Today in History - November 6th. 1754 - Frederick William Charles, King of Württemberg

On November 6th. 1754, Frederick William Charles of Württemberg was born
in Treptow an der Rega, today the place is called Trzebiatów and located in
Poland.

King Frederick William Charles of Württemberg - Source picture: Wikipedia

He was the eldest son of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg and
Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Frederick's father was the third son
of Charles Alexander, Duke of Württemberg. Frederick's younger sister, 
Sophie Dorothea, married the future Tsar Paul I of Russia.

On October 15th. 1780 Frederick married Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel. (daughter of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-
Lüneburg and Princess Augusta of Great Britain, sister of King George III).

This marriage was not a happy one, although they had 4 children. First of all,
Frederick was reportedly violent towards his wife. During a visit to 
Saint-Petersburg in December 1786, Augusta asked for protection from
Empress Catherine. Catherine gave Augusta asylum and ordered Frederick to
leave Russia. Augusta died in 1788 due to an illegitimate! childbirth.

Frederick William Charles, King of Württemberg
Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1797 Frederick married Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George III of
Great Britain. They had one daughter, who died young.

You can read more about her on next link.

On December 22nd. 1797, Frederick's father, who had succeeded his brother
as Duke of Württemberg two years before, died. Frederick became Duke of
Württemberg as Frederick III. But in 1800 the French army occupied 
Württemberg and the Duke and Duchess fled to Vienna.

In exchange for providing France large help, Napoleon recognized the Elector
as King of Württemberg on December 26th. 1805. Frederick became
King Frederick I, when he formally ascended the throne on January 1st. 1806.

Frederick was very tall and obese, behind his back he was known as
'The Great Belly-Gerent'. Even Napoleon remarked that
'God had created the Prince to demonstrate the utmost extent to which
the human skin could be stretched without bursting.'

During the War of Liberation in 1813 Frederick changed sides and went over
to the Allies. After the fall of Napoleon, he attended the Congress of Vienna
and was confirmed as King.

Frederick William Charles, King of Württemberg died on October 30th. 1816.

King Frederick and Napoleon
Source picture: Wikipedia
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