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An interesting piece of pendantry

To truly work this out we’d need to find an expert on the Almanach de Gotha.

A German prince with suspected business links to Britain has been arrested in connection with an extremist plot to overthrow the country’s democratic Republic and install him as King.

Ah, but is he actually a German Prince?

Sure, he’s German, he’s also a Prince. But a German Prince?

The Princedom – or whatever it’s called – comes from little bit of what is now Thuringia. And in the German nobility there are varied gradations, things that were recognised as Prince in the Holy Roman Empire, or perhaps in the German Empire, or maybe just what the locals called the lad and so on. Entirely possible to be Prince of some tiny bit of France and yet be Dutch (P of Orange for example, Orange being a bit near Avignon).

And so on and so on. So, while he’s a Prince and a German is he actually a German Prince? At one level, as the German state doesn’t recognise such titles any more (I think) therefore he’s not. But ready your pinheads gentlemen, what is the correct answer here?

25 thoughts on “An interesting piece of pendantry”

  1. He’s the son of Fuerst. I’ve always thought of it as a non royal Prince. Albert in Monaco would prob count as a Fuerst.

    Fuerstentum is a tricky concept in our AngloNorman feudal idiom. A Fuerst was in charge of a county whose only overlord was the Holy Roman Emperor. Some of these were huge ( Siebenbuergen, modern Transylvania, for instance ) but most were tiny by 1800 because of constant subdivision, due to primogeniture not being applied. This is just such an example. Heinrich is from Reuss Gera. I have only the vaguest idea where that is.

    After the disbandment of the HRE in 1806, these counties could still claim independent status, until they were absorbed into the new Imperial structure after 1871.

    This guy Heinrich XIII is an estate agent from Frankfurt who had been disowned by his family in Reuss, bevause they concluded that he was a loony.

    He strikes me as being a Harry Enfield invention.

  2. Another thing.
    A Fuerst was not necessarily very high in the Imperial pecking order. Although they acknowledged only the Kaiser as their overlord most of them would have had the substantive rank of baron or an earl. Except for a few very powerful examples, Dukes were of much higher status. There were also kings inside the HRE, but again they were expected to do homage to the Kaiser.

    To have really made it, though, was to be appointed a Kurfuerst. This meant that the king or prince and his descendants became part of the curia and and could vote in elections for the King of the Romans ( ie Germany) and then Emperor. George I when made King of England was Kurfuerst of Hannover.

    Richard of Cornwall, brother of Henry III became German king in the 1250s. He had decided to settle in Aachen, as he would have then been up for election to Emperor, but he was called back to fight in the de Montford Barons’ Revolt. He stayed King of Germany until his death in 1272 but never got a shot at being Emperor. Rudolf Habsburg wrangled the job for himself afterwards.

  3. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    The perp-walk is such a non-thing here that even convicted multiple murderers are only ever named as “Bloke F.”, and have their faces blurred in press photos. It’s actually got hard for the press recently, as many of the first names they use are distinctly new-German, so oftentimes they just don’t bother reporting it at all.

    In this dramatic case, dawn raids accompanied by TV cameras, full names. One of the main charges to arise so far is that the cook of one of the accused procured food, kitchen utensils, and an emergency generator.

    Meanwhile doomsday cultists are gluing themselves to runways and motorways on a daily basis with zero legal consequences.

  4. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    German “nobility” incorporated their titles into their names when the titles were banned. I once had my balls felt up by a Graf von somewhere or other.

    He was a urologist.

  5. 3,000 Gestapo German State Police arrest “dozens of Far Right Enemies of Democracy”.
    While “dozens” may be technically correct, 3,000 to arrest 25 doesn’t sound as impressive does it?

    120 plod for each suspect? Sounds like overkill to me, or perhaps they need to make the imaginary hobgoblin as big as possible to keep us all scared (h/t H.L. Mencken)

  6. Unfortunately the German state had to come down hard on these right wing “extremists” to deflect attention away from the Syrian and Afghan jihadists and child molesters that Merkel invited in.

    There are a few thousand Reichsburger, who refuse to acknowledge the shitshow that Germany has become. But they are easily identified and found and so make good copy for the govt in the supine media.

    Even with the Bundeswehr being as useless as it is, I hardly think Prince Bufton of Tufton and his cook represented a serious threat to the Bundesrepublik.

  7. A Fuerst was not necessarily very high in the Imperial pecking order

    So you’re saying the Fuerst shall be last?

  8. Does seem a trifle implausible to me too Addolff. Be interesting to see if they can convince me I’m wrong.

  9. What is it with these extreme right terrorists extremely storming seats of benevolent democracy in the West? No wonder extreme measures need to be taken to counter this upsurge of token rebellion!

  10. By the way

    That tweed jacket with dark blue shirt and cravat. He deserved locking up just for that. I bet he was wearing brown shoes as well.

  11. “A distant descendant of the Dutch monarchy” … errmm… I’d very much like the Torygraph to substantiate how they come to that conclusion..

    Unless they mean descent from William III/II ( who most definitely wasn’t King of the Dutch… Republic, y’know…), he isn’t from the (historical) loins of our current post-Nappy batch.

  12. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Otto, crimes against dress sense go unpunished here. You know why it is so easy to spot Germans abroad. Red trousers are a dead giveaway.

    Also bear in mind, he was wearing what the cops will have given him a couple of minutes to throw on before escorting him out of his flat to the awaiting press photographers.

  13. I find it bizarre that the Hohenzollerans were from a fly-speck in south-west Germany, yet became rulers of Brandenbuger/Berlin, then Prussia, then Northern Germany, then the Germany Empire. It’s as though the Kings of England came from some backwater village in Wales.

  14. Here’s a bit of pendantry. When Bismarck set up his German Reich, with the King of Prussia becoming Emperor, there was a prob. They couldn’t call him Emperor of Germany because the Hapsburgs would object, wot with already being Emperors of (chunks of) Germany. So they called him the German Emperor.

    I have no idea where I learnt that and I’m just assuming that the point does indeed translate well from German to English.

    P.S. I congratulate jgh on his allusion to the Tudors.

  15. Another thing dearieme, was that the other kings ( Saxony. Hannover, Baden, Bavaria etc ) weren’t going to wear a chap calling himself Emperor of Germany poncing about the place.
    The King of Prussia was Kaiser by consent in much the same way that the old HRE use to be before the Habsnurgs stitchec it up.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset


    “ I find it bizarre that the Hohenzollerans were from a fly-speck in south-west Germany, yet became rulers of Brandenbuger/Berlin, then Prussia, then Northern Germany, then the Germany Empire. It’s as though the Kings of England came from some backwater village in Wales.”

    Told in detail in the History of the Germans podcast. If you are interested it’s a well researched and told story but 80+ episodes so far and will need stamina to catch up.

    Also covers the story of Henry and Aachen

    On the subject at hand this is a good background read from Katya Hoyer:

  17. The origin of their having Brandenburg is that they bought it, lock stock and barrel. Shitty land etc, but made them an Elector I think? So worth it for that to a dynasty on the make.

  18. I don’t think Friedrich Hohenzollern bought it. Brandenburg was his reward for being Emperor Sigismund’s “enforcer”. 1400 ish.

    Funnily enough Siggi ( as his mates called him ) died in the nearest Czech town to where I used to live in Austria, Znaim ( Znojmo)

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