Bernhard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen

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Bernhard III
Bernhard III (Saxe-Meiningen).jpg
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Reign 25 June 1914 – 10 November 1918
Predecessor Georg II
Successor Office abolished
Head of the House of Saxe-Meiningen
Tenure 1918–1928
Predecessor Georg II
Successor Prince Ernst
Born (1851-04-01)1 April 1851
Meiningen, Saxe-Meiningen
Died 16 January 1928(1928-01-16) (aged 76)
Meiningen, Weimar Republic
Burial 22 January 1928
Schloss Altenstein, Germany
Spouse Princess Charlotte of Prussia
Issue Feodora, Princess Heinrich XXX Reuss of Köstritz
Full name
Bernhard III Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht Georg
House Saxe-Meiningen
Father Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Mother Princess Charlotte of Prussia
Religion Lutheranism

Bernhard III Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht Georg, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (b. Meiningen, 1 April 1851 – d. Meiningen, 16 January 1928), was the last reigning duke of Saxe-Meiningen.


Bernhard was born on 1 April 1851 at Meiningen in what was then the German Confederation, as the eldest son of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and his first wife Princess Charlotte of Prussia.[1]

He had one full sister, Princess Marie Elisabeth, and several half-brothers by his father's second marriage.

From 1860 Berhnard was schooled by a Prof. Rossmann before he went to study at Heidelberg University in 1869. For the war against France he interrupted his studies and served as Ordonnanz-Offizier. After the war ended he resumed his studies at Leipzig. From 1873 he again served in the military and rose into the highest echelons: By 1905 he was Generaloberst and Generalinspekteur der 2. Armeeinspektion (Mitteldeutschland). In 1909, he became Generalfeldmarschall and in 1912 left military service with that rank.[1]

He married in Berlin on 18 February 1878 Princess Charlotte of Prussia, his second cousin, daughter of Frederick III, German Emperor and granddaughter of the Queen Victoria.[1] They had one daughter: Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen (b. Potsdam, 12 May 1879 - d. Schloß Neuhoff, 26 August 1945), married on 24 September 1898 to Heinrich XXX of Reuss-Köstritz.


Bernhard assumed the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen after the death of his father in 1914. With the start of World War I Bernhard hoped to be assigned command over an army but was disappointed. In reaction he also withdrew from his role in the Duchy's government.[1]

After Germany lost the war, the German revolution forced Bernhard to abdicate as duke on 10 November 1918. Like all the German princes he lost his title and state. He spent the rest of his life in his former country as a private citizen.[1]

Bernhard died on 16 January 1928 in Meiningen. He is buried next to his wife in the park at Altenstein.[1]


Despite his military career he also took a great interest in the arts. He was active as a composer, poet and translator. He was known in particular as an expert on Modern Greek and was renowned for translating German literature into Greek. For his historical studies, for which he repeatedly travelled to Greece and Asia Minor (today Turkey), the University of Breslau awarded him an honorable doctorate.[1]

Titles, styles, honours, and arms[edit]

  • 1 April 1851 - 20 September 1866: His Serene Highness Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen
  • 20 September 1866 - 25 June 1914: His Highness The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
  • 25 June 1914 - 16 January 1928: His Highness The Duke of Saxe-Meiningen


Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Princess Louise Eleanore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
William II, Elector of Hesse
Princess Marie Frederica of Hesse-Kassel
Princess Augusta of Prussia
Bernhard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Frederick William III of Prussia
Prince Albert of Prussia
Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Princess Charlotte of Prussia
William I of the Netherlands
Princess Marianne of the Netherlands
Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biografie Bernhard III.(German)". Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Bernhard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 1 April 1851 Died: 16 January 1928
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Georg II
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
25 June 1914 – 10 November 1918
Office abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
10 November 1918 – 16 January 1928
Succeeded by
Prince Ernst