On This Day In History: The Birth of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz Michael of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was born at Palermo on 9 April 1882 as the only son of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III and Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia. The young Friedrich Franz joined an elder sister, Duchess Alexandrine (1879-1952; future Queen of Denmark as the wife of King Christian X), and was followed by a younger sister, Duchess Cecile (1886-1954; future German Crown Princess as the wife of Crown Prince Wilhelm). Friedrich Franz III and Anastasia had been married since January 1879.

Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1851-1897) and Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (1860-1922)
In 1897, Friedrich Franz III died rather unexpectedly, and he was succeeded by his fifteen year-old son, Friedrich Franz IV, as Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Friedrich Franz IV was to be the last reigning grand duke of his country. In 1904, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV took as his bride Princess Alexandra of Hannover (1882-1963). The couple were to have five children during the course of their marriage: Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz (1910-2001), Duke Christian Ludwig (1912-1996), Duchess Olga (1916-1917), Duchess Thyra (1919-1981), and Duchess Anastasia (1923-1979; future wife of Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg). 
In addition to his own duties, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin became the regent of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in February 1918 after the suicide of his cousin Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich IV (1882-1918). On 14 November 1918, Friedrich Franz IV abdicated his throne in the wake of the Revolution sweeping the German states following World War I. 
Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

The grand duke died on 17 November 1945 at Flensburg while in custody of the Royal Air Force. He was sixty-three years-old. Friedrich Franz’s grand ducal house became extinct in the male line upon the death of his eldest son in 2001.

Three of the children of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV and Grand Duchess Alexandra married. Of these, only their youngest son and youngest daughter left offspring. In 1954, Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin married Princess Barbara of Prussia (1920-1994), a daughter of Prince Sigismund of Prussia and Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg. Christian Ludwig and Barbara had two children: Duchess Donata (b.1956) and Duchess Edwina (b.1960). In 1943, Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin married Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1913-1989). Anastasia and Friedrich Ferdinand were the parents of four daughters: Princess Elisabeth (b.1945), Princess Irene (b.1946), Princess Margaretha (b.1948), and Princess Sibylla (b.1955).

Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg (1912-1996)

Princess Anastasia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1923-1979; née Mecklenburg-Schwerin)

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