Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein
16 November 1860

Volume 2, page 91, sitting number 1661.

[Identified as the 'Prince of Holstein-Augustenbourg' in the Silvy daybooks, his full title was Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.]

Born on 6 January 1829, he was the eldest son of Christian August II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg of the ancient royal House of Oldenburg. His impeccable Danish ancestry led him to claim the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein on the death of King Frederick VII of Denmark in 1863, a claim in which he was supported by Prussia and Austria. Bismarck used the succession crisis as a pretext to start the Second Schleswig War. The Danish army was no match for the vastly superior Prussian force and the rule of Denmark in the two duchies swiftly came to an end. However, for a vareity of reasons, Frederick did not become the ruler of a new independent kingdom but instead the lands were absorbed into the Kingdom of Prussia, ultimately becomiing a part of a united Germany in 1871. 

Frederick died 'suddenly [...] of heart disease' at Wiesbaden on 14 January 1880 (Dundee Courier, 16 January 1880). 'The deceased, who was born on the 6th of July, 1829, was the son of Duke Christian. He was married on September 11th 1856 to the Princess Adelaide, daughter of the late Prince Hohenlohe, by whom he has had several children, the eldest being Prince Augustus Victor, who was born in October 1858. The only brother of the deceased is Prince Christian, the husband of the Princess Helena of Great Britain] (Irish Times, 16 January 1880).

'By the death of Duke Frederick Christian Augustus of Schleswig-Holstein at Weisbaden [sic] there has been removed a personage who at one time constituted a disturbing element in European politics, and who was wellnigh the occasion of a European war. On the death of King Frederick VII of Denmark, whose right to the combined Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein had been recognized by the German Powers, Duke Frederick put in a claim to the succession in Schleswig-Holstein. This claim was favoured by the German Diet, but resisted by the Danish King. The Holstein Diet, however, recognised the Duke's claim, which was supported by Austria and Prussia, and led to the war between Denmark and these two Powers, and the expulsion of the Danes from the Duchies. The Danes calculated on the intervention of France and England, but in this they were disappointed' (Dundee Advertiser, 15 January 1880).


code: cs0021
Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig Holstein