Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Family Feud: Ernst August vs Ernst August
In the last few days I have been asked about the cause of the feud between Prince Ernst August of Hanover and his elder son, Prince Ernst August, whose civil marriage to Ekaterina Malysheva takes place tomorrow.
I decided to research to find other, earlier references to the dispute, as I expected it was not new. This assumption turned out to be right. The issue has been simmering for sometime, and was reported on by the Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) in January.
In 2012, the elder Prince Ernst August was removed as head of the Herzog von Cumberland foundation, which is based in Liechtenstein. The board of directors named his elder son as his successor. The change was largely due to Prince Ernst August's medical issues.
The foundation controls property in Grünau (Almtal) in Upper Austria, which is worth several hundred million euros.
In 2004, Daddy transferred his German property, including Schloss Marienburg, to his elder son. This was done largely for tax purposes. But he retained control over the Austrian estates. The management team included the elder Ernst August and a management team in Liechtenstein. Two members of the management team, apparently working with the younger Ernst August, removed Ernst August. His removal was based on the "fact" that he could not work.
Fast forward to this past week, when Daddy made his statement. The Liechtenstein-based team may be in the process of a private arbitration between father and son. Expect a long-drawn out process.
Ernst August has stated that he has not given his consent for his son's marriage. No, the marriage will not be canceled. This lack of consent could mean a non-dynastic marriage, and Ernst August's male descendants will have no rights of inheritance.
The relationship between father and son have been strained for some years. The senior Ernst August had a difficult relationship with his very strict father, Ernst August.
The senior Ernst August is not concerned that Ekaterina is a commoner.
In January, the younger Ernst August said he did not want to be drawn into media reports, which triggered an "unsightly conflict within my family." He told a Haz reporter in January: "The accusations will have to be clarified within the family and in the appropriate ways."