Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia

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Prince Louis Ferdinand
Prince of Prussia
Louis ferdinand c1930.jpg
Prince Louis Ferdinand in about 1930
Head of the House of Hohenzollern
Tenure20 July 1951 – 26 September 1994
SuccessorGeorg Friedrich
Born(1907-11-09)9 November 1907
Marmorpalais, Potsdam, German Empire
Died26 September 1994(1994-09-26) (aged 86)
Bremen, Germany
Burial1 October 1994
(m. 1938; died 1967)
  • Prince Friedrich Wilhelm
  • Prince Michael
  • Princess Marie Cécile
  • Princess Kira
  • Prince Louis Ferdinand
  • Prince Christian-Sigismund
  • Princess Xenia
Full name
Louis Ferdinand Victor Eduard Adalbert Michael Hubertus Prinz von Preußen
FatherCrown Prince Wilhelm of Germany
MotherDuchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Louis Ferdinand Victor Eduard Adalbert Michael Hubertus, Prince of Prussia (German: Louis Ferdinand Victor Eduard Adalbert Michael Hubertus Prinz von Preußen; 9 November 1907 – 26 September 1994) was a member of the princely House of Hohenzollern, and the pretender for over half a century to the abolished German throne. He was also noteworthy as a businessman and patron of the arts.


Louis Ferdinand was born in Potsdam as the third in succession to the throne of the German Empire, after his father, German Crown Prince William and elder brother Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. The monarchy was abolished after Germany's revolution in 1918. When Louis Ferdinand's older brother Prince Wilhelm renounced his succession rights to marry a member of the untitled nobility in 1933 (he was later to be killed in action in France in 1940 fighting in the German army), Louis Ferdinand replaced him as second in the line of succession to the defunct German throne after the Crown Prince.

Louis Ferdinand was educated in Berlin and deviated from his family's tradition by not pursuing a military career. Instead, he travelled extensively and settled for some time in Detroit, where he befriended Henry Ford and became acquainted with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, among others. He held a great interest in engineering. Recalled from the United States upon his brother's renunciation of the throne, he got involved in the German aviation industry, but was barred by Hitler from taking any active part in German military activities.

Louis Ferdinand dissociated himself from the Nazis after this. He was not involved in the 20 July Plot against Hitler in 1944 but was interrogated by the Gestapo immediately afterwards. He was released shortly afterwards.[1]

He married his second cousin once removed, Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia, in 1938 in first a Russian Orthodox ceremony in Potsdam and then a Lutheran ceremony in Huis Doorn, Netherlands. Kira was the second daughter of Grand Duke Kyril Vladimirovich and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The couple had four sons and three daughters. His two eldest sons both renounced their succession rights in order to marry commoners. His third son and heir apparent, Prince Louis Ferdinand died in 1977 during military maneuvers, and thus his one-year-old grandson Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (son of Prince Louis Ferdinand) became the new heir apparent to the Prussian and German Imperial throne. Upon Louis Ferdinand's death in 1994, Georg Friedrich became the pretender to the thrones and head of the Hohenzollern family. After the reunification of Germany, Louis Ferdinand arranged to have the remains of several Hohenzollern members reinterred at the imperial vault in Potsdam.

The Prince was popular. In 1968 Der Spiegel reported that in a survey of their readers by Quick magazine about who would be the most honorable person to become President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Louis Ferdinand, the only of twelve candidates who was not a politician, won with 39.8% before Carlo Schmid and Ludwig Erhard.[2] In a similar survey by the Bild tabloid, readers chose Louis Ferdinand by 55.6%.[2] In an interview with Quick, the Prince indicated that he might accept the presidency but would not relinquish his claim to the crown of emperor of Germany.[2]

Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern, a member of the senior Swabian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, is his godson.


  • Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (9 February 1939 - 29 September 2015), married firstly Waltraud Freydag (14 April 1940 – 2010) on 22 August 1967 in Plön, divorced 1975; secondly Ehrengard von Reden (born 7 June 1943) on 23 April 1976; thirdly Sibylle Kretschmer (born 23 March 1952) on 23 March 2004. He renounced his succession rights on 18 September 1967. His son Philip is from his first marriage, and his other children from his second.
    • Philip Kirill Prinz von Preußen (23 April 1968); married Anna Christine Soltau (born 2 April 1968) on 28 June 1994, with issue:
      • Paul Wilhelm (10 April 1995)
      • Maria Luise (12 March 1997)
      • Elisabeth Christine (16 December 1998)
      • Anna Sophie (26 March 2001)
      • Johanna Amalie (19 September 2002)
      • Timotheus Friedrich (9 June 2005)
    • Friedrich Wilhelm Prinz von Preußen (16 August 1979); married Baroness Anna von Salza und Lichtenau (born 17 August 1981) on 30 April 2009, with issue:
      • Friedrich Wilhelm (born 2012)
      • Charlotte (born 201?)
    • Viktoria-Luise Prinzessin von Preußen (2 May 1982) married Hereditary Prince Ferdinand of Leiningen (son of Andreas, Prince of Leiningen) on 29 April 2017 civilly and on 16 September 2017 religiously.
      • Alexandra Ehrengard, Princess of Leiningen (29 February 2020)
    • Joachim Albrecht Prinz von Preußen (26 June 1984) married Countess Angelina of Solms-Laubach (born 1 October 1983) on 29 June 2019.
      • Georgina (born September 2018)
  • Prince Michael of Prussia (22 March 1940 – 3 April 2014); married firstly Jutta Jörn (born 27 January 1943) on 23 September 1966 in Kaiserwerth, Düsseldorf, with issue. He married secondly Brigitte von Dallwitz (17 September 1939 - 14 October 2016) on 23 June 1982, without issue. He renounced his succession rights on 29 August 1966.
    • Michaela Prinzessin von Preußen (born 5 March 1967), married Jürgen Wessolly (born 2 February 1961) on 14 February 2000, with issue.
    • Nataly Prinzessin von Preußen (born 13 January 1970)
Prince Louis Ferdinand, in the carriage, and his elder brother, Wilhelm.
Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Kira Kirillovna (1938)
  • Princess Marie Cécile of Prussia (born 28 May 1942)
  • Princess Kira of Prussia (27 June 1943 – 10 January 2004)
  • Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (25 August 1944 – 11 July 1977); married Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen (20 June 1950 - 5 September 2015) on 23 May 1975 civilly and 24 May 1975 religiously at Rüdenhausen, who bore him two children (She remarried 2 February 1991 her late husband's ex-brother-in-law, Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg)
    • Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (born 10 June 1976 Bremen); married Princess Sophie of Isenburg (born 7 March 1978) on 25 August 2011 civilly and 27 August 2011 religiously, they have four children:
      • Prince Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander of Prussia (born 20 January 2013)
      • Prince Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht of Prussia (born 20 January 2013)
      • Princess Emma Marie Charlotte Sophie of Prussia (born 2 April 2015)
      • Prince Heinrich Albert Johann George of Prussia (born 17 November 2016)
    • Princess Cornelie-Cecile of Prussia (born 30 January 1978 Bremen)
  • Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia (born 14 March 1946), married Countess Nina zu Reventlow (born 13 March 1954) on 29 September 1984, with issue (his eldest child was born out-of-wedlock to Christiane Grandmontagne, ex-Countess Jan Bernadotte):
    • Isabelle-Alexandra Prinzessin von Preußen (18 September 1969)
    • Prince Christian Ludwig of Prussia (born 16 May 1986)
    • Princess Irina of Prussia (born 4 Jul 1988)
  • Princess Xenia of Prussia (9 December 1949 – 18 January 1992), married Per-Edvard Lithander (born 10 September 1945 - 9 May 2010) on 27 January 1973, divorced in 1978, with issue.



  1. ^ Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia, The Rebel Prince (Chicago: Henry Reegnery, 1952):306–324
  2. ^ a b c Otto Köhler (18 November 1968). "Unverzichtbare Kaiserkrone". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 15 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia
Born: 9 November 1907 Died: 26 September 1994
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Crown Prince Wilhelm
German Emperor
King of Prussia

20 July 1951 – 26 September 1994
Reason for succession failure:
Empire and Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Prince Georg Friedrich