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Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf

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Countess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf
Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf as Artemisia, 1775
Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Tenure8 September 1800 – 9 December 1806
Born(1757-01-19)19 January 1757
Died16 November 1831(1831-11-16) (aged 74)
(m. 1777; died 1806)
Augusta Caroline Sophie
FatherHeinrich XXIV, Count Reuss-Ebersdorf
MotherKaroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg

Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf[1] (German: Gräfin Reuß zu Ebersdorf; 19 January 1757 – 16 November 1831), was by marriage the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was the grandmother and godmother of both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her husband and cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


Augusta was born on 19 January 1757, the second child of Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf and Countess Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg. Her birthplace, Ebersdorf, was a center of Pietism in Thuringia and Augusta's grandparents were ardent admirers of this religious movement.

Augusta's grandaunt, Countess Erdmuthe Dorothea of Reuss-Ebersdorf, was married to Count Nicholas Louis von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf, leader of the revivalist Moravian Church. This background explains the deep religious feelings of Duchess Augusta in later years.


Her father commissioned a portrait of Augusta as Artemisia by the painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. Count Heinrich XXIV showed this painting during the Perpetual Diet so potential marriage candidates were aware of his beautiful daughter.

In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777, Augusta married Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who previously acquired the Artemisia painting for four times the original price because he was deeply in love with Augusta, but he was already obliged to marry his relative Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Princess Sophie died 7 months after the wedding, so the young Duke was free to wed again.

During her marriage, Augusta bore her husband 10 children, though only seven of them survived to adulthood; some of their children played important roles in European history: Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and King Leopold I of Belgium.


Name Date of birth Date of death Age at death Notes
Sophie Friederike 19 August 1778, in Coburg 8 July 1835, in Tušimice, Bohemia 56 years Married on 23 February 1804 to Emmanel, Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly.
Antoinette 28 August 1779, in Coburg 14 March 1824, in St. Petersburg 44 years Married on 17 November 1798 to Duke Alexander of Württemberg.
Juliane (upon her marriage, she took the name Anna Feodorovna in a Russian Orthodox baptism) 23 September 1781, in Coburg 15 August 1860, in Elfenau, near Berne, Switzerland 78 years Married on 26 February 1796 to Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, the younger brother of Czar Alexander I of Russia (they divorced in 1820).
Stillborn son 1782 1782
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 2 January 1784, in Coburg 29 January 1844, in Gotha 60 years Married on 31 July 1817 to Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1800–1831) the father of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria (they divorced in 1826).
Ferdinand 28 March 1785, in Coburg 27 August 1851, in Vienna 66 years Married on 30 November 1815 to Princess Antonia Koháry de Csábrág. He was the father of Ferdinand II of Portugal and Victoria, Duchess of Nemours, and the grandfather of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. By his marriage, he became the founder of the Koháry branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha line.
Marie Luise Victoria 17 August 1786, in Coburg 16 March 1861, in Frogmore House 74 years Married on 21 December 1803 at Coburg Charles, Prince of Leiningen.
Married on 11 July 1818 to Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III of Great Britain. She was the mother of Queen Victoria.
Marianne Charlotte 7 August 1788, in Coburg 23 August 1794, in Coburg 6 years
Leopold Georg Christian Frederick 16 December 1790, in Coburg 10 December 1865, in Laeken 74 years Married on 2 May 1816 to Princess Charlotte of Wales.

Married on 9 August 1830 to Louise of Orléans and his children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. First king of the Belgians under the name of Leopold I.

Franz Maximilian Ludwig 12 December 1792, in Coburg 3 January 1793, in Coburg 22 days

Notable descendants[edit]

Countess Augusta was the grandmother of many notable monarchs of Europe, including both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (through her mother Victoria) and her husband, Prince Albert (through his father Ernst), King Consort of Portugal Ferdinand II (through his father Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and also Empress Carlota of Mexico and her brother Leopold II of Belgium (through their father Leopold I who was elected King of the Belgians on 26 June 1831).



  1. ^ "Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf (1757–1831) |". Retrieved 2023-01-12.
  • Gertraude Bachmann: Natur und Kunst in den Reisetagebüchern der Herzogin Auguste Caroline Sophie von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (text of the lecture from the 175th anniversary of Duchess Augusta's death on 16 November 2006 at the Naturkunde-Museum Coburg), Coburg 2006.
Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Cadet branch of the House of Reuss
Born: 19 January 1757 Died: 16 November 1831
German royalty
Preceded by Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
8 September 1800 – 9 December 1806
Title next held by
Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg