Armgard von Cramm

Armgard von Cramm
Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld

Princess Armgard in 1964
Born (1883-12-18)18 December 1883
Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 27 April 1971(1971-04-27) (aged 87)
Diepenheim, Netherlands
Spouse Prince Bernhard of Lippe
Issue Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands
Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Full name
German: Armgard Kunigunde Alharde Agnes Oda
House House of Lippe
Father Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm
Mother Hedwig von Sierstorpff-Driburg

Armgard von Cramm (German: Armgard Kunigunde Alharda Agnes Oda von Cramm; 18 December 1883  27 April 1971) was the mother of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Prince consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

Early life

Armgard was born at Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia (now in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany),[1] fourth child and daughter of Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm (1846–1909), and his wife, Hedwig von Sierstorpff-Driburg (1848–1900).


Armgard married on 24 October 1905 at Hanover to Count Bodo von Oeynhausen (1881–1909), an officer in the 8th Hussars in Paderborn, son of Count Erich von Oeynhausen and his wife, Therese von Lenthe. They divorced in 1908 and had no children.

Armgard married secondly 4 March 1909 at Oelber, Brunswick to Prince Bernhard of Lippe (1872–1934), a younger son of Ernest II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, regent (1897–1904) of the Principality of Lippe, and Countess Karoline von Wartensleben. The marriage was then considered morganatic. Thus, Armgard was created "Countess of Biesterfeld" (German: Gräfin von Biesterfeld) on 8 February 1909.[1]

They had two sons:[1]

On 24 February 1916 she was made "Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld" (German: Prinzessin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld) with the style Serene Highness by Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe, and this title was extended to her two sons.[1]

World War II

After the death of her husband in 1934, Armgard managed a castle and an estate in Reckenwalde, Province of Brandenburg (now Wojnowo, Poland), together with her partner Alexis Pantchoulidzew.[2] Alexis accompanied Armgard to the wedding of Bernhard to Princess Juliana.

During World War II Armgard and Alexis were observed by the local Gestapo. Her apolitical past and the service that the monarchist and anti-Stalinist Colonel Pantchoulidzew later rendered in the war to the German Reich Railway, would have shielded her from Nazi authorities. The SS demanded in September 1944 in Recke, one of Armgard's properties, Schloss Woynowo Walde for military purposes. Armgard and Alexis gave an account of the withdrawal in 1945 of the Wehrmacht behind the Oder-line on their estate at Neumark.

Various writers have accused Armgard of sexual promiscuity, intrigue, conspiracy, and – as with her son Aschwin – of Nazi sympathies. In March 2004, her son Bernhard tried to rectify this image with an open letter to The Times.

Life in the Netherlands

She lived from early 1952 with her partner Alexis Pantchoulidzew in House Warmelo at Diepenheim. Alexis went on to be the Netherlands' sole representative at the 1956 Summer Olympics, competing in dressage.[2]

Armgard died in Diepenheim at the age of 87.



  1. 1 2 3 4 Almanach de Gotha. Gotha, Germany: Justus Perthes. 1944. pp. 74, 76.
  2. 1 2 Jurryt van de Vooren (20 March 2013) Koningshuis wankelde tijdens de Olympische Ruiterspelen van 1956.

Further reading

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