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Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a duchy and later grand duchy in northern Germany, consisting of the eastern fifth of the historic Mecklenburg region, roughly corresponding with the present-day Mecklenburg-Strelitz district (the former Lordship of Stargard), and the western exclave of the former Bishopric of Ratzeburg in modern Schleswig-Holstein. At the time of its establishment, the duchy bordered on the territory of Swedish Pomerania in the north and of Brandenburg in the south.



It was established in 1701 on the territory of the former duchy of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. The Güstrow branch of the House of Mecklenburg had become extinct with the death of Duke Gustav Adolph in 1695, whereupon his heritage was claimed by his cousin Duke Frederick William of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He had however to cope with the demands of his uncle Adolphus Frederick, husband of Mary of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, the daughter of predeceased Duke Gustav Adolphus. After a long and tough inheritance conflict, the emissaries of the Lower Saxon Circle on March 8, 1701 negotiated a compromise, whereafter Adolphus Frederick received the territory of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as a duchy in its own right. Both continued to call themselves "Dukes of Mecklenburg", while Duke Adolphus Frederick took his residence at Strelitz.

The Strelitz duchy remained one of the most backward regions of the Empire, nevertheless its princesses achieved prominent marriages: In 1761 Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, sister of Duke Adolphus Frederick IV, by marrying King George III became queen consort of Great Britain. In 1793 her niece Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, daughter of Duke Charles II married Frederick William III of Hohenzollern and in 1797 became queen consort of Prussia.

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