Sunday, January 20, 2013

german Houses: The Royal House of Württemberg


The Royal House of Württemberg

House of Württemberg

All present members of the Family of the family have the title Duke/Duchess of Württemberg with the stlye of Royal Highness (HRH). After 1806 the members of the Royal line (descendants of King Freidrich I.) had the title Prince/Princess of Württemberg with the style of Royal Highness. The descendants of the brothers of King Friedrich I. had the the title Duke/Duchess of Württemberg and since 11.09.1865 the style of Royal Highness (HRH).

The ancestors of modern Württemberg which was then called Wirtemberg settled in the Stuttgart area around 1080. The earliest known ancestor is Konrad of Wirtemberg  who became the heir of the House of Beutelsbach and build the Castle Wirtemberg on the Rotenberg.
The earliest historical details on a Count of Württemberg relate to Ulrich I, Count of Württemberg, who ruled from 1241-1265. He served as marshal of Swabia and advocate of the town of Ulm, and had large possessions in the valleys of the Neckar and the Rems, and acquired the County of Urach in 1260. Under his sons, Ulrich II and Eberhard I, and their successors, the power of the family grew steadily. Their  successors were not so prominent, but all added something to the land area of Württemberg. In 1381 the Duchy of Teck was bought, and marriage to an heiress added Mömpelgard (Montbéliard) in 1397. In the Treaty of Nürtingen in 1442 the County was divided into 2 branches

  • Württemberg-Stuttgart 
  • Württemberg-Urach

The Duchy of Württemberg

In the treaty of Münsingen in 1482  the lines where united in the person of Count Eberhard V. called im Bart (the bearded). He was one of the most energits rulers that the County ever had and in 1495 he was raised to a Duke by Emperor Maximilian. I. In 1498 the long and eventfull reign of Duke Ulrich (1498-1560) began. After tax increases in 1514 uprisings of peasants occured ("Poor Conrad"), which where bloody reflected by Ulrich. That same year, the Tübingen contract was signed, this was  the most important constitutional document of Württemberg and was  valid until 1806. After Ulrich attacked the free imperial city of Reutlingen in 1519, he was sent into Exil by the troops of the Swabian League under the leadership of his brother--in-law  Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria (Ulrich was married to Princess Sabine of Bavaria). But soon Ulrich rediscovered his Duchy, helped among others through discomfort caused by the oppressive austrian rule and the commotions caused through the Reformation. Helped by Landgrave Philip of Hesse and other protestant rulers he fought a victorious battle against the troops of the austrian gouverneur Ferdinand in May 1534 and  by the Treaty of Cadan he became again Duke   But he was still depend from the Habsburgs.  After Ulrich's return from exile in 1534 he introduced the Reformation in Württemberg. 
Under his successors the reformation provess was finalized and a system church Governement (Große Kirchenordnung) was introduced. Under the reign of Duke Johann Friedrich (1582-1628) the Duchy suffered badly from the 30 years War although the Duke himself did not participate in it. After the battle of Nördlingen in 1634 Duke Eberhard III. had to go into exile and parts of the Duchy where occupied by imperial troops. At the peace of Westphalia in 1648 he was restored as Duke. 
From 1677-1733 Duke Everhard Ludwig reigned the Duchy. He introduced the absolutism. From 1704 he build Ludwigsburg Castle which became the new residence and where he lived with his mistresss Christiane Wilhelmine of Grävenitz. After his death in 1733 the old ducal line became extinct in the male line as his only son had died before him withoud leaving male descendants. 
He was succeeded by Duke Carl Alexander from the line Württemberg-Winnental. He had served in the imperial Army and converted to roman catholicism. Despite the fact that the Ducal Family was now catholic the etablished church remained protestant. Duke Carl Alexander died already in 1737 and was succeeded by his son Duke Carl Eugen who was only 9 years old at that time. From his arrival in 1744 when he came of age until around 1770, Carl Eugen was a heavily embossed absolutist despotic ruler who brooked no opposition and freedom of expression. Politically, Carl Eugen joined the Seven Years War the of Habsburg Austria against Prussia. The foreign policy defeat in the war, 1763 and the related internal political resurgence of respectability and shattered by his magnificent style of government public finance Carl Eugen forced to rethink. On his 50th birthday in 1778, he called himself from the beginning and the reverse. Disarmament of the army, foreign policy restraint and the reduction in government spending on the one hand and on the other hand, the promotion of education and culture were the cornerstones of the second part of his government util his death in 1793. Duke Carl Eugen was married twice. First he married in 1748 the Princess Elisabeth Friederike Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, a niece of the prussian King Friedrich II. (The great). But the marriage was unhappy and in 1756 Elisabeth left him and retunred back to Bayreuth. In 1771 Carl Eugen meet the married Franzsika Leutrum von Ertingen, née Baroness of Bernardin who became his mistress. She was later raised to the rank of Countess of Hohenheim and after the death of his first wife in 1780, Carl Eugen married her in a morgantaic marraige in 1785. After Carl Eugen died in 1793 his second brother Ludwig Eugen became Duke who died already in 1795. He had conducted a morganatic marriage to Countess Sophie Albertine of Beichlingen but they had only 3 daughters.
So in 1795 the youngest brother Friedrich Eugen became Duke. Friedrich Eugen had married in 1753 another niece of the prussian King Friedrich II.  Princess Friederike Sophie Dorothee of Brandenburg.Schwedt. In the marriage contract it was agreed that the children would be raised protestant of their mother .In 1776 the Family managged to marry the oldest daughter Sophie Dorothera (Maria Feodorovna) with the only son and heir of the russian Empress Katharina II. Another daughter Elisabeth was married to the Habsburg Heir and future Emperor Franz II./I. but she died soon after the  marriage in childbed.

All lines from the House of Württemberg are descending from this marriage.

  • The Royal line descending from King Friedrich I. She became extinct in the male line in 1921
  • The line descending from Duke Ludwig. His son Duke Alexander made a morganatic marriag the the hungarian Countess Claudine Rhédey of Kis-Rhéde. Their son Franz, was later created Duke of Teck. He married the briitish Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge and so the Family settled in the UK. In 1917 they had to renouce their german titles and where given the title Marques of Cambridge.The 2. Marques of Cambridge died in 1981 without leaving male descendants. The daughter of Franz and Mary Adelaide, Fürstin Mary of Teck married the british King George V. They are the grandparents of the present Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The so called Carlsruhe or silesian line desceding from Duke Eugen. They had properties in Carlsruhe, Silesia. This line became extinct in the male line on the death of Duke Nikolaus in 1903. 
  • The Urach line. Duke Wilhelm Friedrich Philipp made an not equal marriage to Baroness Wilhelmine of Tunderfeldt-Rhodis. Their descendants where first Count/Countess of Württemberg and in 1867 Count Wilhelm was creaeated Duke of Urach. This line is still extant. The present head is Duke Wilhelm Albert of Urach.
  • The so called catholic line descending from Duke Alexander. His son Duke Alexander married the catholic Princess Marie of Orléans and their only child, Duke Philipp was raised in the catholic faith of his mother. Since  the death of King Wilhelm II. in 1921  this is the only dynastic line of the House.

From Duchy to Kingdom

In 1797 Duke Friedrich II. succeeded as Duke. During this time Württemberg faced major territorial changes. In the Treaty of Paris of 20 May 1802  the posessions Monbeliard and Riquewihr  which had been anneceted by revolutinary France in 1793, went finally to France. At the same time, however, territorial expansion is promised, which were implemented in 1803 and 1806 after the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss and the ensuing media coverage and secularization. Numerous small dominions were disbanded and incorporated into the Duchy of Württemberg, which was raised to an Electorate in 1803. On 1 January 1806 Friedrich assumed the title of King, abrogated the constitution and united old and new Württemberg. Subsequently, he placed the property of the church under the control of the kingdom, whose boundaries were also greatly extended by the process of the mediatisation. In 1806 he joined the Confederation of the Rhine and received further additions of territory with 160,000 inhabitants. Later, by the Peace of Vienna of October 1809, about 110,000 more people came under his rule. In return for these favours, Frederick joined French Emperor Napoleon I in his campaigns against Prussia, Austria and Russia. Of his 16,000 subjects who marched to Moscow, only a few hundred returned. After the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, King Friedrich I. deserted the French Emperor, and made a treaty with Metternich at Fulda in November 1813 where he secured the confirmation of his royal title and of his recent acquisitions of territory, while his troops marched with those of the allies into France. In 1815, the king joined the German Confederation, but the Congress of Vienna made no change to the extent of his lands. In the same year, he laid before the representatives of his people the outline of a new constitution, but they rejected it, and in the midst of the commotion the King died on 30 October 1816.
King Friedrich I. was twice married. In 1780 he married Princess Auguste of Brunswick. But they marriage was unhappy from the beginning. and during a Visit to Russia Auguste asked Empress Catherine II. for protection, who gave gher asylum and ordered Friedrich to leave. Auguste died in 1788. In 1797 Friedrich married Charlotte Mathilde, Princess Royal of Great Britain and Ireland,  one of the daughters of King George III.
From his first marriage he had 3 children
  • Wilhelm, who succeded him as King
  • Catharina, who was married in 1807 to Jerôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, youngest brother of Napoleon I. The are the ancestors of the present members of the House Bonaparte
  • Paul., he was the grandfather of the last King Wilhelm II.
After much discussion the new King Wilhelm I. granted a new constitution in September 1819. A period of quiet set in, and the condition of the kingdom, its education, its agriculture and its trade and manufactures, improved. Both in public and in private matters the King's frugality helped to repair the country's shattered finances. The revolutionary movement of 1848 did not leave Württemberg untouched, although no violence took place. The King´had to dismisss a f minsters and call to  power men with more liberal ideas, but as soon as the movement lost its power  the old guard returned to power. King Wilhelm I. weas marreid 3 times. In 1808 he married Princess Charlotte Auguste of Bavaria, daughter of King Maximilian I. Joseph. The marriage was mainly made so that he had not to marry a relative of Napoleon I. and was divorced in 1815. After her divorce the Princess changed her name to Karoline Auguste. In 1816 she married the widowed Emperor Franz I. of Austria.
In 1816 he made a second marriage with his first cousin Grand Duchess Katharina Pavlovna of Russia, daughter of Emperor Paul. I. She soon became very activ in charitve works for her adopted homeland. he established numerous institutions for the benefit of the public, suported elementary education and organized a charity foundation during the hunger of 1816. In January 1819 Queen Katharina died of erysipleas comlicated by pneunomia. After her death her husband build for her a Burial Chapel on the Württemberg for which the ruins of the ancestral Castle there where pulled down.
Already in April Wilhelm married another first cousin, Duchess Pauline of Württemberg, daughter of his uncle, Duke Ludwig. The marriage later became unhappy, particulary because of the deep attachment William showed to his mistress, the actress Amalia Stubenrauch.
King Wilhelm I. had 3 daughters with Kaharina: Marie and Sophie who was married to King Willem III. of the Netherlands. From his marriage to Pauline he had 3 children. The son Karl who succeded him as King and the daugthers Katharina, who married her first cousin Prince Friedrich of Württemberg, and Auguste.
Under his successor King Karl I. Württemberg became a part of the new German national State which was founded in 1871. The loss of land and political power of the ruling family, which coincided with the founding of the Empire, was offset by a strong reflection on the identity of Württemberg. Württemberg was consequently been organized in the democratic monarchy as Prussia and other German states. King Karl I. was married to Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, a daughter of Emperor Nikolaus I. but the marriage ws childless so when he died in 1891 he was succeeded by his nephew Wilhelm, the son of his sister Katharina who had married her first cousin, Prince Friedrich of Württemberg.
The new King Wilhjelm II. maintained a rather upper-class lifestyle. Without guard or escort he walked up to the last days of his government in Stuttgart. Men from the middle class, he invited to "Mr. evenings" in his residence in Wilhelmspalais whjere he lived isnstead of the New Castle.  For servants and agricultural laborers he led a medical insurance. And the taxes were first levied in Württemberg after the actual income of the citizens. He was also distanced, towards the Emperor in Berlin especially since he, the military life not particularly appreciated. Under his rule International Socialist Congress could meet in Stuttgart. Plays were performed at the Court Theatre, which were banned in other countries, for example by Frank Wedekind, whose performances at the King and Queen were present together. The outbreak of World War I moved King Willhelm II. very much, with tears in his eyes, he left the army in Stuttgart. From the end of October 1918  demonstrations and protest meetings against the existing social order took place more and more. The abolition of the monarchy was demanded. Once on 9 November 1918 a revolutionary amount had penetrated with some foreign leaders to Wilhelmspalais, King William II eventually left the evening Stuttgart to Bebenhausen. He abdicated on 30.11.1918 and took the name Duke of Württemberg. The provisional government assured him on 29 November 1918 an annual pension of 200,000 marks and a lifelong right to live in the hunting Castle Bebenhausen. He also retained the  unfettered right to dispose of his private property. The last years were spent in Bebenhausen and even more frequently in Friedrichshafen who remained in the posession of the Family as did the Castles Altshausen and Monrepos near Ludwigsburg.  King Wilhelm II. was married twice. In 1877 he married Princess Marie zu Waldeck and Pyrmont. Soon 2 children where born. Princess Pauline who later married Fürst Friedrich zu Wied and in 1880 the long awaited male heir Prince Ulrich. Unfotunately the little Prince died only 6 months later. The Princess died in 1881 after having birth to a stillborn daughter. King Wilhelm II. married in 1886  Princess Charlotte zu Schaumbur-.Lippe but the marriage reamined childless. After King Wilhelm II. died on 02.10.1921 Duke Albrecht from the catholic line became the new head of the Royal House. 
During the World War I, Duke Albrecht commanded the German 4th Army and led them to victory in the Battle of the Ardennes in August 1914. Following this victory, the 4th Army saw action in the First Battle of the Marne before being transferred to Flanders in October, where Duke Albrecht commanded them during the Battle of the Yser. Duke Albrecht also commanded the German forces during the Second Battle of Ypres, where poison gas was used on a large scale for the first time. After the death of his father, Duke Philipp in 1917 he became heir presumptive. Duke Albrecht was married to Archduchess Margarethe Sophie of Austria, a sister of the Archduke-Heir Franz Ferdinand who had been killed in Sarajevo in 1914.  After the the Monarchy was abolished he took his residence at Altshausen Castle in Upper Swabia which remains in the poperty of the Royal Family and is now the Residence of the Head of the House. He lived there until his death in 1939. the first time. After the death of his father, Duke Philipp in 1917 he became heir presumptive. Duke Albrecht was married to Archduchess Margarethe Sophie of Austria, a sister of the Archduke-Heir Franz Ferdinand who had been killed in Sarajevo in 1914.  They had the following children:
  • Philipp Albrecht, who succeded his father as head of the Royal House
  • Albrecht Eugen, married to Princess Nadejda of Bulgaria, a daughter of king Ferdinand I
    • Ferdinand 
    • Margarethe, married to Vicomte François Luce de Chevigny
    • Eugen, hje was from 1962-1972 married to Archduchess Alexandra of Austria, Priincess of Tuscany
    • Alexander
    • Sophie, she is divorced from Antonio Manuel Rôxo de Ramos-Bandeira
  • Carl Alexander, a benediktiner monk as father Odo
  • Maria Amalia
  • Maria Theresa
  • Maria Elisabeth
  • Maria Margaretha
TRH Duchess Sophie, Duke Ferdinand,
Duke Eugen and Duke Alexandr

In 1939 Albrechts oldest son, Duke Philipp Albrecht became new head of the House.  During the World War I he fought in the Württemberg royal dragoon regiment No. 26 as a first lieutenant in the East and on the Western Front and in Serbia. After the November Revolution of 1918, he resigned as Major from active military service. Returned to the University of Tübingen, he finished his studies in 1925 with Dr. iurSince he had been brought up as the future heir to the throne, he remained a lifelong staunch monarchist. Because he rejecting the Nazi regime and was absent in elections in November 1933, hostility of the Nazi rulers moved against him His brother Carl Alexander, who had become a Benedictine monk Father Odo had to leave in 1933 for fear of reprisals Germany, emigrated to the U.S. in 1940 and engaged there in various charitable organizations. Also to the rescue of persecuted Jews, Father Odo had merit. When Philipp Albrecht in 1934 refused to host at his home, the former Crown Prince's Palace Stuttgart swastika flag, he was forced to leave with his family in Stuttgart. He took refuge in Altshausen that was, since his father's death in 1939, head of the House of Württemberg management of the extensive estates of his family and the business enterprise Court Chamber of the House Württemberg. 
Duke Philipp Albrecht  married in 1923 Archduchess Helene of Austria, Princess of Tuscany but she died in 1924 a few weeks after giving birth to a daughter. A few years later in 1928 he married Helene's sister Archduchess Rosa of Austria, Princess of Tuscany.
children from his first marriage:
  • Marie Christine, married to Prince Georg of Liechtenstein, a brother of the late Fürst Franz Joseph II. 
children from his second marriage:
  • Helene, married to Marchese Frederico Pallavicini
  • Ludwig, who renouncd his rights as oldest son and the membership of the Royal House in 1959/1960 because of an not equal marriage to Baroness Adelheid of Bodman, He was divorced from her in 1970 and married Angelika Kiessig. Also this marraige was divorced in 1988. He has 2 daughters and a son from his first marriage and a daughter of his second marriage.
  • Elisabeth, married to Prince Antonio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
  • Marie Thérese, she marrid in 1957 Prince Henri of France, Count of Clermont (now as Count of Paris head of the Royal House of France). This marriage was divorced in 1984 and afterweard her former father in law the late Count of Paris created her Duchess of Montpensier
  • Carl, who succeeded his father as head of the Royal House
  • Marie Antoinette
Because his oldest son Ludwig had to rennouces his dynastic rights in 1960 because of his unewal marriage after duke Philipps Albrechts death on 15.04.1975 his successor  as Head of the Royal House was his younger son Carl  who was born in 1936. Aftrer his tudies DukeCArl joined tha Family firm "Hofkammer of the House of Württtemberg" in whioch the Family posessions are managed. The company manages approximately 5,500 acres of forest, about 2,000 acres of meadows and arable land, 50 acres of vineyards, 700 plots at home and abroad, forests in Canada and Austria, as well as corporate interests. In Monrepos in Ludwigsburg is the winery Duke of Württemberg. In addition, the maintenance of 70 ultural monuments of the House of Württemberg must be ensured. Duke Carl is also socially  and charitableengaged, including the German Red Cross in the Memorial Foundation of Baden-Württemberg, in the children suffering from cancer support organizations, the Foundation Free School of the Arts Foundation and the Foundation preventative youth services. In the Memorial Foundation, he was from the the founding in 1985 until2002 Vice Chairman and from 2002 to 2008 Chairman . He is an honorary senator of the University of Tübingen and the University of Hohenheim and Chairman of the Association of Friends of the University of Tübingen and the University Foundation. Among other things, he is founder of the Ludwig-Uhland-price for those who have rendered outstanding services to the regional studies. He is also Honorary Commodore of the Württemberg yacht clubs and promotes sailing talent there by the Duke Carl foundations. In 1960 he married Princess Diane of France, a daughter of the late Count  de Paris, the pretender to the french Throne. Duchess Diane is a successfull artist and sculptor. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the world. Duchess Diane is the founder of two foundations, the German Duchess Diane of Württemberg, Princess of France Foundation for Youth Care and Protection of monuments and the French Foundation Les Enfants de la Vie (1989) for projects for children in the slums of the Third World. 
Duke Carl andDuchess Diane have 6 chidlren 
  • Friedrich, who has taken over the amdinstration of the family posessions from his father. He married in 1993 Prince Marie zu Wied, who is a  great-great granddaughter of King Wilhelm II. They have 3 children
    • Wilhelm
    • Marie-Amélie
    • Sophie-Dorothee
  • Mathilde, she is married to Hereditary Count Erich of Waldburg zu Zeil and Trauchburg
  • Eberhard
  • Philipp, he is married to Duchess Marie Caroline in Bavaria, Princess of Bavara. They have 4 children, 1 son Carl Theodor and 3 daughters, Sophie, Pauline and Anna.
  • Michael, he manages the Vineyards of the family. He is married to Julia Stortz 
  • Fleur, married to the austrian Count Moritz of Goëss 
    TRH Duke Friedrich
    and Duchess Marie
    HRH Duke Eberhard

    TRH Duke Philipp and
    Duchess Marie Caroline
    TRH Duke Michael
    and Duchess Julia