Charles I of Württemberg

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Charles I
King Karl von Württemberg-Richard Lauchert-IMG 5314.JPG
Portrait by Richard Lauchert c. 1867
King of Württemberg
Reign25 June 1864 – 6 October 1891
PredecessorWilliam I
SuccessorWilliam II
Born(1823-03-06)6 March 1823
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died6 October 1891(1891-10-06) (aged 68)
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Burial8 October 1891
Schlosskirche, Stuttgart, Germany
(m. 1846)
Karl Friedrich Alexander
FatherWilliam I of Württemberg
MotherPauline Therese of Württemberg

Charles (German: Karl Friedrich Alexander; 6 March 1823 – 6 October 1891) was King of Württemberg, from 25 June 1864 until his death in 1891.[1]

Early life[edit]

Charles was born on 6 March 1823 in Stuttgart as the son of King William I and his third wife Pauline Therese (1800–1873).[2] As the king's eldest son he became Crown Prince of Württemberg. He studied in Berlin and Tübingen.

Marriage and King of Württemberg[edit]

On 13 July 1846 Karl married Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna of Russia, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas I and Charlotte of Prussia.[2] (Charlotte was a daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia and of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; she took the name Alexandra Feodorovna upon her marriage into the Russian imperial family.) Karl acceded to the throne of Württemberg upon his father's death in 1864.

Queen Olga and King Charles I of Württemberg, 1860s

The couple had no children, perhaps because of Karl's homosexuality.[3] Karl became the object of scandal several times for his closeness with various men - most notoriously with the American Charles Woodcock, a former chamberlain whom Karl elevated to Baron Savage in 1888.[4][5] Karl and Charles became inseparable, going so far as to appear together in public dressed identically. The resulting outcry forced Karl to renounce his favorite. Woodcock returned to America, and Karl found private consolation some years later with the technical director of the royal theater, Wilhelm George.[3]

In 1870, Olga and Karl adopted Olga's niece Vera Konstantinovna, the daughter of her brother Grand Duke Konstantin.


He sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, but after the battle of Sadowa concluded a secret military treaty with Prussia, and took part on her side in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–'71, joining the new German Empire at the close of 1870.[6]

He died, childless, in Stuttgart on 6 October 1891, and was succeeded as King of Württemberg by his sister's son, William II. He is buried, together with his wife, in the Old Castle in Stuttgart.




For Karl's homosexuality and other familiar issues:

  • Queen Olga of Württemberg. Traum der Jugend goldener Stern, Reutlingen, Günther Neske, 1955
  • Jette Sachs-Colignon. Königin Olga von Württemberg, Stieglitz, 2002
  • Paul Sauer. Regent mit mildem Zepter. König Karl von Württemberg, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt Stuttgart, 1999


  1. ^ Kessler, P L. "Kingdoms of Germany - Württemberg". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  2. ^ a b "King Karl I of Württemberg".
  3. ^ a b Sabine Thomsen. Die württembergischen Königinnen. Charlotte Mathilde, Katharina, Pauline, Olga, Charlotte – ihr Leben und Wirken [The Queens of Wuerttemberg: Charlotte Matilde, Katharina, Pauline, Olga, Charlotte – Their Lives and Legacies]. Silberburg-Verlag, 2006.
  4. ^ Jette Sachs-Colignon. Königin Olga von Württemberg, Stieglitz, 2002.
  5. ^ [Mann für Mann, Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller, Pages 409, 410]
  6. ^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRipley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Charles I. (Karl Friedrich Alexander)" . The American Cyclopædia.
  7. ^ a b Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1847), "Königliche Orden" pp. 30, 48
  8. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1834), "Großherzogliche Orden" pp. 32, 50
  9. ^ Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1843), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 6
  10. ^ "Königlich Preussische Ordensliste", Preussische Ordens-Liste (in German), Berlin, 1: 4, 935, 1886 – via
  11. ^ Bayern (1867). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1867. Landesamt. p. 8.
  12. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1851), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 9 Archived 2020-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 10
  15. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg (1858), "Der Großherzogliche Haus und Verdienst-orden des Herzogs Peter Friedrich Ludwig" p. 31
  16. ^ Staat Hannover (1863). Hof- und Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Hannover: 1863. Berenberg. pp. 38, 78.
  17. ^ Almanach royal officiel de Belgique. Librairie polytechnique De Decq. 1865. p. 52.
  18. ^ Staatshandbuch für den Freistaat Sachsen: 1865/66. Heinrich. 1866. p. 4.
  19. ^ Sovereign Ordonnance of 24 September 1865
  20. ^ M. & B. Wattel (2009). Les Grand'Croix de la Légion d'honneur de 1805 à nos jours. Titulaires français et étrangers. Paris: Archives & Culture. p. 540. ISBN 978-2-35077-135-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  21. ^ Sveriges Statskalender (in Swedish), 1881, p. 378, retrieved 20 February 2019 – via
  22. ^ Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1889). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 52.
  23. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1890, p. 152, retrieved 21 March 2019
  24. ^ Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 472. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
  25. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 68

External links[edit]

Charles I of Württemberg
Born: 6 March 1823 Died: 6 October 1891
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Württemberg
Succeeded by