Prince Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale

Ernest Augustus
Crown Prince of Hanover
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
Predecessor George V
Successor Titles revoked
Head of the House of Hanover
Pretence 12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
Predecessor George V
Successor Ernest Augustus III
Born (1845-09-21)21 September 1845
Died 14 November 1923(1923-11-14) (aged 78)
Spouse Princess Thyra of Denmark
Full name
Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
German: Ernst August Wilhelm Adolf Georg Friedrich
House Hanover
Father George V of Hanover
Mother Marie of Saxe-Altenburg

Ernst August, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick; 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. Ernst August 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 senior male-line great-grandson of George III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I. Ernst August was the last Hanoverian prince to hold a British royal title and the Order of the Garter. His descendants are in the line of succession to the British throne.

Early life

The young crown prince with his father in the 1860s in "Linden-Hannover"

Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was born at Hanover during the reign of his paternal grandfather, Ernest Augustus I. 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.


When King George V died in Paris on 12 June 1878, Prince Ernst August 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.


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

Duchy of Brunswick

Queen Victoria appointed the Duke of Cumberland a colonel in the British Army in 1876[1] 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 Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. However, since he still claimed to be the legitimate King of Hanover as well, the German Reichsrat 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 Ernst August, married the only daughter of German Emperor Wilhelm II, the grandson of the Prussian king who had deposed his father. He renounced his succession rights to the Brunswick duchy (which had belonged to the Guelph dynasty since 1235) on 24 October 1913. In exchange, the younger Ernst August became the reigning Duke of Brunswick on 1 November. William II created the elder Ernst August a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle. In 1918 the younger Duke Ernst August 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 Great Britain 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

Prince Ernst August, the former Crown Prince of Hanover and former Duke of Cumberland, died of a stroke on his estate at Gmunden in November 1923.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles



 United Kingdom

The Duke's official style in Britain by May 1915 was: His Highness Prince Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh, Kinght Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter


Until his father's death in 1878, Ernest Augustus' 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.[2]


Ernest Augustus with family, photographed by Karl Jagerspacher, 1887

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland had six children:

Princess Marie Louise of Hanover11 October 187931 January 1948married Prince Maximilian of Baden (10 July 1867 6 November 1929); had issue
Prince George William of Hanover28 October 188020 May 1912
Princess Alexandra of Hanover29 September 188230 August 1963married Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (9 April 1882 17 November 1945); had issue
Princess Olga of Hanover11 July 188421 September 1958
Prince Christian of Hanover4 July 18853 September 1901
Prince Ernst August (III) of Hanover17 November 188730 January 1953married Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia (13 September 1892 11 December 1980); had issue



Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover.
Prince Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
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
Ernest Augustus III
Preceded by
George V
King of Hanover
12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
Reason for succession failure:
Hanover annexed by Prussia in 1866
Preceded by
Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
18 October 1884 - 1 November 1913
Reason for succession failure:
Refused to give up claim to Hanover
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