Eleonore Marie of Anhalt-Bernburg

Eleonore Marie of Anhalt-Bernburg

Portrait of Eleonore Marie in the National Museum of Slovenia
Spouse(s) John Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg
Noble family Ascania
Father Christian I, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg
Mother Anna of Bentheim-Tecklenburg
Born (1600-08-07)7 August 1600
Died 17 July 1657(1657-07-17) (aged 56)
Buried Cathedral in Güstrow

Eleanor Marie of Anhalt-Bernburg (7 August 1600 in Amberg - 17 July 1657 in Strelitz) was a princess of Anhalt-Bernburg by birth and by marriage Duchess of Mecklenburg-Güstrow.


Eleanor Marie was a daughter of Prince Christian I (1568-1639) from his marriage to Anna (1579-1624), the daughter of Count Arnold III of Bentheim-Tecklenburg-Steinfurt. Under the nickname die Beständige ("the Resistant"), she was co-founder and the second head of the Académie des Loyales, one of the female counterparts of the Fruitbearing Society.[1]

On 7 May 1626 in Güstrow, she married Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1590-1636). After his death, she took up regency for her young son Gustav Adolph, as specified in her husband's testament. However, only three days later, her brother-in-law Adolf Frederick I deposed her as regent and guardian of her son and took up those rôles himself. This caused a bitter dispute between Eleonore Marie and her brother-in-law. However, on 4 May 1636, the estates submitted to Adolf Frederick I.

Adolf Frederick appealed against his brother's testament, and replaced all but one of the cabinet members in Güstrow, leaving only Andreas Buggenhagen in office. He also took measures against the Reformed Church in Mecklneburg-Güstrow. In 1637, he separated Gustav Adolph from his Calvinist mother. Nobody dared to participate in the private Calvinist services Eleonore Marie organized, and she was referred to hew window seat in Strelitz. Emperor Ferdinand III ruled in her favour. However, Adolf Frederick continued his court cases against her, and involved foreign powers into the matter.

Eleonore Marie finally renounced her rights in 1645. She died twelve years later on her widow seat in Strelitz. She was buried in the Cathedral in Güstrow.


From her marriage to John Albert II, she had the following children:



  1. Linda Maria Koldau: Frauen-Musik-Kultur: ein Handbuch zum deutschen Sprachgebiet der Frühen Neuzeit, Böhlau-Verlag, Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 2005, p. 300
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