Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Different Heir in Hannover...

Our friend Marlene Koenig shares her thoughts on the paternity of Baron Christian von Humboldt-Dachroeden, illegitimate son of the former Princess Maria Anna of Prussia (née Humboldt-Dachroeden), first wife of Prince Hubertus of Prussia, a younger son of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie, née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

At her excellent blog Royal Musings, Marlene shares her thoughts with us: "Christian Ernst August Hubertus Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden, a respected Hamburg banker, would be head of the house of Hannover, and not his younger half-brother, Prince Ernst August.

On October 2, 1941,  the engagement of Prince Hubertus of Prussia, third son of former Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, and Baroness Maria-Anna von Humboldt-Dachroesen was announced in Potsdam.  At the time, the Prince was a a First Lieutenant in the German Air Force.  The wedding toook place on December 29, 1941 at Schloss Oels in Silesia.  It was a war time wedding, not a lot of pomp and circumstances.   There were also questions about the marriage's status.  Maria-Anna was a mere baroness, and, not the usual choice for a bride in the house of Hohenzollern.  Hubertus' eldest brother, Prince Wilhelm, lost his succession rights when he married Dorothea von Salviati.   The second brother, Prince Louis Ferdinand, did rather well in the marriage stakes when he married Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, whose father, Kirill, was the de jure Russian Emperor.

The marriage lasted for only a year.  It was announced in December 1942 that Prince Hubertus had divorced his wife, a "society beauty, but by Hohenzollern standards was not eligible to marry into the family."  But was the reason for divorce due to Maria-Anna's lower rank, or was there someone else?
Prince Hubertus wasted no time in heading to the altar for a second time.  On June 8, 1943, he married Princess Magdalene Reuss, a marriage considered equal.  

Is it also possible that Maria Anna was in love with another prince?  Was she an adulterous who cheated on Prince Hubertus with his first cousin, Prince Ernst August of Hannover, eldest son of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the Kaiser's only daughter.   There was certainly something going on between Maria-Anna and Ernst August by early 1943, as she was pregnant.  On December 27, 1943,  Baroness Maria Anna gave birth to a son, who was given the names Christian Ernst August Hubertus.  The child was given her surname, using the male version, Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden.   

One can only assume what the reaction was when Ernst August learned that Maria-Anna was pregnant.  Marriage was out of the question.  Maria Anna, a divorced woman, would certainly not have been accepted by the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.  

Very, very little is known about this romance and the aftermath.  Was Ernst August prevented from marrying Maria Anna because she was divorced and of a lower rank.   One assumes that Ernst August's parents expected a far better marriage for their eldest son.   In 1951, Ernst August obliged by marrying Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein."

Continue reading the very interesting tale by visiting Marlene's blog at:

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