Frederick Christian II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg: Wikis


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Portrait of Frederik Christian II, Duke of Augustenborg by Anton Graff

Frederik Christian II, Duke of Augustenborg (Augustenburg, 28 September 1765 - Augustenburg, 14 June 1814) was a Danish prince and feudal magnate. He held the island of Als and some other castles (such as Sonderborg) in Schleswig.

He was born as the eldest son of Friedrich Christian I, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1721-1794) and his cousin Princess Charlotte of Holstein-Plön (1744-70). Until his father's death, he was styled Hereditary Prince of Augustenborg.

He was a prince with an exceptionally high dose of Danish blood in his ancestry, his maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother and paternal great-grandmother having been, respectively, born Countess of Reventlow, Countess of Danneskiold-Samsoe and Countess of Ahlefeldt-Langeland. He was closely related to all important families of the then high nobility of Denmark. The negaive side was that his ancestry was quite much "comital", instead of including royal princesses, and duchesses of petty German states, as was customary with the Oldenburg royal family. Their family was regarded as a bit lower than the Ebenbuertige small rulers of Germany thought to be the standard.

In 1786 the 20-year-old hereditary prince however married his distant cousin, the 14-year-old Louise Auguste of Denmark and Norway (1771-1843), daughter of the late Queen Caroline Mathilde of Denmark. Louise Auguste was born during queen's marriage with the insane king Christian VII of Denmark and Norway, but unofficially it was widely known that her natural father was Johann Friedrich Struensee, the king’s court physician and de facto regent of the country at the time of her birth. (She was referred to sometimes as "la petite Struensee".)

The story of antecedents of the prince's marriage goes as follows: In February 1779 the nation's foremost statesman, Chief Minister count Andreas Peter Bernstorff, hatched an ingenious plan for the young princess. Something that has been often customary with royal children suspected of not being sired by their nominal fathers but by mother's illicit liaison: to marry such to another member of the royal house. Since a male child of hers could inherit the throne some day, it would be advantageous to arrange a marriage early, and to marry the "half-royal" back into the extended royal house, to the Hereditary Prince of Augustenborg. This plan not only had the positive effect of more closely connecting the Danish royal house’s two lines, the ruling House of Oldenborg and the offshoot House of Augustenborg, thus discouraging the threat of a breakup of the kingdom, but also the prevention of her marriage into the Swedish royal house (the latter danger was rather low, however: at that time, there were Swedish princes only twenty years or more her senior, and her first cousin, the future Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden had just been born when she already was seven).

The binding agreements were made in 1780, and in spring 1785 the young duke Frederik Christian II came to Copenhagen. The engagement was announced then, and a year later, on 27 May 1786 the wedding took place at Christiansborg Palace.

They lived at the Castle for many years until the Christiansborg Palace fire of 1794 and the death of his father, the Duke of Augustenborg (Frederik Christian I). The prince inherited the estate and the Duchy.

After 1794 they lived during the summer on the island of Als and at Gråsten.

The couple had three children:

  • Caroline Amalie (b. Sept. 28, 1796 Copenhagen - d 9.3.1881), married 1815 Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark (d 1848), the future Christian VIII of Denmark and earlier, 1814, proclaimed king of Norway, briefly before Swedish conquest. Became Queen of Denmark. She died childless 1881, as HM The Queen Dowager of Denmark.
  • Christian August (b. July 19, 1798 Copenhagen - d 11.3.1869), the Duke of Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (who was to become a pivotal figure in the Question of Schleswig-Holstein in 1850's and 1860's). In order to hold to potential Danish feelings, he was married in 1820 to a Danish relative, Countess of Danneskjold-Samsoe (Lovisa-Sophie Danneskjold-Samsøe, 1797-1867), relative of kings of Denmark, belonging to a bastard branch of House of Oldenburg. Duke Christian sold his rights to the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark in aftermath of Treaty of London, but later renounced his rights to the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein in favor of his son Frederik August. He was the brother-in-law of King (Christian VIII). And nephew of late Frederik VI. Duke Christian August died 1869. Father of e.g: Frederik August (Friedrich Christian August), Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, born 1829 in Augustenborg. He was nephew of Caroline Amalie, the incumbent Queen Consort of Denmark, and "nephew-in-law" of the king himself. As well as a great-nephew of Frederick VI. In 1863 claimed to succeed King Frederik VII of Denmark as Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Died 1880. He became father of one surviving son and a number of daughters.
  • Frederik Emil August (b. Aug. 23, 1800 Kiel - d 2.7.1865 Beirut), the “Prince” of Nør (Noer). Married 1829 Countess Henriette Danneskjold-Samsøe (1806-58) who was a Danish noblewoman and relative of kings of Denmark, belonging to a bastard branch of House of Oldenburg. Later he was created Prinz von Noer (1864) and died 1865. Father of:

Over the years there developed conflict between him and Louise's brother king Frederick VI of Denmark, especially over the relationship of the double-duchies of Schleswig-Holstein and his small appanage around Sonderborg there on one hand and the Danish monarchy on the other. His wife remained loyal to the Danish Royal House throughout the differences.

In 1810, his younger brother Charles August of Augustenburg became chosen by Swedes as their new crown prince, to succeed Charles XIII of Sweden. He however died during the spring. Soon the duke himself pursued attempts to be chosen as successor to the Swedish throne. However, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France and Prince of Ponte Corvo, got elected. His wife opposed the Swedish affair and orked actively to undermine the duke's opportunity.

Their relationship eventually fell apart, and Frederik Christian tried to legally limit her influence over their children's future. He died on 14 June 1814.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Christian, Duke of Augustenborg, then 16 yo. Louise Auguste took control of the Augustenborg estates and the children’s upbringing. The estate was turned over to the son and heir on his return from an extended foreign tour in 1820.


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