Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate

Princess Palatine Benedicta Henrietta (Benedicta Henrietta Philippina; 14 March 1652 – 12 August 1730) was Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or of Hanover, by her marriage to Duke John Frederick. She was the third and youngest daughter of Prince Palatine Edward and the political hostess Anna Gonzaga.

Benedicta Henrietta of Hanover
Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Benedicta Henrietta, Duchess of Brunswick-L%C3%BCneberg
Born 14 March 1652
Paris, France
Died 12 August 1730 (aged 78)
Braunschweiger Schloss, Hanover, Germany
Spouse John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Duchess Anne Sophie
Charlotte, Duchess of Modena
Duchess Henriette Maria
Wilhelmine, Holy Roman Empress
House Palatinate-Simmern (by birth)
Hanover (by marriage)
Father Edward, Prince Palatine
Mother Anna Gonzaga


Born in Paris to the landless Prince Palatine Edward, Bénédicte Henriette's paternal grandparents were Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen. Her maternal grandparents were Charles I, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat and his French wife Catherine de Mayenne, daughter of Charles de Lorraine-Guise, Duke of Mayenne. She was the youngest of three daughters.

Bénédicte was reared by Louise de La Fayette, a courtier-turned-nun known as Sister Louise-Angélique.[1]

Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg

She was married at the age of sixteen to a distant cousin, John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who was the same age as her father, and childless. They were married on 30 November 1668. The union, which had been arranged by the French diplomatist Gourville[2] produced four daughters.

John Frederick died in 1679 without a male heir, and the duchy of Brunswick was inherited by his Protestant younger brother, Ernest Augustus, the husband of Benedicta Henrietta's paternal aunt, Sophia of Hanover, and father of George I of Great Britain. After her husband's death, Benedicta returned to her native France and resided there with her sister, the princess of Condé.

She corresponded with Gottfried Leibniz.[3]

Benedicta died the age of 78, at Asnieres, her late sister's residence near Paris, on 12 August 1730.



Ancestors of Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate
16. Louis VI, Elector Palatine
8. Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
17. Elisabeth of Hesse
4. Frederick V, Elector Palatine
18. William the Silent
9. Countess Louise Juliana of Nassau
19. Charlotte of Bourbon
2. Prince Palatine Edward
20. Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
10. James I of England
21. Mary, Queen of Scots
5. Elizabeth Stuart
22. Frederick II of Denmark
11. Anne of Denmark
23. Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
1. Princess Palatine Benedicta Henrietta
24. Federico II, Duke of Mantua
12. Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers
25. Margaret Palaeologina
6. Charles I, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat
26. Francis I of Cleves, 1st Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel
13. Henriette of Cleves, Duchess of Nevers
27. Marguerite of Bourbon-La Marche
3. Anna Gonzaga
28. Francis, Duke of Guise
14. Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne
29. Anna d'Este
7. Catherine de Lorraine-Guise-Mayenne
30. Honorat II di Savoia, Count of Tende
15. Henriette di Savoia, Marquise de Villars
31. Jeanne de Foix, vicomtesse de Castillon

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 14 March 1652 – 30 November 1668 Her Serene Highness Countess Palatine Benedicta of Simmern
  • 30 November 1668 – 18 December 1679 Her Serene Highness The Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
  • 18 December 1679 – 12 August 1730 Her Serene Highness The Dowager Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg


  1. ^ Bougaud, 258
  2. ^ Littell's living age, Volume 166
  3. ^ State papers and correspondence: illustrative of the social and political... By John Mitchell Kemble, p. 224


  • Bougaud, Emile. St. Chantal and the Foundation of the Visitation. Vol. 2. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1895. Google Books. Web.
German nobility
Preceded by
Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Served alongside: Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Title next held by
Sophia of Hanover

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