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Messages - Eutropius

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Mediatized Noble Families / Re: "Mediatized" - what is it?
« on: February 02, 2010, 04:54:02 PM »
I know the Schleswig-Holsteins weren't technically a ruling family.  But they were often treated as such and were added to the line of succession for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg.  Their were almost two cases in that family:
Prince Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein was married Countess Ortrud zu Isenburg-Buedingen in Meerholz in 1906. 
I remember reading in one of John C. G. Roehl's books that Kaiser Wilhelm tried to encourage his infamous brother-in-law Ernst Guenther to marry a Countess v. Schlitz gen. v. Goertz as well...

I think that maybe one way to think about the ebenbuertigkeit and mediatized houses is that no other sovereign house would question the dynasticity of another sovereign house's marriage to one of the mediatized houses.  I think to some extent, the choice to allow these marriages was left to the individual heads of each house. 

You're right Marc.  They must be, if they are making those marriages. I just have never read a word about them or seen a photograph of any member of the family.  But perhaps I haven't really looked that hard.

The Electoral line of the Hessen-Kassels seems to have had more than it's fair share of marital shenanigans. The last Elector comes off as quite greedy and tyrannical.  His behavior towards his subjects and his mother are quite appalling.  His wife, Princess Hanau seems to been more than a little mercenary.  I can't help but feel a little sorry for the Hanau offspring.  They might have been perfectly decent princes, but their parents' behavior and their ill-gotten wealth may have have made them a bit unpopular.  I wonder if they are involved in aristocratic circles today?

I tried to read through translated versions of the German wikipedia pages on the Hanau family.  From what Tainyi Soventik said, it does not sound like Prince William's first marriage was a love match.  I'm not sure about the second marriage....

It sounds like the Elector tried to establish ebenbuertigkeit for his Hanau offspring, but the experiment failed.  The rest of his sons married commoners.  It looks as if the Hanau family fell off the face of the earth once the Elector died.  The idea of establishing ebenbuertigkeit requirements for a morganatic dynasty does seem a bit comical, but I suppose there was a general attitude that princely titles come with certain expected behaviors (i.e. suitable marriages).  The morganatic princely houses seem to have been held to expectations similar to those of mediatized houses.  The Battenbergs had these expectations themselves (think Prince Alexander v. Battenberg and Johanna Loisinger). 

Interesting anecdote about the last Hanau daugher, Princess Marie.

From these interesting scholarly articles:
Velde, François. "Morganatic and Unequal Marriages in German Law." Heraldica. 06/07/2007. Web. 02/02/2009. <>.
Velde, François. "House Laws of Schaumburg-Lippe." Heraldica. 12/02/2005. Web. 02/02/2009. <>.

She married her distant cousin Prince Wilhelm of Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld in 1857.  According to Mr. Velde's article: "Morganatic and Unequal Marriages in German Law," "This marriage was (at least initially) considered equal..." They had a number of children and then divorced.  Her father, the Elector, died and then relatives starting popping out of the woodwork to reject her children's status as dynastic Hessian princes.  She and her children then took the title Prince(ss) von Ardeck. 

Her daughter, Princess Luise von Ardeck married Count Rudolf von Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1889.  According to Mr. Velde's linked article "House Laws of Schaumburg-Lippe," during the Lippe succession dispute the equality of this marriage was questioned as well!  It was later accepted. 

The German sovereign houses were very strict on only allowing dynastic marriage to other Christian sovereign houses or to mediatized houses.  However, they generally had a very laissez faire attitude towards the marital behavior of the mediatized houses and foreign sovereign houses.  It's rather interesting. 

Thanks for sharing that information Tainyi Sevatnik.  The Hanaus were an interesting family.  It's interesting to compare them to the Battenbergs, who were certainly more prominent and successful.  I wonder if Queen Victoria ever mention the Hanaus in her letters?  I get the impression that the Hanaus were less respectable than the Battenbergs.  I believe the first Princess Hanau was a divorcee, which was frowned upon.  Count Ysenburg-Büdingen-Wächtersbach certainly sounds a bit disturbed.  But as you mentioned, the Elector seems to have been interested in marrying his daughters to the highest ranking princes he could find.  Princesses Auguste and Alexandrine must have posed a bit of challenge, having been born out of wedlock.

It's interesting how two of the Elector's granddaughters, Luise zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen and and Gerta zu Ysenburg-Büdingen-Wächtersbach, were accepted as marriage partners by German sovereign houses.  They could not provide the necessary noble quarterings that were demanded at many courts.  But maybe all that mattered was their membership in a mediatized house.  I suppose that money and/or good looks must have also helped.

Here is a link for Volume 1

Here is a link for Volume 2

Underneath the blue button saying "Read this book," you will see Download: PDF.  Click on PDF

The photos of Louise and her son are on pg. 507 of the PDF for Volume 2 (the image says Pg. 818 of the single book).

I'm a little bit paranoid about posting photographs, as I don't want to violate any copyright laws.  But if anyone is interested, there are photographs of Princess Luise and her son Prince Karl Alexander zu Waldeck und Pyrmont in:

Die souveränen Fürstenhäuser Europas: Porträtsammlung nebst genealogischen Notizen, Volume 2, by Frederik Ulrik Graf von Wrangel.  

You can search for the title of this book in google books and download it for free in PDF format!  It's a wonderful resource, full of small photographs of nineteenth century royals.

I am curious about Princess (Marie) Luise zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen (1867-1945).  She seems to have had an interesting life!

She was daughter of Prince Felix zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen (1818-1900) and his wife, Princess Alexandrine von Hanau (1830-1871), daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Hessen.  Luise was first married in 1886 to a much older widower, Prince Albrecht zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1841-1897), who had children by his first marriage.  They had three children together, 2 of whom died in infancy, and one son, Prince Karl Alexander who met an untimely death at the age of 19 in 1910.  Based on her children and first husband's death birth and death information, I would imagine they lived primarily in Germany.  I wonder why her son Karl Alexander died?  Were there genetic issues involved with the deaths of their children? 

Somewhere around September (I'm guessing) of 1913 (at the age of 46!), she became pregnant again.  In December of 1913, she married the 33 year old George Granville Hope-Johnstone in Vierfontein, South Africa.  He was from an aristocratic Scottish noble family (who today are the Clan Chiefs of Clan Johnstone and the Earls of Annandale and Hartfell in the peerage of Scotland).  According to The Peerage website, he lived in Johannesburg, South Africa.  In June 1914, right as WWI was beginning, she gave birth to a son in Serfontein, South Africa, who was named William Augustus Ludwig Vernon Alexander Hope-Johnstone.  He was known as Vernon.  Sometime in 1915, Luise and George divorced.  I wonder where Luise and George met?  I wonder why they divorced?  Was it merely a marriage of temporary convenience or did WWI tear them apart?  I wonder where their son was raised and who had custody of him?

George died in 1938 in Nottingham, England.  Luise died in 1945 outside of Munich, Germany.  This means that they both left South Africa.  Their son Vernon Hope-Johnstone (1914-1993), went on to serve in the British military during WWII and was a Major-General in the Grenadier Guards.  He married the niece of the 10th Duke of Devonshire and has surviving issue.

I wonder what his relationship was like with his mother?  Were they estranged when she died in 1945?  It seems like Princess Luise had an interesting and often tragic life.  At 43, she had outlived her husband and all of her children.  She then moves to South Africa, marries again, and has another son, only to be torn from him by war....   I wonder how her family and her first husband's family reacted to her remarriage?

Here is an article from the New York Times, that mentions George Granville Hope-Johnstone....   I wonder if this is the same man?

I wonder if anyone has any other information about Luise and her life?  Does anyone else find this story intriguing?  Please correct any information that I've gotten wrong.

If you search for "Herzogin Nikolaus von Wuerttemberg" in Google Books, you will find a link for the following book:

Das herzogliche Haus Württemberg zu Carlsruhe in Schlesien by Friedrich Carl Esbach. 

Here below is the direct link to the book from my search:

If you click on the link, pg. 135 shows a photograph labeled "Wilhelmine Eugenia, Herzogin Nikolaus von Wuerttemberg (1844-1892)."  On pg. 133, there appears to be a photograph of the Duke and Duchess as well. 

I hope this helps.

Mediatized Noble Families / Re: Hohenlohe-Langenburg
« on: May 27, 2008, 09:15:19 PM »
Thank you for sharing this information Arturo.  It's always fascinating to learn more about the personalities behind names and pictures. 

The Imperial Family / Re: The Imperial Family and Italy
« on: April 19, 2007, 12:02:07 PM »
I remember reading that Queen Elena of Italy arranged for Pr Ioann Konstantinovich and Princess Helena of Serbia (her niece) to meet in Italy.  They had a brief courtship and became engaged.

edit: niece not grandniece

The Habsburgs / Re: Holy Roman Emperor Matthias
« on: April 07, 2007, 08:35:33 PM »
I've read that another candidate was Maria de' Medici, who later married Henri IV, King of France.  I can't quite recall the source for this.  I will try to find it.

Was Prince Sixtus's marriage to Hedwige de La Rochefoucauld initially considered equal/dynastic by Duke Elias?  Or was concession granted later, like in the case of Prince Xavier's marriage?  The Almanach de Gotha from 1933 shows it to be dynastic, but I'm not sure if it's credible.... because it also shows Prince Xavier's marriage to Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset as being dynastic, which if I remember correctly, was only conceded much later by Duke Robert.

Thanks in advance.

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: Scottish Succession
« on: October 23, 2006, 01:03:23 AM »
If Mary had died at birth or during childhood, she would (most probably) have been succeeded by her father's second cousin, James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (c.1519-1575).

He was the son of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran (d. 1529) and his second wife, Janet Beaton.  His paternal grandmother, Mary Stewart (c. 1450-c. 1488) was the daughter of King James II.  The validity of his parents marriage was questioned, but the Scottish Parliament declared him Heir presumptive  in 1543(after King James V's death).  Arran was made Governor of Scotland and ruled the war-torn country until 1554, when he surrendered the governorship to Marie de Guise.  He was nicknamed the "Inconstant Governor," because he frequently changed his mind.  He shifted Scotland's political alliances and even his own religion when he felt it was necessary.  No one trusted him much.

If the 1st Earl of Arran's second marriage had been found invalid, the Scottish throne might have gone to Matthew Stuart, 13th Earl of Lennox (1516-1571).  His paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Hamilton was the sister of the 1st Earl of Arran, and thus the granddaughter of King James II.  Lennox hated Arran.  He had strong royal ambitions and wanted the governorship for himself.  He married Lady Margaret Douglas, Henry VIII's niece, in a bid for English support.  (Their son Lord Darnley ended up marrying Mary)

source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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