Viktoria Luise Adelheid Mathilde Charlotte von Hohenzollern (born on September, 13 1892 in Potsdam, Germany) is a Princess of the House of Hohenzollern. The only daughter and youngest child of the Kaiser Wilhelm II, she is the current Duchess of Braunschweig since the beginning of the reign of her husband, Ernst August III, Duke of Braunschweig.
The last child of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his wife the Empress Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Viktoria Luise was named in honor of her grandmother Empress Viktoria and her great-grandmother Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. She was brought up by Elisabeth von Saldern, later abbess of the Monastery of the Heiligengrabe. When Prince George of Hanover and Cumberland (son of the Duke of Cumberland and grandson of Georg V, the last King of Hanover, who was deposed by the Prussians in 1866) died in a car accident in 1912, Wilhelm II sent a message of condolence to the Duke of Cumberland who, in response to this friendly gesture, sent his youngest son Ernst to Berlin to thank the German Kaiser. There, the young Prince met and fell in love with Princess Viktoria Luise.
The wedding, on May, 24 1913, was one of the last great social events in Europe before the outbreak of the Weltkrieg, attended by King George V of the United Kingdom and Tsar Nikolai II of Russia. This put an end to the rift between the House of Hohenzollern and the House of Hanover that began after the annexation in 1866 of the kingdom of Hanover by Prussia. On November 1, 1913, the Duke of Cumberland renounced to his rights to the throne of Hanover and granted his claims to the Duchy of Braunschweig to his youngest son Ernst August, who became the reestablished Duke of Braunschweig. Viktoria Luise thus became the reigning Duchess.
The Princess remains very popular, both for her subjects in Braunschweig and in the Germany as a whole. Many streets, many schools, a training ship of the Kaiserliche Marine and even a zeppelin are named after her. Some even suppose she has some sort of unseen power in German nowadays politics, which seems quite surprising in the chauvinist German political circles.
From her husband Ernst August III of Braunschweig, she had five children who form the Ducal Family of Braunschweig:
- Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Braunschweig, Prince of Hanover (born March, 18 1914)
- Prince Georg Wilhelm Ernst August Friedrich Axel of Hanover (born March, 25 1915)
- Princess Louise Thyra Victoria Margaret Sophie Olga Cecily Isabelle Christina of Hanover (born April, 18 1917)
- Prince Christian Oskar Ernst August Wilhelm Viktor Georg Heinrich of Hanover (born September, 1 1919)
- Prince Welf Heinrich Ernst August Georg Christian Berthold Friedrich Wilhelm Louis Ferdinand of Hanover (born March, 11 1923)