Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prince Carlos von Hohenzollern (1978-2018)

Prince Carlos with his sister, Princess Anna, on her wedding day, June 1, 2013.  @Ulrike Bartsch.

HSH Prince Carlos Patrick Godehard of Hohenzollern died by suicide on February 23.  He jumped from the roof terrace on the 21st floor at Frankurt-am-Main's Intercontinental Hotel.

The 39-year-old prince had been released from jail a few days before where he had served a four-year sentence for swindling. 

He had been serving his time at the Euskirchen  prison and was due for release in July.  As a part of his preparation for a full release in July, Prince Carlos had been allowed a brief break away from prison.  He left the prison and drove more than 200 miles to Frankfurt.   

It is not known if Carlos had checked into the hotel. He went to the roof terrace and jumped.  His body was found at 2:40 p.m.  His death was instantaneous. 

Frankfurt police have ruled out the death as an accident.   

Prince Carlos Patrick Godehard of Hohenzollern was the elder of two children of the late HSH Prince Godehard-Friedrich Karl Anton Heinrich  Albrecht Joseph Ernst Egon Hermann Johann Georg Rudolf Tassilo Benedikt of Hohenzollern (1939-2001) and Heide Hansen.

Carlos was born in Munich on December 4, 1978.   He grew up at the family's home, Burg Namedy, in Andernach.  Prince Godehard had inherited the 14th century following his father, Prince Albrecht's death in 1977.    

Burg Namedy was purchased in 1908 by Carlo's great-grandfather, Prince Karl-Anton of Hohenzollern, who was married to Princess Josephine of Belgium.   Karl-Anton was the youngest of three sons of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern and Infanta Antonia of Portugal.  His eldest brother, Wilhelm, succeeded as Prince of Hohenzollern and his second brother, Ferdinand, succeeded, their uncle Carol I  (ne Karl), of Hohenzollern.

Prince Carlos frittered away his inheritance with numerous bad business deals, which to several convictions.  In 2011, he was sentenced to four month's probation for non-payment of a bill to one of his creditors.  Three years later he was sentenced to four years for "dealing in multi-million pound investment funds which did not exist," according to the Daily Mail.

He is survived by his mother, Princess Heide, and his younger sister,  Princess Anna, who is married to Roman Goldschmidt.  Anna helps her mother run the Namedy estate.

Prince Carlos was a member of the most junior of branches of the princely house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.   The present head of the princely house, HSH Karl Friedrich of Hohenzollern, a great-grandson of Wilhelm, Prince of Hohenzollern, elder brother of King Ferdinand of Romania, and Prince Karl Anton,  Carlo's great-grandfather.

The late Prince Carlos was a member of the Princely family of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the Roman Catholic branch of the Hohenzollerns.   It was the Brandenburg -- and Lutheran - branch of the family that had were Kings of Prussia and Emperors of Germany until 1918.  

The Princes of Hohenzollern had ruled their tiny principality in southwestern Germany until 1850 when Hohenzollern was annexed by Prussia.  Following the death of the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen in 1869,  Karl Anton dropped Sigmaringen from his title and became Prince of Hohenzollern.

This Brandenburg branch of the family came to the Brandenburg throne in 1415, and converted to Lutheranism during the Reformation.  During the next few centuries, their power base eventually evolved into the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire.

Thanks to Ulrike Bartsch for allowing me the use of her photograph of Prince Carlos and Princess Anna.

2 comments: said...

Very sad end to Carlos. He did live it up and thought money would never end, sadly he was broke and hence his activities. Very sad for his family. RIP.

Diane Brown said...

Very sad indeed