List of German monarchs in 1918

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German Empire
Royal Standard of the King of Prussia (1871–1918).svg
Royal Standard: King of Prussia (1871–1918)
Preceded byKingdom of Prussia
Followed byAbolished 1918

The term German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich) commonly refers to Germany, from its foundation as a unified nation-state on 18 January 1871, until the abdication of its last Kaiser, Wilhelm II, on November 9, 1918. Germans, when referring to the Reich in this period under the Kaisers, 1871 to 1918, typically use the term Kaiserreich.[1]

Federal prince (Bundesfürst) was the generic term for the royal heads of state (monarchs) of the various states making up the German Empire. The empire was a federal state, with its constituent states remaining sovereign states. In total, there were 22 federal princes of the German Empire and additionally three republican heads of state and the steward of the imperial territory ruled by Alsace-Lorraine. The states became part of the Kaiserreich by an 1871 treaty. The Kaiser as head of the empire was granted the title German Emperor (the style "Emperor of Germany" being deliberately avoided), and was simultaneously a federal prince as King of Prussia, the sovereign of its largest federal state. Of the princely heads of state, 4 held the title King (König) (the Kings of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg), 6 held the title Grand Duke (Großherzog), 5 held the title Duke (Herzog), and 7 held the title Prince (i.e. Sovereign Prince, Fürst).

Following the abdication of Wilhelm II on 9 November 1918 and German Revolution of 1918–19, the German nobility and royalty as legally defined classes were abolished on 11 August 1919 with the promulgation of the Weimar Constitution, under which all Germans were made equal before the law, and the legal rights and privileges, and all following German Houses, titles, insignia and ranks of nobility were abolished.

German Emperor (1918)[edit]

Emperor Styles Empress Symbols German Empire 1871 – 1918
Kaiser Guglielmo II.jpg

1859 – 1918
His Imperial and Royal Majesty
The German Emperor, King of Prussia
Wilhelm II

Her Imperial and Royal Majesty
The German Empress, Queen of Prussia
Augusta Victoria
Philip Alexius de Laszlo - Auguste Viktoria, Deutsche Kaiserin, 1908.jpg

1858 – 1918
House of Hohenzollern
Imperial arms of the Kaiserreich

Flag of the German Empire.svg

1871 – 1918
Prussia. Bavaria. Saxony. Württemberg.
Grand Duchies
Baden. Hesse. Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Oldenburg. Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Anhalt. Brunswick. Saxe-Altenburg. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Saxe-Meiningen.
Lippe. Reuss, junior line. Reuss, senior line. Schaumburg-Lippe. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. Waldeck-Pyrmont.
Free Hanseatic cities
Bremen. Hamburg. Lübeck.
Imperial territory (Reichsland)

Kings and Kingdoms (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
Keisari vihelm II.jpg Kaiser
Wilhelm II

1859 – 1941
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
Flag of Prussia (1892-1918).svg
House of Hohenzollern
C.11th – 1918

Kingdom of Prussia
1701 – 1918
German Empire - Prussia (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
(2) Hermine Reuss of Greiz

(1) William, German Crown Prince, (2) Eitel Friedrich, (3) Prince Adalbert, (4) Prince August Wilhelm, (5) Prince Oskar, (6) Prince Joachim, (7) Princess Viktoria Luise

LodewijkIIIBeieren.jpg King
Ludwig III

1845 – 1921
Wittelsbach Arms.svg
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg
House of Wittelsbach

Kingdom of Bavaria
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Bavaria (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Maria Theresia of Austria-Este

(1) Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, (2) Adelgunde of Hohenzollern, (3) Maria, Duchess of Calabria, (4) Karl of Bavaria, (5) Franz of Bavaria, (6) Mathilde Ludwig of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary (7) Wolfgang of Bavaria (8) Hildegarde of Bavaria, (9) Notburga of Bavaria, (10) Wiltrud, Duchess of Urach, (11) Helmtrud of Bavaria, (12) Dietlinde of Bavaria, (13) Gundelinde of Bavaria

FA3 of Saxony.png King
Frederick Augustus III

1865 – 1932
Coat of arms of Saxony.svg
Flagge Königreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg
House of Wettin
900 – 1918

Kingdom of Saxony
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Saxony (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Archduchess Luise of Austria, Princess of Tuscany

(1) Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony, (2) Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen, (3) Ernst Heinrich of Saxony, (4) Maria Alix Karola of Saxony, (5) Margarete Karola of Saxony, (6) Maria Alix (Luitpolda) of Saxony, (7) Princess Anna of Saxony

König Wilhelm II.jpg King
Wilhelm II

1848 – 1921
Wappen Herzogtum Württemberg.svg
Flagge Königreich Württemberg.svg
House of Württemberg
1081 – 1918

Kingdom of Württemberg
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Wurttemberg (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont
(2) Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe

(1) Pauline, Princess of Wied, (2) Prince Ulrich

Grand Dukes and Grand Duchies (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
GrandDukeFriedrichII.jpg Grand Duke
Friedrich II

1857 – 1928
Wappen Zaehringer.png
Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1891–1918).svg
House of Zähringen
C.10th – 1918

Grand Duchy of Baden
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Baden (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Hilda of Nassau
ErnstLouisHesse.jpg Grand Duke
Ernest Louis

1868 – 1937
Hesse Darmstadt coat of armes (1736).gif
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg
House of Hesse-Darmstadt
1806 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Hesse
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Hesse (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
(2) Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich

(1) Princess Elisabeth, (2) Hereditary Grand Duke George Donatus, (3) Prince Louis

Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.jpg Grand Duke and Regent
Friedrich Franz IV

1882 – 1945
Coat of Arms of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg - Schwerin.svg
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg
House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1131 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1815 – 1918
Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(Regent, 1918)
German Empire - Mecklenburg Schwerin (1871).svg German Empire - Mecklenburg Strelitz (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland

(1) Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz, (2) Duke Christian Ludwig, (3) Duchess Olga, (4) Duchess Thyra, (5) Anastasia, Princess Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

HL Damals – Ghz v Oldenburg.jpg Grand Duke
Friedrich Augustus

1852 – 1931
Blason Adolphe de Holstein-Gottorp.svg
House of Holstein-Gottorp

1544 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
1814 – 1918
German Empire - Oldenburg (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia, (2) Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

(1) Sophia Charlotte, Princess Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, (2) Duchess Margaret, (3) Nikolaus, Hereditary Grand Duke (4) Duchess Alexandrine, (5) Ingeborg Alix, Princess Stephan of Schaumburg-Lippe, (6) Altburg, Hereditary Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont

GrandDukeWILHELM.jpg Grand Duke
Wilhelm Ernest

1876 – 1923
Blason Grand-Duché de Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.svg
Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1897-1920).svg
House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
1741 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
1809 – 1920
German Empire - Saxe Weimar Eisenach (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Caroline Reuss of Greiz, (2) Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen

(1) Sophie, Princess of Schwarzburg,
(2) Charles Augustus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach,
(3) Prince Bernhard, (4) Prince Georg

Dukes and Duchies (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
Joachim Ernst duke of Anhalt.jpg Duke
Joachim Ernst

1901 – 1947
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Anhalt.svg
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg
House of Ascania
1036 – 1918

Duchy of Anhalt
1863 – 1918
German Empire - Anhalt (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Elisabeth Strickrodt, (2) Editha Marwitz

(1) Princess Alexandra, (2) Princess Anna Luise,
(3) Prince Friedrich, (4) Princess Edda, (5) Prince Eduard

Ernst August Herzog zu Braunschweig.jpg Duke
Ernest Augustus

1887 – 1953
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg
House of Hanover
1635 – 1918

Duchy of Brunswick
1815 – 1918
German Empire - Brunswick (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia

(1) Ernst August,
(2) Georg Wilhelm,
(3) Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes,
(4) Christian Oskar, (5) Welf Heinrich

Ernstii.jpg Duke
Ernst II

1871 – 1955
Wappen Altenburg.svg
Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg.png
House of Wettin
900 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg
1826 – 1918
German Empire - Saxe Altenburg (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Adelaide of Schaumburg-Lippe, (2) Maria Triebel (morganatic)

(1) Charlotte Agnes, Princess Sigismund of Prussia,
(2) Georg Moritz, Hereditary Prince,
(3) Princess Elisabeth Karola, (4) Prince Frederick Ernst

Carl Eduard Sachsen Coburg und Gotha.jpg Duke
Charles Edward

1884 – 1954
Duchy of Saxe Coburg Gotha.png
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
1826 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Coburg Gotha
1826 – 1918
German Empire - Saxe Coburg and Gotha (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein

(1) Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,
(2) Princess Sibylla, Duchess of Västerbotten,
(3) Prince Hubertus, (4) Princess Caroline Mathilde, (5) Prince Friedrich Josias

Bernhard III (Saxe-Meiningen).jpg Duke
Bernhard III

1851 – 1928
Blason Duché de Saxe-Meiningen.svg
Saxe- Meiningen.png
House of Saxe-Meiningen
1680 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
1680 – 1918
German Empire - Saxe Meiningen (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Charlotte of Prussia

(1) Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen

Princes and Principalities (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
LeopoldIVofLippe.jpg Prince
Leopold IV

1871 – 1949
Flag Schaumburg-Lippe.png
House of Lippe
1123 – 1918

Principality of Lippe
1123 – 1918
German Empire - Lippe (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Bertha of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
(2) Princess Anna of Ysenburg and Büdingen
Adolf II, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe c1917.jpg Prince
Adolph II

1883 – 1936
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg
House of Lippe
1123 – 1918

Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
1643 – 1918
German Empire - Schaumburg Lippe (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Ellen Bischoff-Korthaus (1894–1936)
Gunther of Schwarzburg.jpg Prince
Victor Gunther

1852 – 1925
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.svg
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg
House of Schwarzburg
11?? – 1918

Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
1599 – 1919
Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
German Empire - Schwarzburg Sondershausen (1871).svg Spouse

(1) Princess Anna Louise of Schönburg-Waldenburg

PrinceFRIEDRICHPyrmont.jpg Prince

1865 – 1946
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont.svg
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg
House of Waldeck and Pyrmont
1815 – 1918

Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont
1180 – 1918
German Empire - Waldeck (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe

(1) Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, (2) Prince Maximilian, (3) Helena, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg, (4) Prince Georg

Heinrich XXIV RäL.jpg Prince
Heinrich XXIV

1878 – 1927
Arms of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz.svg
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ältere Linie.svg
House of Reuss
(Elder Line)

1778 – 1918

Principality of Reuss-Greiz
1778 – 1918
German Empire - Reuss Greiz (1871).svg
HeinrichXXVII.jpg Prince
Heinrich XXVII

1858 – 1928
Weida Vögte von Weida (die Grafen Reuß).png
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß jüngere Linie.svg
House of Reuss
(Younger Line)

1913 – 1918

Principality of Reuss-Gera
1806 – 1918
German Empire - Reuss Gera (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Elise of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

(1) Viktoria, Duchess Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, (2) Princess Luise Adelheid, (3) Prince Heinrich XL, (4) Prince Heinrich XLIII, (5) Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line

November Revolution abdications[edit]

Throughout the month of November 1918, all 22 monarchs within the German Empire were either forced to abdicate, or stepped down of their own accord. Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick was the first to do so on 8 November. The next day, the Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II, went into exile in the Netherlands, and his abdication (which he would not officially confirm until 28 November, see below) was announced by his Chancellor and Prussian Minister President Maximilian of Baden. MSDP co-chairman Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the new "German Republic" from the Reichstag building to gathered crowds, while two hours thereafter Spartacist leader Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the "Free Socialist Republic of Germany" at Berlin Palace. Neither proclamation of the republic was constitutional, and the political situation remained chaotic for several more months, with a short civil war between radical leftist revolutionaries and the more moderate post-imperial social democrat government that would emerge victorious and form the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless, the proclamations and Wilhelm II's abdication triggered a powerful domino effect: the same day a number of other princes stepped down, and within a week most monarchs in Germany had followed suit. The last to abdicate was King William II of Württemberg on 30 November 1918.

Date Title and name State
9 November 1918 Emperor Wilhelm II German Empire
9 November 1918 King Wilhelm II Kingdom of Prussia
13 November 1918 King Ludwig III Kingdom of Bavaria
13 November 1918 King Frederick Augustus III Kingdom of Saxony
30 November 1918 King William II Kingdom of Württemberg
22 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick II Grand Duchy of Baden
9 November 1918 Grand Duke Ernest Louis Grand Duchy of Hesse
14 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick Francis IV Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
14 November 1918 Regent Frederick Francis Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
11 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick Augustus II Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
9 November 1918 Grand Duke William Ernest Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
12 November 1918 Duke Joachim Ernst Duchy of Anhalt
8 November 1918 Duke Ernest Augustus Duchy of Brunswick
13 November 1918 Duke Ernst II Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg
14 November 1918 Duke Charles Edward Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
10 November 1918 Duke Bernhard III Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
12 November 1918 Prince Leopold IV Principality of Lippe
15 November 1918 Prince Adolf II Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
22 November 1918 Prince Günther Victor Principalities of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
13 November 1918 Prince Friedrich Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont
10 November 1918 Prince Heinrich XXIV Principality of Reuss-Greiz
11 November 1918 Prince Heinrich XXVII Principality of Reuss-Gera

Imperial statement of abdication (1918)[edit]

I herewith renounce for all time claims to the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected therewith. At the same time I release all officials of the German Empire and of Prussia, as well as all officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the navy and of the Prussian army, as well as the troops of the federated states of Germany, from the oath of fidelity which they tendered to me as their Emperor, King and Commander-in-Chief. I expect of them that until the re-establishment of order in the German Empire they shall render assistance to those in actual power in Germany, in protecting the German people from the threatening dangers of anarchy, famine, and foreign rule. Proclaimed under our own hand and with the imperial seal attached. Amerongen, 28 November 1918. Signed WILLIAM. [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harper's magazine, Volume 63. Pp. 593. While the term Reich does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people, the term Kaiserreich literally denotes an empire - particularly a hereditary empire led by a literal emperor, though Reich has been used in German to denote the Roman Empire because it had a weak hereditary tradition. In the case of the German Empire, the official name Deutsches Reich is properly translated as "German Realm"; under its constitution the King of Prussia, as head of state, officially "presided" over a confederation of German states, and held "the title of German Emperor" in the sense of an emperor who was German, rather than emperor of a German state.
  2. ^ Statement of Abdication (1918). As translated and appearing in the 1923 Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, edited by Charles F. Horne.

Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "William II. of Germany" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 667–669.