Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia

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Prince Georg Friedrich
Prince of Prussia
Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preussen.jpg
The Prince of Prussia at Komische Oper Berlin in 2007.
Head of the House of Hohenzollern
Period 26 September 1994 – present
Predecessor Prince Louis Ferdinand (I)
Heir apparent Prince Carl Friedrich of Prussia
Spouse Princess Sophie of Isenburg (m. 2011)
Issue Prince Carl Friedrich
Prince Louis Ferdinand
Full name
Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Prince Louis Ferdinand (II)
Mother Donata Countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen
Born (1976-06-10) 10 June 1976 (age 38)
Bremen, West Germany
Coat of arms of the German Empire (1871-1918)
  • HI&RH The Prince
    HI&RH The Princess
    • HI&RH Prince Carl Friedrich
    • HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand
  • HRH Princess Cornelie-Cecile

Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia [1][2][3][4][5] (Legal name: Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen;[6] born 10 June 1976), is the current head of the House of Hohenzollern, the former ruling dynasty of the German Empire and of the Kingdom of Prussia. He is the great-great-grandson and historic heir of Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, who was deposed, and initially went into exile upon Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918.

Education and career[edit]

Georg Friedrich is the only son of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1944–1977) and Donata Countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen (born a member of a mediatized princely family, she is now Duchess Donata of Oldenburg by her second marriage to her former sister-in-law's ex-husband, Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg).

After the death of his father, Georg Friedrich spent much of his youth in the care and under the guidance of his paternal grandfather.[5] He attended grammar schools in Bremen and Oldenburg and completed his education at Glenalmond College near Perth, Scotland, where he passed his A-levels. Following a two-year stint in the German army, Georg Friedrich studied business economics at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology.

Georg Friedrich currently works for a company specialising in helping universities bring their innovations to market.[7] He also administers the Princess Kira of Prussia-Foundation, founded by his grandmother in 1952.[8] He lives near Bremen and at Hohenzollern Castle.

House of Hohenzollern[edit]

Georg Friedrich succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand I of Prussia as Head of the House of Hohenzollern[9] on 26 September 1994. He learned to appreciate the history and responsibility of his heritage during time spent with his paternal grandfather, who often recounted to him anecdotes from the life in exile of his own grandfather, the last Kaiser.[10] When asked about the burden of the Prussian dynasty's house laws, which made Georg Friedrich the ex-Kaiser's heir despite the seniority of two of his late father's living brothers, he commented "Our family has very strict rules about marriage. Only God knows who I shall marry, but I want to be with someone who at least understands my responsibilities...So it is likely that this might be a person from the same background as mine."[10]

His position as sole heir to the estate of his grandfather was challenged by his uncles, Friedrich Wilhelm and Michael who filed a lawsuit claiming that, despite their renunciations as dynasts at the time of their marriages, the loss of their inheritance rights based on their selection of spouse was discriminatory and unconstitutional.[11] His uncles were initially successful, the Regional Court of Hechingen and the higher Regional Court of Stuttgart ruling in their favour in 1997 on the grounds that the requirement to marry equally was "immoral".[12] However, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany overturned the original rulings in favour of Georg Friedrich's uncles, the case being remanded to the courts at Hechingen and Stuttgart. This time both courts ruled in favour of Georg Friedrich. His uncles then took their case to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany which overruled the previous court rulings in Georg Friedrich's favour.[11] On 19 October 2005, a German regional court ruled that Georg Friedrich was indeed the principal heir of his grandfather, Louis Ferdinand (who was the primary beneficiary of the trust set up for the estate of Wilhelm II), but also concluded that each of the children of Louis Ferdinand was entitled to a portion of the Prussian inheritance.[13]

Marriage[edit]

Prince Georg Friedrich at the annual meeting of the Order Pour le Mérite (2014)

On 21 January 2011, Georg Friedrich announced his engagement to Princess Sophie Johanna Maria of Isenburg (born 7 March 1978), who studied business administration in Freiburg and Berlin and works at a firm that offers consulting services for nonprofit business.[14] The civil wedding took place in Potsdam on 25 August 2011,[7] and the religious wedding took place at the Church of Peace in Potsdam on 27 August 2011, in commemoration of the 950th anniversary of the founding of the House of Hohenzollern.[15][16] The religious wedding was also broadcast live by local public television.[7] The dinner, which many members of German and European royal families attended, was held in the Orangery Palace at Sanssouci Park.

Princess Sophie's parents are Franz-Alexander, Prince of Isenburg and his wife, née Countess Christine von Saurma-Jeltsch.[17] The couple share descent (being 6th cousins once-removed) from Charles II, the first reigning Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and a brother of Charlotte of Mecklenburg, queen consort of George III of the United Kingdom. Princess Sophie's father is head of the senior branch of the mediatised princely House of Isenburg, known under the Holy Roman Empire and subsequent German Empire as the Büdingen-Birstein line. In 1913 Franz Alexander's grandfather, Franz Joseph, dropped the und Büdingen zu Birstein suffix from his title as Fürst von Isenburg.

The Princess has two brothers, Hereditary Prince Alexander and Prince Viktor, and two older sisters, respectively, Archduchess Katharina (born 1971), wife since 2004 of Archduke Martin of Austria-Este, and Princess Isabelle (born 1973), wife since 1998 of Carl, Prince of Wied.

Issue[edit]

On 20 January 2013, Georg Friedrich's wife Sophie gave birth to twin sons, Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander and Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht, in Bremen. Carl Friedrich, the elder of the two, is the heir apparent.[18] The boys were baptized in the Chapel of St. Michael at Hohenzollern Castle on 24 June 2013.

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Styles of
The Prince of Prussia
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
Reference style His Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 10 June 1976 - 26 September 1994: His Royal Highness Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia[4]
  • 26 September 1994 – present: His Imperial and Royal Highness The Prince of Prussia[2][3]
    • official in Germany: 10 June 1976 – present: Mister Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preußen[19]

Orders[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • "I do not see any reason for the political system in Germany to be changed. And I am very happy — probably happier than many of my forebears."[21]
  • "I have as head of the House of Hohenzollern no political role — and neither do I aim at such."[22]
  • “The German people should think about bringing back the monarchy, I am sure it will happen.” [23]

Ancestry[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 1919 royalty and nobility were mandated to lose their privileges in Germany, hereditary titles were to be legally borne thereafter only as part of the surname, according to Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution. Styles such as majesty and highness were not retained.
  2. ^ a b Eilers, Marlene. Queen Victoria's Descendants. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. pp. 16-17, 123, 172. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  3. ^ a b Willis, Daniel. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. Clearfield, Baltimore, US, 2002, pp. 688-689. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1
  4. ^ a b Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser Band XIV. "Haus Preussen". C.A. Starke Verlag, 1991, p. 123, 146. ISBN 3-7980-0700-4
  5. ^ a b de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. Le Petit Gotha. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, pp. 77-79, 99, 106, 108-111. (French) ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  6. ^ Regarding personal names: Prinz was a title, translated as Prince, not a first or middle name. Before 1919 preceding the first name, former titles are with people alive after 1919 dependent parts of the surname, thus preceding the main surname and not to be translated. The female form is Prinzessin.
  7. ^ a b c Heir to Prussian throne to get televised wedding
  8. ^ "George Frederick The Prince of Prussia". Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  9. ^ DeMarco, Anthony (29 February 2012). "A 35-Carat Diamond of Royal Historical Significance Will Be Sold at Sotheby's". Forbes. Retrieved 18 November 2012. "After the death of Prince Louis Ferdinand, the diamond was inherited as part of the estate by his grandson, Georg Friedrich (1976-), Prince of Prussia and current head of the Royal House of Prussia" 
  10. ^ a b Majesty. Interview, March 2009.
  11. ^ a b The Hohenzollern Succession Dispute
  12. ^ Andrew Gimson, "Kaiser's rule on marriage still applies to heirs", The Telegraph (18 December 1998).
  13. ^ Royal news: October 2005
  14. ^ "Prinz Georg Friedrich von Preußen Er hat sich mit Sophie verlobt!". 22 January 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Verlobung im Haus Hohenzollern
  16. ^ Prinz von Preußen heiratet in Potsdam
  17. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "Complete Genealogy of the Princely House of Isenburg". Genealogy.EU. [self-published source][better source needed]
  18. ^ "Official Website of the House of Hohenzollern: Prinz Georg Friedrich von Preußen". 
  19. ^ Official guidebook of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, chapter 3
  20. ^ Sonderausgabe zur Königlichen Hochzeit In Potsdam am 27. August 2011 (PDF) (in German) (20 ed.). Berlin, Germany: Weißes Blatt, Magazin für Tradition und Geschichte. 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Hannah Cleaver, "I don't envy Royal Family, says heir to German throne", The Telegraph (30 January 2013).
  22. ^ Götz, Christiane (June 2005). "Ich brauche kein Schloss" (in German). Cicero. Retrieved 20 June 2011. "Ich habe als Chef des Hauses Hohenzollern keine politische Rolle — und strebe dies auch nicht an" 
  23. ^ Vanity Fair magazine, [1]

External links[edit]

Media related to Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia at Wikimedia Commons

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia
Born: 10 June 1976
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Prince Louis Ferdinand Sr.
— TITULAR —
Head of the House of Hohenzollern
September 1994 – present

Reason for succession failure:
Empire and Kingdom abolished in 1918
Incumbent
Heir:
Prince Carl Friedrich