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British RoyalsThe Duke of Edinburgh

The three German Princes invited to Prince Philip’s funeral

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh in 1966
By Magnussen, Friedrich (1914-1987) - Stadtarchiv Kiel, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Wiki Commons

With the limited amount of guests allowed at Prince Philip’s, some were perhaps surprised to see three of those spots filled by German Princes. We are taking a look at how they are related to Prince Philip.

Most will know that Prince Philip was the youngest of five siblings and that his four elder sisters all married German Princes in 1930 and 1931. All four of his sisters predeceased Prince Philip, so in order to represent this side of the family, their descendants and relations were invited.

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Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden (born 1970), is the grandson of Prince Philip’s second sister Princess Theodora. She married Berthold, Margrave of Baden, on 17 August 1931, and they had two sons – Prince Maximillian, Margrave of Baden and Prince Ludwig – and a daughter – Princess Margarita – together. Bernhard is the eldest son of Prince Maximilian and is thus a great-nephew of Prince Philip.

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(Left)

The second German Prince is Philipp, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (born 1970). He is the grandson of Prince Philip’s eldest sister Princess Margarita. She married Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, in 1931, and they had two daughters – one stillborn and Princess Beatrix – and four sons – Prince Kraft, Prince Georg, Prince Rupprecht, Prince Albrecht. Philipp is the son of Prince of Kraft and thus also a great-nephew of Prince Philip.

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(Donatus pictured with Her Majesty The Queen)

The third German Prince is Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse (born 1966), who is not a descendant of either of the two remaining sisters, although both Princess Cecilie and Sophie married Hessian Princes. Cecilie married Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, in 1931, but she (and her unborn child), her husband, her mother-in-law and two sons were killed in an aeroplane crash. Their only daughter, who was not on board the plane, died of meningitis two years later. Princess Sophie married Prince Christoph of Hesse, and they had three daughters – Princess Christina, Princess Dorothea, Princess Clarissa – and two sons – Prince Karl and Prince Rainer – before Christoph was killed in action in 1943. She remarried to Prince George William of Hanover and had a further two sons – Prince Welf Ernst and Prince Georg – and a daughter – Princess Friederike.

After the death of Cecilie’s brother-in-law Prince Louis, this line of the family died out and the title was inherited by his distant cousin Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, whom Louis had adopted as his heir. Prince Donatus is Moritz’s eldest son and the current Head of the entire House of Hesse. So while he is not a descendant of the two sisters, he is the representative of their family. In any case, he too is a descendant of Queen Victoria, making them distant family members any way.