William II, Elector of Hesse

William II
Elector of Hesse
Reign 27 February 1821 - 20 November 1847
Predecessor William I
Successor Frederick William
Born (1777-07-28)28 July 1777
Schloss Philippsruhe, Hesse
Died 20 November 1847(1847-11-20) (aged 70)
Frankfurt, Hesse
Spouse Princess Augusta of Prussia
Emilie Ortlöpp
Caroline of Berlepsch
Issue Prince Wilhelm
Princess Karoline
Princess Luise
Frederick William, Elector of Hesse
Marie Frederica, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Ferdinand
House Hesse-Kassel
Father William I, Elector of Hesse
Mother Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark
Coin of William II, Elector of Hesse, struck 1823
Obverse: (German) WILHELM II, KURF S.L.V. HESSEN G.H.V. FULDA, in English: "William II, Elector of Hesse." Reverse: (German) EINEN THALER, in English: "One Thaler."

William II, Elector of Hesse (German: Wilhelm II, Kurfürst von Hessen; 28 July 1777 – 20 November 1847) was the penultimate Elector of Hesse.[1]


William was the eldest surviving son of William I, Elector of Hesse and Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark and Norway. With the Hessian troops, he was involved in the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in 1813. He succeeded as Elector of Hesse (a title that was moribund after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806) on his father's death in 1821.

Marriage and issue

On 13 February 1797 in Berlin, William married Princess Augusta of Prussia, fourth daughter of Frederick William II of Prussia. They had six children:

Morganatic marriages

William also had eight children by his second wife, Emilie Ortlöpp (1791–1843), daughter of Johann Christian Ortlöpp and wife Agnese Luise Sophie Wiessenberg, created (1821) Countess of Reichenbach-Lessonitz. The children bore the title Count/Countess of Reichenbach-Lessonitz:

Emilie Ortlöpp, Countess of Reichenbach-Lessonitz

Several months after Augusta's death on 19 February 1841, William morganatically married his mistress and their children were legitimated. Emilie Ortlöpp died less than two years after the marriage in 1843.

Again, months after his second wife's death, William married (morganatically) Caroline, Baroness of Berlepsch (1820–1877), daughter of Ludwig Hermann, Baron of Berlepsch (Speckswinkel, 25 January 1782 – Kassel, 5 April 1845) and wife Melusine Jul. Chr. von Kruse (4 August 1780 – 29 September 1856), created Countess of Bergen in 1846. This marriage was childless. She later married on 28 October 1851 Karl Adolf Graf von Hohenthal (27 November 1811 – 1875), by whom she had two sons: Karl Adolf (b. 1853) and Karl Ludwig (b. 1857).

Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark, the wife of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark, son of King Constantine II of Greece is a descendant of William II of Hesse.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles



  1. After 1806, the title of Elector was meaningless, since no more Holy Roman Emperors could be elected, because the Empire had been dissolved. Nevertheless, the rulers of Hesse-Kassel, still used the title.


Media related to William II, Elector of Hesse at Wikimedia Commons

William II, Elector of Hesse
Born: 28 July 1777 Died: 20 November 1847
Regnal titles
Preceded by
William I
Elector of Hesse
27 February 1821 - 20 November 1847
Succeeded by
Frederick William
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