Prince Rupert of the Rhine Biography

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, also known as Count Palatine of the Rhine, was a distinguished German soldier and admiral. He gained valuable military experience serving in the Thirty Years War before joining Charles I’s army in the English Civil War. As the commander of the Royalist cavalry, he earned a formidable reputation for himself with numerous military victories. However, he faced defeat by the Parliamentary army, losing York and the north of England for the Royalists. After being dismissed from service by the king, Rupert spent several years in exile in Holland, commanding naval squadrons in the West Indies and Germany. Upon the restoration of the monarchy, he returned to England and held various British naval commands. He also fought in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars before passing away from pleurisy in his sixties.

Quick Facts

  • British Celebrities Born In December
  • German Celebrities Born In December
  • Also Known As: Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland
  • Died At Age: 62
  • Family:
    • Father: Frederick V, Elector Palatine
    • Mother: Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
    • Siblings: Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, Maurice of the Palatinate
  • Born Country: Czech Republic
  • Military Leaders
  • British Men
  • Died on: November 29, 1682
  • Place of Death: London, England
  • Ancestry: English German, Danish German, French German
  • Cause of Death: Pleurisy
  • City: Prague, Czech Republic

Childhood & Early Life

Prince Rupert was born on December 17, 1619, in Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, to Frederick V and Elizabeth Stuart. His father was the head of the Protestant Union and his mother was the daughter of James I of England and Anne of Denmark. After his family faced a defeat at the Battle of White Mountain, they fled to the Dutch Republic where Rupert spent most of his childhood. He was a bright child and learned multiple languages at a young age.

Early Military Career

At the age of 13, Rupert lost his father and spent his teenage years in England. He became a soldier early on, serving as a military lifeguard to Prince Frederick. In 1638, he was captured and imprisoned in Linz for three years during the Thirty Years’ War.

Later Years

After his release in 1641, Rupert traveled to England and joined King Charles I shortly before the outbreak of the English Civil War. He commanded the Royalist cavalry and achieved several victories for the English. However, he was eventually defeated by the Parliamentarians and banished from England.

Over the next few years, Rupert took charge of small Royalist fleets and traveled to various locations. After the Restoration of monarchy in 1660, he returned to England and held high naval command. He also took an interest in science and was a member of the Royal Society.

Personal Life & Legacy

Rupert had romantic relationships with Frances Bard and Margaret Hughes, resulting in children. He denied being married to Frances but acknowledged their son, Dudley Bard. He also acknowledged his daughter, Ruperta, with Margaret Hughes. Prince Rupert died on November 29, 1682, in Westminster, England.

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