LOUISA (1776-1810), queen of Prussia, was born March 10, 1776, in Hanover, where her father, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was commandant. After the death of her mother, who was by birth a princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, she was entrusted to the care of a Fräulein von Wolzogen, and afterwards to that of her grandmother, the landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt. During the period of the revolutionary wars, she lived for some time with her sister Charlotte, the wife of Duke Frederick of Saxe-Hildburghausen. In 1793 she met at Frankfort the crown prince of Prussia, afterwards King Frederick William III., who was so fascinated by her beauty, and by the nobleness of her character, that he asked her to become his wife. On April 24 of the same year they were betrothed, and on the 24th of December they were married. As queen of Prussia she commanded universal respect and affection, and nothing in Prussian history is more pathetic than the patience and dignity with which she bore the sufferings inflicted on her and her family during the war between Prussia and France. After the battle of Jena she went with her husband to Königsberg, and when the battles of Eylau and Friedland had placed Prussia absolutely at the mercy of France, she made a personal appeal to Napoleon at his headquarters in Tilsit, but without success. Early in 1808 she accompanied the king from Memel to Königsberg, whence, towards the end of the year, she visited St Petersburg, returning to Berlin on the 23d of December 1809. During the war Napoleon, with incredible brutality, attempted to destroy the queen's reputation, but the only effect of his charges in Prussia was to make her more deeply beloved. On the 19th of July 1810 she died in her husband's arms, while visiting her father in Strelitz. No other queen in modern times has been more sincerely mourned. She was buried in the garden of the palace at Charlottenburg, where a beautiful mausoleum, containing a fine recumbent statue by Rauch, was built over her grave. In 1840 her husband was buried by her side. The Louisa Foundation (Luisenstift) for the education of girls was established in her honour, and in 1814 Frederick William III. instituted the Order of Louisa (Luisenorden). On the 10th of March 1876 the Prussian people celebrated the hundredth anniversary of her birth, and it was then decided to erect a statue of Queen Louisa in the Thiergarten at Berlin.

See Adami, Luise, Königin von Preussen, 7th ed., 1875; Engel, Königin Luise, 1876; Kluckhohn, Luise, Königin von Preussen, 1876; Mommsen and Treitschke, Königin Luise, 1876; in English, Hudson, Life and Times of Louisa, Queen of Prussia, 1874.