Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover

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Ernest Augustus
Crown Prince of Hanover
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
Head of the House of Hanover
Pretence12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
PredecessorGeorge V
SuccessorErnest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Born(1845-09-21)21 September 1845
Hanover, Kingdom of Hanover
Died14 November 1923(1923-11-14) (aged 78)
Gmunden, First Austrian Republic
(m. 1878)
German: Ernst August Wilhelm Adolf Georg Friedrich
English: Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
FatherGeorge V of Hanover
MotherMarie of Saxe-Altenburg

Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (German: Ernst August; 21 September 1845 – 14 November 1923), was the eldest child and only son of George V of Hanover and his wife, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Ernest Augustus was deprived of the thrones of Hanover upon its annexation by Prussia in 1866 and later the Duchy of Brunswick in 1884. Although he was the most senior male-line descendant of George I, II, and III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I.

Early life[edit]

King George V and Queen Marie of Hanover and their children Ernest Augustus, Frederica and Marie.
The young crown prince with his father in the 1860s in "Linden-Hannover"

Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, was born at Hanover during the reign of his paternal grandfather, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover. He became the crown prince of Hanover upon his father's accession as George V in November 1851. William I of Prussia and his minister-president Otto von Bismarck deposed George V and annexed Hanover after George sided with the defeated Austria in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. During that war, the Crown Prince saw action at the Battle of Langensalza.


After the war, the exiled Hanoverian royal family took up residence in Hietzing, near Vienna, but spent a good deal of time in Paris. George V never abandoned his claim to the Hanoverian throne and maintained the Guelphic Legion at his own expense. The former Crown Prince travelled during this early period of exile, and ultimately accepted a commission in the Imperial and Royal Army of Austria-Hungary. The Guelph Party, or the German-Hanoverian Party, as a minor party in the legislature of the North German Federation and then the German Empire continued to protest the annexation of Hanover and advocated for the restoration of the state of Hanover with a Guelph at its head.[1]


When King George V died in Paris on 12 June 1878, Prince Ernest Augustus succeeded him as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Armagh in the Peerage of Ireland. Queen Victoria created him a Knight of the Garter on 1 August 1878. Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria appointed him to succeed his father as colonel and proprietor of the Austrian 42nd Regiment of Infantry. The regiment's name was changed to honour him, and he served as its honorary colonel from 1879 to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1918.


While visiting his second cousin Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) at Sandringham in 1875, he met Princess Thyra of Denmark (29 September 1853 – 26 February 1933), the youngest daughter of King Christian IX and a sister of the Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra).

On 21/22 December 1878, he and Princess Thyra married at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.

Duchy of Brunswick[edit]

Queen Victoria appointed the Duke of Cumberland a colonel in the British Army in 1876[2] and promoted him to major general in 1886, lieutenant general in 1892 and general in 1898. Although he was a British peer and a prince of Great Britain and Ireland, he continued to consider himself an exiled monarch of a German realm and refused to disclaim his succession rights to Hanover, making his home in Gmunden, Upper Austria.

The Duke of Cumberland was also first in the line of succession to the Duchy of Brunswick after his distant cousin, Duke William. In 1879, when it became apparent that the senior line of the House of Welf would die with William, the Brunswick parliament created a council of regency to take over administration of the duchy upon William's death. This council would appoint a regent if the Duke of Cumberland could not ascend the throne. When William died in 1884, the Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself Duke of Brunswick. However, since he still claimed to be the legitimate King of Hanover as well, the German Bundesrat declared that he would disturb the peace of the empire if he ascended the ducal throne. Under Prussian pressure, the council of regency ignored his claim and appointed Prince Albert of Prussia as regent.

Negotiations between Ernest Augustus and the German government continued for almost three decades, to no avail. During this time, Regent Albert died and Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg was appointed as regent.


The Duke of Cumberland was partially reconciled with the Hohenzollern dynasty in 1913, when his surviving son, Prince Ernest Augustus, married the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the grandson of the Prussian king who had deposed his father. On 24 October 1913, he renounced his succession rights to the Brunswick duchy (which had belonged to the Guelph dynasty since 1235) in favour of his son. The younger Ernest Augustus thus became the reigning Duke of Brunswick on 1 November 1913 and married the Kaiser's daughter. As a mark of regard for his daughter's father-in-law, Kaiser Wilhelm II created the elder Ernest Augustus a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle.

In 1918, the younger Duke Ernest Augustus abdicated his throne along with the other German princes when all the German dynasties were disestablished by the successor German provisional Government which was established when the Emperor himself abdicated and fled Germany in exile to the Netherlands.


Schloss Cumberland in Gmunden, Austria, built in 1882 as exile seat for Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale

The outbreak of World War I created a breach between the British Royal Family and its Hanoverian cousins. On 13 May 1915, King George V of the United Kingdom ordered the removal of the Duke of Cumberland from the Roll of the Order of the Garter. According to the letters patent on 30 November 1917, he lost the status of a British prince and the style of Highness. Under the terms of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, on 28 March 1919 his name was removed from the roll of Peers of Great Britain and of Ireland by Order of the King in Council for "bearing arms against Great Britain."

Later life[edit]

Prince Ernest Augustus, the former Crown Prince of Hanover and former Duke of Cumberland, died of a stroke on his estate at Gmunden in November 1923. He is interred, next to his wife and his mother, in a mausoleum which he had built adjacent to Cumberland Castle.

Honours and arms[edit]

Orders and decorations[edit]

Military Appointments[edit]

In Germany:

  • Kingdom of Hanover 1863 (ca.): Leutnant, Royal Hanoverian Garde-Husaren-Regiment
  • Kingdom of Bavaria 9 December 1912 (ca.): Generalmajor à la Suite, Royal Bavarian Schweren Reiter-Regiment "Prinz Karl von Bayern" Nr. 1[17]

In Austria:

  • Austria-Hungary 1879: Oberstinhaber (Colonel and Proprietor), K.u.K. Infanterieregiment "Ernst August, Herzog von Cumberland und Herzog zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg" Nr. 42
  • Austria-Hungary 1914 (ca.): Generalmajor, K.u.K. Armee[18]
  • Austria-Hungary 1914-1918 (ca.): General der Kavallerie, K.u.K. Armee[19]

In the United Kingdom:

  • United Kingdom 27 May 1876: Colonel, British Army[20]
  • United Kingdom 19 March 1886: Major General, British Army[21]
  • United Kingdom 1 April 1892: Lieutenant General, British Army[22]
  • United Kingdom 14 December 1898: General, British Army[22]


Arms in Spain after 1902

Until his father's death in 1878, Ernest Augustus's arms in right of the United Kingdom were those of his father (being the arms of the Kingdom of Hanover differenced by a label gules bearing a horse courant argent). Upon his father's death, he inherited his arms.[23]


Ernest Augustus with family, photographed by Karl Jagerspacher, 1887

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale had six children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Princess Marie Louie of Hanover and Cumberland 11 October 1879 31 January 1948 married in 1900 Maximilian, Margrave of Baden (10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929); had issue
George William, Hereditary Prince of Hanover 28 October 1880 20 May 1912
Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland 29 September 1882 30 August 1963 married in 1904 Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (9 April 1882 – 17 November 1945); had issue
Princess Olga of Hanover and Cumberland 11 July 1884 21 September 1958
Prince Christian of Hanover and Cumberland 4 July 1885 3 September 1901
Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick 17 November 1887 30 January 1953 married in 1913 Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia (13 September 1892 – 11 December 1980); had issue


Patrilineal descent

Patrilineal descent, descent from father to son, is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations - which means that the historically accurate royal house of monarchs of the House of Hanover was the House of Lucca (or Este, or Welf).

This is the descent of the primary male heir. For the complete expanded family tree, see List of members of the House of Hanover.

  1. Oberto I, 912 - 975
  2. Oberto II, 940 - 1017
  3. Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan, 970 - 1029
  4. Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan, d. 1097
  5. Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, 1037–1101
  6. Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, 1074–1126
  7. Henry X, Duke of Bavaria, 1108–1139
  8. Henry the Lion, 1129–1195
  9. William of Winchester, Lord of Lunenburg, 1184–1213
  10. Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1204–1252
  11. Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1236–1279
  12. Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1268–1318
  13. Magnus the Pious, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1304–1369
  14. Magnus II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1328–1373
  15. Bernard I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1362–1434
  16. Frederick II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1408–1478
  17. Otto V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1439–1471
  18. Henry I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1468–1532
  19. Ernest I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1497–1546
  20. William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1535–1592
  21. George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1582–1641
  22. Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, 1629–1698
  23. George I of Great Britain, 1660–1727
  24. George II of Great Britain, 1683–1760
  25. Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1707–1751
  26. George III of the United Kingdom, 1738–1820
  27. Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, 1771–1851
  28. George V of Hanover, 1819–1878
  29. Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 1845–1923


  1. ^ Hayes, Carlton (1916). Modern Europe. Vol. 2. (1815-1915). New York: MacMillian. p. 418.
  2. ^ "No. 24330". The London Gazette. 26 May 1876. p. 3186.
  3. ^ a b "Königliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Hannover, 1862, pp. 38–39
  4. ^ Shaw, William Arthur (1906), The Knights of England, vol. 1, London: Sharrett and Hughes, p. 65
  5. ^ Braunschweigisches Adreßbuch für das Jahr 1896, Braunschweig: Meyer, 1896, p. 3
  6. ^ Staat Oldenburg (1873). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg: für ... 1872/73. Schulze. p. 31.
  7. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtums Sachsen-Altenburg (1869), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 21
  8. ^ "Herzogliche Orden", Staats- und Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Nassau, 1866, p. 9
  9. ^ a b c d e Ruvigny, Melville Henry Massue, 9th Marquis of. Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage, London: Harrison & Sons, 1914. pp. 52-53
  10. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen". Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Mecklenburg-Strelitz: 1878 (in German). Neustrelitz: Druck und Debit der Buchdruckerei von G. F. Spalding und Sohn. 1878. p. 11.
  11. ^ Staatshandbuch für den Freistaat Sachsen: 1870. Heinrich. 1870. p. 4.
  12. ^ "Ritter-Orden: Königlich-ungarischer St. Stephans-Orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, 1893, p. 71, retrieved 18 March 2021
  13. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen, 1879, p. 44
  14. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1923) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1923 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1923] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. pp. 35–36. Retrieved 16 September 2019 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  15. ^ "Königliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Bayern, 1906, p. 9
  16. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden, 1902, p. 67
  17. ^ Helmut Weitze Military Antiques Auction House. "Bavarian Uniform Ensemble of Duke Ernst August (II) of Brunshwick and Lunenburg as General Major à la Suite in the Royal Bavarian 1st Schweren Reiter Regiment "Prinz Karl von Bayern" (Auction Number 272415)." Retrieved from: Notes: The rank "generalmajor," which translates to "major general," was the equivalent in rank to brigadier in the British Army and brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
  18. ^ Dorotheum Auctions. (2015.May 7). "Ernst August, Crown Prince of Hannover, Duke of Cumberland (Lot No. 218)." Retrieved from: Notes: The rank of "generalmajor" translates to "major general" but was equal in rank to a brigadier in the British Army and brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
  19. ^ Willhaben Auction House. (2018, 8 July). "Field gray K.u.K. field blouse as General (der Kavalrie) of Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland." Retrieved from: Notes: The rank "general der kavalrie" directly translates as "general of cavalry" and was the equivalent in rank to a lieutenant general in the British or U.S. Armies. The 3rd Duke of Cumberland was photographed wearing the auctioned K.u.K. lancer pattern field blouse in a ca.1917-1918 family photo.
  20. ^ "No. 24330". The London Gazette. 26 May 1876. p. 3186.
  21. ^ The Quarterly Army List for the Quarter Ending 31st March, 1915. London: J.J. Keliher & Co., Ltd. pp.9-10.
  22. ^ a b Army List, March 1915. p. 10
  23. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family

External links[edit]

Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 21 September 1845 Died: 14 November 1923
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
12 June 1878 – 28 March 1919
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Earl of Armagh
12 June 1878 – 28 March 1919
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
28 March 1919 – 14 November 1923
Succeeded by
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of Hanover
12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
Reason for succession failure:
Hanover annexed by Prussia in 1866
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
18 October 1884 – 1 November 1913
Reason for succession failure:
Refused to give up claim to Hanover