Karoline of Baden

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Spouse Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
Maximilian Joseph Charles
Elizabeth 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
Father Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
Mother Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
Born (1776-07-13)13 July 1776
Died 13 November 1841(1841-11-13) (aged 65)
Religion Lutheranism

Caroline of Baden (Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine; 13 July 1776 – 1841) (German: Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine) of Baden was an Electress of Bavaria and later the first Queen of Bavaria as the spouse of King Maximilian I Joseph.


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.

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.

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.