Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt

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Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt
Princess Marie Auguste of Prussia
Princess Joachim.jpg
Spouse Prince Joachim of Prussia
Johannes-Michael Freiherr von Loën
Issue Prince Karl Franz of Prussia
Full name
German: Marie Auguste Antoinette Friederike Alexandra Hilda Luise
House House of Ascania
House of Hohenzollern
Father Eduard, Duke of Anhalt
Mother Princess Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg
Born (1898-06-10)10 June 1898
Ballenstedt, Anhalt, Germany
Died 22 May 1983(1983-05-22) (aged 84)
Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany

Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt (10 June 1898 – 22 May 1983) was the daughter of Eduard, Duke of Anhalt and his wife Princess Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg.[1][2]

Early life and family[edit]

On 10 June 1898, Marie-Auguste was born in Ballenstedt, Anhalt, Germany, to the then Prince Eduard of Anhalt and his wife Princess Louise of Saxe-Altenburg.[1] Her father would not succeed his brother Frederick II until 1918, the year he also died. Her paternal grandparents were Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt and Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg. Her maternal grandparents were Prince Moritz of Saxe-Altenburg and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Meiningen.

Marie-Auguste was raised in Dessau, the capital of the duchy of Anhalt.[3] She had five siblings, but her older sister Friederike and brother Leopold died while infants. Marie-Auguste was an older sister of Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt.

Marriage[edit]

On 11 March 1916 in Berlin, Marie-Auguste married Prince Joachim of Prussia, the youngest son of German Emperor William II.[1][2] She and Joachim, who was Wilhelm's last unmarried child, had been officially engaged since 14 October of the previous year.[4] The wedding was celebrated at Bellevue Castle, and was attended by Joachim's father and mother Empress Augusta Viktoria, the Duke and Duchess of Anhalt, as well as other relatives.[4] They had a simple Lutheran ceremony.[5]

Marie-Auguste with her son.

The couple had one son, Prince Karl Franz Josef Wilhelm Friedrich Eduard Paul (15 December 1916 in Potsdam – 22 January 1975 in Arica, Chile).[1][6] Their grandson, Prince Franz Wilhelm, married Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, a pretender to the Imperial Russian throne.

Joachim's death[edit]

After her father-in-law Emperor Wilhelm's abdication, her husband was unable to accept his new status as a commoner and fell into a deep depression, finally committing suicide by gunshot on 18 July 1920 in Potsdam. One source reports that he had been in financial straits and suffered from "great mental depression".[7] His own brother Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia commented that he suffered from "a fit of excessive dementia".[7] Before his death, the couple had recently divorced. The direct causes are not really known to the public, only that there had been no previous report of marital troubles before the divorce was announced.[8] Regardless of the reasons, this event may have also contributed to his depression.

After Joachim's suicide, Karl Franz was taken into custody by his paternal uncle Prince Eitel Friedrich.[9] As the legal head of the House of Hohenzollern, he claimed this right due to the fact that Emperor Wilhelm had issued an edict placing Hohenzollern powers in Eitel's hands.[9] This was later declared to have been illegal, and his mother was given full custody of him in 1921.[10] She was given this right despite the fact that she had previously run away from her husband and that there had been numerous servants testifying against her.[9] Eitel's defense had also stated that Marie-Auguste was not a fit person for Karl Franz's guardianship.[10] Marie-Auguste went to court however and made a plea that she was heartbroken, which may have helped win the case for her.[10]

In 1922, Marie-Auguste sued ex-Emperor Wilhelm for financial support that had been promised in her and Joachim's marriage contract.[11] Wilhelm's attorney argued that the House of Hohenzollern laws were no longer valid, and therefore there was no obligation to support her.[11]

Later life[edit]

On 27 September 1926, she remarried to Johannes-Michael Freiherr von Loën, a childhood friend.[1][12][13] They were divorced in 1935, and Marie-Auguste reverted to her maiden name.[12]

Adoptions[edit]

Marie Auguste was in financial straits in the final years of her life.[12] As a result, she adopted several adults, in an exchange of money for a claim to her royal style.[12] In 1980, Princess Marie Auguste adopted Hans Robert Lichtenberg,[12] and he took the name of Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt. This has led to confusion in media reports about his being a member of a European royal family, which he is not. The family of Princess Marie Auguste has never recognized him as being part of their lineage. Females did not convey a title to their children, natural or adopted, unless allowed under a grant from the sovereign. Therefore "Prinz von Anhalt" is merely a surname as are all other titles he uses. In 1986, he married actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Princess Marie Auguste died on 22 May 1983 at Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany.[1]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Marie Auguste Prinzessin von Anhalt-Dessau". Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Youngest Son of Kaiser Engaged", The New York Times (Amsterdam), 15 October 1915 
  3. ^ "Prince Joachim's Fiancee of Oldest German Dynasty", The Washington Post, 19 October 1915 
  4. ^ a b "Prince Joachim Married", The New York Times (Amsterdam), 12 March 1916 
  5. ^ "Kaiser's Son Married", The Washington Post, 12 March 1916 
  6. ^ "New Grandson For Kaiser", The New York Times (Berlin), 16 December 1916 
  7. ^ a b "Kaiser's Youngest Son, Joachim Shoots Himself", The New York Times (Berlin), 18 July 1920 
  8. ^ "Two of ex-Kaiser's Sons Bring Suits For Divorce", The New York Times (Paris), 8 January 1920 
  9. ^ a b c "Get's Ex-Kaiser's Grandson", The New York Times (Berlin), 14 October 1921 
  10. ^ a b c "Hohenzollern Laws Ruled Out of Court", The New York Times (Berlin), 28 July 1921 
  11. ^ a b "Widow of Young Prince Sues Kaiser For Support", The New York Times (Berlin), 6 January 1922 
  12. ^ a b c d e Eilers Koenig, Marlene. "Princess Marie Auguste". Royal Musings. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Princess Joachim Weds", The New York Times (Berlin), 29 September 1926