The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a member state of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866. It consisted of two detached parts, the duchy of Strelitz to the East of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and the principality of Ratzeburg in the West.  The Grand Duchy sided with Prussia during the 1866 war.  However, Mecklenburg-Strelitz attempted to stay neutral during the war of 1866 until Bismarck pressured the Grand Duke by threatening occupation and shortly they joined Prussia.  A military convention was signed November 9, 1868 and a further convention was concluded in December 1872.  A strange anomaly existed, called the Grand Ducal Military Department in Neustrelitz which provided a quasi-War Ministry giving the Grand Duke some sense of sovereignty. After the Prussian-Austrian War it became a member state of the North German Confederation in 1867. It became a member state of the German Empire in 1871.  The form of government was a monarchy limited by a representation of estates and like Mecklenburg-Schwerin, there was no parliament.  Mecklenburg-Strelitz was very similar to Mecklenburg-Schwerin in its continuation of feudal serfdom.  The population was much smaller however, with only 108,000 residents in 1914.

Adolf the Grand Duke was the cousin of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Friedrich-Franz. This 35-year-old bachelor mysteriously killed himself several months before the end of the war (Feb. 1918) when his affair was discovered. He had had a long-term affair with Mafalda Salvatini, an Italian opera singer that he had two illegitimate sons with.  The next in line Duke Karl-Michael, hated Germany, lived in Russia and served in the Army of the Tsar. So when the war ended there no "Grand Duke" therefore the cousin (Fredrick Franz IV of Mecklenburg Schwerin, the regent.) abdicated for both Mecklenburg Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Karl-Michael renounced his claim in a letter in 1914 but it didn't get delivered until 1919 due to the Russian revolution. Eventually, Karl-Michael was allowed to adopt an heir and the line lives on. 

ADOLF FRIEDRICH VI Georg Ernst Albert Eduard, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Neustrelitz 17 Jun 1882-committed suicide at Neustrelitz 23 Feb 1918)








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