Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Richard & Madeleine zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg



This postcard was probably published shortly after the marriage of HSH Richard, 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1882-1925), and HSH Princess Madeleine of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1885-1976).   The couple were married at Langenzell, Baden, on November 21, 1905.  This postcard was mailed on February 26, 1906.

The couple had three children:  Gustav, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1907-missing 1944 and declared dead in 1969) who married Margareta Fouché d'Ortrante; Charles Heinrich, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein (1908-1983); Prince Ludwig-Ferdinand (1910-1943), who married Princess Friederike Juliane of Salms-Hortsmar.

Gustav and Margareta's eldest son, Richard, is married to Princess Benedikte of Denmark.  They have one son and two daughters.  Hereditary Prince Gustav has been involved in a long term relationship with Carina Axelsson, but they cannot marry because of the terms set in his grandfather's will.  It is unlikely that the will can be overturned, which means that the estate and title will eventually pass to Christian-Heinrich's line.

Prince Richard has a younger brother, Prince Robin, but Robin's only son, Prince Sebastian, is married to a commoner, which excludes Sebastian and his descendants.  This means the succession will move to Bernhart, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein (1962), the only son of Christian-Heinrich and his second wife, Princess Desiree of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein.

Bernhart was married in 1996 to Countess Katharina von Podewils-Dürnwitz.  They have one son, Prince Wenzel, born in 1997.

8 comments:

MAXny said...

Poor Carina, I wonder if she is really content living this way. Just waiting. IMO, tat stupid will should be overturned, really an aryan bride. I wish her the best. Maybe a solution can be found. Either way the estate & title will not be inherited by Gustav's offspring, so just marry the girl.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

There are precedents for this will with the Prussian and Leiningen situations. Gustav had the right to decide how his estate would be inherited, whether we think it is racist or not. It was his property and his money.

Carina seems to be fitting in. She is considered a member of the family, invited to family events, wears family jewels. But if Gustav marries her, he loses the estate, and I do not think he wants to do that.

logansrest said...

No she is not a member of the family because they are not legally married. HRH has his bread buttered on both sides. What about Ms.Axelsson? Has anybody ever given how she might feel inside a second thought? Yes she loves Prince Gustav and therefore stays with him but it still leaves her out in the cold, no matter what anybody says.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Carina and Gustav (a HSH, not HRH) live together as an official couple. She is treated as a member of the family. She wears the family jewels, she helps run Berleburg, she is invited to family events and sits with the family and appears on the list with Gustav. Carina is aware of the situation. Gustav loves her but he cannot marry her without losing his estate He and Carinna have had to sacrifice having a family because of his grandfather's will, which cannot be overturned.

logansrest said...

Dear Ms Koenig

What I am about to say it said with the greatest respect please.

Thank you for putting me right on the titles but these titles do not mean much to me in the end as they are human given attachments to a name and nothing more. Just like receiving a degree (having the necessary piece of paper) does not mean you can do the job. None of it makes you more special than another or even different than others - you bleed red when you are cut. Before you ask why I follow royals! I do so because I like following the jewels, the history behind the pieces and how pieces can be dismantled.

I feel tremendous empathy towards them both (because of a will, one person's unreasonable attitude) but especially to Carina Axelsson. Yes she is accepted in all of the roles you mention. She is therefore also accepted in the eyes of the world as Prince Gustav's constant companion. But as far as the law and the church is concerned she is still his common-law-wife and that is terrible. I am mentioning the church here as well as I am a believing Christian (I know you are a straight talking lady but I do not need comments about my Christianity please as I have the right to speak up).

It is even more unfortunate because it denies them both having a family BUT the one thing I do question is why is it so very important for Pr.Gustav to keep his estate. A deep, respectful love does not place someone else in the position Carina Axelsson finds herself. It just feels as if the estate is more important than the other person. We are after all talking about money and position here. I am quite certain that Pr.Gustav could make quite a good living for them both, as a married couple able to have a family, if he chose to. There is a heavy price to pay when you put earthly goods and status before the happiness of another. Gustav has got both, estate and the woman he loves but she has not firm commitment (not really). You might not agree with me at all and that is your chosen right but this is who I feel. It makes me very sad in fact.

Respecfully yours
Irma Logan (mrs)

You do not have to post this if you would rather not. Only way I could reach you.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Irma, in Germany, there are no titles. In Germany, Gustav's surname is Prinz von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. After the establishment of the republic, the formerly ruling families and other princely families needed to find ways to protect their assets. Many families set up trusts that would protect inheritances from being lost to taxation. All pay the appropriate taxes in Germany, but in the 1920s and 1930s, many families set up such trusts. The Leiningens did it as did Prussians, both families having gone through similiar situations. The owner of the estate is allowed to have qualifications for inheritance by the main heir. Unfortunately, Gustav's grandfather died during the second world war, and never had a chance to update his will. Gustav came to the inheritance at an early, largely bypassing his father, not as head of the family, but as the heir to the estate. Gustav cannot just leave the estate .. there has to be careful preparations so that that next heir will not be subject to crippling taxes. Carina does not have to stay. She has made a choice. She knows the scoop. In Germany, only the civil wedding is legal. A church wedding in Germany is not a legal wedding.

logansrest said...

Dear Ms Koenig

I am fully aware of the fact that there are no titles in Germany and in many other countries for that matter. They are kept going as honourary titles (usually outside of their own countries e.g. ex-King Constantine-II and family).

Trusts: We are a very middle class family and even we set up a trust fund for exactly the same reason - possible death duties (you never know what the Government of the day might decide to do).

Do you have any idea why Gustav's father was passed by? I am not a historian or anything close. Will appreciate feedback.

"Gustav cannot just leave the estate.." well, Edward VIII did (a whole lot more).

"Carina does not have to stay.." I did touch on that point already. We all make choices in life Marlene but they are not necessarily to our best interest - so some good, some right and others just plain wrong or bad for us. You deal/sit with the concequences when it is to late to do anything about it.

I am fully cognisant of the civil and church wedding fact. Where I live a certain part of the church ceremony is actually the civil part and then follows the religious proceedings (part of the reverend/pastor etc. training) - as is in America if I've got my facts straight. The couple can, of course, always go with just a civil ceremony if that is all they want or can afford. Europe (most if not all) = 2 different ceremonies.

I think there has been enough time to make the 'careful preparations' needed.

I hereby conclude my observations.

Respectfully yours, Irma.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Richard was not passed over. He succeeded his father but things were made complicated when Gustav Albrecht went missing in 1944 during the second war. He was not declared officially dead until after Gustav's birth in 1969, presumably to protect the estate, etc. But I do not know the reason why, just a guess, but it may have had something to do with how the Will was designed. Richard succeeded his father as head of the house, and, although, he chooses not to use Fürst, he remains the head, but most of the estate was passed to Gustav. One assumes their lawyers are preparing for the eventual transfer to the next heir, but that is a private matter, one would guess.
KIng Edward's situation is a lot different, and a very different time. Gustav is the owner of property and other things. Edward gave up a kingdom for the "women he loved." But that was in 1936. Times have changed thankfully. But in my view, Mrs. Simpson did Britain a favor. Edward inherited Balmoral and Sandringham when his father died .. after some negotiations and payment, the properties were acquired by George VI. As a Lutheran, I know that we are forgiven, that forgiveness came with Jesus' death on the cross. I do not think God is concerned with the fact that Gustav and Carina live together and are unable to marry.