July 6, 1907
Count Georg von Merenberg, the "last living male descendant of William of Nassau, Prince of Orange," is claiming to be the rightful heir to the Grand Ducal throne of Luxembourg. This claim has been made because of the law of Luxembourg, where the succession is based on the lineal male descendants.
The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the count's claim has brought further attention to the succession. Grand Duke Guillaume IV has not been well, and he has no sons. Six daughters, but no sons. Count Georg's claims are "resisted on the ground of his alleged morganatic descent." His sister, Sophie, is married to Grand Duke Michael of Russia. Sophie, now titled as the Countess Torby, is seen a morganatic wife, and she and her three children are not recognized as members of the Imperial Family.
This is not the first time that the question of the succession has cropped up. The present Grand Duke's marriage to Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal was supposed to settle the succession question for "all time." There have been attempts by the present Grand Duke to change the law. In fact, Luxembourg Minister Eyachen "discovered that article No. 42, bearing the date of 1788, provided that in the event of failure of the male line the throne should pass to the female line."
Following the death of the Grand Duke's uncle, Prince Nikolaus of Nassau in 1905, Minister Eyachen sought "to bring up a new regency law" that would allow for the Grand Duke's eldest daughter, Princess Marie Adelaide, to succeed him.
It appears that Count von Merenberg plans to fight for his right to succeed, in spite of the obstacles of his father's morganatic marriage. Count Georg Nikolaus von Merenberg is the only son of the late Prince Nikolaus of Nassau and his morganatic wife, Natalia Pushkina, daughter of the renowned Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin. In 1895, Count Georg married Princess Olga Alexandrovna Yurievskaya, whose father was Alexander II of Russia.