Charles Michael, Duke of Mecklenburg

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Charles Michael
Duke of Mecklenburg
Carl Michael zu Mecklenburg.jpg
Head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Period 23 February 1918 – 6 December 1934
Predecessor Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI
Successor Duke Georg
Full name
Carl Michael Wilhelm August Alexander
House House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Father Duke George August of Mecklenburg
Mother Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovna of Russia
Born 17 June [O.S. 5 June] 1863
Oranienbaum, Russia
Died 6 December 1934(1934-12-06) (aged 71)
Remplin, Germany
Religion Lutheranism

Charles Michael, Duke of Mecklenburg (German: Carl Michael Herzog zu Mecklenburg; 17 June [O.S. 5 June] 1863 – 6 December 1934) was an officer in the Imperial Russian Army, heir presumptive to the throne of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and from 1918 head of the Grand Ducal House.

Life in Russia[edit]

He was born in Oranienbaum, Russia, a grandson of Grand Duke Georg of Mecklenburg-Strelitz via his second son Duke Georg August of Mecklenburg (1824–1876) and his wife Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Emperor Paul I of Russia. Charles Michael studied at the University of Strasbourg and gained a PhD.[1] As he was born into the Russian branch of the Grand Ducal house of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Charles Michael and his older brother Duke George Alexander, both served in the Russian Imperial Army with Charles Michael achieving the rank of Lieutenant General.[2] When his brother died in 1909 Charles Michael was appointed the guardian of his children Katharina, Marie, Natalia and Georg by Adolf Friedrich V.[3]

On 24 June 1914 two weeks after the death of his cousin Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V, Charles Michael wrote to the new Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI informing him that he wished to renounce his rights to the throne of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[4] On 7 August shortly after the outbreak of World War I he became a naturalised Russian citizen.[4]

In March, 1917 Charles Michael was arrested and made to appear before the Russian parliament the Duma.[5] He later fled to the Caucasus region.[6]

Heir to Strelitz[edit]

The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Friedrich Franz IV wrote to Charles Michael informing him that his cousin Adolf Friedrich VI had died on 23 February 1918 and that as he was first in the line of succession he was being called to the throne.[6] A petition to accept the throne was also sent to Charles Michael by the citizens of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as they wanted to maintain their independence and not be united with Mecklenburg-Schwerin.[6] However Charles Michael never received it so he wrote a private letter confirming his desire to renounce his rights to reign in Mecklenburg-Strelitz although the letter did not reach Friedrich Franz IV, who was acting as regent for Mecklenburg-Strelitz, until January 1919[6] after the fall of the German monarchies. As a result the succession issue could not be resolved in time and the two Mecklenburg grand duchies became separate free states in the Weimar Republic.

Charles Michael eventually left Russia with his family arriving first in France before going into exile in Denmark.[6] While there he served as Chairman of the Mutual Charitable Society for Russian Officers in Denmark.[7] In 1921 he was paid five million marks by the Mecklenburg government in return for renouncing his claim to the Strelitz throne.[8] In April, 1930 he returned to Germany and took up residence at his estate, Remplin castle.[9]

Charles Michael adopted his nephew Georg, Count of Carlow who was the morganatic son of his brother Duke George Alexander of Mecklenburg (1859–1909) on 11 September 1928 and confirmed in the courts of Malchin on 5 October 1928.[10] Charles Michael died unmarried in Remplin, Germany and was succeeded as head of the Grand Ducal house by his nephew and adopted son the former Count of Carlow, Duke Georg of Mecklenburg.[11]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 17 June 1863 – 6 December 1934: His Royal Highness Duke Charles Michael of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Honours[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Almanach de Gotha. 1891. p. 55. 
  2. ^ Almanach de Gotha. 1910. p. 61. 
  3. ^ Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region. p. 187. 
  4. ^ a b L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. p. 232. 
  5. ^ "Czar and Czarina are under arrest" (PDF). New York Times. 1917-03-22. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region. p. 188. 
  7. ^ van der Kiste, John; Coryne Hall (2004). Once A Grand Duchess. Sutton Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 0-7509-3521-9. 
  8. ^ "Ex-Grand Duke's Record". The Guardian. 1926-01-13. 
  9. ^ Schloss Remplin, Fitchburg Sentinel, 11 April 1930: 12 
  10. ^ L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. p. 235. 
  11. ^ Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region. pp. 188–189. "....Herzog Carl Michael verstarb am 6. Dezember 1934 in Remplin. Neues Oberhaupt des Strelitzer Fürstenhaus wurde sein neffe Herzog Georg...." 
  • Erstling, Frank; Frank Saß; Eberhard Schulze; Harald Witzke (April 2001). "Das Fürstenhaus von Mecklenburg-Strelitz". Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region (in German). Friedland: Steffen. ISBN 3-9807532-0-4. 
  • Huberty, Michel; Alain Giraud; F. et B. Magdelaine. L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. ISBN 978-2-901138-06-8. 

External links[edit]

Charles Michael, Duke of Mecklenburg
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 17 June 1863 Died: 6 December 1934
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Adolf Friedrich VI
— TITULAR —
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
23 February 1918 – 6 December 1934
Reason for succession failure:
Succession issue unresolved, Grand Duchy abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Georg