William II of Württemberg

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William II
König Wilhelm II.jpg
King of Württemberg
Reign 6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918
Predecessor Charles I
Successor Monarchy abolished
Spouse Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe
Issue Pauline, Princess of Wied
Prince Ulrich
Full name
Wilhelm Karl Paul Heinrich Friedrich
House House of Württemberg
Father Prince Frederick of Württemberg
Mother Princess Catherine of Württemberg
Born (1848-02-25)25 February 1848
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died 2 October 1921(1921-10-02) (aged 73)
Bebenhausen, Weimar Republic
Religion Lutheranism

William II (German Wilhelm II) (25 February 1848, Stuttgart – 2 October 1921, Bebenhausen) was the fourth King of Württemberg, from 6 October 1891 until the abolition of the kingdom on 30 November 1918. He was the son of Prince Frederick of Württemberg (1808–1870) and his wife Princess Catherine Frederica of Württemberg (1821–1898), daughter of King William I of Württemberg (1781–1864); his parents were first cousins.

King of Württemberg[edit]

Upon the death of his childless maternal uncle, King Charles I (1823–1891), he succeeded to the throne of Württemberg. Though his claim appeared contrary to Salic law, as his mother Princess Catherine was the daughter of William I, on his father's side he was also the senior male-line descendant of Frederick I of Württemberg through his younger son Prince Paul.

Despite living in a landlocked kingdom, William II was a ship enthusiast. The king was instrumental in the establishment of the Württembergischer Yacht Club (formerly "Königlich Württembergischer Yacht-Club" or Royal Yacht Club of Württemberg) in 1911 on Lake Constance, which is Central Europe's third largest lake.

In Stuttgart his capital he built the Wilhelmspalais.

King William became a Generalfeldmarschall during World War I. In 1918, he was deposed from the throne along with the other German rulers. Considered to be a popular monarch, he was bitter to find he received less support than he had anticipated. He had the habit of walking his two dogs in public parks in Stuttgart without bodyguards or the like, being greeted by his subjects with a simple Herr König ("Mister King"). William finally abdicated on 30 November 1918.[1]

Official portrait, 1892

Under his reign the Weizsäcker family rose to prominence as officials and advisers.

Marriages and children[edit]

On 15 February 1877 at Arolsen he married Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1857–1882). They had three children:

Marie died on 30 April 1882 in Stuttgart, from complications resulting from the birth of her third child. William, already depressed by the death of his only son, is said never to have recovered from this blow.

On 8 April 1886 at Bückeburg, he married Princess Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe (1864–1946). They had no children.

Succession[edit]

With William II's death in 1921 without male issue, the royal branch of the House of Württemberg became extinct and the headship of the house devolved to Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg.

Arms[edit]

Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Wurttemberg.svg
Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg, 1817.svg
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg, 1817
Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Wurttemberg, Variant.svg
Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, Variant

Styles[edit]

  • 25 February 1848-25 June 1864:His Royal Highness Prince William of Württemberg
  • 25 June 1864 - 6 October 1891:His Royal Highness Crown Prince William of Württemberg
  • 6 October 1891 - 30 November 1918:His Majesty The King of Württemberg
  • 30 November 1918 - 2 October 1921:His Majesty King William II of Württemberg

Ancestry[edit]

Decorations and awards[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Italian Wikipedia.
Awards of Württemberg
Grand Master of the following Orders:
Foreign awards

See also[edit]

References[edit]

William II of Württemberg
Born: 25 February 1848 Died: 2 October 1921
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles I
King of Württemberg
1891 – 1918
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
King of Württemberg
1918 – 1921
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Duke Albrecht