Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Friedrich Franz IV
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Reign 10 April 1897 – 14 November 1918
Predecessor Frederick Francis III
Born 9 April 1882 (1882-04-09)
Palermo, Kingdom of Italy
Died 17 November 1945 (1945-11-18) (aged 63)
Flensburg, Germany
Spouse Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland
Issue Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz
Duke Christian Ludwig
Duchess Olga
Duchess Thyra
Anastasia, Princess Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
House Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Father Frederick Francis III
Mother Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia
Religion Lutheranism

Frederick Francis IV (9 April 1882 – 17 November 1945) was the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He inherited the throne when he was fifteen years old in 1897 and was forced to renounce it in 1918.


Early life

He was born in Palermo the son of Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia. He succeeded his father as Grand Duke upon his death on 10 April 1897, but due to his minority the grand duchy was governed by his uncle Duke Johann Albrecht as regent until Friedrich Franz came of age on 9 April 1901.[1]

Marriage and issue

On 7 June 1904, Frederick Francis married Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland in Gmunden. She was the second eldest daughter of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, and his wife Princess Thyra of Denmark, a daughter of Christian IX of Denmark.

They had five children:[2]


Following the 1918 suicide of Grand Duke Adolphus Frederick VI of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Frederick Francis took up the regency of Strelitz. This happened because the heir presumptive Duke Charles Michael was serving in the Russian Army at the time and had indicated that he wished to renounce his succession rights. Friedrich Franz abdicated the grand ducal throne on 14 November 1918 following the German Empire's defeat in World War I; the regency ended at the same time.[3]

After his abdication, he was initially not allowed to live in Mecklenburg and he had to move to Denmark. A year later he was permitted to return. He recovered some of his former properties and occupied some of his former homes. Frederick Francis died on 17 November 1945 in Flensburg after being arrested by No6 RAF Security section on 9 November 1945. He was succeeded as head of the grand ducal house by his son Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz.[3] However, his former states became part of East Germany. His widow, two sons and two daughters were forced to move to the West.



Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 9 April 1882 Died: 17 November 1945
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Friedrich Franz III
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Succeeded by
Hugo Wendorff
as President of the State Ministry
Preceded by
Adolf Friedrich VI
as Grand Duke
Regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Succeeded by
Peter Franz Stubmann
as Chairman of the State Ministry
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Monarchy abolished
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Reason for succession failure:
Grand Duchy abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Friedrich Franz
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