Alexander, Margrave of Meissen

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Prince Alexander
Margrave of Meissen
P1162866 gross.jpg
The Margrave of Meissen
Head of the Royal House of Saxony (disputed)
Tenure 23 July 2012 - present
Predecessor Maria Emanuel
Spouse Princess Gisela of Bavaria
Issue
Prince Georg Philipp
Prince Moritz Gabriel
Prince Paul Clemens
Princess Maria Teresita
House House of Saxe-Gessaphe
Father Roberto de Afif, Prince of Gessaphe
Mother Princess Anna of Saxony
Born (1954-02-12) 12 February 1954 (age 60)
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Religion Roman Catholic
Saxon Royal Family
Coat of arms of Wettin House Albert Line.png


Prince Alexander of Saxe-Gessaphe (German: Alexander Prinz von Sachsen-Gessaphe Polish: Aleksander książę Saskogessapski; born Alexander de Afif 12 February 1954), is the adopted heir of Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, and a businessman with Lebanese, Mexican and German roots. Following the death of Maria Emanuel in July 2012 he assumed the headship of the Royal House of Saxony, based on a 1997 agreement that named him heir, but which was repudiated a few years later by a number of signatories. His claim is disputed by his cousin Prince Ruediger of Saxony.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Munich as Alexander de Afif, he is the eldest son of Roberto de Afif, Dr.Jur (mentioned as Catholic nobleman of Gessaphe, Lebanon) and Princess Anna of Saxony. At birth Alexander did not possess rights to throne of Saxony (which operated Semi-Salic succession) as his parents marriage did not meet the equal marriage requirements of the Saxon house law.[1][1] Alexander legally assumed the surname Prinz von Sachsen-Gessaphe on 25 August 1972.[2]

Alexander grew up mainly in Mexico eventually taking over the running of a logistics company from his father.[3] He married Princess Gisela of Bavaria, firstly secularly at Mexico City 3 April 1987 and then religiously at Andechs 29 August 1987. Their children are:[1]

  • Prince Georg Philipp of Saxe-Gessaphe (b. Mexico City 24 May 1988)
  • Prince Mauricio Gabriel Robert of Saxe-Gessaphe (b. Mexico City 14 Sep 1989)
  • Prince Paul Clemens of Saxe-Gessaphe (b. Mexico City 23 Mar 1993)
  • Princess Maria Teresita of Saxe-Gessaphe (born Dresden 7 July 1999)

His marriage with Gisela enhanced his dynastical potential in the eyes of his maternal uncle, the childless Margrave who was left without a clearly eligible heir when Alexander's first cousin, the young Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1969–87), was killed in 1987 in a skiing accident.

In February 2003 Alexander began work in attracting worldwide investors to Saxony, he also worked as an advisor to Georg Milbradt, Minister-President of Free State of Saxony, leaving with Milbradt in 2008. In the Summer of 2004 he received German citizenship. In 2009 he left Germany to resume living in South America.[3] In July 2012 Alexander gave a controversial interview where he criticised what he saw as ingratitude and a lack of etiquette on the part of the people in the former East Germany (which includes Saxony).[4]

Royal House of Saxony[edit]

The headship of the Royal House of Saxony is a matter of dispute in the Saxon Royal Family. The conflict stems from the fact that the last undisputed head of the house Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, and the other princes of his generation either had no children or, in the case of Prince Timo, had children, (including Prince Ruediger of Saxony) who were deemed not to be members of the Royal House of Saxony.[1][5]

The first designated dynastic heir of Maria Emanuel was his and Albert's nephew Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, only son of their youngest sister Princess Mathilde of Saxony by her marriage to Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, dynast of a ducal branch of the House of Wettin senior patrilineally to the royal branch.[1] After the early death of Prince Johannes, the heirless Maria Emanuel then considered as potential heir another nephew, Alexander Afif, the eldest son of Princess Anna of Saxony and her husband Roberto Afif, despite the Afif-Saxony marriage being contrary to the traditional laws of the House of Saxony which required equal marriages for descendants to inherit dynastic rights.[1][6] On 14 May 1997 the Margrave of Meissen proposed his nephew Alexander Afif as heir and drew up a document that was signed by the other male and female members of the Royal House (including previously non-dynastic spouses of princes) setting out that Alexander would succeed on his death. The document was signed by: Anastasia, Margravine of Meissen, Prince Albert and his wife, née Elmira Henke, Prince Dedo (for himself, his brother Prince Gero and for their stepmother née Virginia Dulon - his brother Prince Timo had died in 1982), the Princesses Maria Josepha, Anna and Mathilde, and Prince Timo's third wife, née Erina Eilts).[7] Two years later on 1 July 1999 the Margrave adopted his nephew Alexander Afif, who had used the title Alexander, Prince of Saxe-Gessaphe since 1972,[2] based on his patrilineal descent from the once-sovereign Lebanese "Afif" (or Gessaphe) dynasty.[1][8]

The 1997 agreement proved to be controversial and in the summer of 2002 three of the signatories, Princes Albert, Dedo and Gero (the latter consented via proxy but had not personally signed the document)[9] retracted their support for the agreement.[10][11] The following year Prince Albert wrote that it is through Prince Ruediger and his sons that the direct line of the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin will continue, and thus avoid becoming extinct.[12] Until his death, however, the Margrave, as head of the former dynasty, continued to regard his nephew and adopted son, Prince Alexander, as the contractual heir entitled to succeed.[13]

Immediately following the death of Maria Emanuel in July 2012, Prince Albert assumed the position of head of the Royal House of Saxony.[11] According to the Eurohistory Journal prior to the Margrave's funeral Albert met with his nephew, Alexander and recognised him as Margrave of Meissen.[11][14] However this claim is contradicted by Albert himself in his final interview, given after the funeral, where he states that he needs recognition as Margrave of Meissen.[15] Prince Alexander, citing the 1997 agreement has also assumed the headship.[11][16] Albert, Margrave of Meissen died at a hospital in Munich on 6 October 2012 at the age of 77.

Prior to the requiem for Margrave Maria Emanuel, Ruediger, who had sought to be recognised by his uncle as a dynastic member of the House of Saxony but was refused, conducted a demonstration outside the cathedral with Saxon royalists in protest against the late Margrave Maria Emanuel's decision to appoint Alexander as heir.[11][17] The family website of Prince Ruediger states prior to his death Albert determined Ruediger to be his successor and instituted a clear succession plan.[18] On this basis following Albert's death Prince Ruediger assumed the headship of the house,[19] having stated "We will not accept Prince Alexander as head of house".[20]

Ancestry[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Chantal de Badts de Cugnac; Guy Coutant de Saisseval (2003). Le Petit Gotha (in French). pp. 118, 127–130. ISBN 2-9507974-0-7. 
  2. ^ a b Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels Fürstliche Häuser Band XVIII (in German). Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke. 2007. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-7980-0841-0. 
  3. ^ a b "PORTRÄT PRINZ VON SACHSEN KRITIKER DER OSTDEUTSCHEN". Der Tagesspiegel. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Wettiner-Prinz Alexander: Ostdeutsche undankbar und ohne Etikette" (in German). Märkische Oderzeitung. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels Fürstliche Häuser Band XIV (in German). Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke. 1991. pp. 188–191, 586. ISBN 3-7980-0700-4. 
  6. ^ Les Maisons Impériales et Royales d'Europe. Éditions du Palais-Royal. 1966. pp. 524–526. 
  7. ^ "Dieses geheime Papier regelt die Wettiner-Nachfolge" (in German). Bild. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Huberty, Michel; Giraud, Alain; Magdelaine, F. and B. (1991). L'Allemagne Dynastique Tome VI. Paris: Laballery. pp. 475–476. ISBN 2-901138-06-3. 
  9. ^ Eggert, Hans (15 December 2009). "Von der schwierigen Suche der Wettiner nach einem Kronprinzen" (in German). Sächsische Zeitung. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Würdelos und widerlich" (in German). Spiegel. 21 December 2002. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Beeche, Arturo (October 2012). "Obituary: Prince Albert of Saxony". Eurohistory 15.5 (89): 17, 39. 
  12. ^ "Geschichte des Hauses Wettin von seinen Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart" (in German). Prince Albert of Saxony. 5 March 2003. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  13. ^ Beeche, Arturo (August 2012). "Obituary: The Margrave of Meissen". Eurohistory XV.4 (88): 3–8, 39. 
  14. ^ Beeche, Arturo (8 October 2012). "Saxony: + Prince Albert of Saxony (1934-2012)" (in English). Euro History Journal. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Interview mit SKH Dr. phil. Albert Prinz von Sachsen, Herzog zu Sachsen, Markgraf von Meißen" (in German). Sachsen-Lese. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Wettiner spalten sich in zwei Lager" (in German). Bild. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Requiem für verstorbenen Markgrafen Wettiner Adel kam in der Hofkirche zusammen" (in German). Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Der Hauschef" (in German). Haus-Wettin.de. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Locke, Stefan (12 October 2012). "Sächsischer Hochadel Und wer wird nun Wettiner-Chef?" (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  20. ^ Locke, Stefan (12 October 2012). "Sächsischer Hochadel Und wer wird nun Wettiner-Chef?" (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
Alexander, Margrave of Meissen
Cadet branch of the House of Afif-Gessaphe
Born: 12 February 1954
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Maria Emanuel
— TITULAR —
King of Saxony
disputed with Albert (2012)
disputed with Ruediger (2012 - present)

23 July 2012 - present
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Incumbent
Heir:
Prince Georg Philipp of Saxe-Gessaphe