Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover

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Prince Welf Ernst
Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover
Spouse Wibke 'Turiya' van Gunsteren
Issue Princess Saskia of Hanover
Full name
Welf Ernest Augustus Andrew Philip George William Louis Berthold
German: Welf Ernst August Andreas Philipp Georg Wilhelm Ludwig Berthold[1]
House House of Hanover
Father Prince George William of Hanover
Mother Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark
Born (1947-01-25)25 January 1947
Schloss Marienburg, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died 10 January 1981(1981-01-10) (aged 33)
Poona, Maharashtra, India

Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover (Welf Ernst August Andreas Philipp Georg Wilhelm Ludwig Berthold Prinz von Hannover[1]), Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (born 25 January 1947 at Schloss Marienburg, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany; died 10 January 1981 in Poona, Maharashtra, India[1]) was the eldest son of Prince George William of Hanover and his wife Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Welf was a first cousin of Charles, Prince of Wales. The prince used the name Welf Prinz von Hannover.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Lower Saxony at the Hanover family seat of Schloss Marienburg, Welf was raised in Munich.[2] In 1969, the prince married Wibke van Gunsteren. Welf and his wife became followers of a syncretic movement led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.[2] In 1975, Welf and Wibke, along with their five-year-old daughter Tania Saskia, made a pilgrimage to Poona, India to live in an ashram with other followers of Bhagwan. Once there, Bhagwan gave Welf the name Vimalkirti ("Spotless splendour") and Wibke Prem Turiya ("Spiritual love").[2]

Welf died at the age of 33 at a clinic in Poona from a cerebral haemorrhage after collapsing during a morning karate practice session and becoming paralyzed[3][4][2]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Welf married Wibke Christians[1] (born 26 November 1948 at Lübbecke, Westphalia, Germany[1]), daughter of Dr Hans Daniel Christians and Ursula Schmidt-Prange,[1] on 23 May 1969 in a civil ceremony.[1] They were married two days later in a religious ceremony at Essen-Bredeney in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.[1] Although many genealogical sources record the opposite, Welf Ernst and Wibke were not divorced in 1979,[3] but lived together (un-divorced) up to his death. They had one daughter:

  • HRH Princess Tania Saskia Viktoria-Luise of Hanover[1] (born 24 July 1970 at Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1]). Princess Saskia's first husband was Michael Alexander Naylor-Leyland[5] (born 14 July 1956 in London[6]) whom she married on 6 July 1990.[1][6] They have two children:

Princess Saskia married her second husband, Edward Hooper, on 27 January 2001. They have one son:

  • Louis Ivan Welf Otto Hooper (born 6 April 2007)

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 25 January 1947 – 10 January 1981: His Royal Highness Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

His family were deprived of their English titles before he was born, by the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Darryl Lundy (10 May 2003). "Welf Ernst Hanover, Prince of Hanover". thePeerage.com. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wilhelm Bittorf (3 February 1981). "Ein Welfe im Nirwana: Der Tod eines deutschen Prinzen, der für Bhagwan lebte". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  3. ^ a b Eilers, Marlene. Queen Victoria's Daughters. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. P.173, note 41. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  4. ^ Eilers, Marlene (1997). Queen Victoria's Descendants. Sweden: Rosvall. pp. 25–26, 129. ISBN 91-630-5964-9. 
  5. ^ a b c Henri van Oene (22 October 2001). "HRH Prince Georg Wilhelm and his descendants". Henri van Oene's Royal Genealogies Page. Archived from the original on 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  6. ^ a b c d Lynsey Ayers (8 May 2007). "Descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland: Seventh Generation". Descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2008-08-18.