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Battenberg family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arms of Battenberg-Mountbatten.svg
Battenberg arms
Arms of Bulgaria 1880-1887.svg
Arms of the Bulgarian branch of the family (which formerly ruled Bulgaria)
Parent houseHesse-Darmstadt branch of the House of Hesse
Place of originGrand Duchy of Hesse
MembersPrincess Julia of Battenberg, Princess Marie of Battenberg, Prince Louis of Battenberg
Connected membersPrincess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Louise of Battenberg, Prince George of Battenberg
Cadet branchesMountbatten family

The Battenberg family was formally a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, rulers of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in Germany. The first member was Julia Hauke, whose brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse created her Countess of Battenberg with the style Illustrious Highness (H. Ill.H.) in 1851, at her morganatic marriage to Grand Duke Louis' brother Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, and elevated her title to Princess of Battenberg with the style Serene Highness (HSH) in 1858. The name Battenberg was last used by her youngest son, Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg, who died childless in 1924. Most members of the family, residing in the United Kingdom, had renounced their German titles in 1917, due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I, and changed their name to Mountbatten, an anglicised version of Battenberg. The name Battenberg refers to the town of Battenberg in Hesse.


Prince Alexander (1823–1888) was the third son of Grand Duke Louis II of Hesse and by Rhine and of Wilhelmina of Baden, yet it was openly rumoured his biological father was actually Baron Augustus de Senarclens, his mother's chamberlain. His spouse, Julia von Hauke (1825–1895), was a mere Countess – the orphaned daughter of Count Johann Moritz von Haucke, a Polish nobleman of German ancestry who had been a General in the Russian army and then Deputy Minister of War of Congress Poland – and therefore of insufficient rank for her children to qualify for the succession to the throne of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. For this reason, her brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III created the title of Countess of Battenberg (German: Gräfin von Battenberg) for her and for the couple's descendants (a previous family of counts of Battenberg had become extinct in the 14th century). In 1858, the title, which referred to the town of Battenberg, Hesse, was elevated to princely status. There was never a corresponding Principality of Battenberg; the title was a non-sovereign one in the nobility of the Grand Duchy of Hesse.

The children of this union bore the title of Prince (German: Prinz) or Princess (German: Prinzessin) and the style Serene Highness (German: Durchlaucht). Battenberg thus became the name of a morganatic cadet branch of the Grand Ducal family of Hesse, without right of succession.


Relations to royal families

One of the original couple's sons, Prince Alexander of Battenberg, was made Sovereign Prince of Bulgaria; he was later forced to abdicate.

Another son, Prince Henry of Battenberg, married Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria; their daughter, Victoria Eugenia Julia Ena, became queen consort of Spain. Her uncle Edward VII elevated her style to Royal Highness, so that she would have the necessary status to marry into the Spanish royal house.

Alexander and Julia's eldest son, Prince Louis of Battenberg, became the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. Due to anti-German feelings prevalent in Britain during World War I, he anglicised his name to Mountbatten, as did his children and nephews, the sons of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice. They renounced all German titles and were granted peerages by their cousin, George V: Prince Louis became the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, became the 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.

Prince Louis's second daughter Princess Louise of Battenberg become Queen Consort of Sweden as she married Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden in 1923 and his younger son Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma served as the last Viceroy of India. Prince Louis's elder daughter, Princess Alice of Battenberg, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark; their son, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (now Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), married the heir presumptive of the British throne, later Elizabeth II, after having renounced his Greek titles and taken his maternal grandfather's and uncle's surname, Mountbatten. The name Battenberg, in its anglicised form, is now a part of the personal surname, Mountbatten-Windsor, of some members of the British Royal Family. Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg married Princess Anna of Montenegro, sister of Queen Elena of Italy and a maternal aunt of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia.

Coats of arms

Besides those depicted above;

Family tree

Genealogical Table of the Battenberg, Mountbatten and Mountbatten-Windsor Family

House of Hesse-DarmstadtHouse of Windsor(UK)House of Romanov(Russia)Greek Royal FamilySwedish Royal FamilySpanish Royal Family
T08 Grossherzog.svg
 Louis II
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1830

Arms of the Grand Duchy of Hesse 1806-1918.svg
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
Queen Victoria

Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Albert, Prince Consort

Arms of Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.svg
 Prince Charles of Hesse and by the Rhine
T08 Grossherzog.svg
Louis III
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1848
 Prince Alexander of Hesse and by the Rhine
Julia v. Hauke
Mainz Arms.svg
Countess, later Princess of Battenberg

Empress Maria Alexandrovna
Heraldic Imperial Crown of Russia.svg
Emperor Alexander II of Russia
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
Edward VII

Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Princess Alice
Arms of Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse.svg
T08 Grossherzog.svg
Louis IV
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1877
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

Arms of Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg.svg
Prince Henry of Battenberg

Arms of Battenberg-Mountbatten.svg
T08 Grossherzog.svg
Prince Alexander of Battenberg
Prince of Bulgaria
Arms of Bulgaria 1880-1887.svg
Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg
Heraldic Imperial Crown of Russia.svg
Emperor Alexander III of Russia
Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
King George I of Greece,1863
Royal Arms of Greece (1863-1936).svg
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
George V

Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
T08 Grossherzog.svg
 Ernest Louis
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1892 – abd 1918
Empress Alexandra of Russia
Heraldic Imperial Crown of Russia.svg
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia
Prince Louis of Battenberg[b]

Arms of Battenberg-Mountbatten.svg

from 1917 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
Arms of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.svg

from 1917 Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke
from 1917 Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg

Arms of Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (1906).svg

Queen of Spain,1906 –1931
Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain.svg
King Alfonso XIII of Spain
dep 1931
Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
King Constantine I of Greece,1913-17 & 1920-22
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
George VI

Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse
Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Alice of Battenberg
Coat of Arms of Princess Alice of Battenberg (Order of Queen Maria Luisa).svg
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
Arms of a Prince of Greece.svg
Royal crown of the King of Sweden.svg
Louise Mountbatten
Queen of Sweden
Greater coat of arms of Queen Louise (Sweden).svg
Royal crown of the King of Sweden.svg
King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
King, 1950
Great coat of arms of Sweden (shield and chain).svg
Earl Mountbatten of Burma-CoA-Shield.svg

2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Louis Mountbatten[c]
Earl Mountbatten of Burma-CoA-Shield.svg

1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
King Paul of Greece,1947
(1901– 1964)
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
Elizabeth II

Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Duke of Edinburgh
Arms of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.svg
Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
David Mountbatten
3rd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lady Pamela Hicks
Patricia Knatchbull
2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
m. John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain.svg
King Juan Carlos I of Spain
King of Spain,1975-2014
Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
King Sophia
Crown of the Kingdom of Greece.svg
King Constantine II of Greece,1964–73 & 1920-22
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Arms of Charles, Prince of Wales.svg
Anne, Princess Royal

Arms of Anne, the Princess Royal.svg
Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Arms of Andrew, Duke of York.svg
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Arms of Edward, Earl of Wessex.svg
Royal crown of the King of Sweden.svg
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
King, 1973
George Mountbatten
4th Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Ivar Mountbatten
Norton Knatchbull
3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Lord Mountbatten of Burma-CoA-Knatchbull-Shield.svg
6 others
Heraldic Royal Crown of Spain.svg
Felipe VI
King of Spain,2014
Crown Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece


  1. ^ This coat of arms is reported in the "Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe", by Jiri Louda and Michael Maclagan, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1981, p216, table 109. While these arms are virtually the same as the city of Mainz, it is a common heraldic law that identical arms are allowed when the bearers are of different nations, but within a nation they are not (see for England, Warbelton v Gorges and Scrope v Grosvenor). However, Wikipedia reports a different set of arms for the family at the article on Hauke-Bosak (
    Hauke Counts.jpg
    . However, these arms are for the family in Russia, and the reference given is an expired page in the Polish Wikipedia. There is no reference for the family seen in the Rietstap Armorial General.
  2. ^ Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    First Sea Lord, RN (1912–14)
  3. ^ Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    Chief of Combined Operations, Chiefs of Staff Committee (UK) and Combined Chiefs of Staff (US & UK) (1941–1943)
    Supreme Allied Commander,  South East Asia Command(1943–1946)
    Viceroy and Governor-General of India(1947)
    Governor-General of India(1947-48)
    Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, RN (1952–1954)
    Fourth Sea Lord, RN (1950–1952)
    First Sea Lord, RN (1955-59)
    Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom) (1959–1965)
  4. ^ Prince Philip was born a member of the Danish and Greek Royal House of Glucksborg and was known as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
    On his marriage he became a naturalized British subject, disclaimed his Greek and Danish titles, and adopted his mother's maiden name of Mountbatten as his surname. As documented in the Mountbatten family and Mountbatten-Windsor articles, the dynastic name of the British Royal Family remains Windsor. However, the personal surname of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's descendants is Mountbatten-Windsor (e.g. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn  and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor).
    Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh on his marriage. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth created him a British Prince.

External links

Battenberg family
House of Battenberg
Cadet branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt
Preceded by
House of Shishman
Ruling House of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
This page was last edited on 12 February 2021, at 11:23
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