European Royals

Who is Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg?


Princess Nathalie was born on 2 May 1975 in Copenhagen and is the daughter of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, and Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and hence is the niece of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Like her mother, she likes horses and has had an illustrious career in dressage.

She began her training in 1994 when she was nineteen and four years later was part of a Danish team that won a bronze medal at the European Championships. However, two years later she was only a reserve rider for the 2000 Danish Olympic Team. Though, she did win team bronze medals at the 2001 European Championships and the 2002 World Championships when she finished fourth.

Nathalie has competed in a couple of Olympics for Denmark, helping them to bronze in 2008, and in London in 2012, the team finished in fourth place and she, herself, finished in twelfth place in the individual competition.

Breeding horses have also turned into a family business, in some ways like the British Royal Family do, though with Queen Elizabeth II, and her mother this was more connected with horse racing rather than eventing and dressage. Her mother Princess Benedikte breeds horses, and Nathalie set up her own stud farm in 2005 in Bad Berleburg.

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In January 2010, she became engaged to Alexander Johannsmann, a German horse-breeder and son of the showjumper, Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann. They had a civil marriage in May 2010 with a religious ceremony the following June in the main church in Berleburg. The couple now has two children Konstantin and Louisa.

Neither Princess Nathalie or her children are part of the Danish royal succession. When her mother married a German prince, her father King Frederick IX decreed that in order for any children to be part of the succession they must be brought up in Denmark, which they were not. However, as we have seen, Princess Nathalie has represented Denmark on a few occasions.

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The year 2017 did not start well for Nathalie; sadly, her father Prince Richard passed away on 13 March 2017. His title has passed to her elder brother, Prince Gustav.