Thursday, January 3, 2013

Twins in the royal house of Prussia

Princess Sophie of Prussia's twins won't be the first in the house of Prussia.  The twins - the sexes have not been made public -- will be the third set of twins born since 1955 when Princess Friedrich Georg gave birth to Prince Rupert and Princess Antonia.  Prince Rupert was born 15 minutes before his sister.

Prince Rupert and Princess Antonia were born on April 28, 1955 at St. George's Hospital, London.  They were the fourth and fifth children of Prince Friedrich Georg of Prussia and his British wife, Lady Brigid Guinness.  

Prince Friedrich Georg was the fourth son of Crown Prince Wilhelm and Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia. 

The twins were baptized on June 15, 1955 in the chapel at Burg Hohenzollern.   Prince Rupert was baptised with the names Rupert Alexander Frederick.  His godparents  were King Frederik IX of Denmark (his father's first cousin), Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (his uncle), the Earl of Iveagh (maternal uncle), Erwin Schueller, Viscount Elveden, and Princess Cecilie of Prussia, Mrs. Harris (paternal aunt.)   The infant princess received the names Antonia Elizabeth Brigid Louise.  Her godparents were Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (paternal first cousin), Mr. Clyde Harris, the Duchess of Northumberland, and Mrs. Ludovic Kennedy.

The only godparents who were able to attend the ceremony were Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg and Princess Cecilie of Prussia and Mr. Harris.

The twins were born in a hospital that was across the street from Apsley House, which would one day be one of Princess Antonia's homes.  The hospital was closed in 1980 and is now the Lanesborough Hotel.

In February 1977,  Princess Antonia married Charles Wellesley, Marquess of Douro, heir apparent to the Duke of Wellington.  They have five children and four grandchildren.   Their eldest child, Arthur, Earl of Mornington, is married to Jemma Kidd.  They are the parents of a set of twins:  Lady Mae Wellesley and Arthur, who bears the courtesy title, Viscount Wellesley.

Prince Rupert married in 1982 to Ziba Rastegar-Javaheri, who is Iranian.  They were married in a civil ceremony, which was followed by a blessing of their marriage at the Albury Church, near the Patmore estate, owned by Rupert's mother, who was known as Lady Brigid Ness, following her second marriage to Major Anthony Ness.
They have two daughters, Brigid and Astrid.  This marriage is considered morganatic, and Brigid and Astrid are not recognized as Princesses.  They use the surname von Preussen.

Prince Rupert and his family live at Patmore Hall near Albury in Hertfordshire.

The other set of twins are the younger sons of Prince Adalbert and Princess Eva of Prussia, who were married in 1981.  This marriage is considered unequal according to the Prussian house laws.

The couple's first son, Alexander Prinz von Preussen, was born in 1984.  The twins, Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Johannes and Philipp Heinrich Adalbert Gunter were born on July 3, 1986.

Prince Adalbert is the youngest child of the late Prince Adalbert of Prussia is the younger of two children of the late Prince Wilhelm Viktor of Prussia and Countess Marie Antoinette of Hoyos.

Prince Wilhelm Viktor was the youngest child of Prince Adalbert of Prussia and Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen.  Their second child, Princess Viktoria Marina, married an American Kirby William Patterson.   They were the parents of three children, Berengar, Marina and Dohna, the eldest two were twins.
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

On November 6, 1896,  Princess Friedrich Karl of Hesse, youngest sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, gave birth to a set of twins, Philipp and Wolfgang.  The twins were the third and fourth sons for the former Princess Margarete of Prussia.  The two eldest sons, Friedrich Wilhelm and Maximilian were killed in the first world war.  Philipp succeeded his father as the Landgrave of Hesse in 1940.

Margarete gave birth to a second set of twins, Richard and Christoph on May 14, 1901.   Prince Christoph was the first husband of Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, sister of the Duke of Edinburgh.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Very interesting in that it's known that you can inherit a propensity toward fraternal (dizygotic) twins, but not so for identical twins. And two of the three recent sets of twins you mention are clearly fraternal, as they are of different sexes.