George, Duke of Mecklenburg

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George
Duke of Mecklenburg
Head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Period 6 December 1934 – 6 July 1963
Predecessor Duke Charles Michael
Successor Duke Georg Alexander
Spouse Irina Mikhailovna Raievskya
Archduchess Charlotte of Austria
Issue
Duke Georg Alexander
Count Alexander
Duchess Helene
Duke Carl Gregor
Full name
Georg Alexander Michael Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Theodor Franz
House House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Father Duke George Alexander of Mecklenburg
Mother Natalia Feodorovna Vonljarskaya, Countess of Carlow
Born 5 October [O.S. 22 September] 1899
Oranienbaum, Russia
Died 6 July 1963(1963-07-06) (aged 63)
Sigmaringen, Germany
Religion Lutheranism after 1920 Roman Catholicism

George, Duke of Mecklenburg (German: Georg Herzog zu Mecklenburg; 5 October [O.S. 22 September] 1899 – 6 July 1963) was the head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1934 until his death. Through his father, he is a direct descendant (great-great-grandson) of Russian Emperor Paul I.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Oranienbaum, Russia as Count George of Carlow; he was the youngest child and only son of Duke George Alexander of Mecklenburg (6 June 1859 - Saint Petersburg, 5 December 1909) and his morganatic wife (m. Remplin, 6 June 1889) Nataliya Fyodorovna Vonlar-Larskaya, Countess of Carlow (Saint Petersburg, 16 May 1858 - Cannes, 14 March 1921), daughter of Fyodor Ardalionovich Vonlar-Larsky (Dagoutze Chavli, Georgia, 23 December 1835 - 2 February 1903) and wife Mariya Fyodorovna Uvarova, and granddaughter of Ardalion Alexeievich Vonlar-Larsky, born in Poretchie, near Smolensk, and wife Tatyana, daughter of Mariya Mikhailovna Litvinova. Because his parents marriage was morganatic, at birth he was denied the title Duke of Mecklenburg; instead his title came from his mother, who had been created Countess of Carlow on 18 March 1890 by her husband's uncle Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[1] When his father died in 1909, his uncle Duke Charles Michael was appointed guardian of George and his sisters Katharina, Marie and Natalia by Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[2] After the 1917 October Revolution George and his family fled Russia heading first to France before later moving to Germany.[3]

On 11 September 1928 George was adopted by his uncle Duke Charles Michael, who was the head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[4] The adoption was confirmed in the courts in Malchin on 5 October 1928[4] and as a result he took his uncle and adopted father's surname of Mecklenburg.[5] Following his adoption, George assumed the title Duke of Mecklenburg with the style Serene Highness.[4] This was confirmed by the head of the Imperial House of Russia, Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich on 18 July 1929 and recognised on 23 December by Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.[4] Duke George studied political science at the University of Freiburg and became a Doctor of Economics and Social Sciences.[6]

Head of the House[edit]

On 6 December 1934, his uncle Duke Charles Michael died, and George succeeded him as head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.[7] He lived with his family at Schloss Remplin until April 1940, when the main part of the palace was burnt down. The Grand Ducal family then moved to Grunewald, where they lived until their home was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid in February 1944.[8] In August 1944, George was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp by the Nazi government, where he remained until February 1945.[8] Following his release, Duke George and his family moved to Sigmaringen at the invitation of Princess Margarete of Hohenzollern (wife of Frederick, Prince of Hohenzollern) in March 1945.[8]

On 18 December 1950 the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin confirmed the decisions made in 1929 regarding George's title, and he assumed the style of Highness[4] while his status as head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was also confirmed.[9] At the same time, the Count of Carlow title was abolished.

George died in Sigmaringen, Germany of a heart attack.[10] He was succeeded as head of the Grand Ducal House by his eldest son Duke Georg Alexander.

Marriages and children[edit]

Duke George was married firstly in Geneva, Switzerland on 7 October 1920 to Irina Mikhailovna Raievskya, Countess Tolstoy (Tsarskoye Selo, 18 August 1892 - Sigmaringen, 22 January 1955) the widow of Count Alexander Mikhailovich Tolstoy (Saint Petersburg, 17 January 1888 - Mishkor, Crimea, 19 February 1918), daughter of Mikhail Nikolaievich Rayevsky (1841–1893) and Princess Mariya Grigoryevna Gagarina (Tiflis, 14 June 1851 - Cannes, 2 August 1941) and granddaughter of Nikolai Nikolaievich Rayevsky (14 September 1801 - 1843) and wife (m. 22 January 1839) Anya Mikhailovna Borozdine, and Prince Grigory Grigoryevich Gagarin and wife Sofiya Andreievna Dashkova.[4] Irina was daughter of the Rayevski family who were one of heirs of the famed Grigori Potemkin, Prince of Tauria, descending from the childless Prince's sister. The couple had four children though one son Alexander born on 3 August 1922 died at the age of just eighteen days.[11] The children who survived into adulthood were.

In May 1956 George became engaged to Archduchess Charlotte of Austria,[13] a daughter of the last Austrian Emperor, Charles I and Zita of Bourbon-Parma. They were married in a civil ceremony on 21 July 1956 in Pöcking, Germany followed by a religious ceremony four days later.[5]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 5 October 1899 – 11 September 1928: His Serene Highness Count George of Carlow
  • 11 September 1928 – 18 December 1950: His Serene Highness Duke George of Mecklenburg, Count of Carlow
  • 18 December 1950 – 6 July 1963: His Highness Duke George of Mecklenburg

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. p. 230. 
  2. ^ Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region. p. 187. 
  3. ^ "Duke Succumbs". The Capital Times. 1963-07-08. p. 4. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VI : Bade-Mecklembourg. p. 235. 
  5. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "Georg Alexander Herzog von Mecklenburg". The Peerage. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  6. ^ Kahlenberg, Friedrich P; Hartmut Weber. Die Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. p. 149. ISBN 3-486-56281-9. 
  7. ^ 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...." 
  8. ^ a b c Oster, Uwe (2008-03-14). "Musik und Literatur als roter Faden". Hohenzollerische Zeitung. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  9. ^ Le Petit Gotha. p. 198. ISBN 2-9507974-3-1. 
  10. ^ "Georg of Mecklenburg Dies". New York Times. 1963-07-08. p. 29. 
  11. ^ Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Beiträge zur Geschichte einer Region. p. 188. 
  12. ^ House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz genealogy
  13. ^ "Archduchess to Marry". New York Times. 1956-05-16. p. 31. 
  • 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. 
  • For the Von Lahr-Larsky family, see family tree edited by V.A.Arseniev - Pinakothek - München

External links[edit]

George, Duke of Mecklenburg
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 5 October 1899 Died: 6 July 1963
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Charles Michael
— TITULAR —
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
6 December 1934 – 6 July 1963
Reason for succession failure:
Grand Duchy abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Georg Alexander