Frederick William III, king of Prussia

public profile

Frederick William III, king of Prussia's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Related Projects

Frederick William III, king of Prussia

Death: June 07, 1840 (65-73)
Immediate Family:

Father of Eerw Jacob Ludwig Döhne, SV/PROG

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Frederick William III, king of Prussia

Frederick William was born in Potsdam in 1770 as the son of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederica Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt.

He was considered to be a shy and reserved boy, which became noticeable in his particularly reticent conversations, distinguished by the lack of personal pronouns. This manner of speech subsequently came to be considered entirely appropriate for military officers. He was neglected by his father during his childhood and suffered from an inferiority complex his entire life.

As a child, Frederick William's father (under the influence of his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke, Countess of Lichtenau) had him handed over to tutors, as was quite normal for the period.

He spent part of the time living at Paretz, the estate of the old soldier Count Hans von Blumenthal who was the governor of his brother Prince Heinrich. They thus grew up partly with the Count's son, who accompanied them on their Grand Tour in the 1780s.

Frederick William was happy at Paretz, and for this reason, in 1795, he bought it from his boyhood friend and turned it into an important royal country retreat. He was a melancholy boy, but he grew up pious and honest. His tutors included the dramatist Johann Engel.

As a soldier, he received the usual training of a Prussian prince, obtained his lieutenancy in 1784, became a lieutenant colonel in 1786, a colonel in 1790, and took part in the campaigns against France of 1792–1794.

On 24 December 1793, Frederick William married Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who bore him ten children.

In the Kronprinzenpalais (Crown Prince's Palace) in Berlin, Frederick William lived a civil life with a problem-free marriage, which did not change even when he became King of Prussia in 1797.

His wife Louise was particularly loved by the Prussian people, which boosted the popularity of the whole House of Hohenzollern, including the King himself.]


Lenient and slow to recognize the growing French threat, Frederick's restrained entry into the war in 1806 ended in defeat and humiliation for Prussia.

Frederick William succeeded to the throne on 16 November 1797. He also became, in personal union, the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel (1797–1806 and again 1813–1840).

At once, the new King showed that he was earnest of his good intentions by cutting down the royal establishment's expenses, dismissing his father's ministers, and reforming the most oppressive abuses of the late reign.

He had the Hohenzollern determination to retain personal power but not the Hohenzollern genius for using it.

Too distrustful to delegate responsibility to his ministers, he greatly reduced the effectiveness of his reign since he was forced to assume the roles he did not delegate. This is the main factor of his inconsistent rule.

Disgusted with his father's court (in both political intrigues and sexual affairs), Frederick William's first and most successful early endeavor was to restore his dynasty's moral legitimacy. The eagerness to restore dignity to his family went so far that it nearly caused sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow to cancel the expensive and lavish Prinzessinnengruppe project, which was commissioned by the previous monarch Frederick William II. He was quoted as saying the following, which demonstrated his sense of duty and peculiar manner of speech:


Added by Janet Milburn 12/13/20

? Connection to Friedrich Wilhelm III, König von Preußen [MP] locked

Source PLZ

view all

Frederick William III, king of Prussia's Timeline

August 3, 1770
November 9, 1811
Zierenberg bei Wolfhagen, Kassel, HE, Germany
June 7, 1840
Age 69