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Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

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Title: Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld  
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Subject: Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Leopold I of Belgium, Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
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Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Reign 1800–1806
Predecessor Ernest Frederick
Successor Ernest III
Spouse Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Countess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf
Issue Princess Sophie, Countess von Mensdorff-Pouilly
Antoinette, Duchess Alexander of Württemberg
Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia
Ernest I
Prince Ferdinand Georg
Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn
Princess Marianne
Leopold I of Belgium
Prince Franz Maximilian
Full name
(German: Franz Friedrich Anton)
(English: Francis Frederick Anthony)
House House of Wettin
Father Ernst Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Mother Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Born (1750-07-15)15 July 1750
Coburg, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Holy Roman Empire
Died 9 December 1806(1806-12-09) (aged 56)
Coburg, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Confederation of the Rhine
Religion Lutheranism

Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (Coburg, 15 July 1750 – Coburg, 9 December 1806), was a duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. He is a patrilineal ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, King Philippe of Belgium and Simeon B. Sakskoburggotski, former tsar (Simeon II) and prime minister of Bulgaria.


  • Biography 1
  • First marriage 2
  • Second marriage and children 3
  • Ancestry 4
  • References 5


He was the eldest son of Ernst Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.

Franz Frederick succeeded his father in the duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld when he died in 1800.

He received a private, careful and comprehensive education. As a result of this training, he became a large art connoisseur. Franz Frederick is considered as the greatest collector of books and illustrations among the dukes of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later Gotha). He laid the basis for a 300,000 picture collection of copperplate engravings in 1775, which can be visited today on the Veste Coburg and equipped the library of his residence with an extensive book collection. In 1805, he bought back the Schloss Rosenau as a summer residence for his family; due to an administration of the debts of his father, Ernst Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the property had passed out of the family.

First marriage

In Hildburghausen on 6 March 1776, Franz Frederick married Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen, a daughter of Ernst Frederick III Karl, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. She died on 28 October 1776, only seven months after her wedding. There were no children born from this marriage.

Second marriage and children

In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777, Franz Frederick married Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf und Lobenstein. They had ten children, seven of whom survived to adulthood:

Name Date of birth Date of death Age at death Notes
Sophie Fredericka Caroline Luise 19 August 1778, in Coburg 8 July 1835, in Tušimice, Bohemia 56 years Married on 23 February 1804 to Emmanuel von Mensdorff-Pouilly (later Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly).
Antoinette Ernestine Amalie 28 August 1779, in Coburg 14 March 1824, in St. Petersburg 44 years Married on 17 November 1798 to Alexander of Württemberg.
Juliane Henriette Ulrike (upon her marriage, she took the name Anna Feodorovna in a Russian Orthodox baptism) 23 September 1781, in Coburg 15 August 1860, in Elfenau, near Berne, Switzerland 78 years Married on 26 February 1796 to Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, the younger brother of Czar Alexander I of Russia (they divorced in 1820).
Stillborn son 1782 1782 -
Ernst I Anton Karl Ludwig, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 2 January 1784, in Coburg 29 January 1844, in Gotha 60 years Married on 31 July 1817 to Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1800–1831) the father of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.
Ferdinand Georg August 28 March 1785, in Coburg 27 August 1851, in Vienna 66 years Married on 30 November 1815 to Maria Antonia Koháry de Csábrág the father of Ferdinand II of Portugal and Victoria, Duchess of Nemours, and the grandfather of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. By his marriage he became the founder of the Koháry branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha line.
Marie Luise Victoria 17 August 1786, in Coburg 16 March 1861, in Frogmore House 74 years Married on 11 July 1818 to Great Britain, the mother of Queen Victoria.
Marianne Charlotte 7 August 1788, in Coburg 23 August 1794, in Coburg 6 years
Leopold Georg Christian Frederick 16 December 1790, in Coburg 10 December 1865, in Laeken 75 years Married on 9 August 1830 to Louise of Orléans and his children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. First king of the Belgians under the name of Leopold I.
Franz Maximilian Ludwig 12 December 1792, in Coburg 3 January 1793, in Coburg 22 days

His descendants established ruling houses in Belgium, United Kingdom, Portugal and Bulgaria. His son Leopold ruled as Leopold I of the Belgians. His male-line great-grandson reigned as Edward VII of the United Kingdom. Another grandson, Ferdinand, reigned as jure uxoris king Ferdinand II of Portugal. His granddaughter, Leopold I of Belgium's daughter, was Empress Carlota of Mexico. He was also the maternal grandfather of Queen Victoria. Furthermore, a great-grandson ruled as Ferdinand I of Bulgaria.



  • August Beck: Franz Friedrich Anton, Herzog von Sachsen-Koburg-Saalfeld. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) vol. VII, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, p. 296.
  • Carl-Christian Dressel: Die Entwicklung von Verfassung und Verwaltung in Sachsen-Coburg 1800 - 1826 im Vergleich, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-428-12003-1.
  • Christian Kruse: Franz Friedrich Anton von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld: 1750 - 1806, in: Jahrbuch der Coburger Landesstiftung, Coburg 1995.
Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Born: 15 July 1750 Died: 9 December 1806
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ernest Frederick
Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Succeeded by
Ernest III
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