I learned about the death of the Prince of Hohenzollern on Friday in Belgrade. Prince Vladimir of Yugoslavia, who was at my table, told me he had only recently received an email from one of his Leiningen cousins regarding the death of the head of the House of Hohenzollern.
The late prince was married to Princess Margarita zu Leiningen, whose younger sister, Kira, was the second wife of Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia.
The Prince of Hohenzollern, who was 86, died on September 16 at his country home in Sigmaringen. He was an industrialist who headed a family business that employs more than 3000 people. His eldest son, Karl Friedrich, now the the Prince of Hohenzollern, will take over the running of the firm.
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was born on February 3, 1924 at Schloss Umkirch in Freiburg. He studied economics at universities in Freiberg and Geneva, before working for a Basel bank. He was the eldest son of Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern, and his wife, Princess Margarete of Saxony. Schloss Umkirch, which Friedrich had inherited from an uncle, was the young Friedrich Wilhelm's favorite home.
In 1950, he took over the family business, which also includes forests and agricultural land. His son, Karl Friedrich, actually took over the leadership of the firm some years ago. Last year, the company made more than 600 million euros in annual sales.
It was during a trip to Rome in 1950 that he met his wife, Princess Margarita of Leiningen, the daughter of the Prince of Leiningen and Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia.
Prince Friedrich succeeded his father in 1965. He suffered a stroke in 2002. Although he was blind and confined to a wheelchair, the Prince made regular visits to his office up until a few months ago. "He was never invisible," said one employee.
He is succeeded by his sons, Karl Friedrich, Albrecht, and Ferdinand, and their wives, Katharina, Nathalie and Ilona, and their children, Alexander, Philippa, Flaminia, Antonia, Josefine, Eugenia, Aloys, Fidelis and Victoria. He is also survived by his sisters, Maria Antonia, Countess of Waldburg, and his brothers, Princes Johann Georg and Ferfried.
The funeral will take place on September 23 at 11:00 a.m. at the Hedinger Kirche in Sigmaringen.