Prince Michael of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach has named his only child, Princess Leonie, as his heir following the tragic death of Prince Constantin of Saxe-Weimar in a riding accident on June 9.
Prince Constantin, who lived in England with his wife, Olvia, was 41 years old when he died. He was the presumed heir to Michael, the de jure Grand Duke, who was his first cousin once removed. Constantin was the only and younger child of Prince Wilhelm, who is Michael's first cousin.
The 71-year-old head of the house of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was said to be "deeply shocked" at the news of Prince Constantin's death. In a statement, Michael emphasized the "warm and trusting" relationship" with Prince Constantin. This relationship had been "cruelly ended" with the younger prince's death.
However, that did not stop him from announcing earlier today that his 31-year-old daughter, Princess Leonie, will succeed him as the head of the family businesses and several Weimar cultural organizations including the Klassik-Stiftung in Weimar, the Wartburg Stiftung in Eisenach and the Wartburg Wirtschaftsbetriebe.
Succession to the headship is based on Salic law -- males only -- so it has not yet been officially confirmed if Prince Michael will make a change to the house to law to allow Princess Leonie to succeed him as the de jure Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
I find Michael's announcement a bit presumptuous as the funeral plans for Prince Constantin have not been announced. This announcement could have waited until after Constantin's funeral and burial.
Princess Leonie is a reporter with RTL Deutschland in Berlin. She attended Schule Schloss Salem and received a BA in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of the Arts in London.
Princess Leonie is unmarried.