Today in History - November 25th. 1868 - Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse with the nickname 'Ernie'

On November 25th. 1868 Ernest (in German: Ernst) Louis Charles Albert William
was born in Darmstadt (Germany). His nickname in the family was Ernie.

Ernest Louis 'Ernie', Grand Duke of Hesse - Source picture: Wikipedia

His parents were Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Alice of the
United Kingdom. Princess Alice was a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince
Albert. Ernest Louis was the brother of Alix of Hesse, the later Tsarina Alexandra
of Russia.

During his youth, Ernest Louis was regularly confronted with death. First
his younger brother, Prince Friedrich died, later his sister May and then his
mother Princess Alice. This affected Ernest Louis for the rest of his life.

In 1892 Ernest Louis became Grand Duke of Hesse, after the death of his
father. He was a patron of arts and founded the Darmstadt Artists 's Colony.

With the encouragement of Queen Victoria, Ernest Louis married on April 9th.
1894 his first cousin Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
This wedding was overshadowed by the announcement of the engagement of
Alix of Hesse and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Ernest Louis and Victoria Melita had two children (who died very young) but
the marriage wasn't happy at all. Queen Victoria was saddened when she heard
about the trouble. Efforts were done to rekindle the marriage but they failed.

After Queen Victoria 's death in 1901 the two could announce their divorce
on grounds of 'invincible mutual antipathy'.
 
On February 2nd. 1905 Ernest Louis remarried in Darmstadt to
Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. They had two sons.

During World War I Ernest Louis served in the army of Emperor
William (Wilhem) II. In 1918 he lost his throne after refusing to
abdicate. That same year his sister Alexandra and his brother-in-
law, Tsar Nicholas II and their daughters where killed by the
Bolsheviks.

On October 9th. 1937, Ernest Louis died at Schloss Wolfsgarten
near Darmstadt in Hesse.
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