Frederick V was the Elector Palatine of the Rhine in the Holy Roman Empire from 1610 to 1623, and reigned as King of Bohemia from 1619 to 1620. He was forced to abdicate both roles, and the brevity of his reign in Bohemia earned him the derisive sobriquet "the Winter King".
Frederick was born at the hunting lodge in Deinschwang, Palatinate. He was the son of Frederick IV and of Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau, the daughter of William the Silent and Charlotte de Bourbon-Montpensier. An intellectual, a mystic, and a Calvinist, he succeeded his father as Prince-Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate in 1610. He was responsible for the construction of the famous Hortus Palatinus gardens in Heidelberg.
In 1618 the largely Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand, triggering the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. Frederick was asked to assume the crown of Bohemia. He accepted the offer and was crowned on 4 November 1619, as Frederick I. The estates chose Frederick because he was the leader of the Protestant Union, a military alliance founded by his father, and hoped for the support of Frederick's father-in-law, James VI of Scotland and I of England.