Princess Herzeleide of Prussia

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Princess Herzeleide
Princess of Courland
Born (1918-12-25)25 December 1918
Bristow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Died 22 March 1989(1989-03-22) (aged 70)
Munich, Germany
Burial Nordfriedhof, Munich, Germany
Spouse Karl, Prince Biron of Courland
Issue Princess Benigna
Ernst-Johann Biron, Prince of Courland
Prince Michael
Full name
German: Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else
House Hohenzollern
Father Prince Oskar of Prussia
Mother Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz
Prussian royalty
House of Hohenzollern
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
Wilhelm II
Prince Wilhelm
Prince Louis Ferdinand
Prince Hubertus
Prince Frederick
Prince Alexander Ferdinand
Princess Alexandrine
Prince Oskar
Princess Victoria Marina
Prince Karl Franz
Prince Burchard
Princess Cecilie
Princess Victoria Marina
Herzeleide, Princess of Courland
Prince Wilhem Victor
Prince Wilhelm-Karl

Princess Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else of Prussia (25 December 1918 – 22 March 1989) was a member of the deposed House of Hohenzollern.[1] She was the only daughter of Prince Oskar of Prussia, the second from the youngest son of Emperor Wilhelm II, and his wife Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz. She is the mother of Ernst-Johann Biron, Prince of Courland, the current head of the House of Biron.


Family and early life[edit]

Princess Herzeleide with her parents and brothers, c. 1925.

Countess Herzeleide von Ruppin was born on Christmas Day 1918, shortly after the fall of the German Empire and the collapse of the monarchy. She was consequently given the name Herzeleide because it meant "heart's sorrow".[2] Herzeleide had three brothers: Princes Oscar, Burchard, and Wilhelm-Karl. Herzeleide and her brothers became Prince/Princess of Prussia on 21 June 1920 when their parents marriage was recognised as dynastic by the deposed Emperor Wilhelm II.

In early 1938, Herzeleide was one of three bridesmaids at the wedding of Crown Prince Paul of Greece to Frederica of Hanover, her first cousin.[3]

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 15 August 1938 in Potsdam Garrison Church, nineteen-year-old Herzeleide married thirty-one-year-old Karl Biron, Prince of Courland.[1][2][4][5] Karl was the eldest son and heir of Prince Gustav Biron of Courland, descendants of von Bühren family that obtained the Duchy of Courland by marriage in the 18th century. Along with the bride and groom's parents in attendance were former German Crown Prince Wilhelm, along with Emperor Wilhelm's consort, Hermine Reuss of Greiz.[2] Herzeleide wore a white silk gown with a headdress trimmed with myrtle, while all the male guests wore uniforms of the former German army.[4] The couple planned to stop at Doorn on their honeymoon to visit Emperor Wilhelm.[2][4]

They had three children:

  • Princess Benigna Biron of Courland (b. 2 July 1939) married to Johannes Christoph Robert Baron von Twickel on 3 May 1968
    • Nikolaus Maximilian Ludwig Karl Ernst-Johann Maria Baron von Twickel (b. 1 Apr 1969)
    • Tassilo Heinrich Alexander Baron von Twickel (b. 8 Dec 1976)
  • Ernst-Johann, Prince Biron of Courland (b. 6 August 1940)
  • Prince Michael Karl August Wilhelm Biron of Courland (b. 20 January 1944) married to Kristin von Oertzen on July 1, 1969
    • Princess Veronika Biron of Courland (b. 23 Jan 1970)
    • Prince Alexander Biron of Courland (b. 18 Sep 1972)
    • Princess Stephanie Biron of Courland (b. 24 Sep 1975)

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 25 December 1918 – 21 June 1920: Countess Herzeleide von Ruppin
  • 21 June 1920 – 15 August 1938: Her Royal Highness Princess Herzeleide of Prussia
  • 15 August 1938 – 1982: Her Royal Highness Herzeleide, Princess Biron of Courland
  • 1982 - 22 March 1989: Her Royal Highness Herzeleide, Dowager Princess Biron of Courland



  1. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Herzeleide-Ina-Marie Sophie Charlotte Else Prinzessin von Preußen". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Princess Herzeleide Married in Potsdam; Granddaughter of Ex-Kaiser Wed to Prince de Courland", The New York Times, Potsdam, Germany, 17 August 1938 
  3. ^ "Greek Royal Family", The Irish Times, 10 January 1938 
  4. ^ a b c "Court & Personal; Wedding of Ex-Kaiser's Granddaughter", The Manchester Guardian, 17 August 1938 
  5. ^ Eilers Koenig, Marlene. "Princess Herzeleide marries". Royal Musings. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 

External links[edit]