He spent his lonely days creating and cultivating his artist's colony in Hesse. Ernie’s three elder sisters also helped to contribute to his upbringing, and he remained particularly close to both Victoria and Ella. photo: Wikipedia, Following a large family gathering in Darmstadt in October 1903 for the wedding of his niece, Princess Alice of Battenberg, Ernie and his daughter went to visit the Russian Imperial Family at their hunting lodge in Poland. Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna of Russia, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, Grand Cross of the Order of Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Grand Cross of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Princess Frederica Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt, Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogs Hessen, Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, Staats- und Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Nassau, Militaire Willems-Orde: Hessen-Darmstadt, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig IV. Ernie was an attentive husband, and Ducky ornamented the social life of his capital in exemplary fashion. Ernst Ludwig, destined to be the last Grand Duke of Hesse und bei Rhein, was born in November of 1868. In the end, however, there was an echo of Ernie's childhood desire not to die alone. By early morning, the doctor was certain she had a virulent form of suppressed typhoid, although rumors also flew around the hunting lodge that she had eaten from poisoned dish intended for the Emperor. With great reluctance, he left Hesse for Potsdam, where he joined a regiment of Prussian Dragoons. More than thirty years later, the still heart-broken father declared that the hours on the funeral train were seared into his memory. Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1837-1892), Soldier; husband of Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse. Undoubtedly the success of their marriage rested largely on Eleonore's understanding and acceptance of her husband's character.

[1] But the couple, facing objections from the Grand Duke's in-laws, separated within a week and the marriage was annulled within three months. Ernst Ludwig was the elder son of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Ernie had no interest in a military career; on the contrary, he pursued his education at the University of Leipzig, where he insisted on following his egalitarian instincts in attending classes with ordinary students, rather than joining the Aristocratic Corps. Louis was born at the Prinz-Karl-Palais in Darmstadt, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine in the German Confederation, the first son and child of Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine (23 April 1809 – 20 March 1877) and Princess Elisabeth of Prussia (18 June 1815 – 21 March 1885), granddaughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia. [2], In 1866 the Austrians suffered defeat in the Austro-Prussian War and the Hessian grandduchy was in jeopardy of being awarded as the spoils of war to victorious Prussia, which annexed some of Austria's other allies (Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau), a fate from which Hesse-Darmstadt appears to have been spared only by a cession of territory and the close dynastic kinship between its ruler and the Emperor of Russia (Alexander II's consort, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, was the sister of Hesse's Grand Duke Louis III and of Prince Charles).[2]. Eleonore was the daughter of Hermann, The Prince of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich and Countess Agnes of Stolberg-Wernigerode. There were no survivors. Worse news was to come from Russia, where both of his sisters, and his Imperial brother-in-law, nieces and nephew, were murdered in the wake of Nicholas II's abdication. I don't want to die alone, like Frittie." It was not an auspicious start to Ernie and Ducky's marriage, though at first they both tried to make an uncomfortable situation work.

[2] In the 1870–71 Franco-Prussian War, Louis led the Hessian contingent of the armies of the North German Confederation. In 1904, Ernie met the woman who was to become his second wife, and provide Hesse with a true Grand Duchess: Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. It was unheard of for a sovereign to terminate his marriage legally. Ernest Louis, German in full Ernst Ludwig Karl Albrecht Wilhelm, (born November 25, 1868, Darmstadt, Hesse-Darmstadt [Germany]—died October 9, 1937, near Darmstadt), grand duke of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1892 until his abdication in 1918, at the end of World War I. She and Greg are now working on a second book together, the first English language biography of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse. Sadly, Ernie’s youngest sister, Princess May, did not recover and died in November. In Eleonore, he found a woman secure in the knowledge that she was truly loved and admired and who, unlike the temperamental Ducky, was content to dutifully fulfill her role as Grand Duchess of Hesse. The two brothers had been playing a game when Frittie fell through an unlatched window, tumbling to a stone terrace some twenty feet below. In 1891, following his father’s example, he was attached to the First Prussian Regiment of Foot Guards at Potsdam. At the insistence of Ernie's sister Victoria, the Marchioness of Milford Haven, Prince Ludwig proceeded with his wedding, though it was a somber affair. Ernest Grand Duke of Hesse has ranked on the list of 945 famous people who were born on November 25, 1868. It was at this gathering that Ernie’s younger sister, Alix, became engaged to the future Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia. In the grip of crushing tragedy, perhaps material possessions did not mean much to the Grand Duke, but in the end, his years of sterling service to his country were enough to ensure that he would be able to stay in Darmstadt, unlike several of his princely cousins, who were exiled from their countries, losing everything. "Send a telegram to Mama. As an only son, he himself was without an heir, and he desperately needed to re-marry and have more children to secure the Hessian Throne. Ernie died peacefully in Wolfsgarten on October 9, 1937, and was laid to rest in the Rosenhšhe a short distance from the grave of his beloved Elisabeth, screened from her only by the boughs of a weeping willow.

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