Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt
|Prince Frédéric of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania|
Prince Frédéric at the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, 2008
|Count of Ascania|
|Reign||22 May 1983 - present|
|Duke of Saxony
|Reign||22 May 1983 - present|
|Predecessor||See "List of rulers of Saxony"|
|Duke of Westphalia
|Reign||22 May 1983 - present|
|Predecessor||See "List of rulers
|Born||Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg
18 June 1943
Bad Kreuznach, Nazi Germany (now Germany)
|Spouse||Zsa Zsa Gabor (m. 1986)|
|Issue||Marcus, Prince of Anhalt
Prince Michael of Saxony and Westphalia
Prince Maxmillian of Saxony and Westphalia
Prince Oliver of Saxony and Westphalia
|House||Ascania and Hohenzollern|
|Father||Prince Joachim of Prussia|
|Mother||Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt|
Prince Frédéric of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania (also Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt or Prinz Frédéric von Anhalt, born Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg, 18 June 1943) is the adopted younger son of Prince Joachim of Prussia (himself the youngest son of German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II) and Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt.
Frédéric was born in Nazi Germany on 18 June 1943, to a police councillor and his wife. Frédéric became a medical entrepreneur, specialising in remedial treatments - particularly with women - later opening a brothel, and furthermore a nightclub; an industry later taken on by his eldest son. In 1980 he was adopted as an adult by Princess Marie-Auguste in order to secure her estate after the death of her son, Prince Karl Franz, allegedly a childhood friend of Frédéric, who himself became close to the royal family. By adoption, Frédéric obtained a place in the House of Ascania, adopted several titles - including Prince - and was given the surname of Prinz von Anhalt (literally Prince of Anhalt) subject to German laws regarding nobility, and is alternatively known in Germany as (unofficially) Duke of Saxony and Duke of Westphalia. Prince Joachim of Prussia posthumously became his adoptive father, thus giving Prinz von Anhalt a place in the House of Hohenzollern, though it is not recognised by the house or Prinz von Anhalt himself.
When Marie-Auguste died in 1984, Prinz von Anhalt became a socialite in America, amassing a vast fortune and flamboyant lifestyle. On 14 August 1986, Prinz von Anhalt married Hungarian-born American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who on occasions uses the titles Duchess of Saxony and Duchess of Westphalia. It is Gabor's ninth marriage and Prinz von Anhalt's first, and is also Gabor's longest marriage. Together, they made adult adoptions, including Marcus, Michael, Maxmillian and Oliver, who all adopted titles on Prince Frédéric's behest. He had a stepdaughter, Constance Francesca Hilton, from Gabor's marriage to Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton family hotel empire, and great-grandfather of Paris Hilton.
Frédéric's business interest encompass a range of investments in film, food and gambling, while his political ideologues are limited to various social and environmental issues; expressed primarily when he campaigned to become Mayor of Los Angeles and later for Governor of California - both of which he withdrew from, though without having strong leads in polls first. He has been an executive producer of many films, notably a film starring Ben Affleck, and has invested in restaurants, including Hofbrau; a buffet-style food service found in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose name is derived from the German term meaning 'brewery', which has ties to Prinz von Anhalt's adopted royal house. He has also (legally) promoted gambling and has invested in many casinos in Las Vegas.
Early life and family
Prinz von Anhalt was born Hans Georg Lichtenberg in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. He is one of five children of a criminal police councillor, Ferdinand, and his wife, Barbara, in Nazi Germany. In 1980, Lichtenberg was adopted as a 36-year-old adult by Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt (1898–1983), daughter-in-law of German Emperor Wilhelm II.
Adoption and title
His name became "Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt" when he was adopted. "Prinz von Anhalt" is his surname, not a title - following contemporary German laws about the country's nobility - however, Prinz von Anhalt did adopt the title "Prince Frédéric of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania", which his adoptive mother had meant for him, and instead became a pretender title to claim on the succession in the House of Ascania  Marie Auguste's first husband was Prince Joachim of Prussia, the youngest son of German Emperor Wilhelm II. Prince Joachim committed suicide in 1920, after four years of marriage. In 1926, she wed Johannes-Michael Freiherr von Loën, whom she divorced in 1935.
Some reports say that Prinz von Anhalt claimed to be a childhood friend of Princess Marie Auguste's only child, Prince Karl Franz of Prussia (1916–1975), and that the grieving mother adopted him out of kindness, giving him his title as "Prince" and "Duke of Saxony". However, British press reports indicate that Princess Marie Auguste was bankrupt and the adoption was a business transaction, allegedly masterminded by Hans Hermann Weyer, a former window dresser who became the honorary consul of Bolivia in Luxembourg. Weyer was known for selling certificates of nobility, doctoral degrees from fictitious universities and other spurious decorations in Germany in the 1960s.
Although Princess Marie-Auguste adopted Frédéric, the ducal family of Anhalt (the House of Ascania) has never recognized him as being part of their lineage. The website of the House of Ascania states that the adoption laws of Germany allow adult adoptions with almost no conditions, and the website lists those who are actually descended from the House of Ascania. Frédéric is not included.
When asked about his name in 2010, Prinz von Anhalt explained that he was a family friend and had often played soccer with Princess Marie-Auguste's son and said she had agreed to adopt him. He also said: "It doesn't mean anything, it's just a name. After 1918 in Germany, royalty didn't exist any longer."
Career and Marriage
Zsa Zsa Gabor
On 14 August 1986, Prinz von Anhalt married Zsa Zsa Gabor, who is 26 years his senior. The couple is still married, making it Gabor's longest marriage. "We didn't marry for love", he later said. "It was a friendship, but when you're with someone over a certain time you fall in love." The marriage is factually Gabor's ninth, but legally her eighth; her marriage to Felipe de Alba having been annulled because she was still married to Michael O'Hara when she married de Alba.. When Gabor and Prinz von Anhalt married, she took on the de facto title "Princess Zsa Zsa, Duchess of Saxony", in concert with Prinz von Anhalt's pretender claimant title, which had been given to him by his adoptive mother.
Anna Nicole Smith affair
On 9 February 2007, von Anhalt stated that he had a decade-long affair with Anna Nicole Smith and could potentially be the father of her infant girl Dannielynn Birkhead. However, later in March, it was determined that Frederic von Anhalt was not the father of the baby; Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead was the biological father.
Together with his wife Zsa Zsa Gabor, Prinz von Anhalt has adopted several of his children. Among them are: Marcus Prinz von Anhalt (formerly known as Marcus Eberhardt), who refers to himself as "Prinz Germania"; Oliver Prinz von Anhalt (formerly known as Oliver Bendig); Michael Prinz von Anhalt (formerly known as Michael Killer). Following their adoption, these men are entitled to use the last name of "Prinz von Anhalt". German newspapers have speculated that Frédéric is effectively selling the name, which would be a criminal offence in Germany and render the adoptions, which were made under German law, invalid. His eldest sons, Marcus and Michael, have an erratic image, seen at several nightclubs and parties, and being arrested and charged several times; while his younger sons, Maxmillian and Oliver tend to keep a lower profile.
Candidacy for Governor of California
On 16 February 2010, Prinz von Anhalt announced his candidacy for Governor of California, as an independent candidate, against Arnold Schwarzenegger. He withdrew his candidacy on 2 August 2010, citing his wife's health issues.
Clash with Gabor's daughter
Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter, the late Francesca Hilton, alleged Prinz von Anhalt compromised her mother's dignity, security and health for attention and profit. Hilton claimed Prinz von Anhalt prohibited Gabor from having visitors, including her own daughter.
Hilton claimed he fostered a circus atmosphere surrounding her mother's health, had plans to have her body preserved with plastic for public display, and claims Gabor wanted to mother a child at the age of 94, which she described as "just weird." Hilton remained worried about her mother's health, home, and fortune.
At the time of her death, relations between Hilton and Prinz von Anhalt had been sour for nearly a decade. In 2005, he sued Hilton, alleging she had attempted to defraud her mother. However, Gabor refused to sign the papers in her husband's suit against her daughter so the court dismissed it.
On 20 October 2010 von Anhalt was taken to the hospital after swallowing a bee, which then stung him in the throat.
On 22 December 2010 von Anhalt was rushed to the hospital after gluing his eye shut with nail glue.
On 2 September 2011 von Anhalt was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Beverly Hills.
Robbery and stripping
On 25 July 2007, Prinz von Anhalt was allegedly approached by three women he described as attractive while sitting in his Rolls-Royce in Southern California. They asked him to pose for pictures with them, at which point one of the women robbed him at gunpoint, taking his car keys, jewelry, wallet, driver's license and all his clothes. According to Prinz von Anhalt, his assailants bound him and placed him in handcuffs, yet he managed to call the authorities on a cellular phone. Los Angeles police found him completely naked approximately one hour later. No handcuffs were found at the scene. The culprits apparently drove away in a Chrysler convertible.
- Allen, Kristen (2010-02-04). "Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt: 'I'll give up Hollywood and mingle with the people'". The Local (Germany) (Berlin: The Local Europe). Retrieved 2010-09-01. Contains a short interview with Prinz von Anhalt.
- An Online Gotha - Anhalt
- Der Mantel des schönen Konsuls
- New York Times article mentioning Weyer's career, 1982
- John Vinocur, "For German Who 'Awarded' Titles, First Gold, Then Bars", The New York Times, 16 March 1978, page A2
- "Familie heute". Anhalt-Askanien (in German). München: Julia Katharina von Anhalt. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Gabor, Zsa Zsa (2011). I, Zsa Zsa. ML Publishing. ISBN 1-61701-046-4.
- "Gabor Husband may be Smith's baby's dad". Associated Press. February 9, 2007. Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
- PrinzGermany Homepage
- Prinz Michael Homepage
- Zsa Zsa's Husband To Run For Governor
- Zsa Zsa’s socialite husband drops out of California governor’s race to tend to ailing wife
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor to become new mother at 94?". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1 April 2014.
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor's Bel Air mansion for sale". CNN. 7 June 2011.
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband rushed to hospital after gluing his own eyes shut". Daily Mail (London). 22 December 2010.
- CNN: Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband Found Naked In Car, Says He Was Mugged
- Official website
- Von Anhalt's Statements Raise Eyebrows, Questions"
- Claims of affair, paternity raise questions about Zsa Zsa's Gabor's prince-husband
- Zsa Zsa 'emotional and upset' about Anna Nicole Smith baby paternity fight