22.07.

German Duke Ludwig Rudolf – grandfather of the Croatian-Hungarian Queen Maria Theresa – 1671

German Duke Ludwig Rudolf – grandfather of the Croatian-Hungarian Queen Maria Theresa – 1671

Duke Ludwig Rudolf of Braunschweig-Lüneburg had several daughters, one of whom was the mother of the Empress and Croatian-Hungarian ruler Maria Theresa, and the other married the son of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Vojvodina’s grandchildren were therefore on the throne of the Habsburg Monarchy and on the throne of the Russian Empire.

On July 22, 1671, Duke Ludwig Rudolf of Braunschweig-Lüneburg was born, the grandfather of the famous Empress and Croatian-Hungarian ruler Maria Theresa. Namely, he was the father of the Empress’s mother Elizabeth Christina of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, who married Charles VI in 1708. (the last male member of the Habsburg dynasty and the father of Maria Theresa).

Ludwig Rudolf of Braunschweig-Lüneburg belonged to the famous Welf dynasty (Gvelf), which gained power in the early Middle Ages. The duke was a direct descendant of the famous Henry the Lion, once probably the richest feudal lord in Germany. Interestingly, the Welf dynasty later came to the throne of Great Britain (British Queen Victoria belonged to it).

Duke Ludwig Rudolf belonged to the branch of the Welf dynasty that ruled over the principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. They owned a huge Wolfenbüttel castle, surrounded by a moat with water for protection. At the time of his granddaughter Maria Theresa’s birth (1717), Duke Ludwig Rudolf was 45 years old and ruled the small principality of Blankenburg. In 1731, when Maria Theresa was about 14 years old, he inherited the entire mentioned principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

In addition to Elizabeth Christina, Duke Ludwig Rudolf had two more daughters, one of whom she married, no less and no more, than the son of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. That daughter gave birth to the Russian Tsar Peter II. Romanov, who was thus the duke’s grandson. Thus, Duke Ludwig Rudolf married his daughters so well that his grandchildren were on the throne of the Habsburg Monarchy and on the throne of the Russian Empire. Indeed, most of today’s European kings and queens are descended from Ludwig Rudolf.

 

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