21 November 1860
Volume 2, page 100, sitting number 1700.
Princess Adelheid, the daughter of Queen Victoria’s beloved half-sister, Feodora von Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1807-1872), was born 20 July 1835. On 11 September 1856 she married Duke Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, known as ‘Fritz Holstein’ within the family. Their marriage produced seven children.
A close friend of Vicky and Friedrich, the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia, her husband played a central but ultimately unfortunate role in the Schleswig-Holstein crisis of 1864. Lord Palmerston later wrote ‘Only three men ever understood the question of Schleswig-Holstein. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third, and I have forgotten all about it.’
The Princess died on 25 January 1900. According to one obituary: ‘The late Duchess Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein was the eldest daughter, but fourth child, of Prince Ernest of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, by his marriage with the Princess Feodora of Leiningen (the half-sister of Her Majesty Queen Victoria), and was born at Langenburg on July 20, 1835. [...] With the Queen she kept up a correspondence to the day of her death. It was, indeed, Her Majesty who stood her niece's kind friend in the days of her adversity. When in September, 1856, the Princess Adelheid married the Hereditary Prince Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein (an elder brother of Prince Christian) it was thought that she had made a very good marriage. Her husband was heir to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein and at that time there was no cloud in the sky to foretell the coming storm. But misfortunes came upon the Duchess and her husband in the wars of 1864 and 1866; the Duchies were annexed by Prussia, and the pair were left almost without means. Since the death of her husband she lived a most secluded life, the winters having been spent at Dresden, and her summers, as a rule, at Schloss Gravenstein, in Holstein, a very favourite residence that belongs to her son, Duke Ernest Gunther, of Schleswig-Holstein’ (Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 26 January 1900).
She was also the mother of Princess Augusta Viktoria, the second wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II.