Friday, February 1, 2013

german Houses: The Grand Ducal House of Baden

The Grand Ducal House of Baden

House of Zähringen

All present members of the Family bear the title Prince/Prince of Baden with the style of Grand Ducal Highness (HGDH). The Head of the  House has the style of Royal Highness.

The earliest known member of the family is. Berthold I, Count in the Breisgau (died 982), who was first mentioned in 962. The dynasty of the Margraves of Baden was then founded by  Hermann I (1052-1074), the elder son of the Zähringer Berthold I. (1024-1078). His son, Count Hermann II, Count in Breisgau called first Margrave of Limburg, then in 1112 for the first time, Margrave of Baden. He inherited the March of Verona, the area around Venice in Italy, from his father but he chose to establish his residence in Germany because he had been born and raised there. His choice was the town of Baden. This was because his father had gained the right to rule Baden by marrying its heiress, Judit von Backnang-Sulichgau, Countess of Eberstein-Calw. In Baden, Herman II had Castle Hohenbaden built, beginning in 1070. When the construction was done in 1112, he marked the occasion by adopting the title of Margrave.
In 1219 the oringinal territories around Backnang, Besigheim and the new acquired territories at the upper rhine could be joined through the acquisation of Pforzheim from the inheritace of the Count Palatine Heinrich from the guelfes. In the 12th and 13th Cnetury the Margraves of Baden where partinsans of the Staufer. Between Backnang and Stuttgart, in the area of Karlsruhe, the northern black forrest was the territiorial expansion of the Margraviate. Important for the consolidation of the Margraviate was the acquisition of half of the dominions of Lahr and Mahlberg in 1442, creating a link between the southern part in the Breisgau and northern area around Baden-Baden.  The late Middle Ages saw the expansion towards the bathing princely territorial state (administration, finance), was bathing in a major territory between the Habsburg territories in the Ortenau and the Breisgau and the Duchy of Württemberg.
In 1212 Heinrich I. and Hermann II., the sons of Margrave Hermann IV. who died in 1190, splitted the Margraviate in 2 parts and so the sideline Baden-Hachberg was founded. The Margraviate existed as an independent territory until Otto II of Hachberg sold his property to the Margrave Bernhard I of Baden in 1415.
Around 1500 Margrave Christoph von Baden ruled over a fragmented, but undivided territory that was made up of an area around the residence of Baden, from estates on the southern Upper Rhine and from the territory on the left bank of the rhine. To avoid a split, he intended to make his son Philip his sole heir. His older son Bernhard  did not accept this will of his father and was exiled as a punishment to the Burgundian court. Philip's younger brother Ernst also rebelled, he raised by his father-in-law, the Margrave Friedrich of Brandenburg-Ansbach, against the planned succession of his father. Christoph finally gave in and agreed in 1515 to a tripartite division of the territory: Bernhard got the left bank of the Rhine, Philip the heartland to the city of Baden and the Ernst the country on the southern Upper Rhine.  When in 1533 Philip died without male issue,  Ernst and Bernhard initially intended to govern the heartland jointly. But soon after many diputes the decided to split it up among themselves. Bernhard determined the boundary line that ran mainly along the river Alb, and Ernst chose his part, he opted for the area north of the Alps. The shares, which the brothers had already received 1515 remained unaffected by this transaction. After the recent inheritance Bernhard reigned so on the left bank of the Rhine, and on the south of the Alps located part of the heartland. Ernst moved his residence to Pforzheim and designated from now on as Margrave of Baden-Pforzheim, while Bernhard remained in Baden called himself Margrave of Baden-Baden  On the details of the division of the brothers and negotiated further progress until the end of 1536 under Electoral Palatinate mediation agreement, which they documented in a contract concluded in Heidelberg.

The Margraviate of Baden-Baden

The descendants of Bernhard, which from now until 1771 ruled the thus resulting Margraviate of Baden-Baden, also called the bernhardian lineage of the House of Baden. When Bernhard died in 1536, his son Philibert was still an infant  and his son Christoph was not yet born. Ernst  claimed Bernhard's heritage for himself and tried his claim before the Imperial Court in Speyer, but lost against Bernard's widow Franziska and Philipps's daughter Joakobäa, who fought for a government guardianship. Guardians became  Johan II. of Simmern, Wilhelm IV. of Eberstein and Wilhelm IV of Bavaria, the husbandof Jakobäa. Philibert grew up in Munich and took over in 1556 at the age of 20 years the government. In 1557 he married four years older Mechthild of Bavaria, whom he knew from childhood. In Hungary, he fought against the Ottomans and in France against the Huguenots.There he died 1569, when his son Philip was only ten years old. Philip's guardian was Albrecht V.  of Bavaria. He was educated by Jesuits in Ingolstadt him in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation and installed it already in 1571 at the age of twelve years as Regent in Baden-Baden. Albrecht retained a mayor influence through his gouvernor Otto Heinrich of Schwarzenberg who he  placed in 1570.  From 1572 to 1582 he extended Philip's residence the New Castle in Baden-Baden in the Italian Renaissance style.   Philip died in 1588 at the age of 29 years, leaving the Margraviate  high debts, but no male descendants. Therefore his cousin Eduard Fortunat became  reigning Margrave. The grandson of Bernhard III. and son of Christoph. II was raised in London and had received his first name of Elizabeth Tudor, who was his godmother. By his lavish lifestyle the national debt continued to grow.  Eduard Fortunate seeks to counter the fact that he had two Italians, Francesco Muskatelli Paul and Pestalozzi, in the vaults of Yburg spaces made ​​available, where they should  operate  alchemy and counterfeiting In 1594 Emepror Rudolf II. wanted to take Baden-Baden under it's administration because of it's high debts, Margrave Ernst Friedrich of Baden-Durlach occupied the heartland. Eduard Fortunat responded by calling on the two Italians to poison Ernst Friedrich. The plan failed, however, and the two were quartered in Durlach. Eduard Fortunat retreated to the left-bank part of the country, where he died in 1600 in an accident. After his death Eduard Fotunate's son Wilhelm formally inherited Baden-Baden but could not reign himself as Baen-Baden was under the forced Rgency of the Durlach line. He was bought up om Cologne and Brussels under the  guardianship of Archduke Albrecht of Austria. Only in 1622 he could tkae over the reign himself after the battle of Wimpfen and with help from the Emperor and his commander Tilly. He operated a strict politic of bringing back catholicism  immediately and led the persecution of witches in the middle of the Thirty Years War to a new peak. 1631 he was aganin banished by the Swedes under Gustavus Horn and was only able to get Baden-Baden  back by the Peace of Prague in 1635, and finally in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia to win back again. As his son the Hereditary Prince Ferdinand Maximilian had already died at a hunting accident in 1669 he was succeded by his grandson Ludwig Wilhelm. The as "Türkenlouis" (turkish Louis) known Margrave left in the beginning the reign almost all the time to his councellors as he was a almost always successful as a commander in the service of the Emperor, where he fought against the Ottomans and later against the French. He  was absent when the French army in 1688, led by General Melac crossied the Rhine and thus ushered in the Nine Years War. 1689 was Melac except gladly burn all Bach Baden towns and villages systematically. As the town of Baden on 24 August went up in flames in 1689, Ludwig Willhelm fought in the Balkans against the Turks and was on 6 September 1689 promoted to commander of the Imperial Army. To give  his successful military commander  the opportunity to build his homeland again, Emperor  Leopold I. helped him to marry Princess Sibylla Augusta of Saxe-Lauenburg who had in herited a big fortune from her father. After the withdrawal of the French Ludwig Wilhellm and Sibylla Augusta came back Baden-Baden in 1693. From his battles against the Turks, he had rich pickings (Karlsruhe Turkish Plunder) brought and the wealthy couple began to rebuild the country. Amongst others the Margrave build a new big baroque Castle in Rastatt which became the new residence. There he died in 1707  from the consequences of an injury he had sustained at the Battle of Schellenberg during the Spanish War of Succession. He was followed as new Margrave by his oldest son Ludwig Georg but as hes was not of age he was until 1727 under the Regency of his mother Sibylla Augusta who build among others the Castle Favorite near Rastatt. Because of his passion he was also called the the "hunter Louis". Ludwig Georg dies in 1761 but as left no male decendants from his 2 marraiges he was succeeded by his younger brother August Georgwho had at first become a priest but in 1735 he retired in 1735 and married married Maria Victoria Pauline of Arenberg. Since the couple's children not reached adulthood, it was clear that the death of August George would end the existence of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden. Since he became Margrave  August Georg loked for an  acceptable successor. As it was obvious that Baden-Baden would fall after his death at Baden-Durlach, he made an contract  with Margrave Karl Friedrich of Baden-Durlach which was signed in 1765 The succession agreement stipulated that the most properties of Baden-Baden should fall to Baden-Durlach. Only the Bohemian estates, which had come from Sibylla Augusta fell to their relatives. The Ortenau which Ludwig Wilhelm had received as a empire fief, fell back to the Emperor. To support the religious freedom of his Catholic subjects, August Georg weokred for the beatification of the medieval ancestor Bernhard II, with iwhich he also had success in 1769. August Georg chose the blessed Bernard the patron saint of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden and was built in his memory in Rastatt a well. In 1770, he led the country with the general school rules mandatory schooling. Margrave August Georg died on 21.10.1770.

The Margraviate of Baden-Durlach

Already since 1515 Christoph's son Ernst had reigned in the southern Upper Area of baden. After the death of his brother Philipp in 1533 and the division of the country in 2 parts he founded the Margriavte of Baden-Pforzheim (later Baden-Baden) also after him caled ernestine line.  After his death 1553 his sons Karl II. and Bernhard became Regents but as Bernahrd died soon after him Karl II. became alone the  Margrave. After the Augsburger Peace of Religion in 1557 he introduced the Reformation in his territories. In 1565 he moved the residence to Durlach. When he died in 1566 his son Karl II. was only 5 years old so Margravine Anna, née Countess of Pfalz-Vedenz and various protestant Princes lead the guardianship until 1584. Under him the country was further divided. He self got Durlach and Pforzheim, his first brother Jakob II. Hachberg and the thrid brother Georg Friedrich got Rötteln-Sausenberg. Karl II. promoted a illustrious high school in Durlach. In 1594 he used the high depts of margrave Eduard Fortunats of Baden-Baden as opportunity the Margraviate to occuipy the marviate of baden-baden military.  In 1599 he declined the concord and coverted from lutheranism to calvinism which led to riots. His son Georg Ftriedrich was since 1595 regent of the upper country and after the death of his older brother in 1604 alone Margrave of Baden-Durlach and de facto also of Baden-Baden. He was a striclty protestant believer and a founding member of the Protestant Union. In 1622 he abdicated in favor of his son Friedrich, to get involved as a commander in the Thirty Years' War where he was defeat at Wimpfen. Under Margrave Friedrich V. Baden-Durlach was occupated and looted by imperial troops.   To escape the Edict of Restitution he made in 1631 an alliace with Sweden and concqueered with their support, Baden-Baden and part of the Breisgau. After the deafeat of Nordlingen he flead tp Basel. The emperor was declared him for deposed and smashed his Margraviate. By the Peace of Westphalia the Margraviate was restored. During the reign of Margrave Friedrich VI. big parts of the country where occupoed and destroyed by french troops during the palatinate (1688-1697) and spanish (1701-1714) Wars of succession.  during it the Margrave had to flee to basel for some time. His successor Margrave Karl III. Wilhelm reigned as absolute sovreign. He reorganized the state finances and created a reliable management. In 1715 he founded the city and Castle of Karlsruhe hich became the new residence. As his son the Hereditary Prince Friedrich had already died in 1732 he was succeded in 1738 by his grandson Karl Friedrich,. Until 1746 Prince Karl August was his gouverneur. Karl Friedrich was an enlightened absolutist rulers and supporter of the Physiocrats. After the death of the Margrave August Georg of Baden-Baden in 1771 the the territories where reunited as the Margraviate of Baden.

From Margraviate to Grand Duchy

Although the country was now reunited its domains were still fragmented and widespread, on both sides of the Upper Rhine River. The vast territorial reorganization bathing was done in several steps
In 1796  Separate peace between the  Margraviate of Baden and France, when Baden lost the left of the Rhine In 1803  the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss several imperial cities, mediatized territories as well as many secular spiritual areas where included in Baden, at the Peace of Pressburg in 1805  the handing over of the front Austrian Breisgau in Baden was set, in the The Act of Confederation 1806 new areas including the majority of the Principality Furstenberg where added, between 1803-1814 Baden concluded with numerous neighbors from swap transactions that would realign the area, Because of the addition of territory the Margrave got also a rise in rang and so during the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss m
Karl Friedrich got one the four vacant title of Elector. Until the establishment of the Rhine Confederation Baden was thus briefly, the Electorate of Baden. In the Peace of Pressburg Karl Friedrich received within the empire full sovereignty to the same extent as hitherto only Prussia and Austria. By joining the Confederation of the Rhine, finally, he was raised to compensate for the Electorate to Grand Duke.
Grand Duke Karl Friedrich was married 2 times. In 1751 he married Princess Karoline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt. After she died in 1783 he made a second morganatic marriage to Baroness Luise Karoline Geyer of Geyersberg. At the time of the marriage she got the Title Baroness of Hochberg and in 1796 was raised to Countess of Hochberg. Their children also had the title Count/Countess of Hochberg. 
Among the children of the second marriage where
  • Leopold, who became Grand Duke after the death of Grand Duke Ludwig in 1830
  • Wilhelm, He was married to Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg. They had four daughter from them Sophie was married to Fürst Woldemar zur Lippe and Leopoldine to Fürst Leopold zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
  • Amalie, married to Fürst Karl Egon II. zu Fürstenberg
His oldest son was the HereditaryKarl Luwdig, who married Princes Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. in 1801 the Herediary Princely Couple went on a journey to visit his daughters at their courts in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. On their  way home he died in a fall from his coach on 15.12.1801. Karl Ludwig and Amalie had several daughters who made grand marriages:
  • Karoline, married in 1797 Duke Maximilian Joseph of Zweibrücken, who in 1806 became the first King of Bavaria
  • Luise (Elisabeth Alexeievna), married in 1793 the future Emepror Alexander I. of Russia
  • Friederike,  married King Gustaf IV. of Sweden who was deposed in 1809
  • Marie,  married Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Brunswick
  • Karl,  who succeeded his grandfather as Grand Duke
  • Wilhelmine, married Grand Duke Ludwig II. of Hesse and by Rhine. 
When Grand Duke Karl Friedrich died in 1811 he was those succeeded by his grandson Karl who had become heir to his grandfather in 1801. Due to the strong influence of France at the court of Baden, Karl was in 1806 forced to marry Stéphanie de Beauharnais, an adopted daughter of Emperor Napoléon I. This despite his own protests and those of his mother and sisters. Karl went to war in 1807 as head of the Baden contingent under Marshal Lefebvre. There he took part in the siege of Danzig. In 1808  returned to the Baden and as the age of his grandather began to show he became coregen and after his death in 1811 Grand Duke. In Napoléon's war against Russia in 1812 there where 6.000 men from Baden, but only a few of them returned home. During the the war of liberation the Prrinces broke the  Rhine Confederation. Baden hesitated longer than Württemberg and Bavaria  with the exit from the French alliancebecause of the border situation with France seemed particularly vulnerable if the fortunes of war after Napoleon lost the Battle still could apply. In addition, the Grand Duke Karl felt hindered by family considerations, because of his marriage to Napoleon's adopted daughter Stephanie. Until mid-November 1813, the State Council decided to Baden after a dramatic meeting of the alliance now urgently needed change. It especially Sigismund of Reitzenstein, the Grand Duke Karl of them was convinced that bathing would otherwise go under Napoleon, as a French capitulation was predictable now and the time favorable to the Allies, led by Austria, Prussia and Russia as new allies was still welcomed. During the Congress of Vienna in 1814 and 1815 The sovereignty and territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy of Baden was confirmed On 26 July 1815 Baden became a member of the German Confederation, which was to replace the 1806 defunct Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation . In 1818 a new liberal consitutun was passed.
By 1817 the succession became unclear as Grand Duke Karl had only 2 sons who lived for a short time and the other male descendants of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich by his first wife were dying out. Therefore the succession law was changed to give the Hochberg descendants from Grand Duke Karl second marriage family full dynastic rights in Baden. . Their succession rights were reinforced when Baden was granted a constitution in 1818, and recognised by Bavaria and the Great Powers in the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1819. In contrast to his debauchery in the early yearsduring his reign the court was exceptionally economical. Ludwig, who saw himself as a military increased, while the military budget on real requirements promoted, but also the development of the country. He secured the continued existence of the University of Freiburg in 1820, after which the University was called the Albert-Ludwig University. He also founded the Polytechnic Hochschule Karlsruhe in 1825. The Hochschule is the oldest technical school in Germany. As he was married   morganatic to Katharina Weerner who was created Countess of langenstein, he had  no children who where able to succeed and his death in 1830 marked the End of the male line of the Zähringen line of the House of Baden.  After Ludwig's death, there was much discussion about a mysterious seventeen year-old man named Kaspar Hauser, who had appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 1828. Seventeen years previously, the first son of the future Grand Duke Karl and his wife Stephanie died under what were later portrayed as mysterious circumstances. There was at the time and still is today speculation that Hauser, who died in 1833, was that child. 
He was succeeded by his halfbrother Leopold the oldest child from the second morganatic marriage of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich.  To further streng his succession rights soon after he was gvivenm succession rights in 1818 a marriage was arranged with his great-niece Princess Sophie of Sweden, who was a daughter of the dethroned King Gustaf IV. of Sweden and his wife Friederike, née Princess of Baden, one of the daughters of the late Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig. At the beginning of his reign  Leopold aroused high expectations of a political change among the population  as he had appointed a new Cabinet with forward-thinking members at Christmas 1831 and issued a press law that was complett new in Germany. He could not withstand the pressure to resume the law in  1832. In the following years he had to deal with the growing discontent among the population, which escalated in the 1848 Baden revolution. On 13 May 1849 the Grand Ducal family fled into exile to Koblenz. The Grand Duke requested federal assistance for the restoration of constitutional order. Predominantly Prussian troops lowered their revolution. On 18 August 1849 Grand Duke Leopold on the side of the Prussian Prince William came back to the reisdence  Karlsruhe and accepted without much opposition that Prussia, which is responsible for many of the 27 death sentences against people involved in the Baden revolution is due to take control of the country exercised. Already before the Revolution he had to fight with health Issues who increased after the reurn from exile and Leopold died in 1852. 
children of Grand Duke Leopold and Pricness Sophie of Sweden
  • Alexandrine, married to Duke Ernst II. of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • Ludwig II ., succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Friedrich I., succeeded his brother Grand Duke Ludwig II. as Grand Duke
  • Wilhelm, married to Maria Maximilianovna de Beauharnis, Princess of Leuchtenberg, their son Max became the Head of the Grand Ducal Family after the death of Grand Duke Friedrich II. 
  • Karl, he conducted a morgantic marriage to Rosalie of Beust, who was created Countess of Rhena
  • Marie, married to Fürst Ernst zu Leiningen
  • Cacilie (Olga Feodorovna), married to Grand Duke Michail Nikolajevitch of Russia
New Grand Duke became his oldest son Ludwig II. but as he suffered from mental illnes his younger brother Friedrich acted as Regent for him. In 1856 Friedrich took the title of Grand Duke short after his marriage to Princess  Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of the future German Emperor and prussian King Wilhelm I. He I was considered very liberal and was a champion of constitutional monarchy. Under his reign  many important and pioneering reforms were carried out, among others, the Civil Marriage was introduced. Under his rule, the aspiring Mannheim became a center of the local industry, he's waterways and the railways had converted to the requirements of industrialization accordingly. The educated and sophisticated than current ruler has laid the foundation for economic prosperity in southwest Germany. Frierich I.  was also an early supporter of the arts. The establishment of the Grand Ducal Baden Art School (now the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe) in 1854, is due to his initiative. The time was right he promoted artists such as Rudolf Epp. Friedrich also acquired in 1853 the island of Mainau, which was later inherited by his daughter Victoria, married to King Gustaf V. of Sweden. Her grandson Count Lennart took over the adiminstration of the island in 1932.  With the numerous exotic plants brought back from his travels, he laid the foundation for the still existing park. In 1860 the teaching of religion ws placed under the custody of the Church, but the public school system under state custody. During his reign the country  joined the North German Confederation, and later the German Empire, as the Regent was representative of constitutional monarchy and the German unification under Prussian leadership. Friedrich I. was also present on the 18th January 1871 when his father-in-law was proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.  Until old age he remained he was an oüpend-minded ruler for  the arts, science and philosophical. In 1898 he received Theodor Herzl on Mainau, which campaigned with him in view of a forthcoming trip to Palestine of the Emperor for the establishment of a Jewish state there. Due to his merits, he was asked by faculty of the Technical University of Karlsruhe, to impart his name. He devoted 12 April 1902, the university named "Fridericiana". After more then 50 years of reign Grand Duke Friedrich I. died on 28.09.1907 on his island Mainau. The new Grand Duke Friedrich II. continued manily the libveral poilit of his father. His reign covered the creation of the Graduate School of Mannheim, from the University of Mannheim is created (1908) and the extension of the gallery wing of the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (1909), which had already been planned by his father and was dedicated to the work of Hans Thoma. After there was shooting before the Castlein Karlsruhe in Novembver1918 the Grand Duke first moved to Zwingenberg Castle. He abdicated on 22.11.1918 at Langenstein Castle. After the End of the Monarchy the new founded Republic Baden left the Grand Ducal House in a  sttled agreement the Castles in Baden-Baden and Salem with the included art treasures.During the following years he stayed most of the time at Langestein Castle, as guest of Count Robert Douglas. In 1920 he and his wife Hilda moved to Freiburg. In the following years he became almost blind. Grand Duke Friedrich II. died on 09.08.1928 at Badenweiler. As his marriage to Princess Hildy of Nassau had remained childless the Headship of the Grand Ducal House passed now to his cousin Max. 
In 1911 Max stepped down as Major General  and retired from active military service. In 1914, he was reactivated and was for a short time his service on the General Staff of the Fourteenth Army Corps, but in October he returned to Baden and devoted himself as Honorary President of the Baden Red Cross throughout the war, caring for POWs of all nationalities. In 1916 he was honorary president of the German-American War Prisoners Aid of the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Association (CVJM). Prince Max was considered a liberal aristocrat, and was becoming a focal point of the moderate political camp, which stood in opposition to the ultra-right wing, represented by the Supreme Command. In view of the German collapse in the last days of the war, the cabinet of Chancellor Georg von Hertling resigned on 30 September 1918. Noted as a liberal, the Prince was appointed Chancellor of Germany and Minister President of Prussia by Emperor Wilhelm II on 3 October 1918 in order to negotiate an armistice with the Allies, hopefully accepted by US President Woodrow Wilson. Although Max had serious reservations about the way the OHL wanted to conduct negotiations, he accepted the charge, and appointed a government that for the first time included representatives of the Social Democrats as state secretaries. Even Ludendorff now advocated a parliamentary system which would confine the Kaiser to mainly ceremonial duties. The next day Maximilain officially submitted an armistice proposal with the consent of the OHL, nevertheless President Wilson reacted with reserve. To improve Germany's standing with the Allies, the new chancellor pushed through amendments to the Imperial constitution that gradually replaced the authoritarian system left by Otto von Bismarck. However, the government's efforts to secure an armistice were interrupted by the Kiel mutiny and the outbreak of revolution in Germany in early November. Maximilian, seriously ill with Spanish influenza, urged Wilhelm II to abdicate. The Kaiser, who had fled from revolutionary Berlin to the Spa headquarters, despite similar advice by Hindenburg and Wilhelm Groener of the OHL considered abdication only as Emperor, not as King of Prussia. On 9 November 1918, Maximilian went ahead and announced the abdication anyway, as well as the renunciation of Crown Prince Wilhelm. On the same day, Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed Germany a republic, whereafter Maximilian himself resigned as chancellor in favor of the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert. Afterwards Prince Max spend the rest of his life in retirement.   He rejected a mandate to the 1919 Weimar National Assembly, offered to him by the German Democratic politician Max Weber. Together with Kurt Hahn, he established the boarding schoolat Salem Castle  in 1920. After the death of Grand Duke Friedrich II. he became Head of the Grand Ducal Family but he died already in the following year. Prince Max was married to Princess Marie Louise of Hannover and they had 2 children, a daughter Princess Marie Alexandra who married into the Elecotral House of hesse and Berthold who now became head of the House. As new Head of the Grand Ducal Family he assumed the title of Margrave. In 1931 he married Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. Together they  had 3 children.

HRH Margrave Max and
HI & RH Margravine Valerie

Since his death in 1963 their son Max is the Head of the Grand Ducal House, Margrave Max is married to Archduchess Valerie of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, a great.granddaughter of Emperor Franz Josef I. of Austria.
They have 4 children

  • Marie Louise, married to the american Richard Baker
  • Bernhard, who has taken over the adminstration of the Family posessions
  • Leopold
  • Michael

TGDH Hereditary Prince Bernhard
and Hereditary Princess Stephanie

When in the 1990's the finances of the Family came in trouble Hereditary PrinceBernhard ended his studies in business and law in Hamburg and took care of the restoration of the family assets.  In 1995 the inventar of the new Castle Baden-Baden was auctioned and the Castle was sold in 2003 to a private Investor. In 2009 the biggest part of Salem Castle was sold to the country Baden-Württemberg. The Family still owns a part in the so called Prälatur of it. They also still own Stauffenberg Castle in the Ortenau. Hereditary Prince Bernhard  married in 2001 Stephanie Kaul and the have 3 sons the Princes Leopold, Friedrich and Kar-Wilhelm

There is also the brother of the Margrave, Prince Ludwig. He owns Zwingenberg Castle Prince Ludwig is married to Princess Maria Anna (Marianne) of Auersperg-Breunner and they have 3 children. Prince Berthold and the daughers Sophie and Aglaë.

TGDH Prince Michael and
Prince Leopold

TGDH Prince Ludwig and
Princess Marianne