Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern (1932-2016)

HSH Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern died early this morning in a Munich hospital.  The cause of death was heart failure.  He was 83 years old.

Known as Hansi,  Prince Johann Georg was a renowned fine art expert.  He was the Director General of the Bavarian State Picture Collection from 1992 and also 1998 and also served for many years as the director of Hypo-Kunsthalle, a part of the Hypo Cultural Foundation in Munich.

He was the sixth of seven children of HH Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern and HRH Princess Margarete, daughter of King Friedrich August III of Saxony and Archduchess Luise of Austria.

HSH Prince Johann Georg Carl Leopold Eitel-Friedrich Meinrad Maria Hubertus Michael of Hohenzollern was born at Sigmaringen on July 31, 1932.   He married HRH Princess Birgita of Sweden, second child of HRH Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden and HH Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The couple were married in a civil ceremony at Stockholm on May 25, 1961, which was followed by a Roman Catholic service at Sigmaringen in May 30.  Princess Birgitta converted to the Roman Catholic faith.The couple had three children:  HSH Prince Carl Christian Friedrich Johannes Meinrad Hubertus Edmund (1962), HSH Princess Désirée Margarethe Victoria Louise Sibylla Katharina Maria  (1963) and Prince Hubertus Gustav Adolf Veit Meinrad Maria Alexandra (1966) and four grandchildren.

Prince Johann Georg and Princess Birgitta had lived apart for many years, but never divorced.   Hansi once said that Birgitta lived in Mallorca, as she preferred a warm climate to cold (and she could indulge her favorite pastime, playing golf).  The family would celebrate Christmas in Munich together. In 2003, he spoke to Bunte about his relationship with Sabine Leu, a museum colleague, 20 years his junior.  "Of course it is love. Love and fellowship. Sabine understands me perfectly.  The good thing is that my children also like her."

King Carl XVI Gustaf has issued a statement:  "I and my family receive with great sadness the news that Princess Birgitta's husband, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern has died.  Our thoughts are with Princess Birgitta and her family."

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