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Princess of Battenberg
Julia Hauke by Woldemar Hau
BornJulia Therese Salomea Hauke
(1825-11-24)24 November 1825
Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire
Died19 September 1895(1895-09-19) (aged 69)
Schloss Heiligenberg, Jugenheim, Hesse-Darmstadt
( m. 1851)
House Battenberg
Father John Maurice Hauke
MotherSophie LaFontaine

Julia, Princess of Battenberg, previously Countess of Battenberg and Countess Julia von Hauke, (born Julia Therese Salomea Hauke; 24 November [ O.S. 12 November] 1825 – 19 September 1895) was the wife of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, the third son of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse. The daughter of a Polish general of German descent, she was not of princely origin. She became a lady-in-waiting to Marie of Hesse, wife of the future Emperor Alexander II and a sister of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, whom she married, having met him in the course of her duties. The marriage of social unequals was deemed morganatic, but the Duke of Hesse gave her her own title of nobility as Princess of Battenberg. She was the mother of Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria, and is an ancestor of Charles III and to the current generations of the Spanish royal family.


Julia in middle age

Hauke was born in Warsaw, Congress Poland, then ruled in personal union by the Emperor of the Russian Empire. She was the daughter of Hans Moritz Hauke, a Polish general of German descent. [1] [2] Her mother, Sophie, was the daughter of Polish doctor Franz Leopold Lafontaine.

Her father fought in Napoleon's Polish Legions in Austria, Italy, Germany, and the Peninsular War. After his service in the army of the Duchy of Warsaw from 1809 to 1814, he entered the ranks of the army of Congress Poland, and was promoted to general in 1828. Recognizing his abilities, Emperor Nicholas I appointed him Deputy Minister of War of Congress Poland and on 4 May 1829 made him a hereditary Count von Hauke. [3] In the November Uprising of 1830, led by rebelling army cadets, Grand Duke Constantine, Poland's Russian governor, managed to escape, but Julia's father was shot dead by the cadets on a Warsaw street. Her mother died of shock shortly afterwards, and their children were made wards of the Emperor.[ citation needed]

Hauke served as lady-in-waiting to Empress Marie Alexandrovna, wife of the future Emperor Alexander II and a sister of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. She met Prince Alexander while performing her duties at court in St. Petersburg. The Emperor did not approve of a courtship between her and his son's brother-in-law, so the two arranged to leave St. Petersburg. By the time Julia and Alexander were able to marry, she was six months pregnant with their first child, Marie. They were married on 28 October 1851 in Breslau in Prussian Silesia (now called Wrocław and in Poland).[ citation needed]

Since she was not considered equal for royal marriage purposes, her children did not qualify for succession to the throne of Hesse and by Rhine. Her marriage was declared to be morganatic after the birth of her first son.[ citation needed] Her husband's brother, Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse-Darmstadt, made her Countess of Battenberg in 1851, with the style of Illustrious Highness ( German: Erlaucht). In 1858, she was elevated to Princess of Battenberg, with the style of Serene Highness ( German: Durchlaucht). Battenberg became the name of a morganatic branch of the Grand Ducal Family of Hesse.

Hauke converted to Lutheranism on 12 May 1875.[ citation needed] Prior to her conversion she frequently visited Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches throughout Hesse, often traveling great distances. Her religion was openly criticized by members of her husband's family until her conversion. Her children were baptized Lutheran. She died at Heiligenberg Castle on 19 September 1895.[ citation needed]


There were five children of the marriage, all princes and princesses of Battenberg:

Descendants change name to Mountbatten

Julia's eldest son, Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg, became a British subject, and during World War I, due to anti-German sentiment prevalent at the time, anglicised his name to Mountbatten (a literal translation of the German Battenberg), as did his nephews, the sons of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice. The members of this branch of the family also renounced all German titles and were granted peerages by their cousin King George V of the United Kingdom: Prince Louis became the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, became the 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.


Arms of Battenberg: Argent, two pallets sable, as granted to Countess Julia Hauke, created "Princess of Battenberg", by the Grand Duke of Hesse


See also


  1. ^ The Hauke Family from Wetzlar, at; accessed 3 December 2018
  2. ^ Paget, Gerald (1977), The Lineage & Ancestry of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Edinburgh and London: Charles Skilton
  3. ^ "The Hauke Family".
  4. ^ a b c Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogs Hessen (1879), "Genealogie" p. 4
  5. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogs Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 146
  6. ^ "Goldener Löwen-orden", Großherzoglich Hessische Ordensliste (in German), Darmstadt: Staatsverlag, 1894, p. 2 – via