William II of Württemberg
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|King of Württemberg|
|Reign||6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918|
25 February 1848|
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
|Died||2 October 1921
Bebenhausen, Württemberg, Weimar Republic
|Spouse||Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe
|Issue||Pauline, Princess of Wied
|Father||Prince Frederick of Württemberg|
|Mother||Princess Catherine of Württemberg|
William II (German Wilhelm II) (25 February 1848 in Stuttgart – 2 October 1921 in Bebenhausen) was the last King of Württemberg. He ruled from 6 October 1891 until the abolition of the kingdom on 30 November 1918.
Frederick was born the son of Prince Frederick of Württemberg (1808–1870) by his wife Princess Catherine Frederica of Württemberg (1821–1898), herself the daughter of King William I of Württemberg (1781–1864). His parents were first cousins, being the children of two brothers, and Frederick was their only child.
Frederick's growing years coincided with a progressive diminishment of Württemberg's sovereignty and international presence, concomitant with the process of German unification. In 1870, Württemberg took the side of Prussia in the Franco-German War. In 1871, Württemberg became a State of the German Reich, a significant limitation on its sovereignty.
King of Württemberg
Frederick's father died in 1870, but his mother lived to see him seated on the throne of Württemberg. In 1891, William succeeded his childless maternal uncle, King Charles I (1823–1891) and became King of Württemberg. This was not, as it may seem, a departure from the Salic law which governed succession in the German states; his claim to the throne came because he was the nearest agnatic heir of his maternal uncle, as the senior male-line descendant of Frederick I of Württemberg through his younger son Prince Paul.
King William became a Generalfeldmarschall during World War I. In 1918, he was deposed from the throne along with the other German rulers. King William finally abdicated on 30 November 1918. He died in 1921 at Bebenhausen.
Personality and interests
Considered to be a popular monarch, Frederick had the habit of walking his two dogs in public parks in Stuttgart without being attended by bodyguards or the like. During these excursions, he would often be greeted by his subjects with a simple Herr König ("Mister King").
Despite living in a landlocked kingdom, William II was a ship enthusiast. The king was instrumental in the establishment of the Württembergischer Yacht Club (formerly "Königlich Württembergischer Yacht-Club" or Royal Yacht Club of Württemberg) in 1911 on Lake Constance.
Marriages and children
- Princess Pauline of Württemberg (19 December 1877 – 7 May 1965); married in 1898 William Frederick, Prince of Wied (1872–1945), and had issue.
- Prince Ulrich of Württemberg (28 July 1880 – 28 December 1880), died in infancy
- A stillborn daughter (24 April 1882)
Marie died on 30 April 1882 in Stuttgart, from complications resulting from the birth of her third child. William, already depressed by the death of his only son, is said never to have recovered from this blow.
- 25 February 1848 – 25 June 1864:His Royal Highness Prince William of Württemberg
- 25 June 1864 – 6 October 1891: His Royal Highness Crown Prince William of Württemberg
- 6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918:His Majesty The King of Württemberg
- 30 November 1918 – 2 October 1921:His Majesty King William II of Württemberg
Decorations and awards
- Awards of Württemberg
- Grand Master of the following Orders:
- Foreign awards
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austria)
- Knight of the Order of the Garter (United Kingdom) – Expelled in 1915
- Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Kingdom of Italy)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph (Kingdom of Bavaria)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of St. Henry (Kingdom of Saxony)
- Pour le Mérite (German Empire)
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William II of WürttembergBorn: 25 February 1848 Died: 2 October 1921
|King of Württemberg
|Titles in pretence|
|Loss of title
||— TITULAR —
King of Württemberg
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918