Hesse or Hessia the State of Hesse, is a federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; as a cultural region, Hesse includes the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The German name Hessen, like the name of other German regions is derived from the dative plural form of the name of the inhabitants or eponymous tribe, the Hessians, short for the older compound name Hessenland; the Old High German form of the name is recorded as Hessun, in Middle Latin as Hassia, Hassonia. The name of the Hessians continues the tribal name of the Chatti; the ancient name Chatti by the 7th century is recorded as Chassi, from the 8th century as Hassi or Hessi. An inhabitant of Hesse is called a "Hessian"; the American English term Hessian for 18th-century British auxiliary troops originates with Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Cassel hiring out regular army units to the government of Great Britain to fight in the American Revolutionary War.
The English form Hesse is in common use by the 18th century, first in the hyphenated names Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt, but the latinate form Hessia remains in common English usage well into the 19th century. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission in English-language contexts because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated; the synthetic element hassium, number 108 on the periodic table, was named after the state of Hesse in 1997, following a proposal of 1992. The territory of Hesse was delineated only as Greater Hesse, under American occupation, it corresponds only loosely to the medieval Landgraviate of Hesse. In the 19th century, prior to the unification of Germany, the territory of what is now Hesse comprised the territories of Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau, the free city of Frankfurt and the Electorate of Hesse; the Central Hessian region was inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic. Finds of tools in southern Hesse in Rüsselsheim suggest the presence of Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago.
A fossil hominid skull, found in northern Hesse, just outside the village of Rhünda, has been dated at 12,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist, it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to c. 3000 BC, it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture. An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid-5th-century BC La Tène-style burial uncovered at Glauberg; the region was settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe around the 1st century BC, the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. The ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction; the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. The governor of Germania, at least temporarily had resided here.
The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year AD 9. The Chatti were involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in AD 69. Hessia, from the early 7th century on, served as a buffer between areas dominated by the Saxons and the Franks, who brought the area to the south under their control in the early sixth century and occupied Thuringia in 531. Hessia occupies the northwestern part of the modern German state of Hesse, its geographic center is Fritzlar. To the west, it occupies the valleys of the Rivers Lahn, it measured 90 kilometers north-south, 80 north-west. The area around Fritzlar shows evidence of significant pagan belief from the 1st century on. Geismar was a particular focus of such activity. Excavations have produced bronze artifacts. A possible religious cult may have centered on a natural spring in Geismar, called Heilgenbron; the village of Maden, now a part of Gudensberg near Fritzlar and less than ten miles from Geismar, was an ancient religious center.
By the mid-7th century, the Franks had established themselves as overlords, suggested by archeological evidence of burials, they built fortifications in various places, including Christenberg. By 690, they took direct control over Hessia to counteract expansion by the Saxons, who built fortifications in Gaulskopf and Eresburg across the River Diemel, the northern boundary of Hessia; the Büraburg
Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia was the third child and second daughter of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. She was a granddaughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. Born a British princess, Victoria spent her early life in England and lived in Malta for three years, where her father was serving in the Royal Navy. In 1889 the family moved to Coburg, where Victoria's father became the reigning duke in 1893. In her teens Victoria fell in love with her maternal first cousin Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia, but the disapprobation of marriage between first cousins of his faith, Orthodox Christianity, discouraged their romance. Bowing to family pressure, Victoria married her paternal first cousin, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine in 1894, following the wishes of their shared grandmother, Queen Victoria, their marriage was a failure. Victoria scandalized the royal families of Europe when she divorced her husband in 1901.
The couple's only child, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, died of typhoid fever in 1903. Victoria married Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich in 1905, they wed without the formal approval of Britain's King Edward VII, required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, in defiance of Tsar Nicholas II. In retaliation, the Tsar stripped Kirill of his offices and honours initially banishing the couple from Russia, they had two daughters and settled in Paris before being allowed to visit Russia in 1909. In 1910 they moved to Russia. After the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1917, they escaped to Finland where she gave birth to her only son. In exile they lived for some years among her relatives in Germany, from the late 1920s on an estate they bought in Saint-Briac. In 1926, Kirill proclaimed himself emperor in exile and Victoria supported her husband's claims. Victoria died after suffering a stroke. Victoria was born on 25 November 1876 in San Anton Palace in Attard, hence her second name, Melita, her father, stationed on the island as an officer in the Royal Navy, was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria.
Her mother was Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the only surviving daughter of Alexander II of Russia and Marie of Hesse. As a grandchild of the British monarch, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Edinburgh. Within her family, she was always known as "Ducky". At the time of her birth, she was 10th in the line of succession to the British throne; the princess was christened on 1 January 1877 at San Antonio Palace by a Royal Navy chaplain. Her godparents included her paternal grandmother Queen Victoria, represented by a proxy. After the Duke’s service in Malta was over they returned to England where the family lived for the next few years, they divided their time between Eastwell Park, their country home in Kent, Clarence House, their residence in London facing Buckingham Palace. Eastwell, a large estate of 2,500 acres near Ashford, with its forest and park was the children's favorite residence. In January 1886, shortly after Princess Victoria turned nine, the family left England when her father was appointed commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean naval squadron, based on Malta.
For the next three years, the family lived at the San Anton Palace in Victoria's birthplace. The marriage of her parents was unhappy; the Duke was taciturn, prone to drinking and detached from his family. Victoria's mother was cultured. Although she was unsentimental and strict, the Duchess was a devoted mother and the most important person in her children's lives; as a child, Victoria had a difficult temperament. She was shy and sensitive. In the judgment of her sister Marie: "This passionate child was misunderstood." Princess Victoria Melita was learned to play the piano. She was close to Marie; the two sisters would remain close throughout their lives. They contrasted in personality. Victoria was moody while Marie was blond and easy-going. Although she was one year younger, Victoria seemed to be the older of the two; as a son of Queen Victoria's deceased husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Victoria Melita's father was in the line of succession to Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the sovereign German duchy ruled by Albert's elder brother, Ernest II, until his death in 1893.
Prince Alfred became heir presumptive to the duchy when his older brother, the Prince of Wales, deferred his Saxon succession rights in favour of his younger brothers. Alfred and his family therefore moved to Coburg in 1889, their mother began attempting to "Germanise" her daughters by installing a new governess, buying them plain clothing, having them confirmed in the German Lutheran church though they had been raised as Anglicans. The children rebelled and some of the new restrictions were eased; the teenage Victoria was a "tall, dark girl, with violet eyes... with the assuredness of an Empress and the high spirits of a tomboy," according to one observer. Victoria had "too little chin to be conventionally beautiful," in the opinion of one of her biographers, but "she had a good figure, deep blue eyes, dark complexion." In 1891, Victoria travelled with her mother to the funeral of her maternal aunt Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia. There Victoria met her first cousin Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich.
Although the two were attracted to each other, Vi
Lady Louise Alexandra Marie Irene Mountbatten Princess Louise of Battenberg, was Queen of Sweden from the accession of her husband, Gustaf VI Adolf, in 1950 until her death. Louise was born a Princess of Battenberg at Schloss Heiligenberg, Seeheim-Jugenheim, in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, her father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Admiral of the Fleet in the United Kingdom, renounced his German title during World War I and anglicised his family name to "Mountbatten" at the behest of King George V. He was created the first Marquess of Milford Haven in the peerage of the United Kingdom. From 1917, his daughter was known as "Lady Louise Mountbatten", her mother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Louise was a sister of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, of Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, she was a niece of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. Because of her father's work, the family moved around between different British territories, such as Malta, but they returned to the Heiligenberg outside Darmstadt which they considered their holiday home, always retaining residence in England.
Louise visited her great-grandmother Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight with her mother during her childhood. The family is described as harmonious. Louise and her sister were educated by governesses, except for a brief period at Texter's girls school in Darmstadt. In 1914, Louise and her mother visited Russia, were invited to a trip down the Volga with their Imperial relatives. During her visit, Louise noted the influence of Rasputin with concern; the trip was interrupted by the sudden outbreak of World War I, Louise's father telegraphed for them to return immediately. Louise's mother gave her jewellery to the empress for safe keeping, they left Russia by boat from Hapsal in Estonia and travelled to neutral Sweden, paying for the trip with gold, as their money was not acceptable currency in Russia, they stayed in Sweden as guests of the Crown Princely couple at Drottningholm Palace, just one night before they returned to Great Britain. During World War I, Louise was first active within the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association and the Smokes for Soldiers and Sailors, but she soon enlisted in the Red Cross for service as a nurse.
She was active at a French military hospital in Nevers, at a war hospital at Palaves outside Montpellier, from March 1915 until July 1917. She was commended for her hard work, was awarded The British War and Victory Medals, a medal from the British Red Cross, as well as the Médaille de la Reconnaissance française. After the war, she was active in social work for the children in the slums of Battersea in London. In 1909, Louise received a proposal from King Manuel II of Portugal. Edward VII was in favour of the match. In 1913, having been deposed in 1910, Manuel married Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern in exile, but their marriage was childless. At the age of twenty, Louise became secretly engaged to Prince Christopher of Greece, but they were forced to give up their relationship for financial reasons. While living in exile more than 10 years he would wed the wealthy widow, Nancy Stewart Worthington Leeds, after her death Christopher would marry Princess Françoise d'Orléans in 1929. Shortly before World War I broke out, Louise fell in love with a man of whom her parents approved but he was killed in the early days of the war.
During the war, while she volunteered as a nurse in Nevers, she began a relationship with Alexander Stuart-Hill, a Scottish artist living in Paris. Anticipating that her parents would be disappointed in her choice, Louise kept their engagement a secret, she confided in her parents, who were understanding, invited Stuart-Hill for visits at Kent House twice. In fact, her family, referring to him as "Shakespeare" because of his odd appearance, found him "eccentric" and "affected". Lacking resources, the engaged couple agreed to postpone marriage until after the war, but in 1918 Louise's father explained to her that Stuart-Hill was most homosexual, that a marriage with him was impossible. In 1923 Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, having been for three years the widower of Louise's mother's cousin Princess Margaret of Connaught, paid a visit to London and, to Louise's surprise, began to court her. Although as a young woman Louise had said that she would never marry a king or a widower, she accepted the proposal of a man destined to be both.
However, under §5 of the 1810 Swedish Succession Law, a prince of the Swedish royal house forfeited his right of succession to the throne if he "with or without the King’s knowledge and consent, married a private Swedish or foreign man’s daughter". Once the couple's engagement was announced, there were lively discussions in the media about whether the bride-to-be was constitutionally eligible to become Sweden's future queen. In response the Swedish Foreign Ministry, citing the law in question, clarified the term "a private Swedish or foreign man's daughter" to mean "he who did not belong to a sovereign family or to a family which, according to international practice, would not be equal thereto" (som icke vore medlem av suverän familj eller familj som enligt internationell praxis
Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark
Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark was the wife of Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and third-eldest sister to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Cecilie was the third child and daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, she was born on 22 June 1911 at the summer estate of the Greek Royal Family at Tatoi, fifteen kilometres north of Athens. Although her given name was Cecilie, she was known to her family as Cécile. Cecilie was baptised at Tatoi on 2 July 1911, her godparents were King George V of the United Kingdom, Grand Duke Ernst Louis of Hesse, Prince Nicholas of Greece and Duchess Vera of Württemberg. Through her father Cecilie was a grandchild of King George I of Greece and his wife Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. Through her mother she was a great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Cecilie had three sisters: Margarita and Sophie, her brother Philip Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1922 Cecilie and her sisters were bridesmaids at the wedding of their maternal uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten to Edwina Ashley.
On 2 February 1931 at Darmstadt, Cecilie married Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, her maternal first cousin once removed. They had four children: On 1 May 1937 Cecilie and her husband both joined the Nazi Party. In October 1937, Cecilie's father-in-law Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse died. A few weeks after the funeral, her brother-in-law Prince Ludwig was due to be married to the Hon. Margaret Campbell-Geddes in London. On 16 November 1937, Georg Donatus, their two young sons and Georg's mother Grand Duchess Eleonore left Darmstadt for London, where they planned to attend the wedding; the aircraft in which they were travelling crashed in flames after hitting a factory chimney near Ostend, killing all on board. Cecilie was eight months pregnant with her fourth child at the time of the crash, the remains of the baby were found in the wreckage. Cecilie was buried with her husband and three of her children in Darmstadt at the Rosenhöhe, the traditional burial place of the Hesse family.
Cecilie's daughter Johanna was adopted by Princess Margaret. However, Johanna died two years from meningitis and is buried with her parents and siblings. Cecilie was the first of Prince Princess Alice's children to die; the crash figures in the plot of A Matter of Honour by Jeffrey Archer, in which Grand Duke Georg has in his possession the jewels of his aunt, the last Tsaritsa of Russia, which the KGB are looking for. There is no evidence in reality, she is depicted in the Netflix series The Crown as Prince Philip's favourite sister. She appears in flashbacks in the ninth episode of the second season, portrayed by German actress Leonie Benesch. 22 June 1911 – 2 February 1931: Her Royal Highness Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark 2 February 1931 – 16 November 1937: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine Greece: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia, 1st Class House of Hesse: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Golden Lion United Kingdom: Recipient of the King George VI Coronation Medal Sabena OO-AUB Ostend crash
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
George Buchanan (diplomat)
Sir George William Buchanan, was a British diplomat. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, he was the youngest son of Sir Andrew Buchanan, 1st Baronet and Frances, daughter of Very Rev Edward Mellish by Elizabeth Leigh. Buchanan entered diplomatic service in 1876, served as Second Secretary in Tokyo and Bern, as Secretary in Rome. By 1899 he was serving on the Venezuelan Boundary Commission, that year he was appointed Chargé d'affaires at Darmstadt and Karlsruhe. In late 1901 he moved to Berlin. From 1903 to 1908 he was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Bulgaria, in 1909 he was appointed as Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Invested with the Knight's Grand Cross of Royal Victorian Order in 1909, he was next sworn to the Privy Council In 1910 Buchanan was appointed as the British Ambassador to Russia, he kept abreast of the political developments in Russia and met some of the leading liberal reformists in the country. When the Dardanelles were guaranteed by Germany to the Turks, Italy sent two secret documents vis the British diplomatic corps from Sir Michael Rodd to Sir George at St Petersburg.
In it were the evidence that Russia needed to persuade Italy to support her Serbian policy in the Balkans. On 4 March 1915 Imperiali, the Italian envoy to London had presented the documents to Sir Edward Grey on an authority of 16 February from Sonnino, their foreign minister. France attached great importance to Italy's decision to join the allies. Buchanan was able to bring Count Sazonov to the negotiating table, it has been suggested that this was secretly encouraged by the Liberal government in London: The British Ambassador George Buchanan was only too aware of the court's `pro-German sympathies'. He complained to the Duma President, M. V. Rodzianko, in November 1916 that he found it difficult to get an audience at court, expressed his view `that Germany is using Alexandra Fedorovna to set the Tsar against the Allies. Elsewhere, Buchanan stated his view that the Empress was `the unwitting instrument of Germany'. Buchanan had developed a strong bond with the Tsar, Nicholas II, attempted to convince him that granting some constitutional reform would stave-off revolution.
Buchanan supported the Duma in its efforts to change Russia's stately system during war-time. Nicholas's opinion of him was under the influence of the Tsarina's sway. Knowing that there were plots to stage a palace coup to replace him, Sir George formally requested an audience of the Tsar in the troubled early days of 1917. At his last meeting with Nicholas he pleaded with him in'undiplomatic' language: "I can but plead as my excuse the fact that I have throughout been inspired by my feelings of devotion for Your Majesty and the Empress. If I were to see a friend walking through a wood on a dark night along a path which I knew ended in a precipice, would it not be my duty, sir, to warn him of his danger? And is it not my duty to warn Your Majesty of the abyss that lies ahead of you? You have, come to the parting of the ways, you have now to choose between two paths; the one will lead you to a glorious peace -- the other to revolution and disaster. Let me implore Your Majesty to choose the former."Although the Tsar was touched by the Ambassador's devotion, he allowed his wife's malevolent attitudes to overbear the sensible advice he had been given.
After the collapse of the Autocracy, he developed close relations with the liberal Provisional Government led by George Lvov and by Alexander Kerensky that formed after the February Revolution. At the same time, Buchanan had developed a fear of the dangers of Bolshevism and its growing support, he feared the toppling of the Russian Provisional Government and tried to warn of the fragilities of the Government and the dangers of a Bolshevik revolution. Buchanan had reported to London "They are more active and better organized than any other group, until they and the ideas which they represent are squashed, the country will remain a prey to anarchy and disorder. If the Government are not strong enough to put down the Bolsheviks by force, at the risk of breaking altogether with the soviet, the only alternative will be a Bolshevik Government." However, after the events of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks ascension to power he was criticized for the failure to ensure that the Tsar Nicholas II and his family were evacuated from Russia before their execution by the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg in 1918.
It is now known that this was not his fault but that of the Tsar's first cousin, King George V who, fearful of revolutionary trends in Britain and the stability of his own throne, persuaded the Lloyd George government to rescind the offer they had made to provide sanctuary for the Imperial Family. Buchanan was disappointed that the fledgling democracy offered by the Provisional Government was strangled by the Bolshevik coup At the beginning of December 1918 Buchanan fell ill and for the good of his health he agreed that it was best he left Russia; the family left St Petersburg on 26 December 1918, arriving back in Leith in Scotland on 17 January 1919. His health collapsed soon after. After his recovery he was disappointed after his years of service not to be given a peerage and to only be offered a two-year ambassadorship in Rome, he accepted the post, serving as ambassador to the Kingdom of Italy from 1919–21. While in Italy his wife was found to have terminal cancer and died in April 1921 soon after the family's return to England.
Sir George's autobiography, My Mission to Russia and Other Diplomatic Memories, was published in
Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse
Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse was the first child of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and his second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. On 2 February 1931 at Darmstadt Georg, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, married his first cousin once-removed, Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, they had four children: On 1 May 1937 Georg Donatus and Princess Cecile both joined the Nazi Party. In October 1937, Georg Donatus' father, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse died. A few weeks after the funeral, his younger brother, Prince Louis was due to be married to the Hon. Margaret Geddes, daughter of Lord Geddes. On 16 November 1937, Georg Donatus, their two young sons, Georg's mother Grand Duchess Eleonore, the children's nurse, a family friend, a pilot and two crewmen, flew from Darmstadt bound for the United Kingdom, where Prince Louis was due to be married.
The aeroplane crashed into flames, killing all those on board. Cecilie was pregnant with her fourth child at the time of the crash, the remains of the newborn baby were found in the wreckage, indicating that Cecilie had gone into labour during the flight. Prince Louis' wedding had been scheduled for the 20th, following discussions with his future father-in-law Sir Auckland Geddes, was brought forward to the day following the accident, as a small and quiet ceremony with the guests dressed in mourning. Afterward, he set off with his new wife Margaret to Belgium to visit the crash site; the funeral and burial of Georg Donatus and his family took place at the Rosenhöhe, Hesse a few days later. Attending were Prince Philip, Prince Christoph of Hesse, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Prince Philipp of Hesse, Margrave of Baden, Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia and Lord Louis Mountbatten, among others. A photograph of the funeral procession, showing Prince Louis as chief mourner, shows crowds saluting the mourners with the Hitler salute.
World War II began less than two years later. The Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess' fourteen-month-old daughter, was the only one of the family, not on board the aircraft, she was adopted by her uncle Prince Louis and aunt Princess Margaret in early 1938. Johanna died of meningitis in 1939. With the death of the childless Prince Louis in 1968, the male line of the Hesse and by Rhine became extinct, his Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by RhineGeorg Donatus never acceded to the grand ducal throne as it had been abolished at the end of the First World War. Titles became surnames after that point. Gilbert I, Count of the Maasgau, d. 842 Gilbert II, Count of the Maasgau, 825–875 Reginar, Duke of Lorraine, 850–915 Reginar II, Count of Hainaut, 890–932 Reginar III, Count of Hainaut, 920–973 Lambert I, Count of Leuven, 950–1015 Lambert II, Count of Leuven, d. 1054 Henry II, Count of Leuven, 1020–1078 Godfrey I, Count of Leuven, 1060–1139 Godfrey II, Count of Leuven, 1187–1226 Godfrey III, Count of Leuven, 1140–1190 Henry I, Duke of Brabant, 1165–1235 Henry II, Duke of Brabant, 1207–1248 Henry I, Landgrave of Hesse, 1244–1308 Otto I, Landgrave of Hesse, 1272–1328 Louis the Junker of Hesse, 1305–1345 Hermann II, Landgrave of Hesse, 1341–1413 Louis I, Landgrave of Hesse, 1402–1458 Louis II, Landgrave of Hesse, 1438–1471 William II, Landgrave of Hesse, 1469–1509 Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, 1504–1567 George I, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1547–1596 Louis V, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1577–1626 George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1605–1661 Louis VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1630–1678 Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1667–1739 Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1691–1768 Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1719–1790 Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse, 1753–1830 Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse, 1777–1848 Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine, 1809–1877 Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, 1868–1937 Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, 1906–1937 Sabena OO-AUB Ostend crash