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Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
Herzogtum Sachsen-Meiningen
The Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen (German pronunciation: [ˈzaksə ˈmaɪnɪŋən]; English pronunciation: /ˈsæks ˈmaɪnɪŋən/) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia.  Established in 1681, by partition of the Ernestine duchy of Saxe-Gotha among the seven sons of deceased Duke Ernest the Pious, the Saxe-Meiningen line of the House of Wettin lasted, without much distinction, until the end of the German monarchies in 1918.  
Upon the 1680 partition, the former Franconian lands of the extinct House of Henneberg fell to Ernest's third son, Bernhard, who chose the town of Meiningen as his residence and thereby became the first Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. From 1682 Duke Bernhard I had the Schloss Elisabethenburg built and in 1690 established a court orchestra (Hofkapelle), whose later Kapellmeister was Johann Ludwig Bach.

In the reshuffle of Ernestine territories that occurred following the extinction of the Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg line upon the death of Duke Frederick IV in 1825, Duke Bernhard II of Saxe-Meiningen received the lands of the former Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen as well as the Saalfeld territory of the former Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld duchy. As Bernhard II had supported Austria in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, the prime minister of victorious Prussia, Otto von Bismarck enforced his resignation in favour of his son Georg II, after which Saxe-Meiningen was admitted to join the North German Confederation.


In the German Revolution after World War I Duke Bernhard III, brother-in-law of Emperor Wilhelm II, on 10 November 1918 was forced to abdicate. The succeeding Free State of Saxe-Meiningen was merged into the new state of Thuringia in 1920. In 1905 the capital Meiningen had an area of 2,468 km² and a population of 269,000. The summer residence was at Altenstein Castle. Since 1868 the duchy comprised the Kreise (districts) of Hildburghausen, Sonneberg and Saalfeld as well as the northern exclaves of Camburg and Kranichfeld. The present head of the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen is Prince Frederick Konrad (born 1952). 


The History of the House of Wettin
The House of Wettin is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors (Kurfürsten) and kings that once ruled the area of today's German states of Saxony, the Saxon part of Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia for more than 800 years as well as holding at times the kingship of Poland. Agnates of the House of Wettin have, at various times, ascended the thrones of Great Britain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Saxony, and Belgium; of these, only the British and Belgian lines retain their thrones today. The oldest member of the House of Wettin who is known for certain was Thiedericus (died 982), who was probably based in the Liesgau (located at the western edge of the Harz). Around 1000, as part of the German conquest of Slavic territory, the family acquired Wettin Castle, after which they named themselves. 


Wettin Castle is located in Wettin in the Hosgau on the Saale River. Around 1030, the Wettin family received the Eastern March as a fief. The prominence of the Wettin family in the Slavic marches caused Emperor Henry IV to invest them with the March of Meissen as a fief in 1089. The family advanced over the course of the Middle Ages: in 1263 they inherited the landgraviate of Thuringia (though without Hesse), and in 1423 they were invested with the Duchy of Saxony, centred at Wittenberg,thus becoming one of the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire.  The family divided into two ruling branches in 1485 when the sons of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony divided the territories hitherto ruled jointly. The elder son Ernest, who had succeeded his father as Prince-elector, received the territories assigned to the Elector (Electoral Saxony) and Thuringia, while his younger brother Albert obtained the March of Meissen, which he ruled from Dresden. As Albert ruled under the title of "Duke of Saxony", his possessions were also known as Ducal Saxony. 


The older, Ernestine branch remained predominant until 1547 and played an important role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. Their predominance ended in the Schmalkaldic War, which pitted the Protestant Schmalkaldic League against Emperor Charles V. Although itself Protestant, the Albertine branch rallied to the Empire's cause; Charles V rewarded them by forcing the Ernestines to sign away their rights to the Electoral title and lands to the Albertines.


The Ernestine line was thereafter restricted to Thuringia, and its dynastic unity swiftly crumbled. The Albertine Wettin maintained most of the territorial integrity of Saxony, preserving it as a significant power in the region, and using small appanage fiefs for their cadet branches, few of which survived for significant lengths of time. The Ernestine Wettin, on the other hand, repeatedly subdivided their territory, creating an intricate patchwork of small duchies and counties in Thuringia.


The junior Albertine branch ruled as Electors (1547-1806) and Kings of Saxony (1806-1918) and also played a role in Polish history: two Wettin were Kings of Poland (between 1697-1763) and a third ruled the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-1814) as a satellite of Napoleon. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Albertine branch lost about 40% of its lands, including the old Electoral Saxony, to Prussia, restricting it to a territory coextensive with the modern Saxony.  


The Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen

  • Bernhard I (1680-1706)
  • Ernst Ludwig I (1706-24), son of Bernhard I
  • Ernst Ludwig II (1724-29), son of Ernst Ludwig I
  • Karl Frederick (1729-43), son of Ernst Ludwig I
  • Frederick Wilhelm (1743-46), son of Bernhard I
  • Anton Ulrich (1746-63), son of Bernhard I
  • Karl Wilhelm (1763-82), son of Anton Ulrich
  • Georg I (1782-1803), son of Anton Ulrich
  • Bernhard II (1803-66), son of Georg I
  • Georg II (1866-1914), son of Bernhard II
  • Bernhard III (1914-18), son of Georg II, Dukedom abolished in 1918
The Heads of the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen
  • Bernhard III (1918-1928)
  • Prince Ernst (1928-1941)
  • Prince Georg III (1941-1946)
  • Prince Bernhard IV (1946-1984)
  • Prince Konrad (1984-Present)  
The Family Titles and Styles
The members of this family bear the title Prince or Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, Duke or Duchess of Saxony together with the formal appellation of His or Her Highness.
The Genealogy of the Ducal House
GEORG I Friedrich Karl, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (Frankfurt 4 Feb 1761-Meiningen 24 Dec 1803); m.Langenburg 27 Nov 1782 Luise Eleonore Pss zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (Langenburg 11 Aug 1763-Meiningen 30 Apr 1837)
1a) Adelheid Luise Therese Karoline Amalie (Meiningen 13 Aug 1792-Bentley Priory 2 Dec 1849); m.Kew Palace 11 Jul 1818 King William IV of Great Britain, Ireland and Hannover, etc (Buckingham House 21 Aug 1765-Windsor Castle 20 Jun 1837)
2a) Ida (Meiningen 25 Jun 1794-Weimar 4 Apr 1852); m.Meiningen 30 May 1816 Bernhard Pr of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Weimar 30 May 1792-Liebenstein 31 Jul 1862)
3a) BERNHARD II Erich Freund, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, abdicated 20 Sep 1866 (Meiningen 17 Dec 1800-Meiningen 3 Dec 1882); m.Kassel 23 Mar 1825 Marie Pss of Hesse-Kassel (Hanau 6 Sep 1804-Meiningen 4 Jan 1888)
1b) GEORG II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (Meiningen 2 Apr 1826-Wildungen 25 Jun 1914); m.1st Charlottenburg 18 May 1850 Charlotte Pss of Prussia (Schloß Schönhausen 21 Jun 1831-Meiningen 30 Mar 1855); m.2d Langenburg 23 Oct 1858 Feodore Pss zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (Stuttgart 7 Jul 1839-Meiningen 30 Mar 1872); m.3d Liebenstein 18 Mar 1873 Helene Franz, cr Frfrau von Heldburg 1873 (Naumburg 30 May 1839-Meiningen 26 Mar 1923)
1c) BERNHARD III Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht Georg, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, abdicated 10 Nov 1918 (Meiningen 1 Apr 1851-Meiningen 16 Jan 1928); m.Berlin 18 Feb 1878 Charlotte Pss of Prussia (Potsdam 24 Jul 1860-Baden-Baden 1 Oct 1919)
1d) Feodore Victoria Auguste Marie Marianne (Potsdam 12 May 1879-Schloß Neuhoff 26 Aug 1945); m.Breslau 24 Sep 1898 Heinrich XXX Pr Reuss (Schloß Neuhoff 25 Nov 1864-Schloß Neuhoff 23 Mar 1939)

2c) Georg Albrecht (Meiningen 12 Apr 1852-Meiningen 27 Jan 1855)
3c) Maria Elisabeth (Potsdam 23 Sep 1853-Munich 22 Feb 1923)
4c) ERNST Bernhard Victor Georg (Meiningen 27 Sep 1859-Schloß Altenstein 29 Dec 1941); m.Munich 20 Sep 1892 Katharina Jensen, cr Frfrau von Saalfeld 20 Sep 1892 (Kiel 25 Jan 1874-Neu-Egling 19 Apr 1945); their children bear the title Freiherr/Freiin von Saalfeld

1d) Georg Wilhelm Frhr von Saalfeld (Florence 11 Jun 1893-k.a.La Bassée, France 29 Apr 1916)

2d) Elisabeth Helene Adelheid Marie Frn von Saalfeld (Florence 2 Feb 1895-Giessen 4 Jun 1934); m.Munich 25 Apr 1917 Johann Duken (Brake, Oldenburg 12 Jan 1889-Heidelberg 20 Aug 1954)

3d) Ernst Friedrich Heinrich Paul Frhr von Saalfeld (Florence 4 Jul 1896-k.a.Josefovo, nr Kielmy, Lithuania 28 May 1915)

4d) Ralf Erich Frhr von Saalfeld (Frankfurt 28 Mar 1900-Weilheim 22 Jul 1947); m.1st Munich 11 Oct 1928 Marie Seitz (Munich 12 May 1903-Regensburg 24 Jun 1931); m.2d Briest 16 Aug 1936 Melanie von Bismarck (Stendal 15 May 1911-27 Jan 1987)

1e) Karin Frn von Saalfeld (Munich 30 Jan 1927-k.in car wreck Regensburg 16 Sep 1944)

2e) Hermann Ernst Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Sölln, nr Munich 27 Jun 1928); m.Grünwald, nr Munich 4 Aug 1956 Monika Deinhardt (b.Nürnberg 17 Apr 1933)

1f) Katharina Frn von Saalfeld (b.Nürnberg 23 Apr 1959)

2f) Franz Georg Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Ingelheim 4 Oct 1961)

3f) Peter Alexander Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Ingelheim 14 Jul 1963); m.16 Jun 2009 Silke Ludwig

1g) Mara Selina Frn v.Saalfeld (b.12 Sep 2009)

3e) Christian Wilhelm Ernst Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Regensburg 16 Jul 1937); m.Munich 8 Nov 1969 Claudia Reichhold (b.Potsdam 23 Jan 1942)

1f) Olivia Frn von Saalfeld (b.Munich 30 Mar 1972)

2f) Cornelia Frn von Saalfeld (b.Munich 30 May 1975)

4e) Klaus Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Regensburg 5 May 1939); m.Düsseldorf 3 Aug 1973 Helene Pejskova (b.Prague 20 Dec 1939)

5e) Bettina Frn von Saalfeld (b.Regensburg 27 Nov 1942)

6e) Ulrike Karin Frn von Saalfeld (b.Steinhöring 24 Sep 1946)

5d) Sven Hans Frhr von Saalfeld (Munich 18 Sep 1903-13 Dec 1998); m.Cuxhaven 20 Mar 1936 (div 1952) Elisabeth Faust (b.Bredstedt 29 Feb 1916)

1e) Maleen Frn von Saalfeld (b.Munich 21 May 1927); m.1st Zürich 27 Jul 1961 (div 1965) István Babotai (b.Budapest 17 Aug 1939); m.2d Munich 11 Mar 1969 Hans Wolfgang Müller (b.Magdeburg 16 Aug 1907)

2e) Inka Frn von Saalfeld (b.Munich 7 Jul 1939); m.Otterndorf-Hamburg 14 Aug 1964 Dieter Goder (b.Hamburg 15 Mar 1938)

3e) Heike Frn von Saalfeld (b.Lenggries 8 Jun 1941); m.Cuxhaven 25 Aug 1962 Axel Varekamp (b.Amsterdam 21 Jan 1937)

4e) Lerke Frn von Saalfeld (b.Lenggries 25 Sep 1944); m.Berlin 25 Mar 1968 Volkmar von Braunbehrens (b.Freiburg 22 Mar 1941)

5e) Sven Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Lenggries 24 Jan 1946); m.Mühlhausen 14 Jun 1969 (div 1973) Catherine Eisenbraun (b.Mühlhausen 26 Sep 1947)

1f) Nathalie Frn von Saalfeld (b.Offenburg 22 Jul 1970)

6d) Heinrich (Enzio) Woldemar Carl Frhr von Saalfeld (Munich 7 Jul 1908-k.a.over England 31 Mar 1941); m.Munich 28 Feb 1936 Rut Viererbe (Wiesbaden-Rambach 23 May 1910-Höchenschwand, Schwarzwald 14 Dec 1974)

1e) Jörg Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Munich 17 Jan 1937); m.1st San Jose, Costa Rica 13 Aug 1966 (div 1973) Heidi Schmidt-Steinvorth (b.Hannover 21 Jul 1944); m.2d Apr 1976 Hilda Steinvorth Steffen (b.San Jose, Costa Rica 6 Apr 1953)

2e) Jens Frhr von Saalfeld (Munich 17 Jan 1937-San José, Costa Rica 27 Jul 2001); m.San Jose, Costa Rica 7 Mar 1975 Kathryn Kostka (b.Memphis, Tennessee 18 Aug 1950)

1f) Kathryn Frn v.Saalfeld (b.San José 20 Jul 1976); m.San José 9 Sep 2000 John Charles Weiler (b.San José 7 Mar 1973)

2f) Susanne Frn v.Saalfeld (b.San José 18 Jan 1978)

3f) Sven Frhr v.Saalfeld (b.San José 8 Oct 1979)

3e) Jay Frn von Saalfeld (b.Munich 9 Jun 1938); m.Barcelona 4 Apr 1966 Hans Hermann Schmidt Steinworth (b.Hannover 18 Jun 1942)

1f) Christian Frhr von Saalfeld; m.San Carlos 14 Feb 1998 Gabriella Dörries (b.6 Aug 1973)

1g) Robert Frhr von Saalfeld, b.6 Aug 2002

4e) Jan Frhr von Saalfeld (b.Munich 11 Nov 1941); m.San José, Costa Rica 7 Dec 1967 Clara Bansbach (b.San Jose 10 Apr 1942)

1f) Silke Frn von Saalfeld (b.San Jose 7 Sep 1968)

2f) Enzio Frhr von Saalfeld (b.San Jose 11 Sep 1969); m.San José 18 Dec 1998 Irene Granados (b.San José 2 Feb 1971)

1g) Thomas Frhr von Saalfeld (b.San José 11 Jan 2002)

2g) Mathias Frhr von Saalfeld (b.San José 25 Mar 2004)

3f) Karin Frn von Saalfeld (b.San Jose 17 Dec 1971); m.San José 28 Apr 2001 Gunter Stedem (b.San José 23 Jan 1971)
5c) Friedrich Johann Bernhard Hermann Heinrich Moritz (Meiningen 12 Oct 1861-k.a.nr Tarcienne, France 23 Aug 1914); m.Neudorf 24 Apr 1889 Adelheid Pss zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (Oberkassel 22 Jun 1870-Detmold 3 Sep 1948)
1d) Feodore Karola Charlotte Marie Adelheid Auguste Mathilde (Hannover 29 May 1890-Freiburg im Breisgau 12 Mar 1972); m.Meiningen 4 Jan 1910 Wilhelm Ernst, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Weimar 10 Jun 1876-Heinrichau 24 Apr 1923)
2d) Adelheid Erna Karoline Marie Elisabeth (Kassel 16 Aug 1891-La Tour-de-Peilz 25 Apr 1971); m.Wilhelmshaven 3 Aug 1914 Adalbert Pr of Prussia (Marmorpalais 14 Jul 1884-La Tour de Peilz 22 Sep 1948)
3d) GEORG, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (Kassel 11 Oct 1892-d.in Russian POW camp Tschernpowetz 6 Jan 1946); m.Freiburg im Breisgau 22 Feb 1919 Klara-Maria Gfn von Korff gt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock (Darmstadt 31 May 1895-Högerhof bei Türnitz, Lower Austria 10 Feb 1992)

1e) Anton-Ulrich (Jena 23 Dec 1919-k.a.Albert-sur-Somme 20 May 1940)

2e) Friedrich-Alfred Carl Ludwig Vincenz Maria; a monk, he allowed the succession to pass him by in favor of his uncle (Jena 5 Apr 1921-Bennington 18 Sep 1997)

3e) Marie Elisabeth (Jena 18 Dec 1922-Jena 31 Mar 1923)
4e) Regina Helene Elisabeth Margarete (Würzburg 6 Jan 1925-Pöcking 3 Feb 2010); m.Nancy 10 May 1951 Otto, Archduke of Austria (Villa Wartholz 20 Nov 1912-Pöcking 4 Jul 2011)
4d) Ernst Leopold Friedrich Wilhelm Otto (Hannover 23 Sep 1895-k.a.nr Maubeuge 17 Aug 1914)
5d) Luise Marie Elisabeth Mathilde Helene Katharine (Köln 13 Mar 1899-Oeschelbronn bei Pforzheim 14 Feb 1985); m.Detmold 25 Oct 1936 Götz Frhr von Wangenheim (Berlin 18 Jan 1895-k.a.Chernatskoie, Russia 5 Oct 1941)
6d) BERNHARD Friedrich Julius Heinrich, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (Köln 30 Jun 1901-Bad Krozingen 4 Oct 1984); m.1st Eichenhof im Riesengebirge 25 Apr 1931 (div 1947) Margot Grössler (Breslau 22 Jan 1911-Bad Sackingen 2 May 1998); m.2d Ziegenberg über Bad Nauheim 11 Aug 1948 Vera Frn Schäffer von Bernstein (Frankfurt 10 Aug 1914-24 Oct 1994)

1e) Feodora Adelheid Mary Luise (b.Schloß Pitzelstettin 27 May 1932); m.Sökking 8 Aug 1967 Burkhard Kippenberg (b.Sökking 8 Aug 1927)

2e) Friedrich Ernst (Meiningen 21 Jan 1935-13 Jul 2004); m.1st Schweiherdingen 3 Mar 1962 (div 1973) Ehrengard von Massow (b.Stralsund 25 Oct 1933); m.2d Coburg (civ) 11 Jun 1977 (rel) 12 Jun 1977 Beatrice Pss of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (b.Bern 15 Jul 1951)

1f) Maria-Alexandra Elisabeth Beatrice (b.Heilbronn 5 Jul 1978); m.(rel) Gravedona, Italy 17 Jul 2002 (civ) Basel 26 Apr 2004 Benno Beat Christian Widmer (b.Basel 17 Jul 1971)

2f) Friedrich Constantin (b.Heilbronn 3 Jun 1980)

3e) Marie Eleonore Adelheid Feodora Sophie Helene Gisela Edelgarde (b.Ziegenberg 9 Nov 1950); m.(civ) in Virginia 22 Oct 1982 (rel) 21 May 1983 Peter Eric Rosden (b.Washington 10 Jan 1947)
4e) Johann Friedrich-Konrad Carl Eduard Horst Arnold Matthias (b.Ziegenberg 14 Apr 1952)

5e) Almut Huberta Anna Victoria (b.Bützbach 25 Sep 1959); m.(civ) Vorsfelde 14 Oct 1993 (rel) Nordteimke bei Wolfsburg 16 Oct 1993 Eberhard von Braunschweig (Coburg 5 Mar 1954)

6c) Viktor (Meiningen 14 May 1865-Meiningen 17 May 1865)

2b) Auguste Luise Adelheid Karoline Ida (Meiningen 6 Aug 1843-Altenburg 11 Nov 1919); m.Meiningen 15 Oct 1862 Moritz Pr of Saxe-Altenburg (Eisenberg 24 Oct 1829-Arco 13 May 1907) 

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