Author Archives: Scott

Royal News: Friday 26 May 2017

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Royal News: Thursday 25 May 2017

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Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe, Queen of Württemberg

photo: Von Andreas Faessler – Eigenes Werk, CC-BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39455299

Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe, Queen of Württemberg

Princess Charlotte Marie Luise Ida Hermine Mathilde of Schaumburg-Lippe was the second wife of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, and the country’s last Queen. She was born on September 10, 1864 at Schloss Ratiborschitz in Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), to Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Bathildis of Anhalt-Dessau, and had seven younger siblings:

Charlotte was raised primarily at Schloss Náchod, the family’s estate in Náchod (now in the Czech Republic), and showed a great interest in sports and hunting, in addition to the more traditional music and art.

King Wilhelm II of Württemberg. source: Wikipedia

At 22 years old, Charlotte married the then-Crown Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg on April 8, 1886. Wilhelm had been widowed four years earlier and had a young daughter. Despite hoping that this new marriage might produce a male heir, Charlotte and Wilhelm had no children of their own.

In October 1891, Charlotte became Queen of Württemberg when her husband succeeded to the throne. The couple took up residence at the Wilhelmspalais in Stuttgart. As Queen, Charlotte didn’t enjoy the same popularity that her husband did. Much of this is her unwillingness to carry out her public role in the way that was expected of her by the people of Württemberg. She much preferred more private events, and after some time, stopped accompanying her husband on many official events.

source: Wikipedia

Despite this, Charlotte took on the charity work which was expected of her, assuming the role in several organizations vacated by her predecessor. Causes of most interest to her involved the health and welfare of women, and she was most willing to use her royal position to bring support and attention to them.

When the monarchy came to an end in 1918, King Wilhelm II negotiated with the new German state to ensure that he and his wife would receive an annual income, as well as a residence for life – Schloss Bebenhausen. The two retired to Bebenhausen, where Wilhelm died in 1921. Queen Charlotte remained there, going by the title Duchess of Württemberg, for another 25 years.

Having suffered a stroke which confined her to a wheelchair two years earlier, Queen Charlotte died at Schloss Bebenhausen on July 16, 1946. With little pomp or ceremony, she was quietly buried beside her husband in the Old Cemetery on the grounds of Ludwigsburg Palace.

In addition to having been the last Queen of Württemberg, Charlotte held the distinction of being the last living Queen from any of the German states.

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Royal News: Tuesday 23 May 2017

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Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont, first wife of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg

source: Wikipedia

Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont, first wife of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg

Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont was the first wife of Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg, who later reigned as King Wilhelm II. She was born Georgine Henriette Marie on May 23, 1857 in Arolsen, the third daughter of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Princess Helena of Nassau. Marie had six siblings:

Wilhelm of Württemberg. source: Wikipedia

On February 15, 1877 in Arolsen, Marie married Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg, the son of Prince Friedrich of Württemberg and Princess Katherina of Württemberg (a daughter of King Wilhelm I). They had two children:

Princess Marie’s grave at the Old Cemetery, Ludwigsburg Palace. photo: Von peter schmelzle – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18585848

On April 24, 1882, Marie gave birth to a stillborn daughter and suffered serious complications from childbirth. She died six days later, on April 30, 1882. She is buried in the Old Cemetery on the grounds of Ludwigsburg Palace.

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Royal News: Sunday 21 May 2017

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Royal News: Friday 19 May 2017

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Wilhelm II, King of Württemberg

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Wilhelm II, King of Württemberg

King Wilhelm II was the last King of Württemerg, reigning from 1891 until the abolishment of the monarchy in 1918. He was born Wilhelm Karl Paul Heinrich Friedrich on February 25, 1848, the only child of Prince Friedrich of Württemberg, a grandson of King Friedrich I of Württemberg, and Princess Katherina Friederike of Württemberg, a daughter of King Wilhelm I of Württemberg.

He studied law, political science and finance at the University of Tübingen and the University of Göttingen, and also served in the Prussian army. As his uncle, King Karl, was childless, Wilhelm was raised with the expectation that he would one day become King himself.

Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont. source: Wikipedia

Wilhelm’s first wife was Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the daughter of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Princess Helena of Nassau. The couple married in Arolsen on February 15, 1877, and had two children:

On April 30, 1882, Princess Marie died as a result of complications from giving birth several days earlier to a stillborn daughter. Having already lost his young son, Wilhelm was devastated, and from most accounts never fully recovered from these two losses. However, with a young daughter, and hoping for a male heir, Wilhelm soon married for a second time.

Princess Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe. source: Wikipedia

His second wife was Princess Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe, who he married in Bückeburg on April 8, 1886. Charlotte was the daughter of Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Bathildis of Anhalt-Dessau. They had no children.

Wilhelm became King on October 6, 1891 upon the death of King Karl. By then, Württemberg was part of the German Empire, although it retained its status as a Kingdom. The King was much-loved by his people, and respected for his more down-to-earth nature. He was often seen walking his dogs in the streets of Stuttgart, unaccompanied, and greeting all those he met along the way.

King Wilhelm II with Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, c1909. source: Wikipedia

His reign came to an end in November 1918, after the fall of the German Empire led to the abdications of all of the ruling families. Before formally abdicating, Wilhelm negotiated with the new government to receive an annual income for himself and his wife, and also retained Schloss Bebenhausen, where the couple lived for the remainder of their lives.

source: Wikipedia

The last King of Württemberg died at Schloss Bebenhausen on October 2, 1921. He is buried in the Old Cemetery on the grounds of Ludwigsburg Palace.

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Olga Nikolaevna of Russia, Queen of Württemberg

source: Wikipedia

Olga Nikolaevna of Russia, Queen of Württemberg

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia was the wife of King Karl I of Württemberg. She was born in St. Petersburg on September 11, 1822 to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Princess Charlotte of Prussia, and had six siblings:

Crown Prince Karl, c1851. source: Wikipedia

In January 1846, Olga met her future husband, Crown Prince Karl of Württemberg, while both were in Palermo, Two Sicilies. Karl was the son of King Wilhelm I of Württemberg and Duchess Pauline of Württemberg. After just a few times together, Karl proposed on January 18 and Olga accepted. They were married in a lavish ceremony at the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 13, 1846. They had no children of their own, but in 1863, took in Olga’s niece, Grand Duchess Vera Constantinovna, the daughter of Olga’s brother Konstantin. They later formally adopted Vera in 1871. It is believed by many that Karl was gay, which contributed to their not having any children together. Whether true or not, it is a fact that he had very close relationships with several men, some of which caused significant public outcry and scandal.

From the time she arrived in Württemberg, Olga threw herself into charity work, focusing on the education of girls, and helping wounded soldiers and handicapped people. After becoming Queen in 1864, she continued to support these, and many other causes, earning her the utmost respect and devotion of the people of Württemberg.

Queen Olga (left), with two ladies-in-waiting and a reader (possibly her husband’s chamberlain and reputed lover, Charles Woodcock), c1885. photo: Wikipedia

Aside from her charity work, Queen Olga also had several other interests. One of these was a significant interest in natural science, and she amassed an extensive collection of minerals which was later left to the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart. She also, in 1881, wrote a memoir – The Golden Dream of My Youth – about her childhood and life in Russia up until the time of her marriage. She was also particularly interested in natural science, and amassed an extensive collection of minerals which was later left to the State Museum for Nature in Stuttgart.

The Altes Palais (Old Castle) in Stuttgart. photo: By BuzzWoof – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3869267

Just a year after her husband’s death, Dowager Queen Olga died on October 30, 1892 at Schloss Friedrichshafen (link in German), in Friedrichshafen, Württemberg. She is buried alongside her husband in the crypt below the Schlosskirche at the Old Castle (Altes Palais) in Stuttgart.

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Royal News: Tuesday 16 May 2017

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