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Duchy of Brunswick
Brunswick (German: Braunschweig) was a historical state in Germany. Originally the territory of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in the Holy Roman Empire, it was established as an independent duchy by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Its capital was the city of Brunswick (Braunschweig). The title "Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg" (German: Herzog zu Braunschweig und Lüneburg) was held, from 1235 on, by various members of the Welf family who ruled several small territories in northwest Germany.

These holdings did not have all of the formal characteristics of a state, being neither compact nor indivisible. When several sons of a Duke competed for power, the lands were often divided between them; when a branch of the family lost power or became extinct, the lands were reallocated among surviving members of the family; different dukes might also exchange territories. The unifying element of all these territories was that they were ruled by male-line descendants of Duke Otto I. After several early divisions, Brunswick-Lüneburg was unified under Duke Magnus II (d. 1373). Following his death, his three sons jointly ruled the Duchy. After the murder of their brother Frederick of Brunswick Lüneburg, brothers Bernard and Henry redivided the land, Henry receiving the territory of Wolfenbüttel.

The Duchy of Brunswick in 1914

The territory of Wolfenbüttel was recognized as a sovereign state by the congress in 1815. It had been a portion of the medieval Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. From 1705 onward, all other portions of Brunswick-Lüneburg except Wolfenbüttel had been held by the Duke of Calenberg and Celle, i.e the Elector of Hanover, but the Wolfenbüttel line retained its independence from Hanover. The Wolfenbüttel principality had for the period from 1807 to 1813 been held as part of the Kingdom of Westphalia. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 turned it into an independent country under the name Duchy of Brunswick. 


Duke Charles II (1815-1830)

The underage Duke Charles, the eldest son of Duke Frederick William (who had been killed in action), was put under the guardianship of George IV, the Prince Regent of the United Kingdom and Hanover. First the young duke had dispute over the date of his majority. Then, in 1827, Charles declared some of the laws made during his minority invalid, which caused conflicts. After the German Confederation intervened, Charles was forced to accept those laws. His administration was considered corrupt and misguided. In the aftermath of the July Revolution in 1830, Charles finally had to abdicate. The palace in Brunswick was completely destroyed.


Duke William VIII (1830-1884)

When Charles' brother William VIII, arrived in Brunswick on 10 September, he was received joyfully by the people. William originally considered himself only his brother's regent, but after a year declared himself ruling duke. Charles made several desperate attempts, unsuccessfully, to depose his brother. William left most government business to his ministers, and spent most of his time outside of his state at his possessions in Oels. While William joined the Prussian-led North German Confederation in 1866, his relationship to Prussia was strained, since Prussia refused to recognize Ernest Augustus II of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland, his nearest male-line relative, as his heir.

While the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia in 1866, the Duchy of Brunswick remained sovereign and independent. It joined first the North German Confederation and in 1871 the German Empire. In 1870s at latest it became obvious that the then senior branch of the House of Welf (dukes of Brunswick) would go extinct. By house law, the House of Hanover would have ascended the ducal throne, but there was strong Prussian pressure against having George V of Hanover or his son, the Duke of Cumberland, succeed to a member state of the German Empire, at least without severe conditions, including swearing allegiance to the German constitution.

By a law of 1879, the Duchy of Brunswick established a temporary council of regency to take over at the Duke's death, and if necessary appoint a regent. With the 1884 death of Duke William, the Wolfenbüttel line came to an end. The duchy would have passed on to the Hanover line, but since the Hanoverians refused to accept the Prussian annexation of their kingdom, they were not allowed to accede to rule in Brunswick. A constitutional crisis ensued in Brunswick. The Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself Duke of Brunswick at the Duke's death, and lengthy negotiations ensued, but were never resolved.


The Imperial Regency (1884-1913)

Two regents were appointed: first, Prince Albert of Prussia until his death in 1906, and then Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg.


Duke Ernest Augustus III (1913-1918)

This situation lasted until the accession of Ernest Augustus, the son of the Duke of Cumberland, in 1913. The duchy was governed by regents until 1913, when the Hanover line was reconciled with the Hohenzollern dynasty and renounced its rights to the Kingdom of Hanover. The Duke of Cumberland's eldest son having died in 1912, the elderly Duke renounced Brunswick in favor of his youngest son who married the Kaiser's daughter, swore allegiance to the German Empire, and was allowed to ascend the throne of the duchy on November 1913. In 1918 the Duke had to abdicate and the Free State of Brunswick was founded as a member state of the Weimar Republic.

The House of Brunswick-Dannenberg

1815-1830: Charles II, son of Frederick William. Forced to flee Brunswick in 1830 and succeeded by his brother. 1830-1884: William VIII. Brother of Charles II. Last of the Brunswick line, following which the legal succession passed to the Hanoverian royal family, which had been dispossessed by Prussia following the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.
The Regency
1885-1906: Albert, Prince of Prussia, regent. The German government prevented the succession of the Hanoverian Duke of Cumberland to the throne of Brunswick and substituted a Prussian regent for the Duke. 1907-1913: Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, regent
The House of Hanover
1913-1918: Ernest Augustus
The Claimants to the Duchy
Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland (1884-1913), renounced the aforementioned Ernest Augustus III, the deposed Duke of Brunswick (1918-1953), son of the previous Ernest Augustus the elder, Prince of Hanover (1953-1987) Ernest Augustus the younger, Prince of Hanover (1987-present)
The Districts of The Duchy

The Duchy of Brunswick was subdivided into districts (Kreise) in 1833. The following districts existed from 1833 to 1946: District of Blankenburg (former County of Blankenburg): Blankenburg, Hasselfelde and Walkenried, City of Braunschweig, District of Braunschweig: Braunschweig, Riddagshausen and Vechelde, District of Gandersheim: Gandersheim, Seesen, Lutter am Barenberge and Greene, District of Goslar (from 1885 on), District of Helmstedt: Helmstedt, Schöningen, Königslutter, Vorsfelde and Calvörde, District of Holzminden (until 1942): Holzminden, Stadtoldendorf, Ottenstein and Thedinghausen, City of Watenstedt-Salzgitter (from 1942 on), District of Wolfenbüttel: Wolfenbüttel, Salder, Schöppenstedt and Harzburg.

The Family Titles and Styles

The members of this family bear the title Prince or Princess of Hannover, of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke or Duchess of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, together the formal appellation of His or Her Royal Highness. The British titles are due to their male-line descent from King Ernst August I of Hannover, son of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland, and are used by the family in spite of the British Crown stripping the family of their British titles, including the Dukedom of Cumberland and Teviotdale, during the First World War.
The Ducal Arms of the Duchy of Brunswick

The duchy of Brunswick was formed out of the possessions of senior branch of the house of Brunswick. The house of Brunswick originated in Othbert Count Palatine of Este in Italy. This family acquired the inheritance of the Guelph family by marriage - around the year 1000 - of Azzo II with Kunigunde, daughter of Welf II. Again important possessions were gained in (Lower-)Saxony by the marriage of Henry 'the Black' to Wulfhild (d 1126), last of the Billung-family who had been dukes of Saxony for the last ages. They were made lord of Brunswick and Lüneburg in 1181 and dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg on 12 August 1235. In 1546 the house of Brunswick-Lüneburg divided into the branches of Lüneburg (principality of Hanover) and Wolfenbüttel (the duchy of Brunswick).

Both branches used in their arms the two lions of Brunswick (said to be granted by the English king to his son in law, the duke of Brunswick in the thirteenth century), the blue lion of Lüneburg and the white horse of Saxony. The white horse is said to be the emblem of the eighth century Saxon duke Widukind after he and his barons were forcebly baptized by Charlemagne. Before he would have flown a black horse on a yellow cloth. The standard of the dukes of Brunswick given by Siebmachers Wappenbuch, Nurenberg 1878, shows the white horse on a red cloth. The flag was blue over yellow.

The branch of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died out however with Duke William on 18 October 1884. Brunswick and Hanover should have been rejoined at that time, but Prussia had annexed the kingdom of Hanover in 1866 and now prevented the younger branch of the house of Brunswick from taking up the ducal crown. Only in 1913 was peace sealed with the marriage of prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover to Victoria Louise, daughter of the German emperor William II. This couple was enthroned in the duchy of Brunswick. The flag they adopted shows however very much the English pattern in its form and contents. In the first and fourth quarter are the two lions of Brunswick, in the second and third the lion of Lüneburg. In the centre are the arms of Hanover (which are still on those of Great Britain!) now with a ducal crown. (source: Bulgaria Berühmte Fahnen Deutscher geschichte, Dresden 1922, p 61). To this day the princes of Hanover also are titled 'Prince(ss) of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg'. This is not a valid style under British law, however, as no application has been made to restore the titles removed by the Titles Deprivation Act, 1917.


The Genealogy of the Ducal House 
Ernest Augustus Pr of Great Britain, Ireland and Hannover, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (see Great Britain), succeeded his brother William as King ERNST AUGUST I of Hannover 20 Jun 1837; he was b.Queen's House, St.James's Park 5 Jun 1771 and d.at Herrenhausen 18 Nov 1851); he m.at Strelitz 29 May 1815 and at Carlton House 29 Aug 1815 Friederike Dss of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Hannover 2 Mar 1778-Hannover 21 Jun 1841)

1a) GEORG V Friedrich Alexander Karl Ernst August, King of Hannover, Pr of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, etc, lost his throne as a result of annexation by Prussia 20 Sep 1866 (Berlin 27 May 1819-Paris 12 Jun 1878); m.Hannover 18 Feb 1843 Marie Pss of Saxe-Altenburg (Hildburghausen 14 Apr 1818-Gmunden 9 Jan 1907)

1b) ERNST AUGUST Wilhelm Adolf Georg Friedrich, Crown Pr of Hannover, succeeded his cousin as Duke of Braunschweig in 1884 but was stopped from reigning by the Imperial Diet in 1885; he renounced his rights to Braunschweig in favor of his son 24 Oct 1913; Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, etc; during and immediately after the First World War he was stripped of his British titles (Hannover 21 Sep 1845-Gmunden 14 Nov 1923); m.Christiansborg 21 Dec 1878 Thyra Pss of Denmark (Copenhagen 29 Sep 1853-Gmunden 26 Feb 1933)

1c) Marie Louise Victoria Caroline Amelia Alexandra Auguste Friederike (Gmunden 11 Oct 1879-Schloß Salem 31 Jan 1948); m.Gmunden 10 Jul 1900 Maximilian Pr of Baden (Baden-Baden 10 Jul 1867-Konstanz 6 Nov 1929)

2c) Georg Wilhelm Christian Albert Edward Alexander Friedrich Waldemar Ernst Adolf (Gmunden 28 Oct 1880-k.in car accident at Nackel, Brandenburg 20 May 1912)

3c) Alexandra Luise Marie Olga Elisabeth Therese Vera (Gmunden 29 Sep 1882-Glücksburg 30 Aug 1963); m.Gmunden 7 Jun 1904 Friedrich Franz IV Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Palermo 9 Apr 1882-Flensburg 17 Nov 1945)

4c) Olga Adelheid Luise Marie Alexandrine Agnes (Gmunden 11 Jul 1884-Hubertihaus, nr Gmunden 21 Sep 1958)

5c) Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Peter Waldemar (Gmunden 4 Jul 1885-Gmunden 3 Sep 1901)

6c) ERNST AUGUST Christian Georg, Prince of Hannover, etc, reigning Duke of Braunschweig 1913-1918 (Penzing, nr Vienna 17 Nov 1887-Schloß Marienburg 30 Jan 1953); m.Berlin 24 May 1913 Viktoria Luise Pss of Prussia (Marmorpalais, nr Potsdam 13 Sep 1892-Hannover 11 Dec 1980)

1d) ERNST AUGUST Georg Wilhelm Christian Ludwig Franz Joseph Nikolaus Oskar, Prince of Hannover, etc (Braunschweig 18 Mar 1914-Hannover 9 Dec 1987); m.1st (civ) Schloß Marienburg 31 Aug 1951 (rel) Hannover 4 Sep 1951 Ortrud Pss of Schleswig-Holstein (Flensburg 19 Dec 1925-Hannover 6 Feb 1980); m.2d Laubach (civ) 16 Jul 1981 (rel) 17 Jul 1981 Monika Gfn zu Solms-Laubach (b.Laubach 8 Aug 1929)

1e) Marie Viktoria Luise Hertha Friederike, b.Hannover 26 Nov 1952; m.(civ) Pattensen 4 Jun 1982 (rel) Schloß Marienburg 5 Jun 1982 Michael Gf von Hochberg Frhr zu Fürstenstein (b.Züllichau 5 Dec 1943)

2e) ERNST AUGUST Albert Otto Rupprecht Oskar Berthold Friedrich-Ferdinand Christian-Ludwig, Pr of Hannover, etc, b.Hannover 26 Feb 1954; m.1st (civ) Pattensen 28 Aug 1981 (rel) Schloß Marienburg 30 Aug 1981 (div 1997) Chantal Hochuli (b.Zürich 2 Jun 1955); m.2d Monaco 23 Jan 1999 (rel) Marienburg 27 Jan 1999 Caroline Pss of Monaco (b.Monaco 23 Jan 1957)

1f) Ernst August Andreas Philipp Constantin Maximilian Rolf Stephan Ludwig Rudolph, b.Hildesheim 19 Jul 1983

2f) Christian Heinrich Clemens Paul Frank Peter Welf Ernst-Wilhelm Friedrich Franz, b.Hildesheim 1 Jun 1985

3f) Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia, b.Vöcklabruck 20 Jul 1999

3e) Ludwig Rudolph Georg Wilhelm Philipp Friedrich Wolrad Maximilian (Hannover 21 Nov 1955-Gmunden am Traunsee 28 Nov 1988); m.Bleiburg 4 Oct 1987 Isabella Gfn von Thurn u.Valsassina-Como-Vercelli (Klagenfurt 12 Feb 1962-Gmunden 28 Nov 1988)

1f) Otto Heinrich Aripard Georg Johannes Ernst August Vinzenz Egmont Franz, b.Gmunden 13 Feb 1988

4e) Olga Sophie Charlotte Anna, b.Hannover 17 Feb 1958

5e) Alexandra Irene Margitha Elisabeth Bathildis, b.Hannover 18 Feb 1959; m.(civ) Amorbach 5 Oct 1981 (rel) Gmunden 11 Oct 1981 Andreas Pr zu Leiningen (b.Frankfurt 27 Nov 1955)

6e) Heinrich Julius Christian Otto Friedrich Franz Anton Günter, b.Hannover 29 Apr 1961; m.Teistungen 30 Apr 1999 (rel) 19 Jun 1999 Thyra von Westernhagen (b.Oldenburg 14 Aug 1973)

1f) [by Desirée Saskia Nick (b.Berlin 1960)] Oscar Julius Heinrich Ferdinand Nick (b.Berlin 1996)

2f) Albert Thilo Ludwig Arndt (b.Göttingen 14 Dec 1999)

3f) Eugenia Friederike (b.Göttingen 19 Jul 2001)

4f) Julius Eduard Emanuel (b.Göttingen 22 Feb 2006)

2d) Georg Wilhelm Ernst August Friedrich Axel (Braunschweig 25 Mar 1915-Munich 8 Jan 2006); m.Salem (civ) 23 Apr 1946 (rel) 24 Apr 1946 Sophie Pss of Greece and Denmark (Corfu 26 Jun 1914-Neuhaus bei Schliersee 24 Nov 2001)

1e) Welf Ernst August Andreas Philipp Georg Wilhelm Ludwig Berthold (Schloß Marienburg 25 Jan 1947-Poona, India 10 Jan 1981); m.(civ) Munich 23 May 1969 (rel) Essen-Bredeney 25 May 1969 (div 1979) Wibke van Gunsteren (b.Lübbecke 26 Nov 1948)

1f) Tanja Saskia Viktoria-Luise, b.Duisburg 24 Jul 1970; m.1st London 6 Jul 1990 (div) Michael Naylor-Leyland (b.London 14 Jul 1956); m.2nd 27 Jan 2007 Edward Hooper (b.London 10 Apr 1966)

2e) Georg Paul Christian, b.Salem 9 Dec 1949; m.Schliersee 20 Aug 1973 (rel) Rottach-Egern 17 Sep 1973 Victoria Ann Bee (b.New York 6 Mar 1951)

1f) Vera Alice, b.Munich 5 Nov 1976; m.Chiemgau 12 Aug 2006 Manuel Dmoch (b.Barcelona 20 May 1977)

2f) Nora Sophie, b.Munich 15 Jan 1979; m.Schliersee 13 May 2006 (rel) Aschbach 3 Mar 2007 Christian Falk (n.Halle a.d.Salle Jan 1972)

3e) Friederike Elisabeth Victoria Luise Alice Olga Theodora Helene, b.Salem 15 Oct 1954; m.Vancouver 17 Aug 1979 Jerry William Cyr (b.Port Alberni, British Columbia 16 Jan 1951)

3d) Friederike Luise Thyra Viktoria Margarete Sophie Olga Cecile Isabelle Christa (Blankenburg, Harz 18 Apr 1917-Madrid 6 Feb 1981); m.Athens 9 Jan 1938 King Paul of the Hellenes (Athens 14 Dec 1901-Tatoi 6 Mar 1964)

4d) Christian Oskar Ernst August Wilhelm Viktor Georg Heinrich (Gmunden 1 Sep 1919-Lausanne 10 Dec 1981); m.(civ) Salzburg 23 Nov 1963 (rel) Brussels 25 Nov 1963 (div 1976) Mireille Dutry (b.Chelsea 10 Jan 1946)

1e) Caroline-Luise Mireille Irene Sophie, b.Wels, Upper Austria 3 May 1965

2e) Mireille Victoria Luise, b.Uccle 3 Jun 1971

5d) Welf Heinrich Ernst August Georg Christian Berthold Friedrich Wilhelm Louis Ferdinand (Gmunden 11 Mar 1923-Büdingen [Frankfurt?] 12 Jul 1997); m.Büdingen (civ) 20 Sep 1960 (rel) 21 Sep 1960 Alexandra Pss zu Ysenburg u.Büdingen (b.Frankfurt 23 Oct 1937)

2b) Friederike Sophie Marie Henriette Amalie Therese (Hannover 9 Jan 1848-Biarritz 16 Oct 1926); m.Windsor Castle 24 Apr 1880 Alfons Frhr von Pawel-Ramingen (Coburg 27 Jul 1843-Biarritz 20 Nov 1932)

3b) Marie Ernestine Josephine Adolfine Henriette Therese Elisabeth Alexandrine (Hannover 3 Dec 1849-Gmunden 4 Jun 1904)

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