Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia

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Prince Wilhelm-Karl
Prince of Prussia
Spouse Armgard von Veltheim
Issue Princess Donata
Prince Wilhelm-Karl
Prince Oskar
Full name
Wilhelm Karl Adalbert Erich Detloff
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Prince Oskar of Prussia
Mother Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz
Born (1922-01-30)30 January 1922
Potsdam, Germany
Died 9 April 2007(2007-04-09) (aged 85)
Holzminden, Germany

Prince Wilhelm Karl Adalbert Erich Detloff of Prussia (January 30, 1922, in Potsdam – April 9, 2007, in Holzminden) was the third son of Prince Oskar of Prussia, and the last surviving grandson of Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor. He was the thirty-sixth Master of Knights (Herrenmeister) of the ancient and beneficent Protestant (and largely German) Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg), also known as Der Johanniterorden.


Wilhelm-Karl was the youngest of Prince Oskar of Prussia and Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz's four children. Having been admitted to the Bailiwick of Brandenburg of the Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem (known informally as the Johanniterorden, it is the Protestant successor of the mediaeval Knights Hospitaller) in 1944, he later succeeded his father as its head, serving as the thirty-sixth Herrenmeister ("Master of the Knights") of the Order from 1958 until 1999. Prince Wilhelm-Karl worked tirelessly to keep the Order intact during the Cold War and helped to reunite its membership after the fall of East Germany.

Amongst other orders and awards, Wilhelm-Karl received the Grand Merit Cross (with star) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Grand Cross of the Order pro merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In 1952, Prince Wilhelm-Karl married Armgard von Veltheim. The couple had two sons and a daughter:

  • Princess Donata-Viktoria of Prussia (1952).
  • Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia (1955).
  • Prince Oskar of Prussia (1959); historian, succeeded his father as the Master of the Knights of the Johanniterorden.

Published Works[edit]

  • Auftrag des Johanniters. Ansprachen und Aufsätze ("Transactions of the Johanniter Knights: Talks and Treatises"); 1983.
  • Die Soldaten der Wehrmacht ("The Soldiers of the Wehrmacht", written with Karl-Günther von Hase and Hans Poeppel), 1998 (sixth edition, 2000). (ISBN 3-7766-2057-9)


This page is a translation of the article in the German language Wikipedia.

Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia
Born: 30 January 1922 Died: 9 April 2007
Preceded by
Oskar, Prinz von Preußen
Herrenmeister (Grand Master) of the Order of Saint John
Succeeded by
Oskar, Prinz von Preußen