Friday, 17 September 2010

At the road’s end: Friedrich Wilhelm, the Prince of Hohenzollern (1924-2010)

German media reports the death yesterday of the Prince (Fürst) of Hohenzollern, Friedrich Wilhelm. The Prince died at Umkirch Palace near Freiburg at the age of 86. He had in recent years suffered several strokes, which had left him almost completely blind.
Born on 3 February 1924, he was the eldest son of Prince (Fürst) Friedrich of Hohenzollern and the former Princess Margarete of Saxony. He was thus a grandson of the last King of Saxony, Friedrich August III, and his wife Louisa of Tuscany, who caused a scandal by running away from her husband in 1902.
Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded his father as Fürst on his death in 1965 and thus became head of the Catholic branch of the house of Hohenzollern, whose Protestant branch reigned in Brandenburg and Prussia until 1918. His great-great-grandfather ceded the sovereignty over the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen to the King of Prussia in 1849.
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm had three children with Princess Margarita of Leiningen, whom he married in 1951 and lost in 1996. He is succeeded as Fürst by the eldest of the three sons, Karl Friedrich, who earlier this summer married as his second wife Katharina de Zomer.
Among his six siblings is the art historian Prince Johann Georg, the husband of Princess Birgitta of Sweden. The Fürst himself spent most of his life running the family estates and was at the time of his death the longest-serving Fürst in the history of the house.
His funeral, followed by burial in the family crypt in the Hedinger Church, will take place next Thursday at 11 a.m.
A longer obituary may be found in the Schwäbischen Zeitung (external link).

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