Princess Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark

Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark

Wilhelmina Ernestine of Denmark, later Electress of the Palatinate.
Painting by Johann Georg Wagner.
Electress of the Palatinate
Tenure 1680–1685
Predecessor Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Successor Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
Born 20 or 21 June 1650
Died 22 or 23 April 1706 (aged 55)
Spouse Charles II, Elector of the Palatinate
House Oldenburg
Father Frederick III of Denmark
Mother Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark and Norway (Danish: Vilhelmine Ernestine, German: Wilhelmine Ernestine) of Denmark (born 20 or 21 June 1650 – died 22 or 23 April 1706) was an Electress of the Palatinate. She was the third of five daughters of King Frederick III of Denmark and Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg.


Her aunt, Electress Sophia of Hanover, arranged a marriage between Wilhelmina Ernestine and Sophia's nephew Charles, heir to the Electorate of the Palatinate. The negotiations of the marriage started in 1669.[1] Wilhelmina Ernestine was betrothed at Sophie Amalienborg Palace in Denmark in the presence of Charles the 24 June 1671. The 14 August, Wilhelmina Ernestine left Denmark with a large Danish retinue for Heidelberg, were the wedding ceremony was conducted on 20 September 1671.

Wilhelmina Ernestine was granted a large dowry from Denmark, and she also received the towns of Germersheim and Oppenheim from her father-in-law, Elector Charles I Louis. During the Scanian War between Denmark and Sweden in 1679-79, Wilhelmine Ernestine loaned funds to her brother to finance the war.[2]

The marriage was very unhappy. Charles had been forced by his father to marry her against his will and disliked the marriage from the beginning. Her shy behavior and physical appearance - she was said to have been somewhat crippled - only widened the distance between them. Wilhelmina Ernestine are not noted to have had any particular interests, she preferred solitude and a reclusive quite life style in contrast to the active social life preferred by Charles, and she reportedly offended him by her pride over her royal status.[3] By 1677, Charles' dislike made his father consider serious plans of a divorce, although these plans were never realized. They had no children.

On 28 August 1680, they became Elector and Electress of the Palatinate. Charles' reign was marked by his dependency on favorites. The Elector died 26 May 1685. As a widow, she lived with her sister, Dowager Electress Anna Sophie of Saxony, at Castle Lichtenburg in Saxony.



Wikimedia Commons has media related to Princess Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark.
  1. Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 1933-44.
  2. Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 1933-44.
  3. Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 1933-44.
Princess Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark
Born: 20 or 21 June 1650 Died: 22 or 23 April 1706
Preceded by
Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Electress Palatine
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
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