Duchess Charlotte Felicitas of Brunswick-Lüneburg

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Charlotte Felicitas
Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg duchess of Modena.jpg
Duchess consort of Modena
Tenure1 February 1696 – 29 September 1710
Born(1671-03-06)6 March 1671
Hanover, Brunswick-Lüneburg
Died29 September 1710(1710-09-29) (aged 39)
Ducal Palace of Modena, Modena
SpouseRinaldo d'Este, Duke of Modena
Princess Benedetta
Francesco III, Duke of Modena
Princess Amalia
Enrichetta, Duchess of Parma
FatherJohn Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
MotherBenedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate

Charlotte Felicitas of Brunswick-Lüneburg (8 March 1671–29 September 1710) was a German noblewoman. She was born into the House of Hanover and later married into the House of Este, which were both part of the House of Welf. She was thus the Duchess of Modena by marriage. She died in childbirth. Some sources refer to her simply as Charlotte.


Duchess Charlotte Feliciyas of Brunswick-Lüneburg as Diana by Jean Michelin.

Born at Schloss Herrenhausen in Hanover, a palace later destroyed in World War II, she was the eldest surviving daughter[1] of John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife, Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate. Her father had been the ruler of Brunswick-Lüneburg since 1665 and her parents had been married since 1668.

Charlotte Felicitas had an older sister, Princess Anna Sophie (who died in childhood), as well two younger sisters: Princess Henrietta (who died young) and Princess Wilhelmina Amalia, who made a prestigious marriage in 1699 to the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph I. After the death of her father in 1679, her mother returned to France, taking her three daughters with her. In France, Charlotte Felicitas and her sisters were given a Catholic education by her great-aunt Louise Holladine at the convent of Maubuisson.

Charlotte Felicitas married Rinaldo d'Este in Modena on 11 February 1696. The youngest child of Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena and his third wife Lucrezia Barberini, Rinaldo had been created a cardinal in 1685, but he left the church in 1694 to succeed his nephew Francesco II as Duke of Modena. Rinaldo wanted to encourage relations between Modena and Brunswick, whose ruling house was the House of Hanover. The marriage was celebrated splendidly despite financial problems in Modena; the artist Marcantonio Franceschini was commissioned to paint a room, the Salone d'onore at the ducal palace in honour of the marriage.

Charlotte Felicitas fled Modena for Bologna in 1702 along with the rest of the Modenese royal family in order to avoid French troops in Italy due to the War of the Spanish Succession.

Her husband was sixteen years older than Charlotte Felicitas, but the two had seven children. After her death, her son Francesco, the ducal heir, married in 1721 Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, the daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, the Régent of France during the childhood of King Louis XV. Her second daughter, Enrichetta, went on to marry first in 1727 Antonio Farnese, Duke of Parma and, after his death in 1731, Leopold, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Charlotte Felicitas died at the Ducal Palace of Modena after giving birth to a daughter in September 1710. The child also died. She was buried at the Church of San Vincenzo in Modena. Her son succeeded as Duke of Modena in 1737.



References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ An older sister, Anne Sophie died in 1672 at the age of 2
Duchess Charlotte Felicitas of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 6 March 1671 Died: 29 September 1710
Royal titles
Title last held by
Margherita Maria Farnese
Duchess consort of Modena
11 February 1696 – 29 September 1710
Title next held by
Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans