Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf

Countess Augusta Caroline Sophie Reuss-Ebersdorf (German: Gräfin Reuß zu Ebersdorf) (19 January 1757 16 November 1831), was by marriage the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was born in Saalburg-Ebersdorf. She was the maternal grandmother of Queen Victoria and the paternal grandmother of Albert, Prince Consort.

Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf as Artemisia, 1775
Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Born(1757-01-19)19 January 1757
Died16 November 1831(1831-11-16) (aged 74)
SpouseFrancis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
IssueSophie, Countess von Mensdorff-Pouilly
Duchess Antoinette of Württemberg
Juliane, Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Prince Ferdinand
Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn
Leopold I of Belgium
Full name
Augusta Caroline Sophie
FatherHeinrich XXIV, Count Reuss-Ebersforf
MotherKaroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg


She was the second of seven children of Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf and his wife Countess Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg. Her birthplace, Ebersdorf, was a center of Pietism in Thuringia and Augusta's grandparents were ardent admirers of this religious movement. Augusta's great-aunt Countess Erdmuthe Dorothea of Reuss-Ebersdorf was married to Count Nicholas Louis von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf, leader of the revivalist Moravian Church. This background explains the deep religious feelings of Duchess Augusta in later years.


Her father commissioned a portrait of Augusta as Artemisia by the painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. Count Heinrich XXIV showed this painting during the Perpetual Diet so potential marriage candidates were aware of his beautiful daughter.

In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777 Augusta married Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Duke Francis previously acquired the Artemisia painting for four times the original price because he was deeply in love with Augusta, but he had to marry a relative, Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Princess Sophie died seven months after the wedding, so the duke was free to pursue the hand of his beloved.

During her marriage, Augusta bore her husband ten children; some of them played important roles in European history: Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and King Leopold I of Belgium.


NameDate of birthDate of deathAge at deathNotes
Sophie Fredericka19 August 1778, in Coburg8 July 1835, in Tušimice, Bohemia56 yearsMarried on 23 February 1804 to Emmanel, Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly).
Antoinette28 August 1779, in Coburg14 March 1824, in St. Petersburg44 yearsMarried on 17 November 1798 to Duke Alexander of Württemberg.
Juliane (upon her marriage, she took the name Anna Feodorovna in a Russian Orthodox baptism)23 September 1781, in Coburg15 August 1860, in Elfenau, near Berne, Switzerland78 yearsMarried on 26 February 1796 to Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, the younger brother of Czar Alexander I of Russia (they divorced in 1820).
Stillborn son17821782-
Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha2 January 1784, in Coburg29 January 1844, in Gotha60 yearsMarried on 31 July 1817 to Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1800–1831) the father of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.
Ferdinand28 March 1785, in Coburg27 August 1851, in Vienna66 yearsMarried on 30 November 1815 to Princess Antonia Koháry de Csábrág the father of Ferdinand II of Portugal and Victoria, Duchess of Nemours, and the grandfather of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. By his marriage he became the founder of the Koháry branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha line.
Marie Luise Victoria17 August 1786, in Coburg16 March 1861, in Frogmore House74 yearsMarried on 21 December 1803 at Coburg Charles, Prince of Leiningen.
Married on 11 July 1818 to Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III of Great Britain, the mother of Queen Victoria.
Marianne Charlotte7 August 1788, in Coburg23 August 1794, in Coburg6 years
Leopold Georg Christian Frederick16 December 1790, in Coburg10 December 1865, in Laeken75 yearsMarried on 9 August 1830 to Louise of Orléans and his children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. First king of the Belgians under the name of Leopold I.
Franz Maximilian Ludwig12 December 1792, in Coburg3 January 1793, in Coburg22 days

Notable descendants

Countess Augusta is the grandmother of many notable monarchs of Europe, including both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (through her mother Victoria) and her husband, Prince Albert (through his father Ernst), King Consort of Portugal Ferdinand II (through his father Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and also Empress Carlota of Mexico and her brother Leopold II of Belgium (through their father Leopold I who was elected King of the Belgians on 26 June 1831).

Titles and styles

  • 19 January 1757 – 13 June 1777: Her Illustrious Highness Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf
  • 13 June 1777 – 8 September 1800: Her Ducal Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  • 8 September 1800 – 9 December 1806: Her Highness The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  • 9 December 1806 – 16 November 1831: Her Highness The Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld



  • Gertraude Bachmann: Natur und Kunst in den Reisetagebüchern der Herzogin Auguste Caroline Sophie von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (text of the lecture from the 175th anniversary of Duchess Augusta's death on 16 November 2006 at the Naturkunde-Museum Coburg), Coburg 2006.
Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Cadet branch of the House of Reuss
Born: 19 January 1757 Died: 16 November 1831
German royalty
Preceded by
Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
8 September 1800 9 December 1806
Title next held by
Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
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