The war of the Saxon succession has begun. The late Prince Max Emanuel, Margrave of Meisssen, died on July 23, without a direct heir as his marriage to Princess Anastasia-Luise was childless.
In 1997, members of the former ruling family agreed to a pact regarding the succession. This pact followed the death of Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who whose death in a mountain climbing accident has precipitated the succession crisis.
Prince Johannes, who died in August 1987, was the only child of Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Mathilde of Saxony, youngest sister of the Margrave of Meissen. The Saxony succession is semi-salic, which allows for the succession of the sons of female descendants in the absence of a male heir.
The late Margrave's younger brother, Prince Albert, is now claiming to be the new Margrave, even though he agreed to the 1997 pact. Born in 1934, Albert married in morganatically in 1980 to Elmira Henke. The couple have no children. She tends to speak for her husband, who suffers from a debilitating illness, and is unable to speak for himself. She said yesterday: "It is surely clear that we are the Margrave and Margravine."
Rüdiger Prinz von Sachsen, the son of the late Prince Timo, and his morganatic wife, who is currently on vacation in Canada, also voiced supported for Onkel Albert. "The new Margrave is my uncle Dr. Prince Albert of Saxony."
Albert was one of the signatories to the 1997 Family pact, which was signed during Pentecost. The other signatories were the Margrave of Meissen and their first cousins, Princes Dedo and Gero of Saxony.
Dedo and Gero had moved to Ireland after the second world war, as their father Prince Ernst Heinrich and his second wife were living. Several years later, they emigrated to Canada, where they dropped the royal titles, and used the Saxony name as a surname. Neither prince married. Their brother, Prince Timo married three times. All three marriages were morganatic, and his two children have the surname Prinz or Prinzessin von Sachsen.
Rüdiger was not a party to the family pact because he is not a dynast.
Prince Max Emanuel adopted Alexander as his son, as well. The family pact signed by all the then living male dynasts, acknowledged that Prince Alexander was the Sachsen heir.
The Margrave of Meissen's funeral will be held on July 30 at Brennbich/Imst, Tirol, Austria. A Requiem mass will be celebrated at Dresden's Hofkirche on August 3.
Funeral preparations are being made by Prince Alexander, whose family is now with Max Emanuel's widow.