News has come out of Germany, that Hereditary Prince Ernst-August of Hanover will sell Schloss Marienburg to the part of the State Ministry of Science & Culture for Lower Saxony for a nominal 1 Euro.
Though, as part of the same arrangement, the state museum will purchase around two million euro’s worth of the art and furniture so that it may stay in the castle with the Hereditary Prince putting another six million euro’s worth of art and furniture into a charitable foundation.
The main concern, which the Prince has been speaking to the State about for assistance, is the fabric of the building. This Gothic revival castle was partially built on a man-made hill, and this has become unstable with dry rot also being discovered. It was announced recently the State would invest around 27 million euros for repairs to the castle and the foundations.
The castle is the last example of an original unrestored castle built for the House of Guelph. It was built by George V of Hannover for his wife, Queen Marie, from which it takes its name, sadly within a couple of years of its completion in the 1860s the castle was abandoned when Hannover was annexed by Prussia.
The Castle was re-occupied at the end of World War II, by Ernest Augustus the Duke of Brunswick and his wife Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia. It was their son, Prince Ernest Augustus IV who first opened the Castle to the public in 1954 with a museum as part of the facilities on offer as it is to this day. The property was handed to the Hereditary Prince by his father Prince Ernst August together with other property in 2004
The Hereditary Prince commutes between a house in London, and the Furstenhaus (“Princely House”) at Herrenhausen Gardens near Hanover, Germany. In fact, the Prince and his younger brother Prince Christian lived at Hurlingham Lodge until his mid-teens. In addition to the German properties, the Hereditary Prince also looks after the Gmunden estate in Austria; it was here the Prince of Hannover and family fled to when Hannover was annexed in 1866 as mentioned earlier.