Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died today in Coburg after a long illness, reports the Associated Press. He was 69 years old.
A grandson of Queen Victoria, Carl Eduard was born at Claremont in England, the posthumous son of the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and Princess Helen of Waldeck und Pyrmont. He succeeded to the Albany dukedom at birth.
In 1899, the young Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, then a pupil at Eton, became the heir to his paternal uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, whose only son, Alfred, had committed suicide.
The young British prince was required to move to Germany, and be educated there. He succeeded as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha following the death of his uncle in August 1900.
Although he retained his British royal title, Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, he was stripped of his peerages, when Parliament passed the Titles Deprivation Act in 1917. The duke had sided with Germany during the first World War.
After he lost his own dukedom in 1918, Carl Eduard and his family remained in Coburg. He was "an early supporter" of Adolf Hitler. In 1933, Hitler appointed him as a general in the Storm Troopers. He was also appointed the president of the German Red Cross, and the Anglo-German Friendship Society.
In 1936, Hitler sent the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to England in an attempt to improve relations between the two countries. King George V was the Duke's first cousin. Carl Eduard's older sister, Princess Alice, was married to Queen Mary's brother, Alexander, the Earl of Athlone.
He remained in favor with Hitler until World War II.
After the end of the war, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was placed in an internment camp for a year and a half by the Americans. A German denazification court "classified" him as a Nazi follower. He was heavily fine, and nearly went bankrupt.
The Duke of Sax-Coburg and Gotha died at his home on Elsässer Strasse in Coburg. He is survived by his wife, Viktoria Adelheid, and four of their five children, Johann Leopold, Sibylla, who is the widow of Hereditary Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Princess Caroline Mathilde, and Prince Friedrich Josias. The middle son, Prince Hubertus, was killed in action in 1943.
The new duke is his youngest son, Prince Friedrich Josias, as the elder son, Prince Johann Leopold, married without his father's permission.