Although a younger child, Leopold was the first son of Margrave Karl Friederich of Baden by his second wife Luise Karoline, Freiin Geyer von Geyersberg. Since Luise Karoline was not of equal birth with the Margrave, the marriage was deemed morganatic and the resulting children were incapable of inheriting their father's princely status or the sovereign rights of the Zähringen House of Baden. Luise Karoline and her children were given the titles of baron and baroness and later count or countess of Hochberg. Baden gained territory during the Napoleonic Wars. As a result, Margrave Karl Friederich was elevated to the title of Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire (Kurfürst). With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, he took the title Grand Duke of Baden.