He was commissioned into the allied army in 1793 when his country was invaded by the Revolutionary armies of France.
More DetailsHide DetailsThe allied forces included Hanoverians, Hessians, and the British. He fought in several actions against the French.
In Hildburghausen on 6 March 1776, Francis married Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen, a daughter of his Ernestine kinsman, Duke Ernst Friedrich II. She died on 28 October 1776, only seven months after her wedding. There were no children born from this marriage. In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777, Francis married Countess Augusta Reuss-Lobenstein-Ebersdorf.
More DetailsHide DetailsThey had ten children, seven of whom survived to adulthood:
His male-line descendants established ruling houses in Belgium, United Kingdom, Portugal and Bulgaria, while retaining the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until 1918. His son Leopold ruled as Leopold I of the Belgians. A grandson reigned jure uxoris as King Ferdinand II of Portugal while a great-grandson named Ferdinand became the first modern king of Bulgaria. One of his granddaughters was Empress Carlota of Mexico while another became Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The latter's son, Edward VII, a patrilineal as well as matrilineal great-grandson of Francis, inaugurated the male line which wore the British crown into the 21st century.
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