Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate

19 Nov 1597
26 Apr 1660
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Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (19 November 1597 – 26 April 1660) was the wife of George William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, and the mother of Frederick William of Brandenburg, the “Great Elector”.

Elisabeth Charlotte was the daughter of Frederick IV, Elector Palatine, and Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau. Her brother Frederick became famous as the Elector-Palatine and “Winter King” of Bohemia.

In 1616 Elisabeth Charlotte married George William, with whom she had the following children:

Louise Charlotte (1617–1676), married Jacob Kettler, Duke of Courland

Frederick William (1620–1688), the “Great Elector”

Hedwig Sophia (1623–1683), married William VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)

The marriage was arranged to unite two Protestant dynasties. In 1618, her brother’s deposition from the throne of Bohemia caused the Thirty Years’ War.

Her spouse was described as ambivalent and passive, but Charlotte ensured protection for her sibling when Brandenburg sided against Austria in the affairs of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire.

At court, she favoured the Protestant party against the pro-Austrian party.

She influenced her son to sympathize with the Protestant cause, and he came to have a great affection for his mother, closer than what was usually common during that age. She spent her last years at Crossen, where she died.

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