Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Lippe

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His Serene Highness
Friedrich Wilhelm
Prince of Lippe
Born (1947-09-07) 7 September 1947 (age 76)
Neuwied, Germany
Andrea Messner
(m. 1991)
Issue Princess Catharina
Princess Marie Christine
Princess Sophie
Full name
Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Viktor Alexander
House Lippe
Father Prince Ernst August of Lippe
Mother Christa von Arnim

Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Lippe (German: Friedrich Wilhelm, Fürst zur Lippe; born 7 September 1947) is a claimant to the headship of the House of Lippe.

Early life[edit]

Friedrich Wilhelm was born out of wedlock at Neuwied, West Germany, the first child of Prince Ernst August of Lippe (1917–1990; son of Prince Julius Ernst of Lippe and Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) and his wife, Christa von Arnim (b. 1923; daughter of Curt David von Arnim and his wife, Stephanie von Stechow). Through his father he is second cousin of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.


Friedrich Wilhelm married on 18 September 1991 in Munich to Andrea Messner (b. 1966), daughter of Günther Messner, and his wife, Lieselotte Trzoska.

They had three daughters:

  • Princess Catharina of Lippe (b. 20 September 1991)
  • Princess Marie Christine of Lippe (b. 25 August 1996)
  • Princess Sophie of Lippe (b. 5 February 2002)

House of Lippe[edit]

On 30 December 1949 his father's first cousin Prince Armin succeeded his father, Leopold IV as head of the House of Lippe. On 22 March 1953, he renounced his position in favour of his older half-brother, Prince Leopold. This move proved controversial within the house and several princes started legal proceedings. Prince Leopold later in 1958 renounced the headship in favour of his older brother, Hereditary Prince Ernst. Later in that year the Hereditary Prince called a family council where it was agreed by the princes in attendance that the oldest prince living in Germany would be head of the house. Therefore, the position went to Prince Simon Casimir (1900–1980).

His father changed his mind, believing all princes of the house, not just those living in Germany, should be considered. He ultimately assumed the headship of the house. His father died in 1990 and Friedrich Wilhelm continued the claim, despite his illegitimate birth. Prince Armin, who has said he did not think his decision in 1953 was irrevocable, also claimed to be head of the house until his death in 2015, with his son Stephan, Prince of Lippe continuing his claim.


8. Ernest II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld
4. Prince Julius Ernst of Lippe
9. Countess Karoline of Wartensleben
2. Prince Ernst August of Lippe
10. Adolphus Frederick V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
5. Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
11. Princess Elisabeth of Anhalt
1. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Lippe
12. Max Erwin von Arnim
6. Curt David von Arnim
13. Josefine Leavitt
3. Christa von Arnim
14. Viktor von Stechow
7. Stephanie von Stechow
15. Erna von Horschitz

Notes and sources[edit]

  • Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Reference: 1987 65
  • Beéche, Arturo E. (October 2006). "A Headless House? The Dynastic Dispute of the House of Lippe". European Royal History Journal (LIII): 13–17.
This article initially used material from the Wikipedia article Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Lippe, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors). Changes by Royalpedia users can be viewed by clicking 'View history'.