Friedrich Josias, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

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Friedrich Josias
Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Duke of Saxony
Coat of Arms of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.svg
Head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Predecessor Charles Edward
Successor Andreas
Born (1918-11-29)29 November 1918
Died 23 January 1998(1998-01-23) (aged 79)
Spouse Countess Viktoria-Luise of Solms-Baruth (m. 1942–46)
Denyse Henrietta de Muralt
(m. 1948–64)
Katrin Bremme
(m. 1964–98)
Issue Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Claudia, Mrs. Schäfer
Beatrice Charlotte, Princess Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Adrian
House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Mother Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
Victoria and Albert
Prince Alastair of Connaught
Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Sibylla, Duchess of Västerbotten
Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Caroline Mathilde, Countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen

Friedrich Josias, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Friedrich Josias Carl Eduard Ernst Kyrill Harald; Callenberg Castle, 29 November 1918 – Amstetten, Austria, 23 January 1998) was the Head of the Ducal Family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and titular Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1954 until his death.

Early life[edit]

The Prince was born to Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Charles Edward was forced to abdicate on 14 November 1918.

In 1938, the Prince entered the Wehrmacht and participated in the occupation of Czechoslovakia, Poland and France. In 1941, he fought in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. He fell seriously ill in the winter of 1941. After his recovery, he fought as Oberleutnant in the Caucasus. In 1944, he was an Ordonnanzoffizier under Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel on the French coast. He was stationed in June 1944 in Denmark under General von Hanneken, where he was captured by the British in May 1945 but released in autumn 1945.

The third of three sons, Prince Friedrich Josias was not expected to succeed as Head of the Ducal Family. However, his eldest brother, Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold, married unequally and renounced his rights in 1932, and Prince Hubertus was killed in action in 1943, thus leaving Prince Friedrich Josias as the heir-apparent. He succeeded to the Headship on the death of his father on 6 March 1954.


The Prince married three times:

In Kassel on 25 January 1942, Friedrich Josias married his first cousin Countess Viktoria-Luise of Solms-Baruth (13 March 1921 – 1 March 2003). They had one son:

This marriage ended in divorce on 19 September 1946.

In San Francisco on 14 February 1948, Friedrich Josias married secondly Denyse Henrietta de Muralt (14 December 1923 – 25 April 2005). They had three children:

  • Princess Maria Claudia Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (22 May 1949 – 5 February 2016), married on 17 March 1971 to Gion Schäfer (b. 20 July 1945). They have two daughters:
    • Maria Christina Sibylla Schäfer (23 June 1972) married Guillaume Hubert Marie Martens on 24 June 2000. They have three children:
      • Gion Martin Martens (30 June 2001)
      • Aimée Martens (21 June 2003)
      • Louis Martens (15 July 2006)
    • Gianetta Antonia Schäfer (18 February 1975) married on 12 October 2013 to Andreas Bitsche. They had two children before their marriage:
      • Estelle Schäfer
      • Leonardo Schäfer
  • Princess Beatrice Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (15 July 1951), married on 12 June 1977 to Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen (1935–2004, a son of Bernhard, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen). They have two children:
    • Princess Marie Alexandra of Saxe-Meiningen (5 July 1978) married Benno Beat Christian Wiedmer on 27 July 2004.
    • Prince Friedrich Constantin of Saxe-Meiningen (3 June 1980) He has one son with Sophia Lupus:
      • Michael of Saxe-Meiningen (July 2015)
  • Prince Adrian Vinzenz Eduard (18 October 1955 – 30 August 2011), married firstly on 20 October 1984 to Lea Rinderknecht; the marriage was morganatic and their two sons were barred from the succession to the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This union ended in divorce in 1993. Secondly (again morganatically), Adrian married on 11 July 1997 Gertrud Krieg. They had no children.

Friedrich Josias and Denyse were divorced on 17 September 1964.

In Hamburg on 30 October 1964 Friedrich Josias married thirdly (and morganatically) Katrin Bremme (22 April 1940 – 13 July 2011[1]). This marriage was childless.


  1. ^ Theroff, P 2011, Royal Deaths 2011,


Friedrich Josias, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 29 November 1918 Died: 23 January 1998
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Carl Eduard
Duke of Saxe–Coburg and Gotha
6 March 1954 – 23 January 1998
Succeeded by