Author Topic: German Catholic Royal Families  (Read 14506 times)

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Offline IslandDweller

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German Catholic Royal Families
« on: August 02, 2005, 01:20:09 PM »
Does anyone know off the top of their head which German royal families would have been Catholic (generally speaking)?

I believe the families of Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg were; while the families of Hanover, Hesse, Lippe and Saxe-Coburg were Protestant, officially. I assume that the families of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Schleswig-Holstein-Glucksburg would also have been Protestant.

I suppose it would just be easier to name any other Catholic families, since there definitely would have been fewer.

Thank you,
Brian A.



Offline Mischa

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005, 02:27:15 PM »
Not all branches of the Wettiner were catholic. The Kings of Saxony were but the Dukes of Sachsen-Coburg, Sachsen-Gotha, Sachsen-Hildburghausen were Protestants. The last Dukes of Sachsen-Zeitz became catholic again in the late 17th century. Both (uncle and newphew)became catholian priests and later cardinals (Great scandal at this time  ;D )
The Princes of Anhalt were Protestants.
The Hohenzollern in Prussia were Protestants but some of the other branches of the familiy were catholic. The Wittelsbachs in Bavaria were catholic, but the branches in Palatina were prostestantic or even calvinists. The royal Wittelsbach (descending from Palatina ) became catholic again with the father of the first King Maximilian I.


Michael_II

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2005, 04:07:10 PM »
The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen branch in Germany were
Catholic.

Offline IslandDweller

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2005, 06:01:29 PM »
Wow! :D

Thanks for the fast and thorough replies.

Michael_II

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2005, 06:30:12 PM »
Also the Saxe Coburg Kohary branch was catholic.

Offline IslandDweller

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2005, 08:48:08 PM »
Also the family of Isembourg-Birstein returned to Catholocism about two centuries ago. I haven't heard much of this family. According to Hugo Vickers, the family of Princess Margharita of Greece (Duke of Edinburgh's oldest sister) were hoping to make a match between her and a prince of this family. They thought they had it in the bag, even though the princess said she would NOT change her religion, but it all came to nothing.


Agneschen

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 01:50:35 AM »
The Wurtemberg family was protestant until prince Alexander married the catholic princess Marie of Orléans, daughter of the French king Louis-Philippe. Marie died in Pisa aged 25 and on her death-bed she begged her husband to convert to catholicism and to have their only son Philipp raised in this religion. As a child, Philipp spent a lot of time with his mother's family and probably felt naturally drawn toward catholicism. He later married the Austrian Archduchess Maria-Theresia thus starting the catholic branch of the House of Wurtemberg. The present head of the House, duke Karl, is one of their descendants (married to the Orléans princess Diane).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Agneschen »

Offline IslandDweller

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 06:06:35 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. :)
Also, it seems I was wrong about a detail. After doing more research, I found the Isembourg-Birstein family was "demediatized" in the Vienna Conference, which I think is a bad thing  ??? The family I was talking about is actually named von Isenburg.

Wettin

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 10:23:48 PM »
As Mischa correctly points out "Not all branches of the Wettiner were catholic." But the family of the margraves of Meissen, Dukes of Saxony stills remains catholic after August II "the strong" (1670-1733) converted in order to gain the Polish crown. According to the peace treaty Of Westphalia 1648, which ended the 30-years war, Saxony was to be a protestant state so the royal family were not allowed to show their catholicism. Therfore they built a big court church "Hofkirche" so that they could hold their processions indoors on catholic feasts. They also built a covered bridge between the royal palace and the Hofkirche. The history of the catholic house of Wettin is very interesting, but it doesn´t belong to these pages since they weren´t intermarried with the Romanovs. They mostly married with other catholic royal house e.g. Bavaria, Toscany, Thurn und Taxis etc. They were very antinazi and practically ever male member who had come of age was put into concentration camp by the nazis. Prince George, who was the last crown prince renounced all his rights and became a jesuit priest. He helped a lot of jews and antinazists to hide or flee. During WWII he was found  drowned in a lake at Berlin. King Johan was a very good  classicist and called himself Philalethes ( classical greek for "a lover of truth"). His translation of Dante´s la Divina Commedia to German is still a standard work. The present Margrave of Meissen has a very catholic name Maria Emanuel. He´s married to a princess of the catholic branch of Anhalt. But unfortunately they havn´t got any offspring. [Providentiae Memor

Wettin

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 10:25:48 PM »
As Mischa correctly points out "Not all branches of the Wettiner were catholic." But the family of the margraves of Meissen, Dukes of Saxony stills remains catholic after August II "the strong" (1670-1733) converted in order to gain the Polish crown. According to the peace treaty Of Westphalia 1648, which ended the 30-years war, Saxony was to be a protestant state so the royal family were not allowed to show their catholicism. Therfore they built a big court church "Hofkirche" so that they could hold their processions indoors on catholic feasts. They also built a covered bridge between the royal palace and the Hofkirche. The history of the catholic house of Wettin is very interesting, but it doesn´t belong to these pages since they weren´t intermarried with the Romanovs. They mostly married with other catholic royal house e.g. Bavaria, Toscany, Thurn und Taxis etc. They were very antinazi and practically ever male member who had come of age was put into concentration camp by the nazis. Prince George, who was the last crown prince renounced all his rights and became a jesuit priest. He helped a lot of jews and antinazists to hide or flee. During WWII he was found  drowned in a lake at Berlin. King Johan was a very good  classicist and called himself Philalethes ( classical greek for "a lover of truth"). His translation of Dante´s la Divina Commedia to German is still a standard work. The present Margrave of Meissen has a very catholic name Maria Emanuel. He´s married to a princess of the catholic branch of Anhalt. But unfortunately they havn´t got any offspring.

Offline cimbrio

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2005, 01:20:51 PM »
I know they're not strictly a German Royal Family, but the Royal House of Liechtenstein is Catholic, and still in power; in fact it's the only German-speaking monarchy in the world left today. As far as I can see, the following royal families are or were Catholic (bear in mind that several families broke up into several different branches; nonetheless I'll try to jot down the more prominent Catholic Royal Families):

-Royal House of Bavaria (the Wittelsbachs were Catholics, including the main branch of Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken and the lesser politically-prominent but nonetheless famous branch of the Dukes in Bavaria, to which Empress Elizabeth Sissi and the Duchess of Alençon belonged).

-Royal House of Liechtenstein (the history of this tiny nation started as late as 1719, and it allied itself with Austria's Royal Family till the Habsburg-Lorraines were overthrown in 1918. After then, the country allied itself with neutral Switzerland, and the pact is still standing today).

-House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (Catholic/Evangelical, they're a branch of the Wittelsbachs,).

-House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (are Catholic)

-The Württemberg Royal Family, despite being from southern Germany like the Habsburgs, Wittelsbachs or others, are Protestant since the reformation, and Duke Charles Alexander (1733-37) had become a Catholic in 1712, when a general in the Austrian army, before he ascended the throne; he was succeeded in the government successively by his sons, also Catholics: Duke Charles Eugene (1737-93), a despot, spendthrift, and profligate, Duke Louis Eugene (1793-95), and Duke Frederick Eugene (1795-97). The last-named duke married a Prussian princess, and, through the influence of Frederick the Great of Prussia, permitted his children to be brought up as Protestants. The succession of Protestant rulers began with Duke Frederick II (1797-1816), who was made King of Würtemberg in 1805 and after that was called Frederick I. On the death of the present king the Protestant line becomes extinct. The succession to the throne is in a collateral branch descended from Duke Alexander (d. 1833), a brother of the first King of Würtemberg. The son of this Alexander, also named Alexander (d. 1881), married a Catholic princess of the Orleans family and allowed his children to be brought up as Catholics. The heir to the throne is a grandson of this latter Alexander, Duke Albert (b. 1865), or, in case of his death, his son Duke Philip Albert (b. 1893). In 1898 a law bearing upon the Catholic succession to the throne was enacted, which regulated the relations of a Catholic king to the Protestant State Church.

-Royal House of Baden: Margrave Christopher I of Baden (1475-1527) had in 1503 united all the family territory, but the division in 1533 between his two sons Bernhard III and Ernest separated the margravate into two parts which were not reunited until 1771. Bernhard received the Margravate of Baden-Baden, and his brother the Margravate of BadenDurlach. A part of the population of Baden-Baden had already adopted the new teachings, but at the death of Bernhard III (1536), Duke Albert V of Bavaria, the guardian of Bernhard's son, Philip II, brought the country back to the Catholic Faith. Philip himself (1569-88), who had been educated by the Jesuits at Ingolstadt, was a vigorous opponent of the new teaching.

The Baden-Durlach branch of the family laid claim to Baden-Baden during the reign of Philip's successor, Edward Fortunatus, (1588-1600), occupied a part of the country until 1622, and introduced the Reformation. Margrave William (1622-77), however, after many reverses, succeeded with the aid of the Catholic party in the Empire in gaining the undisputed mastery of the margravate. Aided in an especial manner by the Jesuits and Capuchins, for whom he established houses, he brought the Protestant part of the country back to the Catholic Faith. His successor, Louis William (1677-1707), rendered many services to the Church and the Empire in fighting against the Turks (1683) and the French. Louis William, his wife, Augusta Sibylla, as regent for their son Louis George (1707-61), and the last named in his turn notably furthered the interests of the Church of Baden. With the death of Augustus George (1761-71), who by papal dispensation had left the ecclesiastical state, and who founded many religious institutions, the line of Baden-Baden became extinct, and the succession fell to the Baden-Durlach branch. Margrave Ernest (1527-53) of Baden-Durlach had favored the Reformation, and his son Charles II (1553-77) soon established the Reformation in his domains. After this time the Protestant religion remained dominant in the land of Baden-Durlach and its supremacy was not affected even by the reconciliation to the Church of James III, third son of Charles II, as James's death followed soon upon his conversion (1690). The most noted of the Baden-Durlach rulers were: Frederick V (1622-59), who founded many schools; Frederick VI (1659-77), who distinguished himself by his devotion to the emperor and the Empire; Charles William (1709-38), who in 1715 established the present capital of Karlsruhe, greatly improved the finances and the administration of justice, and zealously promoted the interests of the schools. His grandson Charles Frederick (1738-1811), during is long reign introduced salutary reforms in all parts of his territory, thus raising his country from the level of a petty principality to the rank of one of the greater central states of the German Empire. The extinction of the Baden-Baden branch greatly increased his possessions, which were still further enlarged by the political changes resulting from the French Revolution. In 1796 Charles Frederick was forced to surrender to France his possessions on the left bank of the Rhine, but was amply compensated by the Imperial Delegates' Enactment (1803). He received the Diocese of Constance, that part of the Rhine Palatinate lying on the right bank of the river, including the cities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, etc., parts of the Dioceses of Strasburg and Speyer, eleven religious houses and abbeys, and seven cities of the empire. By the Peace of Pressburg (1805), and the accession of Baden to the Confederation of the Rhine (1806), Baden was still further enlarged by the former possessions of Austria in the Breisgau, the city of Constance, and other territories, whereby substantially the present boundaries were established. On 13 August, 1806, Baden was proclaimed a Grand duchy. The enforced participation of the duchy in the campaigns of Napoleon resulted in heavy loss of life and property. During the reign of Grand Duke Louis II (1852-56), whose brother Frederick held the regency until 1856, when he himself succeeded to the title, the Government and the representatives of the Catholic Church, who had been at odds for a long time, came into open conflict. The revolutions of the Napoleonic period had shaken the organization of the Church in Germany to its very foundations. In the modern Grand duchy of Baden, as it existed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, two-thirds of the population professed the Catholic religion.The relations between the Catholic Church and the Government are not entirely satisfactory, as is evident from the historical account, the State often exercising an excessive control. According to the legislation now in force, the Roman Catholic Church in Baden possesses the right of a public corporation with the formation of religious societies. The Church conducts its affairs freely and independently.

I'll post about the Wettins later on.

Regards :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by cimbrio »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2005, 01:31:07 PM »
Some of the Coburgs were Catholic, at least in the countries that they came to reign in- Portugal, Belgium & Bulgaria
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Offline La_Rainha

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2006, 09:54:54 AM »
The Prussian Hohenzollern were protestants,
also the grandducal families of
Mecklenburg- Strelitz
Mecklenburg - Schwerin
Royal Family Würtemberg
Baden
Sachsen - Meiningen
Sachen - Hildburghausen
Oldenburg
Schleswig Holstein

The Royal Families of
Sachsen
Bavaria
were catholics!

Specially the saxionian Royal Family was extremly deep religious! The family converted under "August den Starken" from protestantism to catholism, so thart August could be King of Poland!
Even if the most people in Sachsen were protestants, the King was catholic and went every morning with his hole family to the "Hofkirche". In the afternoon, they studied the bible! The princesses of Sachsen had the call, being nuns without living in a monastry! The oldest son of the last saxonian King war Jesuit priest!


Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2010, 03:52:32 PM »
Specially the saxionian Royal Family was extremly deep religious!
I've read that the devout Catholicism of the Saxon royal family alienated them from their Protestant subjects in the 19th century. (Or more precisely, alienated the Protestant population from the Catholic court, as the royal family surrounded themselves with a coterie of Catholic nobles.) Does anybody know if this is true? Or was any "alienation" just as much due to Saxony becoming one of the most industrialized and politically radical areas in the German Empire?

Württemberg and Baden are indeed interesting, also religiously: While having a Catholic Duke caused a great commotion in strictly Protestant Old Württemberg in the 18th century, the prospect of a Catholic monarch only seems fair (in retrospect) in the enlarged Kingdom of Württemberg in the 20th century. Baden, with two-thirds Catholics and Protestant grand dukes seems almost as bizarre as Saxony, but then the Grand Duchy of Baden was indeed a bizarre creation. And how did those Wittelsbachs manage it: Becoming both the champions of Catholicism in Germany, after they had been the champions of Calvinism, as Electors Palatine! And by the way, how is it possibly to make a wine-growing region like the Palatinate something so spartan and puritan as Calvinist? That's a mystery on par with the water-to-wine stuff!

It's also fascinating to single out those Protestant houses which were Calvinist or Reformed:
- The Hohenzollerns (Calvinist rulers in a Lutheran land)
- The Lippes? (If so it fits very well that they married into the only currently reigning reformed house: Orange-Nassau. (Unless you count Elizabeth II's religiously bipolar, Scottish persona).
- The Solms (again links to the Orange-Nassaus, just like the Hohenzollerns, by the way)
- The Ascanians of Anhalt? (The close Hohenzollern links point in that direction)
- The Hesse-Kassels
- The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgs? (Very Pietistic at one point, at least.)
- The Wittelsbachs as Electors Palatine

Firmly Lutheran were the Oldenburgs (both in Denmark, Oldenburg and Schlewig-Holstein), the Mecklenburgs, the Hesse-Darmstadts, and the Württembergs.
I am unsure about the Zähringers in Baden and the Nassau-Weilburgs (before they became Catholic Grand Dukes of Luxembourg.)