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Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau

Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau
Duchess of Nassau
Tenure 1851–1866
Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Tenure 1890–1905
Spouse Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Hilda, Grand Duchess of Baden
House House of Ascania
House of Nassau-Weilburg
Father Prince Frederick Augustus of Anhalt-Dessau
Mother Landgravine Marie Louise Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Born (1833-12-25)25 December 1833
Died 24 November 1916(1916-11-24) (aged 82)
Königstein im Taunus

Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau (German: Adelheid-Marie; French: Adélaïde-Marie) (25 December 1833 – 24 November 1916) was a Princess of Anhalt-Dessau and member of the House of Ascania. As the wife of Adolphe of Nassau, she was the last Duchess of Nassau from 1851 until 1866 and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1890 until 1905.

Birth and family

Adelheid Marie was born in Dessau in the Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau on Christmas Day 1833 to Prince Frederick Augustus of Anhalt-Dessau and Landgravine Marie Louise Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel.

Marriage and issue

On 23 April 1851 in Dessau, as his second wife, she was married to Adolphe of Nassau, Duke of Nassau and later Grand Duke of Luxembourg. They had five children, of whom only two lived to the age of eighteen and to become prince and princess of Luxembourg:

  • William IV (1852–1912), second Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • Frederick (28 September 1854 – 23 October 1855)
  • Marie (14 November 1857 – 28 December 1857)
  • Francis Joseph William (30 January 1859 – 2 April 1875)
  • Hilda (1864–1952), married Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden

Later life

Duke Adolph supported the Austrian Empire in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. After Austria's defeat, Nassau was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia and Adolph and Marie Adelheid lost their throne on 20 September 1866.

In 1890, King William III of the Netherlands died. His only daughter Wilhelmina succeeded on his death without surviving male issue to the Dutch throne, but was excluded from the succession to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by the Salic Law. The Grand Duchy, which had been linked to the Netherlands since 1815, passed to the Dutch royal family's distant relative – the dispossessed Duke Adolphe – on 23 November 1890, in accordance with the Nassau Family Pact. Marie Adelheid now became Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.


Marie Adelheid died on 24 November 1916 in Königstein im Taunus.


The Grand Dukes of Luxembourg are still descendants of Adolphe and Marie-Adelheid, although cognatically, since the very independence of the Grand-Duchy required an alteration of the succession laws at the absence of male heirs.


See also

Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau
Born: 25 December 1833 Died: 24 November 1916
Royal titles
Title last held by
Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia
Duchess consort of Nassau
23 April 1851 – 20 September 1866
Duchy annexed by Prussia in 1866
Preceded by
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
23 November 1890 – 17 November 1905
Succeeded by
Marie Anne of Portugal
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