Monday, October 14, 2013

The late Duke Philipp of Württemberg: not so favorable a portrayal

October 15, 1917

Perhaps it was war propaganda, but the Marquise de Fontenoy's profile of the recently deceased Duke Philipp of Württemberg is not flattering at all.

Although the late Duke Philipp was the heir presumptive to the throne, he was "regarded as the blackest of black sheep" in the Württemberg royal family.

Philipp was an "object of execration to his father-in-law," the late Archduke Albrecht, because of the "drunken brutality" that Philipp inflicted on his long-suffering wife, Archduchess Maria Theresa.  She often fled the marital home and found "refuge with her father in Vienna." She would remain for "prolonged periods of separation."  Everyone, including Austrian emperor Franz Josef, was aware of the problems between "the ill-matched couple," but the Emperor and the Crown Prince of Württemberg,  made numerous attempts "to smooth over the difficulties between Philipp and his wife for dynastic purposes."

Philipp was hated not only in Austria but also in Württemberg, where his Lutheran countrymen "feared and resented the idea of Roman Catholic princes coming to the throne."

Archduchess Maria Theresa has "found some compensation for her long martyrdom at the hands of her dissolute husband," in the presence of her three "good looking sons: Dukes Albert, Robert and Ulrich.

Duke Philipp was heir because the King of Württemberg has only sons by either of his two marriages.  He has only a daughter, Pauline, who is married to the Prince of Wied.  Due to the Salic law, Pauline cannot succeed her father.

Before the war, there was an organized effort to "alter the succession" in favor of the Duke of Teck, eldest brother of Queen Mary, consort of George V.  The Tecks are the children of the late Duke Franz of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge.  The Duke of Teck was the "issues of a morganatic marriage" between Prince Alexander of Württemberg, who stood higher in the succession than Duke Philipp, a member of a junior branch, and a Hungarian countess.

The Duke of Teck is Protestant, and there was real support to proclaim him as heir apparent to prevent the accession of a Roman Catholic line.  The "present war"  put an end to altering the succession.


Bernie Vanasse said...

Catholics have always been abt 40? of Wurttemberg particularly in Swabia and Hohenzollern .

Jérôme said...

Never heard this story about Duke Philipp.
Very interesting. Thanks.