17 March 2014

german Houses: The Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz






The Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz



House of Obotrites

All members of the Family had the Title Duke/Duchess zu Mecklenburg with the style of Highness (HH).  Unoficially also -Strelitz was added but it was neither part of the official Title. The Grand Dukes and Hereditary Grand Dukes and their spouses had the style of Royal Highness (HRH).

After the Güstrow line of the Mecklenburg Dynastie had become extinct Duke Friedrich Wilhelm I. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his uncle Adolf Friedrich had an  violent dynastic succession dispute that escalated quickly and brought the country to the brink of civil war and was enclosed only by the intervention of foreign powers. The dispute ended in 1701 by the Hamburg comparison, the Mecklenburg again in two limited autonomous parts of the Country

  • Friedrich Wilhelm got Mecklenburg-Schwerin with was formed from the Duchy of Mecklenburg,   the Principality of Wenden, the Principality of Schwerin (ie the secularized bishopric of Schwerin), of the same county Schwerin and the rule Rostock. He became the ancestor of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin  branch.
  • Adolf Friedrich got Mecklenburg-Strelitz which was formed from Principality of Ratzeburg on the Mecklenburg western boundary south-east of Lübeck, the rule of Stargard in southeast Mecklenburg with the cities of Neubrandenburg, Friedland, Woldegk, Strelitz, Stargard, Furstenberg and Wesenberg, and the commanderies Mirow and Nemerow.  
Duke Adolf Friedrich II.  II is considered a particularly far-sighted Duke . For Mecklenburg- Strelitz he had met in his will already 1706 orders, which his minor son Adolf Friedrich III. should secure the throne. He died already on 12.05.1708. He was married three times. His first was  Princess Marie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow a, daughter of Duke Gustaf Adolf ogf Mecklenburg-Güstrow. Hs second wife was Princess Johanna of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, a daughter of Duke Friedrich I., whi died after a marriage of 2 years. His third wife was Princess Emilie zu Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.
He had Issue from his first and third marriage:
from the first marriage:
  • Adolf Friedrich, who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Magdalene Amalie, died young
  • Marie, died young
  • Eleonore Wilhelmine, died young
  • Gustave Caroline, married to Duke Christian Ludwig II. zu Mecklenburg-Schwerin

from the third marriage
  • Sophie Christine Louise, died Young
  • Karl, married to Princess Elisabeth Albertione of Saxe-Hildburghausen
    • Christiane
    •  Adolf Friedrich, who succeeded his uncle, Duke Adolf Friedrich III. as Duke
    •  Karl, who succeeded his borther, Duke Adolf Friedrich IV. as Duke
    •  Ernst
    •  Charlotte, married to King George III. of Great Britain, King of Hannover etc.
    •  Georg, imperial General Mayor in Hungary 



After the death of Duke Adolf Friedrich II. oldest son took the regency in the as Duke Adolf Friedrich III.  As on 24.10.1712 the old Strelitzer residence castle burned down and a reconstruction of the old location was impossible, he was from 1726 - 1731  build a new castle in Glienicke. For practical reasons he founded on 20.05.1733 nearby  a settlement the later residence town  Neustrelitz . In 1748 he arranged with Duke Christian Ludwig II , of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, in a secret treaty , the resolution of the Mecklenburg total state. However, this plan failed due to the fierce resistance of knighthood. His nephew , Duke Adolf Friedrich IV , closed in consequence then in 1755 with the estates of the country's basic statutory hereditary settlement from . This hereditary settlement led to the consolidation of power of the Mecklenburg knighthood , preserving the backwardness of the country until the end of the monarchy in 1918. Duke Adolf Friedrich III . founded in 1750 the little conferred Order de la fidélité et constance. In 1709 he married Princess Dorothea Sophie of Holstein-Plön. But the had only 2 daughters who died young.  
Therefore after his death on 11.12.1752 he was succeedd by his nephew Adolf Freidrich, the son of his brother Karl. The accession to the throne of Duke Adolf Friedrich IV.   was however  
accompanied by considerable turbulence , which fit in the bitter struggle between the state government and the united country stands for positions of power in the Mecklenburg State . In Mecklenburg-Strelitz , the country stands tried to win the future heir to the throne as a guarantor of their cause. As 1752 unexpectedly to the throne case had occurred, the situation escalated when troops of the Duke of Schwerin occupied part of the Strelitzer Country  and so sought to impose its political independence after disengagement from the Mecklenburg total state. The output of the succession dispute led to the further strengthening of the estates . The heir to the throne itself had been taken in that weeks abroad to Greifswald in Pommern, in safety , where he soon  however became   honor Rector of the University of Greifswald. On 17.01.1753 declared of age, Duke  Adolf Friedrich IV. took over on 04.04. 1753 the regency. He and his mother in her capacity as guardian of his younger siblings  ratified in 1755 the country's basic statutory hereditary settlement, with which was given a new the State of Mecklenburg a new Constitution. This led to the consolidation of power of the Mecklenburg knighthood , preserving the backwardness of the country until the end of the monarchy in 1918. Duke Adolf Friedrich IV is described by witnesses as more economical, particularly receptive to the latest findings of the newly emerging science prince, but sometimes prone to fits of temper . In his subjects , he was said to be popular. He was baulustig and prompted messy construction, conversion , however, significantly exceeded initial and extensions such as the mansion in Ratzeburg or Playhouse and City Palace in Neubrandenburg, which shaped the face of he governed part of the country sustained its financial margins. Therefore, had already in his lifetime an imperial commission to be used for debt Settlement.  Duke Adolf Friedrich IV. did not fit into the traditional image of a late Baroque Prince . He remained unmarried and lived with his older sister, Christiane in temperate pietistic piety with rather modest royal court and for great love of nature. When he on the 02.06.1794 died childless , his younger brother Karl II. became his successor. Duke Karl II.  took swift administrative reforms in his country's part in attack. He reduced the number of administrative districts, promoted agriculture, provided a police department in 1812 founded a Medizinaloffice and introduced compulsory education. 1806 joined his country at the Confederation of the Rhine.

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

At the Congress of Vienna  Duke Karl II.  received onm 28.06.1815, together with the regent of the country part of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a title enhance as  Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  Grand Duke Karl was married twice. In 1768 he married Prince Friedeike of Hesse-Darmstadt. They had 10 children togehter. After her death in 1782 he married in 1784 Friederike's sister Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt who died in 1785 after the birth of her son.
from the first marriage:
  • Charlotte, married to Duke Friedrich of Saxe-Hildburghausen, since 1826 Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
  • Karoline, died young
  • Georg, died young
  • Therese, married to Fürst Karl Alexander of Thurn and Taxis
  • Friedrich, died young
  • Luise, married to King Friedrich Wilhelm III. of Prussia
  • Friederike, married first to Prince Ludwig of Pruissia, after his death she married Prince Freidrich zu Solms-Braunfels. In 1815 she married a third time to Prince Ernst August of Great Britain, Duke of Cumberland who in 1837 became King of Hannover
  • Georg, who succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Friedrich, died young
  • Augusta Albertina, died young
from the second marriage:
  • Karl
Grand Duke Karl II. died on 06.11.1816 and his oldest surviving son Georg succeeded him as Grand Duke. In the reign  of Grand Duke Georg fell  among others, the improvement of the people's education, the abolition of serfdom and the structural renovation of the residence Neustrelitz by the construction of the castle church, the redesign of the Orangerie and the construction of several public buildings like the townhall in the neo-classical or neo-gothic style (Karolinen Palais). In addition, Georg were restored a number of historic monuments , such as the Marienchurch in Neubrandenburg, and so save them from the final decay. As an esthete Georg  corresponded with celebrities of the literary and art world of his time, for example Goethe. Politically he pursued as a young man advanced, but later increasingly reactionary ends . He was a staunch opponent of the revolution in Mecklenburg , prevented the transition from Mecklenburg to a modern constitutional state and applied by the Freienwalder arbitration initiated in the country Schwerin partial reforms to case. This was largely due to the fact that he feared for the independence of his small Grand Duchy. The relapse and persistence of both Mecklenburg parts of the country at the level of a late-feudal corporate state in the following decades go largely back to the policies of George. George was regarded in the popuilation of his Grand Duchy, as he was characterized by a policy of real help  and charity . This shows the following example: When the Altstrelitzer pastor in 1855 for permission asked to be allowed to purchase a bell for the small Trebbower village school in order to ensure an orderly morning start of school children, let George answer the Trebbower should collect money to which the to pay bell itself , but you may inform him before it was ready. After some time money was gathered for a fairly small bell , a quote from a bell construction company from the Pomeranian Demmin was also present . The pastor asked for permission to enter the order . The answer of the Grand Duke Georg came immediately and was something like: The bell must be commissioned , but they should be made at least twice . The lack of cost plus he 'll wear as Grand Duke . Thus, a larger bell was purchased, which now heralded the start of classes.  When George died in 1860 , his death was widely mourned.
Grand Duke Georg married on 12.08.1817 Princess Marie of Hesse, a daughter of Landgrave Friedrich. They had four children:
  • Luise
  • Friedrich Wilhel, who succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Caroline, married from 1841-1846 to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who later became King Frederik VII.
  • Georg, married to Grand Duchess Catharina Mihailovna of Russia.
    • Nikolaus, died young
    • Helene, married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Altenburg
    • Georg Alexander, he made a morgantaic marriage to  Natalie Vanljarskaja who was created Countess of Carlow.
      • Catharina, Countess of Carlow, married to Prince Vladimir Galitzine
      • Maria, Countess of Carlow, married first to Prince Boris Galitzine,  second she married Count Vladimir Kleinmichel
      • Natalia, Coutness of Carlow
      • Georg, he was adopted by his ucle, Duke Karl Michael and succeeded him as head of the Grand Ducal House.
    • Karl Michael, he succeeded Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI. as Head of the Grand Ducal House.


After the death of Grand Duke Georg on 06.09.1860 his oldest son  Friedrich Wilhelm took ober the government business in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His reign was marked by borders on avarice economy in all public expenditures. Necessary investments in the economy, infrastructure and education remained largely under . In modern developments stagnated or stopped reluctant feeder. Although this policy could achieve that through generations accumulated debts of the royal house were removed . However, the country became one of the most backward German territories , in which Chancellor Otto von Bismarck wanted to escape in the event of the apocalypse , because here the world of his opinion would go down later after fifty years. Although Friedrich Wilhelm was the largest landowner in his territory, but remained involved in the solidified and had long since become an impediment of a feudal system landständischen Constitution of the Mecklenburg State in which the two sovereigns had limited room for maneuver . During his reign, both parts of the country of Mecklenburg became membetrs of the German Federation and in 1871  and members of the German Empire. In the imperial proclamation in Versailles on 18.01.1871 he was represented by his son Adolf Friedrich. The hostile attitude of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm led to considerable political tensions and differences with the young Empire . At times it was considered omimperial level his deposition as Regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. By undue thrift and financial speculation grew during his reign of the so -called "blind Hausschatz" hungered together from the country and his subjects. On the occasion of the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of the Grand Ducal Couple in 1903 every citizen of the Grand Duchy 25 penny of public funds was paid. His son and successor Friedrich Wilhelm left a fortune , which made ​​this one of the richest German princes. Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm married on 28.06.1843 Princess Augusta of Great Britain, a daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and a cousin of the british Queen Victoria. They had 2 children together
  • Friedrich Wilhelm, died young
  • Adolf Friedrich, succeeded his father as Grand Duke
Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm died on 30.05.1904 and his only surviving son succeeded him as Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V.  In his youth he ad particpated in the german-french War in 1870/71 and on his father half took part in the Emperor's proclamation at Versailles on 18.01.1871. 
On 18.04.1877 he married Princess Elisabeth of Anhalt, a daughter of Duke Friedrich I.  They had four children
  • Marie, married from 1899-1908 to Count Georg Jametel. Later she married Prince Julius Ernst zur Lippe
  • Jutta, orthodox Militza, married to Crown Prince Danilo of Montenegro, later King in exile
  • Adolf Friedrfich, who succeeded his fater as Grand Duke
  • Karl Borwin, he died at the age of 20 in a Duell

After the death of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI. on 11.06.1914 his older son who had alrrady taken over the gobverment four days earleir on 07.06. became Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI. 


He was considered one of the richest bachelors of his time, and as heir to the throne allegdly promised to marry the at this  time wellnknown opera singer Mafalda Salvatini  Even Daisy of Pless, who is said to have a particularly close relationship to Adolf Friedrich in his last years, and a Berlin courtesan named Höllriegl, the hopes for a marriage to the Grand Duke should have made that play a role in the legends. There are also documents, according to which Adolf Friedrich VI. Even as Hereditary Grand Duke have had homosexual relationships and therefore to have become vulnerable to blackmail. Which of these circumstances led to his early death, remains speculative. On 23.02.1918 Grand Duke Adolf Freidrich VI. was last seen alive. On 24.02. afternoon his body was found with a fatal gunshot wound in the chamber channel at Neustrelitz . When the time of death was in the autopsy report the evening of 23.02.1918 , the cause of death was "drowning". found . As the date of death predominantly the date of the discovery of the body (24.02.) is given in reference books today however . In the autopsy report from the medical officer Dr. Wilda says he was "taken to fall forward into the water and drowned." From his environment has been reported sporadically from depressive mood of the regent . The exact circumstances of his death are still unclear and remain the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories , among others, the accusation was discussed , the prince was spying for England. According to his will, made in the spring of 1917 , which is kept in the Schwerin State Archives  was Adolf Friedrich VI. , the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg -Strelitz  buried not far from the family tomb on the island of love , the Castle island Mirow.
The death of the Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI.  plunged the house into an existential succession crisis. According to the House Law there was  only one possible successor , Duke Karl Michael, a grandson of Grand Duke George. He  had served until 1917 in the Russian army and was in the Russian Civil War on the run. He had already in 1914 adopted Russian citizenship with permission Adolf Friedrich VI. and declared that he would be discontinued if the succession passed to his right of succession in Mecklenburg-Strelitz . There was still a male relative , the nephew of Karl Michael, Georg , Count of Carlow . His father, Karl Michael's brother George Alexander in 1890 made a morgantic marriage and at that time for himself and his descendants rennounced his succession rights and merely reserved the right of an agnatic regency. Thus Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV. of Mecklenburg.Schwerin the administration  until the end of the monarchy as Regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz . A solution of the Strelitz succession question was the outcome of the 1918 revolution , which abolished the monarchy in Mecklenburg, pointless. In August 1918 Duke Karl Michael wrote a letter in which he renounced on his succession rights but it reached Grand Duke Friedrich Feranz IV. only in January 1919. This formal renunciation of Duke Karl Michael on his right of succession was now only a matter within the family without any political significance and he became hte head of mceklenburg-Stzrelitz branch. On the  entitlement to property rights  however Karl Michael held . From Copenhagen he tried to make claims on personal property in Mecklenburg. He got his property in Remplin  confirmed.. According to a judgment of the District Court of Schwerin , and given a one-time payment of 5 million marks in cash and the Forstgut Langhagen was awarded , and after a lengthy process to achieve its representatives in 1921 a comparison with the free State of Mecklenburg -Strelitz , with this the good Langhagen acquired for another million . In return, Karl Michael waived all civil claims . Since Karl Michael had fought on the side of the Russian Empire during the First World War against the German Empire, the case was intensely occupied the public and has long been an argument of the proponents of the lord expropriation. The comparison was in the eyes of critics a chilling example of how treason the abundant blessings of God and the Republic after runs. It made ​​sure that Karl Michael's public reputation was permanently damaged. In 1928 Karl Michael, who remained unmarried all his life adopted  his nephew Count Georg of Carlow and took him as  heir and successor as head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz . In 1930, he finally returned to Remplin where he died on 06.12.1934.  
As he head of the Grand Ducal House his nephew Georg succeeded him. He had in 1912 as a russian Majoratslord became an russian citizen due to Russian law. After the recognition of the Soviet Union by the Western powers in 1922 he was stateless and remained so until the 1950s. After the revolution in Russia the family fled over the Caucasus first to France, then moved to Denmark and 1923 on the Remplin Castle in Mecklenburg where they lived until the destruction of the castle and the expulsion lived by the Nazis in 1940 . During this time, Georg studied political science and received his Dr. rer . pol . at the Albert- Ludwigs- University in Freiburg im Breisgau.  In 1928 Georg was adopted by his uncle Duke Karl Michael, with the consent of the Grand Duke Valdimir Kyrillovitch as head of the house Romanov and the former Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV. of Mecklenburg -Schwerin and was named Duke of Mecklenburg , but renounced on his anyway only theoretical succession claims.
During the period of National Socialism ,his Family was followed because of belonging to the international aristocracy, her Russian ancestors and "political Catholicism". In 1940 the Castle Remplin  burnt down, presumably by arson of the Nazis. In 1944 Duke Georg 1944was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in solitary confinement. In the immediate postwar period he lived in Sigmaringen and was regarded as a mentor monarchist aspirations in South  West Germany . After a family internal appointment he resigned on 18.12.1950 on the up to then run as a suffix name "Count of Carlow ". and adopted the style of Highness whioch was confirmed by the hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 
In 1953, he tried to get a position in the Foreign Service . In 1956 there was the idea to make him the German representatives in the Committee of the International Tracing Service in Arolsen. The proposal was withdrawn
In 1920 he married Irina Mikhailovna Rajewskaja. In the same year he converted to the Roman Catholic Church.  After the death of his first wife he married in 1956 Archduchess Charlotte of Austria,  one of the  daughters of the last Austrian Emperor Karl I.
From his first marriage he had several children:
  • Georg Alexander, succeeded his father as head of the Grand Ducal House
  • Alexander, Count of Carlow, died as child
  • Helene, married to Hassan Sayed Kamil
  • Carl Gregor, married to Princess Maria Margarethe of Hohenzollern
Duke Georg died on 06.07.1963 in Sigmaringen.Hi successor as head of the Grand Ducal House became his oldest son Georg Alexander. Until 1940 he had lived at Castle Remplin at Malchin. On the night of 11.04.1940 he was sacked at the instance the Gauleiter of Mecklenburg-Lübeck . In 1944 he was interned after the imprisonment of his father in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by the Gestapo on a stauffenbergian astle. After 1945 he was regarded as a persecuted by the Nazi regime . He studied law and graduated as a bank clerk . A  sensationwas caused  in the application of Duke  Georg Alexander on retransmission of lduring the Nazi dictatorship lost areas in Mecklenburg to his family in 1990. The procedure was considered one of the most difficult re-transfer process in the merging process was completed and finally until ten years after his death in early 2006 in the sense of family and in consultation with stakeholders. Georg Alexander had refused to complain to accelerate the process or put pressure on the institutions. In the summer of 1991 he had moved at the invitation of Mirow town council again his residence to Mecklenburg and focused particularly on the history and preservation . For example, the restoration of the memorial complex is on the Castle Island offshore island of love on his initiative and guidance.  Duke Georg Alexander married 1946 in Sigmaringen Archduchess Ilona of Austria, from the hungarin bracn of the House Habsburg. The marriage was divorced in 1974. They had four children:
  • Elisabeth Chrstine, married 1974-1995 to Count Allhard von dem Bussche-Ippenburg, gen. von Kessel
  • Maria Katharina, married to Wolfgang von Wasielewski
  • Irene, marred to Konstantin Harmsen
  • Borwin, succeeded his father as Head of the Grand Ducal House






TH Duke Borwin and Duchess Alice
Duke Georg Alexander died on 26.01.1996 at Mirow and was buried  as until now last family member in the family crypt in the Johanniter Church on the Castle Island at  Mirow. His successor as Head of the Family became his only son Borwin.  Duke Borwin studied Viticulture at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute and served as an officer in the German Army. He has also managed a Swiss drinks company. In politics, Duke Borwin is a former local party chairman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the village of Hinterzarten in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district of Baden-Württemberg, leaving his post in May 2009.  Although not resident in Mecklenburg he mantains a close link to the state attending various functions there. As a direct descedant of the russian branch of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz he also retains ties tio Russia. On 08.03.2001 he witnessed the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the House and state of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and only a few months later with the death of Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Medcklenburg-Schwerin on 31.07.2001 his branch remains as the only male but not dynastic branch of the entire House of Mecklenburg


In December 1985 he married in a civil ceremony Alice Wagner. A religious ceremony followed on 19.08.1986 at Hinterzarten. 
They have 3 children:

  • Olga
  • Alexander
  • Michael

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