List of German monarchs in 1918

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German Empire
Kaiserstandarte.svg
Imperial standard of the German Emperor (1871–1918)
Preceded byKingdom of Prussia
Followed byAbolished 1918

The term German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich) commonly refers to Germany, from its foundation as a unified nation-state on 18 January 1871, until the abdication of its last Kaiser, Wilhelm II, on November 9, 1918. Germans, when referring to the Reich in this period under the Kaisers, 1871 to 1918, typically use the term Kaiserreich.[1]

Federal prince (Bundesfürst) was the generic term for the royal heads of state (monarchs) of the various states making up the German Empire. The empire was a federal state, with its constituent states remaining sovereign states. In total, there were 22 federal princes of the German Empire and additionally three republican heads of state and the steward of the imperial territory ruled by Alsace-Lorraine. The states became part of the Kaiserreich by an 1871 treaty. The Kaiser as head of the empire was granted the title German Emperor (the style "Emperor of Germany" being deliberately avoided), and was simultaneously a federal prince as King of Prussia, the sovereign of its largest federal state. Of the princely heads of state, 4 held the title King (König) (the Kings of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg), 6 held the title Grand Duke (Großherzog), 5 held the title Duke (Herzog), and 7 held the title Prince (i.e. Sovereign Prince, Fürst).

Following the abdication of Wilhelm II on 9 November 1918 and German Revolution of 1918–19, the German nobility and royalty as legally defined classes were abolished on 11 August 1919 with the promulgation of the Weimar Constitution, under which all Germans were made equal before the law, and the legal rights and privileges, and all following German Houses, titles, insignia and ranks of nobility were abolished.

In addition to the people mentioned on this list, it is also worth mentioning the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Marie-Adélaïde, who retained her office during the occupation and abdicated in favor of a younger sister in January 1919. The list also did not mention local rulers in German colonies such as Yuhi V of Rwanda and Mwambutsa IV of Burundi.

German Emperor (1918)[edit]

Emperor Styles Empress Symbols German Empire 1871 – 1918
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany - 1902.jpg

1859 – 1918
His Imperial and Royal Majesty
The German Emperor, King of Prussia
Wilhelm II


Her Imperial and Royal Majesty
The German Empress, Queen of Prussia
Augusta Victoria
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-01286, Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria.jpg

1858 – 1918
House of Hohenzollern
Imperial arms of the Kaiserreich

Flag of the German Empire.svg

1871 – 1918
Kingdoms
Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg
Grand Duchies
Baden, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Duchies
Anhalt, Brunswick, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen
Principalities
Lippe, Reuss, junior line, Reuss, senior line, Schaumburg-Lippe, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Waldeck-Pyrmont
Free Hanseatic cities
Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck
Imperial territory (Reichsland)
Alsace-Lorraine

Kings and Kingdoms (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany - 1902.jpg King
Wilhelm II

1859 – 1941
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia 1873-1918.svg

Flag of Prussia 1892-1918.svg
House of Hohenzollern
C.11th – 1918

Kingdom of Prussia
1701 – 1918
Prussia in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
(2) Hermine Reuss of Greiz

Children:
(1) German Crown Prince Wilhelm, (2) Prince Eitel Friedrich, (3) Prince Adalbert, (4) Prince August Wilhelm, (5) Prince Oskar, (6) Prince Joachim, (7) Princess Viktoria Luise

Kingludwig3bavaria.jpg King
Ludwig III

1845 – 1921
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Bavaria (1835–1918).png
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg
House of Wittelsbach
1180–1918

Kingdom of Bavaria
1806 – 1918
Bavaria in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Maria Theresia of Austria-Este

Children:
(1) Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, (2) Adelgunde of Hohenzollern, (3) Maria, Duchess of Calabria, (4) Prince Karl, (5) Prince Franz, (6) Mathilde Ludwig of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary (7) Prince Wolfgang (8) Princess Hildegarde, (9) Princess Notburga, (10) Wiltrud, Duchess of Urach, (11) Princess Helmtrud, (12) Princess Dietlinde, (13) Princess Gundelinde

Frederick Augustus III of Saxony.jpg King
Frederick Augustus III

1865 – 1932
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Saxony 1806-1918.svg

Flagge Königreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg
House of Wettin
900 – 1918

Kingdom of Saxony
1806 – 1918
Saxony in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Archduchess Luise of Austria, Princess of Tuscany

Children:
(1) Crown Prince Georg of Saxony, (2) Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen, (3) Prince Ernst Heinrich, (4) Princess Maria Alix Karola, (5) Princess Margarete Karola, (6) Princess Maria Alix (Luitpolda), (7) Princess Anna

Andersen & Klemm - Wilhelm II. von Württemberg (1892 RB25-21).jpg King
Wilhelm II

1848 – 1921
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg 1817-1921.svg

Flagge Königreich Württemberg.svg
House of Württemberg
1081 – 1918

Kingdom of Württemberg
1806 – 1918
Wurttemberg in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont
(2) Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe

Children:
(1) Pauline, Princess of Wied, (2) Prince Ulrich

Grand Dukes and Grand Duchies (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
GrandDukeFriedrichII.jpg Grand Duke
Friedrich II

1857 – 1928
Coat of Arms of the Grand Duchy of Baden 1877-1918.svg

Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1891-1918).svg
House of Zähringen
C.10th – 1918

Grand Duchy of Baden
1806 – 1918
Baden in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Hilda of Nassau
Ernst Ludwig von Hessen 1905 Foto Jacob Hilsdorf.jpeg Grand Duke
Ernest Louis

1868 – 1937
Coat of Arms of the Grand Duchy of Hesse 1806-1918.svg

Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg
House of Hesse-Darmstadt
1806 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Hesse
1806 – 1918
Hesse in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
(2) Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich

Children:
(1) Princess Elisabeth, (2) Hereditary Grand Duke George Donatus, (3) Prince Louis

Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.jpg Grand Duke and Regent
Friedrich Franz IV

1882 – 1945
Coat of Arms of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg - Schwerin.svg
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg
House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1131 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1815 – 1918
Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(Regent, 1918)
Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the German Reich (1871).svg Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland

Children:
(1) Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz, (2) Duke Christian Ludwig, (3) Duchess Olga, (4) Duchess Thyra, (5) Anastasia, Princess Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

August II von Oldenburg 1902.jpg Grand Duke
Friedrich August II

1852 – 1931
Coats of arms Grand Duché d Oldenbourg.svg

Flag of Oldenburg (Scandinavian Cross).svg
House of Holstein-Gottorp
(Oldenburg)

1544 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
1814 – 1918
Oldenburg in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia, (2) Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Children:
(1) Sophia Charlotte, Princess Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, (2) Duchess Margaret, (3) Nikolaus, Hereditary Grand Duke (4) Duchess Alexandrine, (5) Ingeborg Alix, Princess Stephan of Schaumburg-Lippe, (6) Altburg, Hereditary Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont

GrandDukeWILHELM.jpg Grand Duke
Wilhelm Ernest

1876 – 1923
Coat of Arms of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.svg

Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1897-1920).svg
House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
1741 – 1918

Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
1809 – 1920
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Caroline Reuss of Greiz, (2) Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen

Children:
(1) Sophie, Princess of Schwarzburg, (2) Hereditary Grand Duke Charles Augustus, (3) Prince Bernhard, (4) Prince Georg

Dukes and Duchies (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
Joachim Ernst duke of Anhalt.jpg Duke
Joachim Ernst

1901 – 1947
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Anhalt.svg
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg
House of Ascania
1036 – 1918

Duchy of Anhalt
1863 – 1918
Anhalt in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Elisabeth Strickrodt, (2) Editha Marwitz

Children:
(1) Princess Alexandra, (2) Princess Anna Luise, (3) Hereditary Prince Friedrich, (4) Princess Edda, (5) Prince Eduard

Ernstaugusthannover.jpg Duke
Ernest Augustus

1887 – 1953
Royal Hanover Inescutcheon.svg

Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg
House of Hanover
1635 – 1918

Duchy of Brunswick
1815 – 1918
Brunswick in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia

Children:
(1) Hereditary Prince Ernst August, (2) Prince Georg Wilhelm, (3) Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes, (4) Prince Christian Oskar, (5) Prince Welf Heinrich

Ernstii.jpg Duke
Ernst II

1871 – 1955
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg.svg

Flag of Saxe-Altenburg (1602).svg
House of Wettin
900 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg
1826 – 1918
Saxe-Altenburg in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Adelaide of Schaumburg-Lippe, (2) Maria Triebel (morganatic)

Children:
(1) Charlotte Agnes, Princess Sigismund of Prussia, (2) Hereditary Prince Georg Moritz, (3) Princess Elisabeth Karola, (4) Prince Friedrich Ernst

Carl Eduard Sachsen Coburg und Gotha.jpg Duke
Charles Edward

1884 – 1954
Coat of Arms of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.svg

Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
1826 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Coburg Gotha
1826 – 1918
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein

Children:
(1) Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold, (2) Princess Sibylla, Duchess of Västerbotten, (3) Prince Hubertus, (4) Princess Caroline Mathilde, (5) Prince Friedrich Josias

Bernhard III (Saxe-Meiningen).jpg Duke
Bernhard III

1851 – 1928
Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen-Hildburghausen.svg

Flag of Saxe-Meiningen (1826).svg
House of Saxe-Meiningen
(Wettin)
1680 – 1918

Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
1680 – 1918
Saxe-Meiningen in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Charlotte of Prussia

Children:
(1) Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen

Princes and Principalities (1918)[edit]

Ruler Title Arms – Flag House – State Location Spouse – Children
Leopold IV Fürst zur Lippe.jpg Prince
Leopold IV

1871 – 1949
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Lippe.svg
Flagge Fürstentum Lippe.svg
House of Lippe
1123 – 1918

Principality of Lippe
1123 – 1918
Lippe in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Bertha of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
(2) Princess Anna of Ysenburg and Büdingen
Adolf II, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe c1917.jpg Prince
Adolf II

1883 – 1936
Lippe-Schwalenberg.PNG
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg
House of Lippe
1123 – 1918

Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
1643 – 1918
Schaumburg-Lippe in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Ellen Bischoff-Korthaus (1894–1936)
Günther Victor von Schwarzburg.jpg Prince
Günther Victor

1852 – 1925
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.svg
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg
House of Schwarzburg
11?? – 1918

Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
1599 – 1919
Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
(1909–1920)
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse

(1) Princess Anna Louise of Schönburg-Waldenburg

PrinceFRIEDRICHPyrmont.jpg Prince
Friedrich

1865 – 1946
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont.svg
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg
House of Waldeck and Pyrmont
1815 – 1918

Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont
1180 – 1918
Waldeck in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe

Children:
(1) Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, (2) Prince Maximilian, (3) Helena, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg, (4) Prince Georg

Heinrich XXIV RäL.jpg Prince
Heinrich XXIV

1878 – 1927
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz, Older Line.svg

Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ältere Linie.svg
House of Reuss
(Elder Line)

1778 – 1918

Principality of Reuss-Greiz
1778 – 1918
Reuss-Greiz in the German Reich (1871).svg
HeinrichXXVII.jpg Prince
Heinrich XXVII

1858 – 1928
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz, Younger Line.svg

Flagge Fürstentum Reuß jüngere Linie.svg
House of Reuss
(Younger Line)

1913 – 1918

Principality of Reuss-Gera
1806 – 1918
Reuss-Gera in the German Reich (1871).svg Spouse:
(1) Princess Elise of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

Children:
(1) Viktoria, Duchess Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, (2) Princess Luise Adelheid, (3) Prince Heinrich XL, (4) Prince Heinrich XLIII, (5) Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line

November Revolution abdications[edit]

Throughout the month of November 1918, all 22 monarchs within the German Empire were either forced to abdicate, or stepped down of their own accord. Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick was the first to do so on 8 November. The next day, the Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II, went into exile in the Netherlands, and his abdication (which he would not officially confirm until 28 November, see below) was announced by his Chancellor and Prussian Minister President Maximilian of Baden. MSDP co-chairman Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the new "German Republic" from the Reichstag building to gathered crowds, while two hours thereafter Spartacist leader Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the "Free Socialist Republic of Germany" at Berlin Palace. Neither proclamation of the republic was constitutional, and the political situation remained chaotic for several more months, with a short civil war between radical leftist revolutionaries and the more moderate post-imperial social democrat government that would emerge victorious and form the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless, the proclamations and Wilhelm II's abdication triggered a powerful domino effect: the same day a number of other princes stepped down, and within a week most monarchs in Germany had followed suit. The last to abdicate was King William II of Württemberg on 30 November 1918.

Date Title and name State
9 November 1918 Emperor Wilhelm II German Empire
9 November 1918 King Wilhelm II Kingdom of Prussia
13 November 1918 King Ludwig III Kingdom of Bavaria
13 November 1918 King Frederick Augustus III Kingdom of Saxony
30 November 1918 King William II Kingdom of Württemberg
22 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick II Grand Duchy of Baden
9 November 1918 Grand Duke Ernest Louis Grand Duchy of Hesse
14 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick Francis IV Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
14 November 1918 Regent Frederick Francis Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
11 November 1918 Grand Duke Frederick Augustus II Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
9 November 1918 Grand Duke William Ernest Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
12 November 1918 Duke Joachim Ernst Duchy of Anhalt
8 November 1918 Duke Ernest Augustus Duchy of Brunswick
13 November 1918 Duke Ernst II Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg
14 November 1918 Duke Charles Edward Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
10 November 1918 Duke Bernhard III Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
12 November 1918 Prince Leopold IV Principality of Lippe
15 November 1918 Prince Adolf II Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
22 November 1918 Prince Günther Victor Principalities of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
13 November 1918 Prince Friedrich Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont
10 November 1918 Prince Heinrich XXIV Principality of Reuss-Greiz
11 November 1918 Prince Heinrich XXVII Principality of Reuss-Gera

Imperial statement of abdication (1918)[edit]

I herewith renounce for all time claims to the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected therewith. At the same time I release all officials of the German Empire and of Prussia, as well as all officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the navy and of the Prussian army, as well as the troops of the federated states of Germany, from the oath of fidelity which they tendered to me as their Emperor, King and Commander-in-Chief. I expect of them that until the re-establishment of order in the German Empire they shall render assistance to those in actual power in Germany, in protecting the German people from the threatening dangers of anarchy, famine, and foreign rule. Proclaimed under our own hand and with the imperial seal attached. Amerongen, 28 November 1918. Signed WILLIAM.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harper's magazine, Volume 63. Pp. 593. While the term Reich does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people, the term Kaiserreich literally denotes an empire - particularly a hereditary empire led by a literal emperor, though Reich has been used in German to denote the Roman Empire because it had a weak hereditary tradition. In the case of the German Empire, the official name Deutsches Reich is properly translated as "German Realm"; under its constitution the King of Prussia, as head of state, officially "presided" over a confederation of German states, and held "the title of German Emperor" in the sense of an emperor who was German, rather than emperor of a German state.
  2. ^ Statement of Abdication (1918). As translated and appearing in the 1923 Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, edited by Charles F. Horne.

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "William II. of Germany" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 667–669.