Caroline of Baden

Caroline of Baden (German: Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine von Baden; 13 July 1776 – 13 November 1841) was by marriage an Electress of Bavaria and later the first Queen consort of Bavaria by marriage to Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria.

Caroline of Baden
Electress consort of Bavaria
Tenure16 February 1799 – 1 January 1806
PredecessorMaria Leopoldine of Austria-Este
SuccessorHerself as Queen consort of Bavaria
Queen consort of Bavaria
Reign1 January 1806 – 13 October 1825
PredecessorHerself as Electress consort of Bavaria
SuccessorTherese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Born(1776-07-13)13 July 1776
Karlsruhe, Margraviate of Baden
Died13 November 1841(1841-11-13) (aged 65)
Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria
Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
(m. 1797; died 1825)
IssueElizabeth Ludovika, Queen of Prussia
Amalie Auguste, Queen of Saxony
Maria Anna, Queen of Saxony
Sophia, Archduchess of Austria
Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria
Princess Maximiliana
Full name
Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine
FatherCharles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
MotherLandgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt


Early life

She was the eldest child of Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden, and his wife Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. She was born 13 July 1776, twin sister of Katharina Amalie Christiane Luise.

Caroline was considered as a bride for the Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien, but the fear of attracting opposition from France made her family hesitate.


On 9 March 1797, in Karlsruhe, she became the second spouse of Maximilian, Duke of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, who two years later would inherit the Electorate of Bavaria. As a result of the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the rank of Elector became obsolete, and the ruler of Bavaria was promoted to the rank of King. As a result, Caroline became Queen of Bavaria. With her husband Caroline had seven children, including two pairs of twins, an interesting occurrence considering Caroline was also a twin herself.

She was allowed to keep her Protestant religion and had her own Protestant pastor, which was unique for a Bavarian queen. She was described as a very dignified consort and hostess of the Bavarian court, and raised her daughters to have a strong sense of duty.

Death and funeral

Caroline of Baden died 13 November 1841, outliving her husband by sixteen years and one month. Due to her Protestant religion, her funeral was conducted with so little royal dignity that there were public protests. By order of the Catholic archbishop of Munich, Lothar Anselm von Gebsattel, all participating Catholic clergy were dressed in ordinary clothes instead of church vestments. The Protestant clergy were halted at the church door and not allowed to proceed inside for the service, so Ludwig Friedrich Schmidt gave the funeral sermon there. Afterwards, the funeral procession dissipated, and the coffin was placed in the burial crypt without ceremony. This treatment of his beloved stepmother permanently softened the attitude of Caroline's stepson Ludwig I of Bavaria, who up until that time had been a strong opponent of Protestantism in spite of his marriage to the Protestant princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.



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



  1. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. pp. 38 (father), 69 (mother).
  • Françoise de Bernardy : "Stéphanie de Beauharnais, fille adoptive de Napoléon et grande-duchesse de Bade " L.A.P. Pais, 1977.
Preceded by
Augusta Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstadt
Duchess of Zweibrücken
Succeeded by
Last of title
Preceded by
Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Este
Electress of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Last of title
Preceded by
New title
Queen of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen

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