Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A life shattered: Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt

On July 12, 1912, Princess Eduard of Anhalt gave birth to her sixth child, a son, who was named Wolfgang Albrecht Moritz Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst. The first five children were born between 1896 and 1903, which meant that that there was a nine year gap between the two youngest children. Little Wolfgang was three and half years old when his sister, Marie Auguste, was married to Prince Joachim of Prussia. He was six when his father divorced his mother shortly after succeeding his brother as Duke of Anhalt.

Wolfgang never married. He merited a two line obituary in the Times: "Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, youngest son of the late Duke Edward of Anhalt, has died at the age of 24 after a long illness." The young prince died at Dessau.

One can only speculate about Wolfgang's life. His father died when he was six, and his mother, divorced only a few months earlier, had left Dessau and returned to Altenberg. Was she able to take her young son with her? She doesn't appear to have played much of a maternal role in Marie Auguste's post-marital life.
As Wolfgang died in Dessau, it seems likely that he was left behind to be raised by his father - this was customary in royal circles - but Eduard died in September 1918.

Eduard's youngest brother, Aribert, was named as regent for the new duke Joachim Ernst. It is entirely possible that he was also the legal guardian for Prince Eugen and Prince Wolfgang.

Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt's life was perhaps a life shattered, a life unfulfilled.

1 comment:

Cabri said...

Dear Marlene

thanks for the interesting series about the Anhalt Family.Really enjoyable.

I hope you did enjoy your break. I am already back in the rat race of work.....

all the very best