Princess Herzeleide of Prussia

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Princess Herzeleide
Princess of Courland
Spouse Karl Biron, Prince of Courland
Issue Princess Benigna
Ernst-Johann Biron, Prince of Courland
Prince Michael
Full name
German: Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else
House House of Hohenzollern (by birth)
House of Biron (by marriage)
Father Prince Oskar of Prussia
Mother Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz
Born (1918-12-25)25 December 1918
Bristow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Died 22 March 1989(1989-03-22) (aged 70)
Munich, West Germany
Prussian Royalty
House of Hohenzollern
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
Wilhelm II
   Prince Wilhelm
   Prince Louis Ferdinand
   Prince Hubertus
   Prince Frederick
   Prince Alexander Ferdinand
   Princess Alexandrine
   Prince Oskar
   Princess Victoria Marina
   Prince Karl Franz
   Prince Burchard
   Princess Cecilie
   Princess Victoria Marina
   Herzeleide, Princess of Courland
   Prince Wilhem Victor
   Prince Wilhelm-Karl

Princess Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else of Prussia (25 December 1918 – 22 March 1989) was a member of the deposed House of Hohenzollern.[1] She was the only daughter of Prince Oskar of Prussia, the second from the youngest son of Emperor Wilhelm II, and his wife Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz. She is the mother of Ernst-Johann Biron, Prince of Courland, the current head of the House of Biron.


Family and early life[edit]

Princess Herzeleide with her parents and brothers, c. 1925.

Countess Herzeleide of Ruppin was born on Christmas Day 1918, shortly after the fall of the German Empire and the collapse of the monarchy. She was consequently given the name Herzeleide because it meant "heart's sorrow".[2] Herzeleide had three brothers: Princes Oscar, Burchard, and Wilhelm-Karl. Herzeleide and her brothers became Prince/Princess of Prussia on 21 June 1920 when their parents marriage was recognised as dynastic.

In early 1938, Herzeleide was one of three bridesmaids at the wedding of Crown Prince Paul of Greece to Frederica of Hanover.[3] Herzeleide was Frederica's first cousin. The other two bridesmaids were also close relatives: Paul's sister Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark and his cousin Princess Eugenie of Greece and Denmark.

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 15 August 1938 in Potsdam Garrison Church, nineteen-year-old Herzeleide married thirty-one-year-old Karl Biron, Prince of Courland.[1][2][4][5] Karl was the eldest son and heir of Prince Gustav Biron of Courland, descendants of a noble and former ruling Biron family. Along with the bride and groom's parents in attendee were former German Crown Prince Wilhelm, along with Emperor Wilhelm's wife Hermine Reuss of Greiz.[2] Herzeleide wore a white silk gown with a headdress trimmed with myrtle, while all the male guests wore uniforms of the former German army.[4] The couple planned to stop at Doorn on their honeymoon to visit Emperor Wilhelm.[2][4]

They had three children:

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 25 December 1918 – 21 June 1920: Countess Herzeleide of Ruppin
  • 21 June 1920 – 15 August 1938: Her Royal Highness Princess Herzeleide of Prussia
  • 15 August 1938 – 1982: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Courland
  • 1982 - 22 March 1989: Her Royal Highness The Dowager Princess of Courland



  1. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else Prinzessin von Preußen". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Princess Herzeleide Married in Potsdam; Granddaughter of Ex-Kaiser Wed to Prince de Courland", The New York Times (Potsdam, Germany), 17 August 1938 
  3. ^ "Greek Royal Family", The Irish Times, 10 January 1938 
  4. ^ a b c "Court & Personal; Wedding of Ex-Kaiser's Granddaughter", The Manchester Guardian, 17 August 1938 
  5. ^ Eilers Koenig, Marlene. "Princess Herzeleide marries". Royal Musings. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 

External links[edit]