Succession to the throne of Baden

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The succession to the throne of Baden is vested firstly in the male members of the Grand Ducal House of Baden, and should the male fail then the succession passes to the female line.

The monarchy in Baden came to an end in 1918 along with the rest of the monarchies that made up the German Empire. The last sovereign was Grand Duke Frederick II who abdicated at Karlsruhe, 14–22 November 1918.[1] The current head of the Grand Ducal House is Bernhard, Margrave of Baden.

Near extinction[edit]

In the early 19th century the grand ducal house was on the verge of extinction. By 1817 the only male members of the family were the reigning Grand Duke Charles and his unmarried uncle Prince Louis. In the event that the male line died out the throne would pass to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. The only alternative to this was for the grand duke to recognise his morganatic uncles Leopold, William and Maximilian, the Counts von Hochberg as dynastic members of the grand ducal family.

On 4 October 1817 Grand Duke Charles took this step issuing a new house law recognising his uncles as Princes of Baden. The Hochberg's right of succession was recognised by the Great Powers on 10 July 1819.[2] The former Count Leopold von Hochberg succeeded as Grand Duke in 1830 and his descendants went on to rule Baden until 1918. By the early 20th century the succession was once again insecure in the male line, with the future of the dynasty resting on Prince Berthold of Baden.[3]

Succession law[edit]

The succession to the throne of Baden follows the semi-salic law of succession meaning its hereditary among the male members. However, in the event of the extinction of the male line the succession could be transmitted to princesses and their descendants.[2]

The succession is formally set out in Section 4 of the 1818 Constitution with reference to the House Law of 4 October 1817:[4]

Section 4. The supreme Government of the Grand Duchy is hereditary in the grand ducal family, according to the provisions of the declaration of October 4, 1817; which declaration, as the basis of the family code, forms an essential constituent part of the Constitution, and is to be considered as verbally adapted in the present Constitution

Line of succession today[edit]

Line of succession in November 1918[edit]


  1. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World (1 ed.). Burke's Peerage. p. 199.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Almanach de Gotha (147 ed.). Justus Perthes. 1910. pp. 12, 551.
  3. "Eleven German Dynasties Dying". Detroit Free Press. 18 October 1918. p. 11.
  4. Zeydel, Edwin (1919). Constitutions of the German empire and German states. Page 36