Monthly Archives: July 2013

Countess Louise Henriette of Nassau

Louise Henriette was born in The Hague, on 27th November 1627 eldest daughrer of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Armalia of Solms Braunfels.  Frederick was the Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijissel.  She grew up through her childhood at the court of her father.

Louise Henriette 1

She fell in love with Henri Charles de La Tremoille but had to give him up, as her mother had royal ambitions for Louise.  Attempts to arrange an engagement with King Charles II of England did not succeed.  She finally married Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1620-1688), ‘the Great Elector’ at The Hague on 7th December 1646.  Frederick Henry was believed to consider the marriage as beneficial with the connections to the House of Orange aiding with Brandenburg’s struggle for influence in Pomerania.

The couple lived in Cleves in the early part of their marriage, before moving to Brandenburg in 1648.  They continued to travel and Louise followed Frederick where ever he went as he moved between The Hague, Konigsberg, Berlin and Cleves, as well as the different battle fields of Denmark and Poland.  She acted as political advisor during the period, and was often called a pragmatist.  Through correspondence with the Queen of Poland, Marie Louise Gonzaga, Louise managed to make an alliance with Poland with the Polish recognising Prussia as a province within Brandenburg.  Louise and Frederick’s marriage was always considered to be a role model to others and her advice continued to be vital to Frederick.

Louise Henriette 2

In 1646 with the assistance of Johann Mauritz, a military engineer and Michael Hanff the landscape gardener, Louise converted a kitchen garden at the Berlin City Palace into a formal garden that became known as Lustgarten.  Louise built a new castle in Botzow beginning in 1650 and finishing in 1652  It was called Oranienburg which became the name of the entire town in 1653.  Also Louise began an orphanage in Orainienburg in 1665 with room for 24 children.

Louisa and Frederick had six children, William Henry (1648-1649), Charles (1655-1674), Frederick (1657-1713) the first King of Prussia, Amalia (1656-1664), Henry (1664-1664), Louis (1666-1687) who married Ludwika Karolina Radzwill who was titled Princess of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Louisa died on the 18th June 1667 aged just 39 and was buried in Berlin Cathedral.

Louise Henriette 3