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Hermine Reuss of Greiz

hermine reuss of greiz, hermine reuss of greiz symbol
Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz German: Hermine, Prinzessin Reuß zu Greiz;[1][2] 17 December 1887 – 7 August 1947, widowed Princess of Schönaich-Carolath, was the second wife of Wilhelm II 1859–1941[3] They were married in 1922, four years after he had abdicated as German Emperor and King of Prussia


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 First marriage
  • 3 Marriage to ex-Emperor Wilhelm II
  • 4 Later life
  • 5 Dramatic representation
  • 6 In Popular Culture
  • 7 Ancestry
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Hermine left and her sisters, 1903

Princess Hermine was born in Greiz as the fifth child and fourth daughter of Heinrich XXII, Prince Reuss of Greiz 28 March 1846 – 19 April 1902, and Princess Ida Mathilde Adelheid of Schaumburg-Lippe 28 July 1852 – 28 September 1891, daughter of Adolf I, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe[3] Her father was the ruler of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz, a state of the German Empire, in what is present-day Thuringia Princess Hermine's disabled elder brother became Heinrich XXIV, Prince Reuss of Greiz in 1902

Upon her mother's early death, she was raised at the court of Princess Louise of Prussia, daughter of Emperor Wilhelm I, and her husband Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden Like Hermine's father, Princess Louise was an implacable enemy of Prince Bismarck[citation needed]

First marriage

Princess Hermine was married on 7 January 1907 in Greiz to Prince Johann George Ludwig Ferdinand August of Schönaich-Carolath 11 September 1873 – 7 April 1920[3]

They were the parents of five children:

  • Prince Hans Georg Heinrich Ludwig Friedrich Hermann Ferdinand of Schönaich-Carolath 3 November 1907 – 9 August 1943, married Baroness Sibylle von Zedlitz und Leipe, killed in action at the Eastern Front during the Second World War
  • Prince Georg Wilhelm of Schönaich-Carolath 16 March 1909 – 1 November 1927, died unmarried
  • Princess Hermine Caroline Wanda Ida Luise Feodora Viktoria Auguste of Schönaich-Carolath 9 May 1910 – 30 May 1959, married Hugo Herbert Hartung
  • Prince Ferdinand Johann Georg Hermann Heinrich Ludwig Wilhelm Friedrich August of Schönaich-Carolath 5 April 1913 – 17 October 1973, married Rose Rauch, then Baroness Margarethe von Seckendorff
  • Princess Henriette Hermine Wanda Ida Luise of Schönaich-Carolath 25 November 1918 – 16 March 1972, married Wilhelm II's grandson Prince Karl Franz of Prussia son of Prince Joachim of Prussia in 1940 and had issue

Marriage to ex-Emperor Wilhelm II

Hermine with Wilhelm II and her daughter Henriette in Doorn, 1931

In January 1922, a son of Princess Hermine sent birthday wishes to the exiled German Emperor Wilhelm II, who then invited the boy and his mother to Huis Doorn Wilhelm found Hermine very attractive, and greatly enjoyed her company The two had much in common, both being recently widowed: Hermine just over a year and a half before, and Wilhelm only nine months prior

By early 1922, Wilhelm was determined to marry Hermine Despite grumblings from Wilhelm's monarchist supporters and the objections of his children, 63-year-old Wilhelm and 34-year-old Hermine married on 5 November 1922 in Doorn[3] By all accounts, it was a happy marriage Hermine's first husband had also been older than she was, by fourteen years Wilhelm and Hermine were 4th cousins once removed through mutual descent from Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt and 5th cousins through common descent from King George II of Great Britain

In 1927, Hermine wrote An Empress in Exile: My Days in Doorn, an account of her life up to that time She cared for the property management of Huis Doorn and by establishing her own relief organization, she stayed in contact with monarchist and nationalist circles in the Weimar Republic Hermine also shared her husband's antisemitism[4] She remained a constant companion to the aging emperor until his death in 1941 They had no children

Later life

Following the death of Wilhelm, Hermine returned to Germany to live on her first husband's estate in Saabor, Lower Silesia During the Vistula–Oder Offensive of early 1945, she fled from the advancing Red Army to her sister's estate in Rossla, Thuringia After the end of the Second World War, she was held under house arrest at Frankfurt on the Oder in the Soviet occupation zone, and later imprisoned in the Paulinenhof Internment Camp On 7 August 1947, aged only 59, she died suddenly of a heart attack in a small flat in Frankfurt, while under strict guard by the Red Army occupation forces[3] She was buried in the Antique Temple of Sanssouci Park, Potsdam, in what would become East Germany Some years earlier, it was the resting place of several other members of the Imperial family, including Wilhelm's first wife, Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein

Dramatic representation

In 2016, Janet McTeer played a fictional Princess Hermine in The Exception alongside Christopher Plummer as Kaiser Wilhelm II

In Popular Culture

The humorous novel Mad, Mad Marjorie by Andrew Shaffer, Hermine features as the object of boyhood adulation of the character Andreas Stackenwalter


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  1. ^ a b Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh editor Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage, London, 1973, pp 248-249,302 mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflinkISBN 0-220-66222-3
  2. ^ a b "Almanach de Gotha", Russie, Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1944, pp 90, 97, French
  3. ^ a b c d e Lundy, Darryl "Hermine Prinzessin Reuss zu Greiz" The Peerage Retrieved 9 October 2010
  4. ^ Urbach, Karina 2015 Go-Betweens for Hitler Oxford: Oxford University Press pp 232–233 ISBN 978-0191008672

External links

  • Newspaper clippings about Hermine Reuss of Greiz in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW

Hermine Reuss of Greiz House of ReussBorn: 17 December 1887 Died: 7 August 1947
Titles in pretence
VacantTitle last held byAugusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein — TITULAR —
German Empress
Queen of Prussia

9 November 1922 – 4 June 1941
Reason for succession failure:
German monarchies abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

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