Author Topic: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen  (Read 17041 times)

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Offline Yseult

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Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« on: October 09, 2006, 05:27:03 AM »
I´m searching for all the info available about Friedrich Wilhelm Konstantin Hermann Thassilo, last prince Hohenzollern-Hechingen.

I know he was born in 1801, at the Duchy of Sagan. He was the only son born by Pauline Biron of Courland in her unhappy marriage with Friedrich, prince Honhenzollern-Hechingen. Pauline broke up her marriage and settled in Vienna with her favourite sister, Joanna, duchess of Acerenza. I don´t know who raised up little Constantin, but I suppose that he grew up under the care of the paternal family...

He married on 1826 Hortense of Beauharnais-Leuchtenberg, a daughter of Eugene of Beauharnais, duke of Leuchtenberg, by his wife Amalie Augusta of Bavaria. Hortense was a younger sister of Josephine, crown princess and later queen of Sweeden. The couple had not children. After the death of Hortense, Konstantin married again, a morganatic marriage with Amalie Schenk von Geyern, created graffin von Rothenburg. They had two sons and one daughter: Friedrich, Wilhelm and Elisabeth. Konstantin had also a illegitimate daughter from his relationship with a woman named Sophia Scherer, Ludovika Scherer.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 06:09:38 AM by Svetabel »

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 05:22:25 PM »
Hello Yseult:

There are two books recently published in a two-volume series, both in German, entitled "Friedrich Wilhelm Constantin Der Letzte Fürst (Teil 1: Die Zeit in Hechingen und Hohenzollern)" ISBN Nr. 3-925012-40-0, and "Friedrich Wilhelm Constantin Der Letzte Fürst (Teil 2: Die Zeit in Schlesien)" ISBN Nr. 3-925012-46-X.

Both volumes include seldom seen photos, along with writings portraying Fürst Constantin in both real terms and in conjectured circumstances, i.e., psychoneurotic issues and his sexual magnetism and its subsequent decline.

From my observation, Constantin seemed to be a very good and decent man. However, along with that goodness came certain flaws that he shared with many men of his station during that period of time.

In life, Constantin had a huge hurdle to jump, which he couldn't, and that was to be portrayed with the same adoration and high esteem as his saintly first wife, Eugenie Hortense de Beauharnais.

Given the circumstances, Constantin inevitably lived a rewarding life consumed by his music and musical companions, including Berlioz, Liszt, and many other musicians and composers of the day.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 04:29:24 PM »
Wowww...the first wife, Eugenie Hortense, was an enchantress princess! Was it a good marriage?

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 05:52:42 PM »
Little is known about the intimacies of their marriage. However, both loved music and both were accomplished musicians. Both persons loved each other's family, which can be attested to by their revealed correspondence. Both persons loved the people of Hechingen. Everything I have read about Constantin points to his deep devotion and love for Eugenie. She was unable to have children, which may have diminished a clear picture of their marriage together. One thing for sure, Eugenie is held in VERY VERY high esteem by the citizens of Hechingen; so much so that I have seen prayer cards written with devotional requests made to her. She was a GREAT woman, and he was a good but little understood decent man.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 05:02:55 AM »
What about Sophie Scherer, the mother of his daughter Ludowika Sophie? And about the second wife, Amalie Sophie von Geyern?
Where he spent his childhood? Maybe in Hechingen? And he was under the care of whom? His relationship with his mother must have been not easy, since Pauline broke her ties to her husband and father of her son and fled to Vienna...

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2007, 07:06:33 PM »
Sophia Scherer was the daughter of Joseph Scherer and Theresia (geb. Wehrle) Scherer. Her father, Joseph, was the Grand Duke of Baden's Förstmeister.

It is believed that Sophia Scherer met Friedrich Wilhelm Constantin while he was a student at the University of Freiburg. After the birth of Constantin's and Sophia's illegitimate daughter, Luise, Fürst Constantin transferred to the University of Heidelberg.

Sophia Scherer and Fürst Constantin maintained a cordial lifelong relationship because of the daughter they shared.  After Sophia Scherer's marriage to Sigmund Koch in 1839, she bore a son that she and her husband named Friedrich Wilhelm Constantin Koch.

With regard to Luise it is well documented that Constantin was an active and loving father to his daughter. Luise lived nearby Constantin in Hechingen and Silesia. Fürst Constantin made sure that Luise and her family, when she married, were well taken care of financially and socially during their lifetime. As a young women Luise was referred to as "Madame Luise".

With regard to Constantin and his second marriage, I believe he was simply a lonely man who wanted a family and the children he was unfortunately unable to have during his first marriage. By this I mean no disrespect to Eugenia; she was a wonderful and loving woman who was unable to bare children.

Fürst Constantin was 49 years old when he married 18 year old Baroness Amalie Schenk von Geyern, created Countess von Rothenburg upon their marriage.

As with Eugenie who was an accomplished musician, Amalie, was an accomplished singer. Constantin's life revolved around music, conducting, composing, composers, musicians, and intimate performances.

Relative to Fürstin Pauline, the mother of Constantin, little is known of their daily interactions. It is believed that Constantin was paternally raised, but with a mother's knowledge.

It is well known that Pauline's family, the Courlands, always provided excellent financial and social care for their offspring as evidenced by the bequeath to Wilhelmine's illegitimate daughter, Vava Armfelt, Pauline's illegitimate daughter, Marie Wilson von Steinach, as well as to Constantin himself with the gifting of the estates of Sagan, Rothenburg, Löwenberg, and Hohlstein.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 04:59:29 AM »
Do you know if Constantin met his half-sister Maria Wilson von Steinach? I´m a bit confused about Maria. I have read in several places that she was the offspring of Pauline by Jules Armand Louis de Rohan-Guémené, first husband of Wilhelmine. But in some genealogies, it seems that Pauline had a liaison not with Jules Armand Louis, but with a brother named Louis Victor Meriadec.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 04:12:02 PM »
Thank you, GvE, for your help. I always thought it was more realistic a liaison between Pauline and Louis Victor Meriadec, but I was not sure cause the books stated she was the mistress of her sister´s first husband.

Marie seems a very melancholic figure at this portrait. But I assume she had a good life. It´s strange the way things turned...poor Wilhelmine was searching in vain for her true daughter Vawa, but she tried to do her best with Emilie, Marie and Clara.

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2007, 04:47:09 PM »
It´s strange the way things turned...poor Wilhelmine was searching in vain for her true daughter Vawa, but she tried to do her best with Emilie, Marie and Clara.

Oh, my! Wilhelmine was never searching for Vava, she always knew where she was. At the age of 15, Vava's real parents, Wilhelmine and Armfelt, wrote their daughter a loving letter explaining to her who her parents really were. At that time they made a wonderful gift to her of approximately 25,000 hectares [approx 62,000 acres] of property in the vacinity of Turko, Finland, which some is still owned by her descendants today. Vava was raised by Armfelt's family.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 05:01:30 PM »


Oh, my! Wilhelmine was never searching for Vava, she always knew where she was. At the age of 15, Vava's real parents, Wilhelmine and Armfelt, wrote their daughter a loving letter explaining to her who her parents really were. At that time they made a wonderful gift to her of approximately 25,000 hectares [approx 62,000 acres] of property in the vacinity of Turko, Finland, which some is still owned by her descendants today. Vava was raised by Armfelt's family.
[/quote]

So sorry, GvE: my english is not fluent, so I make a lot of mistakes and, above all, it´s never easy to express myself. For sure, Wilhelmine always knew where was her daughter Vawa. The baby was taking by the father, Gustav Armfelt. If I´m not wrong, Armfelt´s relatives took care of little Vawa. But, a lot of years later, I have read that Wilhelmine fought against wide and tide to got her daughter. She begged for the help of her second husband, Vasily Troubetskoy, who was close to emperor Alexander I. Later, she begged for the help of her lover, the chancellor Metternich. And, later, she tried to arrange the question with the tsar herself.
I have read, also, that, when Gustav Armfelt was dying at St Petersburg, his wife, Hedwig, moved to his bed with young Vawa. The tsar Alexander talked seriously not only with Hedwig, but also with Vawa. The child assured the tsar she was perfectly happy with the Armfelts and she wished not to return with her unknown mother the duchess of Sagan.

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 07:02:36 PM »
Rest assured, your English is VERY good. Regarding Vava I wouldn't doubt what you say. The fact is that Vava was the daughter of Wilhelmine and Armfelt.

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2007, 05:16:51 AM »
Rest assured, your English is VERY good. Regarding Vava I wouldn't doubt what you say. The fact is that Vava was the daughter of Wilhelmine and Armfelt.

I always thought that all the Courland´s princesses had such a strange relationship with their mother, Anna Dorothea. It´s a curious thing: a very young Wilhelmine reemplaced her own alluring mother in the bed of Gustav Armfelt; a few decades later, Dorothea caught the eye, and the heart, of Talleyrand, who had been the lover and friend of the duchess widow too.
Have your more portraits of the ladies? I mean the four princesses, but also the girls...Emilie von Gerschau, Gustava Armfelt...

PD: By the way, let me say it´s a real pleasure to have you here.

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2007, 05:12:04 PM »
I always thought that all the Courland´s princesses had such a strange relationship with their mother, Anna Dorothea. It´s a curious thing: a very young Wilhelmine reemplaced her own alluring mother in the bed of Gustav Armfelt; a few decades later, Dorothea caught the eye, and the heart, of Talleyrand, who had been the lover and friend of the duchess widow too.
Have your more portraits of the ladies? I mean the four princesses, but also the girls...Emilie von Gerschau, Gustava Armfelt...

What makes the Courland family soooo interesting [Talleyrand, Courland, Hohenzollern-Hechingen] is their intriguing and romantic relationships. It's like several good romance movies!!! Regarding more pictures, yes, I have them but they will have to wait until I can find them.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 06:10:31 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Yseult

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2007, 03:36:30 AM »
Thank you for the new pix, GvE. The one showing Vava with Mina is very cute. What do you think about Mina being the firstborn illegitimate children of Wilhelmine and Armfelt? I read it in a scandinavian site, I think. Wilhelmina Gustava Charlotta "Mina" was born in Germany, on 20 December 1798. Gustava Aspasia "Vava" was born also in Germany, on 13 January 1801.
I have my doubts. As you pointed before, when Vava was born, both her parents, Gustav and Wilhelmina, wrotte a touching letter to the children and the mother gave a good amount of money for her daughter. If Mina had been another daughter of Wilhelmina, I think the mother who loved so tenderly and took care from the distance for Vava´s welfare would have done the same for Mina.
Turning back to Pauline and Joanna...they are overshadowed by her sisters Wilhelmina and Dorothea, but they were two intriguing figures, too. During the napoleonic´s times, the two lived in Vienna but they felt so attached to the prussian cause and never understood the truce made between the austrian emperor and the corsican usurper, sealed with the marriage of Napoleon with archduchess Maria Louisa. Pauline never had her tongue quiet, and the chancellor Metternich was worried about the lack of discretion of his beloved duchess of Sagan. Do you know anything about Pauline´s live in these years?

Offline GvE

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Re: Konstantin Hohenzollern-Hechingen
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2007, 03:34:33 PM »
Regarding Pauline's life during those times, not much was written about her to my knowledge. It appears that Pauline did away with much of the personal correspondence she had. I believe she was concerned, should it be devulged, how it might be used both privately, publicly, or perhaps against her.

Regarding Mina, I believe that there are several compelling facts or reasons her descendants could list in making the case for Mina's maternal relationship to Wilhelmine. I have not read the article you eluded to, but most likely several of those reasons were then discussed. I don't believe this issue is closed at this time, but very much open to true consideration and debate.