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Julia von Hauke

Countess Julia Hauke
Princess of Battenberg

Julia Hauke. Source: Bulgarian Archives State Agency
Spouse Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
Marie, Princess of Erbach-Schönberg
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria
Prince Henry
Prince Francis Joseph
Father Count John Maurice Hauke
Mother Sophie Lafontaine
Born (1825-11-24)24 November 1825
Warsaw, Congress Poland
Died 19 September 1895(1895-09-19) (aged 69)
Heiligenberg Castle, Jugenheim, Hesse

Princess Julia of Battenberg (12 November 1825 (O.S.)/24 November 1825 (N.S.)–19 September 1895) was the wife of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, the mother of Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria, and ancestress to the current generations of the British and the Spanish royal families.


Julie Therese Salomea Hauke[1] was born in Warsaw, in Congress Poland, then ruled in personal union by the Tsar of Imperial Russia. She was the daughter of Hans Moritz Hauke (English: John Maurice Hauke) and his wife Sophie (née Lafontaine). Her father was German, a professional military man, and fought in Napoleon's army in Austria, Italy, Germany and the Peninsular War. After service in the Polish army since 1790 and the army of the Duchy of Warsaw from 1809 to 1814 he entered the ranks of the army of Congress Poland, became full general in 1828 and was awarded a Polish title of nobility. Recognising his abilities, Tsar Nicholas I appointed him Deputy Minister of War of Congress Poland and elevated him in 1829 to Count, this title automatically making Julia an Hrabianka - a Polish hereditary Countess.

In the November Uprising of 1830 led by rebelling army cadets, Grand Duke Constantine, Poland's de facto Viceroy, managed to escape, but Count Hauke was shot dead by the cadets on the street of Warsaw. His wife died of shock shortly afterwards, and their children were made wards of the Tsar.

Julia served as lady-in-waiting to Tsesarevna Marie Alexandrovna, wife of the future Tsar Alexander II and sister of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. Julia met Prince Alexander while performing her duties at court in St. Petersburg. The Tsar did not approve of any liaison between his son's brother-in-law Prince Alexander and a parvenu, and so the young lovers arranged to leave the St. Petersburg court. 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 Wrocław in Poland).

Julia was considered to be of insufficient rank to have any of her children qualify for the succession to the throne of Hesse and by Rhine (Hesse-Darmstadt); hence the marriage was considered morganatic. Her husband's brother, Grand Duke Ludwig III of Hesse-Darmstadt, created her Countess of Battenberg in 1851, with the style of 'Illustrious Highness', and in 1858 elevated her to Princess of Battenberg with the style of 'Serene Highness'. The children of Julia and Alexander were also elevated to Prince or Princess and addressed as 'Serene Highness.' Thus, Battenberg became the name of a morganatic branch of the Grand Ducal Family of Hesse.

Julia converted from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism on 12 May 1875. She died at Heiligenberg Castle, near Jugenheim in southern Hesse.


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

Name change to "Mountbatten"

Alexander and Julia's eldest son, Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg, became a British subject, and during World War I, due to anti-German feelings 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.

Titles and forms of address

  • Fraulein Julia Hauke (12 November 1825 (O.S.)/24 November 1825 (N.S.) - 1829)
  • Hrabianka Julia Hauke (1829–1851)
  • Her Illustrious Highness Countess Julia of Battenberg (1851–1858)
  • Her Serene Highness Princess Julia of Battenberg (1858–19 September 1895)


See also

  • Hauke-Bosak family


  • Almanach de Gotha, Gotha 1931
  • Eckhart G. Franz, Das Haus Hessen: Eine europäische Familie, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2005 (S. 164-170), ISBN 3-17-018919-0


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