Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach

Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach
Electress of Bavaria
Electress Palatine

A French drawing of Charlotte
Born 17 January 1721
Mannheim Palace, Germany
Died 17 August 1794(1794-08-17) (aged 73)
Weinheim, Germany
Spouse Charles IV Theodore
Father Joseph Charles of Sulzbach
Mother Elisabeth Auguste of Neuburg

Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach (Elisabeth Auguste; 17 January 1721 17 August 1794) was the eldest granddaughter of the Elector of the Palatinate Charles III Philip, and by her marriage to Elector Palatine Charles IV Theodore, Electress Palatine and later Electress of Bavaria.


Elisabeth Auguste's parents were Joseph Charles of Sulzbach (1694–1729) and Elisabeth Auguste of Neuburg (1693–1728), the latter the daughter of Elector Charles III Philip. On 17 January 1742, she married her cousin Charles Theodore of Sulzbach, who became Elector of the Palatinate in 1742 and Elector of Bavaria in 1777.

The marriage was arranged to avoid a potential inheritance dispute within the different family branches. While Charles Theodore was described as learned and interested in the enlightenment, Elisabeth Augusta was described as vivacious, pleasure loving, uneducated and shallow.[1] During the first half of their marriage, she is said to have dominated her spouse, and during the Seven Years' War, she exerted influence over the Palatine foreign policy.[2] In 1760, however, it was reported that Charles Theodor was beginning to free himself from her dominance.[3]

Elisabeth Auguste bore only one child, a son (christened Francis Louis Joseph) on June 28, 1762, twenty years after their marriage; but the long-awaited son and heir to the Palatinate died just one day after his birth. The couple thereafter largely lived apart, each one taking lovers of their own.[4] Divorce was never contemplated. Due to her not having a child and unable to have another legitimate child due to the discontinued marital sexual relations, she had no power base at court after she had lost her personal influence over her spouse.[5] In 1764, Charles Theodor had an official mistress, the dancer Françoise Despres-Verneuil, who was succeeded by Josefa Seiffert in 1766, which was a humiliation for Elisabeth Auguste.[6]

Elisabeth Auguste moved to her own residence of Schloss von Oggersheim, where she lived permanently with her own court from 1768, only making formal visits to the court of her spouse in winter: after 1781, she discontinued also with these visits.[7] She did not like the Bavarian court, which she regarded to be too spartan for her taste. She was quite popular in the Palatinate, especially since Charles Theodor moved to Bavaria in 1777.

At the end of 1793, in the face of advancing French troops, Elisabeth Auguste fled to Weinheim, where she died in 1794. Her husband subsequently married Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Este.


 Electorate of Bavaria : First Sovereign of the Order of Saint Elizabeth (feminine order)



Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles


  1. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  2. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  3. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  4. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  5. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  6. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
  7. Stefan Mörz: Elisabeth Augusta - die letzte Kurfürstin
Preceded by
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici
Electress Palatine
Succeeded by
Title merged with Bavaria
Preceded by
Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony
Electress of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Este
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