should not be disturbed. With Hesse and Prussia occupied and her family in exile, Augusta lacked money, and after her child's birth, she asked for a meeting with Napoleon. She appeared before him with her newborn baby on her arm and one of her children by the hand and asked him for an allowance, which he granted her.
After the birth of her last child in 1806, the relationship between Augusta and William was unofficially terminated and in 1815, they agreed to separate and kept separate households. Augusta lived in Schoenfeld palace, where she became a celebrated salonist and the centre of the romantic Schoenfelder-circle, which included Ludwig Hassenpflug, Joseph von Radowitz and the Grimm brothers, and William lived in a different residence with Emilie von Reichenbach-Lessonitz. Auguste closed her salon in 1823, and between 1826 and 1831 she lived in The Hague, Koblenz, Bonn and Fulda. She returned to Kassel in 1831. Augusta was regarded as a skillful painter.
Marriage and issue
On 13 February 1797 in Berlin, Augusta married Prince William of Hesse-Kassel, eldest surviving son of William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. In 1803, the Landgrave was raised to Elector of Hesse, and Prince William succeeded on his father's death in 1821. Several months after Augusta's death, William remarried to his longtime mistress Emilie Ortlöpp, Countess of Reichenbach-Lessonitz, by whom he had an additional eight children.
Wilhelm (9 April 1798 – 25 October 1800)
Karoline (29 July 1799 – 28 November 1854)
Luise (3 April 1801 – 28 September 1803)
Frederick William, Elector of Hesse (20 August 1802 – 6 June 1875) married Gertrude Lehmann.
Marie (6 September 1804 – 4 January 1888), married Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and had issue.
Ferdinand (9 October 1806 – 21 November 1806)
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
1 May 1780 – 13 February 1797Her Royal Highness Princess Auguste of Prussia
13 February 1797 – 15 May 1803Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Kassel
15 May 1803 – 27 February 1821Her Royal Highness The Electoral Princess of Hesse
27 February 1821 – 19 February 1841Her Royal Highness The Electress of Hesse
Ancestors of Princess Augusta of Prussia
16. Frederick I of Prussia
8. Frederick William I of Prussia
17. Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
4. Prince Augustus William of Prussia
18. George I of Great Britain
9. Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
19. Sophia Dorothea of Celle
2. Frederick William II of Prussia
20. Ferdinand Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
10. Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
21. Christina Wilhelmina of Hesse-Eschwege
5. Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
22. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
11. Antoinette Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
23. Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
1. Princess Augusta of Prussia
24. Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
12. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
25. Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach
6. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
26. Johann Reinhard III, Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg