Friedrich Wilhelm II, König von Preussen

BORN 25 Sep 1744, Berlin - DIED 16 Nov 1797, Potsdam, Brandenburg

Son of Prince Augustus Wilhelm of Prussia and grandson of King Wilhelm I of Prussia. In 1765 he married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg, but they had no children and after four years the marriage was dissolved. He swore to be faithful to his mistress Wilhelmine Encke. In 1769 he married Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt and they had many children, but he was still under the influence of his mistress and had also children with her.

He loved music. He was a patron for Mozart and his private orchestra was well known over Europe. In 1781 he joined the Rosicrusians and he under the influence of Johann Christof Wöllner. When he became king in 1786 he tried to ease the circumstances of the people by lowering the taxes and improving the infrastructure. Wöllner decided on most internal affairs and the king neglected the army and foreign affairs and this attributed to the eventual defeat against the French during the Battle of Jena in 1806 nine years after his death.

In 1791 he wanted to help Louis XVI of France, but financial difficulties and an uprising in Poland led to a treaty with Francer at Basel (1795). This left Prussia in an isolated situation in Europe when he died in 1797. He was succeeded by his son, who became king Frederick William III.

• Son: Friedrich Wilhelm III, king of Prussia

27/8/1791Declaration of Pillnitz in support of Louis XVI. The conference was held in Pillnitz between Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II and Friedirch Wilhelm II of Prussia. The Count of Artois (the future Charles X of France) was also present in Pillnitz. On 27 August the Declaration of Pillnitz was issued in which support was declated for king Louis XVI against the French Revolution. As a result of this conference. France declared War on Prussia and the Roman Holy Empire. [Charles X, King of France]


The statue of Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia on horseback in front of the Alte National Galerie in Berlin in 1996. The statue was created by Bläter and Calandrelli.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 1996)


Friedrich Wilhelm II's shattered tomb at the Dom in Berlin.
Picture by Androom (14 Aug 2000)


Die Grosse Dynastien, Südwest Verlag, München, 1978
Frederick William II of Prussia - Wikipedia
Declaration of Pillnitz - Wikipedia

Friedrich Wilhelm III, king of Prussia

Published: 05 Apr 2009
Last update: 25 Apr 2022