Princess Louise of Prussia was the second child and only daughter of Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany and his wife Empress Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Her parents were an unhappy and estranged couple, but her father lavished attention on Louise. In 1856, she married Frederick, Prince Regent of Baden, with whom she had three children. The couple became Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden when Frederick's older brother was declared incurably insane. Louise and her husband disliked the stiffness of the court at Karlsruhe and often escaped to their castle on the island of Mainau and their summer residence in Konstanz. She was close to her nephew, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, and he would later write in his memoirs that she "possessed considerable political ability and a great gift for organization."
Louise was very involved in charitable organizations, particularly those helping women and children. She helped found a group called the Baden Frauenverein, which provided hospitals and homes to children. She also founded the first school in Baden to give women homemaker training. The grand duchess also had a lifelong friendship with Clara Barton, whom she met during the Franco-Prussian War, and helped to organize military hospitals. She lived to see her duchy become absorbed into the unified nation of Germany at the end of World War I.