Hohenlohe is the name of a German princely dynasty descended from the ancient Franconian Imperial immediate noble family that belonged to the German High Nobility. The family was granted the titles of Count and Prince. In 1806 the Princes of Hohenlohe lost their independence and their lands formed part of the Kingdoms of Bavaria and of Württemberg by the Act of the Confederation of the Rhine. At the time of this mediatization in 1806, the area of Hohenlohe was 1 760 km² and its estimated population was 108,000; the Act of the Confederation of the Rhine deprived the Princes of Hohenlohe of their Imperial immediacy, but did not confiscate their possessions. Until the German Revolution of 1918–19 the Princes of Hohenlohe, as other mediatized families, had important political privileges, they were considered equal by birth to the European Sovereign houses. In Bavaria, Prussia and Württemberg the Princes of Hohenlohe had hereditary right to sit in the House of Lords. In 1825 the Assembly / Diet of the German Confederation recognized the predicate of "Serene Highness" for the heads of the Hohenlohe lines.
An early ancestor was mentioned in 1153 as one Lord of Weikersheim. His son Conrad jun. called himself the possessor of Hohlach Castle near Uffenheim, the dynasty's influence was soon perceptible between the Franconian valleys of the Kocher, the Jagst and the Tauber Rivers, an area, to be called the Hohenlohe Plateau.. Heinrich I was the first to take the name of Hohenlohe, in 1230 his grandsons and Conrad, supporters of Emperor Frederick II, founded the lines of Hohenlohe-Hohenlohe and Hohenlohe-Brauneck, names taken from their respective castles; the latter became extinct in 1390, its lands passing to Brandenburg, while the former was divided into several branches, only two of which, Hohenlohe-Weikersheim and Hohenlohe-Uffenheim-Speckfeld, need be mentioned here. Hohenlohe-Weikersheim, descended from Count Kraft I underwent several divisions, that which took place after the deaths of Counts Albert and George in 1551 being specially important. At this time the lines of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein and Hohenlohe-Waldenburg were founded by the sons of Count George.
Meanwhile, in 1412, the family of Hohenlohe-Uffenheim-Speckfeld had become extinct, its lands had passed through the marriages of its heiresses into other families. George Hohenlohe was archbishop of Esztergom, serving the King Sigismund of Hungary. In 1450, the Roman King Frederick III granted Kraft of Hohenlohe and his brother, the sons of Elizabeth of Hanau, heiress to Ziegenhain, the title of Count of Hohenlohe and Ziegenhain and invested them with the County of Ziegenhain; the Landgraves of Hesse took the County of Ziegenhain, the House of Hohenlohe gave up the reference to Ziegenhain. The Hohenlohe possessions were located in the Franconian Circle, the family had two voices in its Diet / Assembly; the Hohenlohe family had six voices in the Franconian College of Imperial Counts of the Imperial Diet. The right to vote in the Imperial Diet / Assembly gave a German noble family the status of Imperial State and the right to belong to the High Nobility; the existing branches of the Hohenlohe family are descended from the lines of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein and Hohenlohe-Waldenburg, established in 1551 by Ludwig Kasimir and Eberhard, the sons of Count Georg.
The former of these became Protestant. Of the family of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein, which underwent several partitions and inherited Gleichen in 1631, the senior line became extinct in 1805, while in 1701 the junior line divided itself into three branches, those of Langenburg and Kirchberg. Kirchberg died out in 1861, but members of the families of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen are still alive, the latter being represented by the branches of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen and Hohenlohe-Öhringen; the Roman Catholic family of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg was soon divided into three branches, but two of these had died out by 1729. The surviving branch, that of Schillingsfürst, was divided into the lines of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst and Hohenlohe-Bartenstein; the family of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst possessed the duchy of Ratibor and still owns the principality of Corvey, inherited in 1834. The Roman Emperors granted the title of Imperial Prince to the Waldenburg line and to the Neuenstein line. In 1757, the Roman Emperor elevated possessions of the Waldenburg line to the status of Imperial Principality.
In 1772, the Roman Emperor elevated possessions of the Neuenstein and Langenburg lines to the status of Imperial Principality. Notable members of the von Hohenlohe family include: Heinrich von Hohenlohe, 13th-century Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Gottfried von Hohenlohe, 14th-century Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Prussian general Louis Aloy de Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein and peer of France August, Prince of Hohenlohe-Öhringen, general Prince Alexander of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, priest Kraft, Prinz zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Prussian general and writer Victor I, Duke of
Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, VA, CI, was the fourth child and third daughter of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom as well as of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Princess Alexandra was born on 1 September 1878 at Coburg, her father was the Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her mother was Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, a daughter of Alexander II of Russia and Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, she was baptised on 2 October 1878 at Edinburgh Palace, Coburg by her mother's chaplain. Her godparents included her maternal uncle Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. Nicknamed'Sandra' by her family, Alexandra spent her childhood first in England and between 1886 and 1889 in Malta, where her father was serving with the Royal Navy. In 1889 the family moved to Coburg, Germany since her father, was the heir apparent to the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
In 1893, her great-uncle, The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died without issue. Since Albert was dead, her uncle, The Prince of Wales had renounced his claim to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the vacant duchy fell to Alexandra's father, the Duke of Edinburgh. Thus, Princess Alexandra was both a Princess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, she was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter The Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York on 6 July 1893. Throughout her life, Alexandra was overshadowed by her two eldest sisters and Victoria. Alexandra, less beautiful and more subdued than her sisters, was plain and not as brilliant. During Alexandra's formative years, her father, occupied with his career in the Navy and as a ruler in Coburg, paid little attention to his family, it was Alexandra's mother, the domineering presence in their children's life. The duchess believed in marrying her daughters young.
At the end of 1895, she arranged Alexandra's engagement to Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Alexandra's grandmother, Queen Victoria, complained. Alexandra's father objected to the status of his future son-in-law; the House of Hohenlohe-Lagenburg was mediatized - a ruling family who had ceded their sovereign rights to others while retaining their equal birth. It was not considered a brilliant match, but they were related. Ernst was a grandson of Princess Feodora of Queen Victoria's half-sister; the wedding took place on 20 April 1896 in Germany. Together, they had five children: 8th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Princess Alexandra of Hohenlohe-Langenburg Princess Irma of Hohenlohe-Langenburg Prince Alfred of Hohenlohe-Langenburg Alexandra lived for the rest of her life in Germany. At the death of her father in 1900, Alexandra's husband was appointed regent of the duchy of Saxe-Coburg during the minority of the new Duke, her first cousin. Alexandra's only brother, had died in 1899.
During World War I, she worked as a Red Cross nurse. In February 1916 her eldest daughter was married at Coburg to Prince Friederich of Gluckburg and she became a grandmother when the couple's first child, Prince Hans of Glucksburg was born in May 1917. On her thirty-fifth wedding anniversary in April 1931, her son Gottfried married Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark. In the years preceding World War II, Alexandra was an early supporter of the Nazi Party, which she joined on 1 May 1937, together with several of her children, she died in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany in 1942. Her elder son, Gottfried, 8th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, was named in an unsavory manner as part of the custody suit over Gloria Vanderbilt between her mother, Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan, the child's aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. 1 September 1878 – 23 August 1893: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Duchess of Saxony. 23 August 1893 – 20 April 1896: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 20 April 1896 – 9 March 1913: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg 9 March 1913 – 16 April 1942: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg Alexandra's personal coat of arms was that of the British monarch, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, all differenced, as a male-line grandchild, with a label argent of five points, the central point bearing a cross gules, the inner pair anchors azure, the outer pair fleurs-de-lys azure.
In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V. Petropoulos, Jonathan and the Reich, Oxford University Press, New York, 2006, ISBN 0-19-516133-5 Zeepvat, Charlotte, "The other one: Alexandra of Hohenlohe- langeburg", in Royalty History Digest
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Danish royal families, he was born in Greece. After being educated in France and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Baron Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, was formally made a British prince in 1957.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward. A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving, he is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, the only son and fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Philip's four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora and Sophie. He was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George's Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu, his godparents were his paternal grandmother Queen Olga of Greece, represented by Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, Alexandros S. Kokotos, the Mayor of Corfu, representing the people of Corfu. Shortly after Philip's birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg known as Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven, died in London. Louis was a naturalised British citizen, after a career in the Royal Navy, had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten—an Anglicized version of Battenberg—during the First World War, owing to anti-German sentiment in Great Britain. After visiting London for the memorial and his mother returned to Greece where Prince Andrew had remained behind to command an army division embroiled in the Greco-Turkish War; the war went badly for Greece, the Turks made large gains. On 22 September 1922, Philip's uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and the new military government arrested Prince Andrew, along with others.
The commander of the army, General Georgios Hatzianestis, five senior politicians were executed. Prince Andrew's life was believed to be in danger, Alice was under surveillance. In December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life; the British naval vessel HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family, with Philip carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box. Philip's family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark; because Philip left Greece as a baby, he does not have a strong grasp of the Greek language. In 1992, he said that he "could understand a certain amount". Philip has stated that he has thought of himself as Danish, his family spoke English and German. Philip, who in his youth was known for his charm, was linked to a number of women including Osla Benning. Philip was first educated at The Elms, an American school in Paris run by Donald MacJannet, who described Philip as a "know it all smarty person, but always remarkably polite".
In 1928, he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School, living with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace and his uncle, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. In the next three years, his four sisters married German princes and moved to Germany, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed in an asylum, his father took up residence in Monte Carlo. Philip had little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood. In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, which had the "advantage of saving school fees" because it was owned by the family of his brother-in-law, Margrave of Baden. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution and founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which Philip moved to after two terms at Salem. In 1937, his sister Cecilie, her husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her two young sons and Alexander, her newborn infant, her mother-in-law, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, were killed in an air crash at Ostend.
The following year, his uncle and guardian Lord Milford Haven died of bone marrow cancer. After leaving Gordonstoun in early 193
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person, first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone, first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. Today these terms most describe heirs to hereditary titles or offices when only inheritable by a single person. Most monarchies refer to the heir apparent of their thrones with the descriptive term of crown prince but these heirs may be accorded with a more specific substantive title, such as Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, Duke of Brabant in Belgium, Prince of Asturias in Spain, or Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In France the title was le Dauphin, in Imperial Russia; the term is used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader. This article describes the term heir apparent in a hereditary system regulated by laws of primogeniture—as opposed to cases where a monarch has a say in naming the heir.
In a hereditary system governed by some form of primogeniture, an heir apparent is identifiable as the person whose position as first in the line of succession to a title or office is secure, regardless of future births. An heir presumptive, by contrast, can always be "bumped down" in the succession by the birth of somebody more related in a legal sense to the current title-holder; the clearest example occurs in the case of a holder of a hereditary title, one that can only be inherited by a single person, with no children. If at any time he were to produce children, they rank ahead of whatever more "distant" relative had been heir presumptive. Many legal systems assume childbirth is always possible regardless of health. In such circumstances a person may be, in a practical sense, the heir apparent but still speaking, heir presumptive. Indeed, when Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV, the wording of the proclamation gave as a caveat:...saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort.
This provided for the possibility that William's wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, was pregnant at the moment of his death, since such a posthumous child, regardless of its sex, would have displaced Victoria from the throne. Adelaide was 44 at the time, so pregnancy was possible if unlikely. Daughters may inherit titles that descend according to male-preference primogeniture, but only in default of sons; that is, both female and male offspring have the right to a place somewhere in the order of succession, but when it comes to what that place is, a female will rank behind her brothers regardless of their ages or her age. Thus even an only daughter will not be heir apparent, since at any time a brother might be born who, though younger, would assume that position. Hence, she is an heir presumptive. For example, Queen Elizabeth II was heir presumptive during the reign of her father, King George VI, because at any stage up to his death, George could have fathered a legitimate son. In a system of absolute primogeniture that disregards gender, female heirs apparent occur.
As succession to titles, positions, or offices in the past most favoured males than females, females considered to be an heir apparent were rare. Absolute primogeniture was not practised by any modern monarchy for succession to their thrones until the late twentieth century with Sweden being the first to adopt absolute primogeniture in 1980 and other Western European monarchies following suit. Since the adoption of absolute primogeniture by contemporary Western European monarchies, examples of female heirs apparent include: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway is heir apparent to her father, Victoria herself has a female heir apparent in her oldest child, Princess Estelle. Victoria was not heir apparent from birth, but gained the status in 1980 following a change in the Swedish Act of Succession, her younger brother Carl Philip was thus heir apparent for a few months. In 2015, pursuant to the 2011 Perth Agreement, the Commonwealth realms changed the rules of succession to the 16 thrones of Elizabeth II to absolute primogeniture, except for male heirs born before the Perth Agreement.
The effects are not to be felt for many years. But in legal systems that apply male-preference primogeniture, female heirs apparent are by no means impossible: if a male heir apparent dies leaving no sons but at least one daughter the eldest daughter would replace her father as heir apparent to whatever throne or title is concerned, but only when it has become clear that the widow of the deceased is not pregnant; as the representative of her father's line she would assume a place ahead of any more distant relatives. Such a situation has not to date occurred with the British throne.
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was Queen of the United Kingdom and Queen of Hanover as the wife of King William IV. Adelaide was the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her. Adelaide was born on 13 August 1792 at Meiningen, Germany, the eldest child of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, she was titled Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Duchess in Saxony with the style Serene Highness from her birth until the Congress of Vienna, when the entire House of Wettin was raised to the style of Highness. She was baptised at the castle chapel on 19 August, her godparents numbered twenty-one, including her mother, the Holy Roman Empress, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Crown Princess of Saxony, the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Saxe-Meiningen was a small state.
It was the most liberal German state and, unlike its neighbours, permitted a free press and criticism of the ruler. At the time, no statute existed which barred a female ruling over the small duchy and it was not until the birth of her brother, Bernhard, in 1800, that the law of primogeniture was introduced. By the end of 1811, King George III was incapacitated and, although still King in name, his heir-apparent and eldest son George was Prince Regent. On 6 November 1817 Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth. Princess Charlotte was second in line to the throne: had she outlived her father and grandfather, she would have become queen. With her death, the King was left with no legitimate grandchildren; the Prince Regent was estranged from his wife, forty-nine years old, thus there was little likelihood that he would have any further legitimate children. To secure the line of succession, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, the other sons of George III sought quick marriages with the intent of producing offspring who could inherit the throne.
William had ten children by the popular actress Dorothea Jordan, being illegitimate, they were barred from the succession. Considerable allowances were to be voted by Parliament to any royal duke who married, this acted as a further incentive for William to marry. Adelaide was a princess from an unimportant German state, but William had a limited choice of available princesses and, after deals with other candidates fell through, a marriage to Adelaide was arranged; the allowance proposed was slashed by Parliament, the outraged Duke considered calling off the marriage. However, Adelaide seemed the ideal candidate: amiable, home-loving, willing to accept William's illegitimate children as part of the family; the arrangement was settled and William wrote to his eldest son, "She is doomed, poor dear innocent young creature, to be my wife."Adelaide's dowry was set at 20,000 florins, with additional three separate annuities being promised by her future husband, the English regent, the State of Saxe-Meiningen.
Adelaide married William in a double wedding with William's brother, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, his bride Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen, on 11 July 1818, at Kew Palace in Surrey, England. They had only met for the first time about a week earlier, on 4 July at Grillon's Hotel in Bond Street. Neither William nor Adelaide had been married before, William was twenty-seven years her senior. Despite these unromantic circumstances, the couple settled amicably in Hanover, by all accounts were devoted to each other throughout their marriage. Adelaide improved William's behaviour. Observers thought them parsimonious, their lifestyle simple boring. William accepted the reduced increase in his allowance voted by Parliament. On the Continent, Adelaide became pregnant, but in her seventh month of pregnancy, she caught pleurisy and gave birth prematurely on 27 March 1819 during the illness, her daughter, lived only a few hours. Another pregnancy in the same year caused William to move the household to England so his future heir would be born on British soil, yet Adelaide miscarried at Calais or Dunkirk during the journey on 5 September 1819.
Back in London, they moved into Clarence House, but preferred to stay at Bushy House near Hampton Court where William had lived with Dorothea Jordan. She became pregnant again, a second daughter, was born on 10 December 1820. Elizabeth seemed strong but died less than three months old on 4 March 1821 of "inflammation in the Bowels". William and Adelaide had no surviving children. Twin boys were stillborn on 8 April 1822, a possible brief pregnancy may have occurred within the same year. Princess Victoria of Kent came to be acknowledged as William's heir presumptive, as Adelaide had no further pregnancies. While there were rumours of pregnancies well into William's reign, they seem to have been without basis. At the time of their marriage, William was not heir-presumptive to the throne, but became so when his brother Frederick, Duke of York, died childless in 1827. Given the small likelihood of his older brothers producing heirs, William's relative youth and good health, it had long been considered likely that he would become king in due course.
In 1830, on the death of his elder brother, George IV, Wil
German mediatisation was the major territorial restructuring that took place between 1802 and 1814 in Germany and the surrounding region by means of the mass mediatisation and secularisation of a large number of Imperial Estates. Most ecclesiastical principalities, free imperial cities, secular principalities, other minor self-ruling entities of the Holy Roman Empire lost their independent status and were absorbed into the remaining states. By the end of the mediatisation process, the number of German states had been reduced from 300 to just 39. In the strict sense of the word, mediatisation consists in the subsumption of an immediate state into another state, thus becoming mediate, while leaving the dispossessed ruler with his private estates and a number of privileges and feudal rights, such as low justice. For convenience, historians use the term mediatisation for the entire restructuring process that took place at the time, whether the mediatized states survived in some form or lost all individuality.
The secularization of ecclesiastical states took place concurrently with the mediatisation of free imperial cities and other secular states. The mass mediatisation and secularisation of German states that took place at the time was not initiated by Germans, it came under diplomatic pressure from revolutionary France and Napoleon. It constituted the most extensive redistribution of property and territories in German history prior to 1945; the two highpoints of the process were the secularization/annexation of ecclesiastical territories and free imperial cities in 1802–03, the mediatisation of secular principalities and counties in 1806. Although most of its neighbors coalesced into centralized states before the 19th century, Germany did not follow that path. Instead, the Holy Roman Empire maintained its medieval political structure as a "polyglot congeries of hundreds of nearly sovereign states and territories ranging in size from considerable to minuscule". From a high of nearly 400 – 136 ecclesiastical and 173 secular lords plus 85 free imperial cities – on the eve of the Reformation, this number had only reduced to a little less than 300 by the late-18th century.
The traditional explanation for this fragmentation has focused on the gradual usurpation by the princes of the powers of the Holy Roman Emperor during the Staufen period, to the point that by the Peace of Westphalia, the Emperor had become a mere primus inter pares. In recent decades, many historians have maintained that the fragmentation of Germany – which started out as a large polity while its neighbors started small – can be traced back to the geographical extent of the Empire – the German part of the Empire being about twice the size of the realm controlled by the king of France in the second half of the 11th century – and to the vigor of local aristocratic and ecclesiastical rule from early on in the medieval era. In the 12th century, the secular and spiritual princes did not regard themselves as the Emperor's subordinates, still less his subjects, but as rulers in their own right - and they jealously defended their established sphere of predominance. At the time of Emperor Frederick II's death in 1250, it had been decided that the regnum teutonicum was "an aristocracy with a monarchical head".
Among those states and territories, the ecclesiastical principalities were unique to Germany. The Ottonian and early Salian Emperors, who appointed the bishops and abbots, used them as agents of the imperial crown - as they considered them more dependable than the dukes they appointed and who attempted to establish independent hereditary principalities; the emperors expanded the power of the Church, of the bishops, with land grants and numerous privileges of immunity and protection as well as extensive judicial rights, which coalesced into a distinctive temporal principality: the Hochstift. The German bishop became a "prince of the Empire" and direct vassal of the Emperor for his Hochstift, while continuing to exercise only pastoral authority over his larger diocese; the personal appointment of bishops by the Emperors had sparked the investiture controversy in the 11th century, in its aftermath the emperor‘s control over the bishops' selection and rule diminished considerably. The bishops, now elected by independent-minded cathedral chapters rather than chosen by the emperor or the pope, were confirmed as territorial lords equal to the secular princes.
Having to face with the territorial expansionism of the powerful secular princes, the position of the prince-bishops became more precarious with time. In the course of the Reformation, several of the bishoprics in the north and northeast were secularized to the benefit of Protestant princes. In the sixteenth century the Counter-Reformation attempted to reverse some of these secularizations, the question of the fates of secularized territories became an important one in the Thirty Years' War. In the end, the Peace of Westphalia confirmed the secularization of a score of prince-bishoprics, including the archbishoprics of Bremen and Magdeburg and six bishoprics with full political powers, which were assigned to Sweden and Mecklenburg. On the other hand and Paderborn – under Protestant administration for decades and given up for lost – were restored as prince-bishoprics. In addition, the Peace conclusively reaffirmed the imperial immediacy, therefore the de facto independence, of the prince-bishops and imperial abbots, free imperial cities, imperial counts, as well as the imperial knights.
According to one authority, the sixty-five ecclesiastical rulers cont