Michael, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

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His Royal Highness
Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Head of the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Tenure 14 October 1988 – present
Predecessor Hereditary Grand Duke Charles Augustus
Heir presumptive Prince Wilhelm Ernst
Born (1946-11-15) 15 November 1946 (age 77)
Bamberg, Germany
Spouses Renate Henkel (div.)
Dagmar Hennings
Issue Princess Leonie
Full name
Michael Benedikt Georg Jobst Carl Alexander Bernhard Claus Friedrich
House Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Father Charles Augustus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Mother Baroness Elisabeth von Wangenheim-Winterstein
Religion Lutheranism

Michael Benedikt Georg Jobst Carl Alexander Bernhard Claus Friedrich, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (born 15 November 1946) is the current head of the Grand Ducal House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, as well as the most senior agnate of the entire House of Wettin.[1]

Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach[edit]

Prince Michael was born in Bamberg, Bavaria, the only son of Hereditary Grand Duke Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Baroness Elisabeth von Wangenheim-Winterstein (1912–2010).[2] Among his godparents were Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia imposter, Anna Anderson, who was living with his aunt Princess Luise of Saxe-Meiningen.[3]

When his father died on 14 October 1988, Prince Michael succeeded him as Head of the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Since 23 July 2012 he regards the Albertine royal Saxon line to be extinct.[4] In 2015 along with the heads of the other Ernestine branches of the House of Wettin, Konrad, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince Michael issued a declaration relating to the succession of the Albertine line of the House of Wettin, declaring that, according to the house law of the House of Wettin and to traditional princely succession rules, Alexander Afif, bearing the name Prince of Saxony via adoption by his maternal uncle Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, was neither a member of nobility nor of the House of Wettin, nor had he succeeded Maria Emanuel as head of the Albertine branch (the Royal House of Saxony), nor was he entitled to style himself Margrave of Meissen.[5] However, Prince Michael has also stated that he "[does not] believe in historical carnival" and that "Germany should have done it like Austria long ago and abolished all titles."[6]

In 2004, he withdrew his claim for restitution of numerous properties, archives (partly including those of Schiller and Goethe) as well as priceless artwork in a settlement with the Free State of Thuringia and acquired some forest estates in exchange.[7]

Since Prince Michael has no sons, the current heir to the headship of the grand ducal house is his elder (by age) first cousin, Prince Wilhelm Ernst (b. 10 August 1946), whose only son Prince Constantin (13 April 1977 – 9 June 2018), a banker who was married but without issue, was killed in a horse riding accident on 9 June 2018 while riding with his friend Baron Jean Christophe Iseux von Pfetten.[8] Therefore, the Grand Ducal House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach will most likely become extinct in the male line.


Prince Michael married Renate Henkel (b. Heidelberg, 17 September 1947), daughter of industrialist Konrad Henkel and wife Jutta von Hülsen and sister of the billionaire businessman Christoph Henkel, in a civil ceremony on 9 June 1970 at Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, and religiously on 4 July 1970 at Linnep bei Breitscheid.[2] The marriage was childless and dissolved by divorce at Düsseldorf on 9 March 1974.

He was married secondly to Dagmar Hennings (b. Niederpöcking, 24 June 1948), daughter of Henrich Hennings and wife Margarethe Schacht, in London on 15 November 1980. They have one daughter Princess Leonie (b. 1986).[9]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

As the heir apparent to the headship of the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, from birth he was styled His Highness the Hereditary Prince.[10] As head of the house he is styled His Royal Highness the Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Duke of Saxony, Count of Wettin, Landgrave of Thuringia[9]

As head of the house he is also the Grand Master of the Order of the White Falcon.[11]


8. Charles Augustus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
4. William Ernest, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
9. Princess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
2. Charles Augustus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
10. Prince Friedrich Johann of Saxe-Meiningen
5. Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen
11. Countess Adelaide of Lippe-Biesterfeld
1. Michael, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
12. Baron Otto von Wangenheim-Winterstein
6. Baron Othmar von Wangenheim-Winterstein
13. Emma Marie von Henning auf Schönhoff
3. Baroness Elisabeth von Wangenheim-Winterstein
14. Baron Maximilian von Trützschler zum Falkenstein
7. Baroness Mathilde von Trützschler zum Falkenstein
15. Baroness Isidore von Uckermann-Bendeleben


  1. Willis, Daniel A., The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain, Clearfield Company, 2002, pp. 457-458.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Montgomery-Massinberd, Hugh (1972). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. London: Burke's Peerage, Ltd. p. 266. ISBN 0-220-66222-3.
  3. Mundy, Carlos & Stravlo, Marie. The Lost Romanov Icon and the Enigma of Anastasia. Page XXII.
  4. Erbfolgestreit bei den Wettinern
  5. Joint Statement by the heads of the House of Wettin of 23 June 2015
  6. Locke, Stefan (9 April 2014). "Das war's mit dem Adel!". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  7. McLean, Scott; Schmidt, Nadine (30 December 2022). "Germany's ex-royals want their riches back, but past ties to Hitler stand in the way". CNN. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  8. "Baron tells how he tried to save life of German prince who died in freak horse riding accident". Telegraph. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gothaisches Genealogisches Handbuch (2015). Fürstliche Häuser. Band 1. Page 252
  10. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (1978 Band X) Fürstliche Häuser. Page 182
  11. 2021 Register. Report of the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry
Michael, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 15 November 1946
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
14 October 1988 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Grand Duchy abolished in 1918
Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Head of the House of Wettin
14 October 1988 – present
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