The Duchy had evolved out of the Teutonic Order, a Roman Catholic crusader state and theocracy located along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Teutonic Knights were under the leadership of a Grand Master , the last of whom, Albert , converted to Protestantism and secularized the lands, which then became the Duchy of Prussia.
Life in Russia. He was born in Oranienbaum, Russia, a grandson of Grand Duke Georg of Mecklenburg-Strelitz via his second son Duke Georg August of Mecklenburg (1824–1876) and his wife Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Emperor Paul I of Russia.
The Saxe-Ernestine House Order (German: Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden) was an order of merit instituted by Duke Friedrich of Saxe-Altenburg, Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Duke Bernhard II of Saxe-Meiningen on 25 December 1833 as a joint award of the Saxon duchies.
Frederick William I went to Warsaw in 1641 to render homage to King Władysław IV Vasa of Poland for the Duchy of Prussia, which was still held in fief from the Polish crown. In January 1656, during the first phase of the Second Northern War (1654–1660), he received the duchy as a fief from the Swedish king who later granted him full sovereignty in the Treaty of Labiau (November 1656).
Around 1789, the duchy was located in the Eifel region on the west side of the Rhine and contained, amongst others, Aremberg, Schleiden and Kerpen. However, although the duchy itself was in Germany, from the 15th century onward, the principal lands of the Dukes of Arenberg have been in what is now Belgium .
He laid claim to the duchy of Silesia after the death of Emperor Charles VI and declared war on Charles' daughter and heir, Maria Theresa of Austria, thereby starting the Silesian Wars. Frederick II was followed by his nephew, Frederick William II, on 17 August 1786.
She and her late husband had made plans for him to succeed to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. Prince Alfred remained in the navy, and was promoted to lieutenant on 24 February 1863, serving under Count Gleichen on the corvette HMS Racoon .