Eduard, Prince of Anhalt

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Duke of Anhalt
Eduard Anhalt.jpg
Head of the House of Ascania
Period9 October 1963 – present
Heir apparentJulia Katharina
Born (1941-12-03) 3 December 1941 (age 80)
Ballenstedt, Harz District, Anhalt, Germany
Corinne Krönlein
(m. 1980; div. 2014)
IssueJulia Katharina, Hereditary Princess of Anhalt
Princess Julia Eilika
Princess Julia Felicitas
Eduard Julius Ernst August Erdmann
FatherJoachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt
MotherEditha Marwitz von Stephani

Eduard Julius Ernst August Erdmann, Prince von Anhalt (German: Eduard Julius Ernst August von Anhalt; born 3 December 1941), usually referred to as Prince Eduard, is the head of the House of Ascania,[1] the family which ruled the Duchy of Anhalt until 1918.

Life and family[edit]

Eduard was born at Schloss Ballenstedt in Ballenstedt, in what is now the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, the youngest of the five children of the last reigning Duke of Anhalt, Joachim Ernst, and of his second wife Editha "Edda" Charlotte Wilhelmine Marwitz, who allegedly paid 10,000 marks to Bertha von Stephani to improve her social standing by adult adoption.[2]

On 9 October 1963, Eduard's older brother Friedrich died childless in a car crash. He uses the title Prince of Anhalt,[1][3] but is referred to by others as Duke of Anhalt.[4][5] The succession of Eduard and his brother was disputed by their uncle Prince Eugen who also claimed the headship of house after the death of Duke Joachim Ernst.[6][7] The death without male issue in 1980 of Prince Eugen left Prince Eduard as the sole claimant to the headship of the house.

Eduard lived in the United States for several years, working in a number of retail sales positions, before returning to Germany in 1967.[citation needed] He has been a journalist and columnist for numerous German magazines. He has also hosted a television programme Adel verpflichet (Noblesse oblige) for RTL Television.[8] Subsequently, Anhalt became a frequent German television commentator for royal events.[9]

In 1978, Eduard wrote a book[10] about his family's traditions, Askanische Sagen Über die Entstehung der Deutschen (English: Ascanian Legends and the Origins of the Germans).[11] A revised and expanded edition of the book with the title Sagenhaftes Askanien: Geschichten und Legenden (English: Incredible Ascania, Stories and Legends) was published in 2004.[12]

Eduard has served as deputy chairman of the Société des Amis of the Almanach de Gotha reboot.[5]

Due to his father's incarceration in a concentration camp from 1938 to 1944, Eduard's paternity has been questioned.[13][page needed][verification needed] In 1990 his eldest sister Princess Marie Antoinette (called Alexandra) termed him her 'half brother' to the press, and alleged that his father was Heinrich Himmler. Eduard responded by suggesting the matter was simply a dispute between siblings, and that she wished to besmirch his name.[14]

In April 1990, Eduard asserted ownership of the family seat Schloss Ballenstedt, which had been confiscated by the Communist authorities in East Germany after World War II.[8] He was unsuccessful, and there were lengthy administrative disputes, although relations with the town administration of Ballenstedt subsequently improved.[15][16]

After a further long legal fight with the town administration, which had insisted on first right of refusal, in May 2000 Eduard managed to purchase for 400,000 D-Marks another property of the family which had been requisitioned. This was the small but historic domed neoclassical hunting lodge, Röhrkopf, built in 1770, which lies within the former park of Schloss Ballenstedt.[17] It has now become the family seat, and three holiday apartments for general rental have been constructed within its garden.[18] Fear of lingering animosity towards the family, including over issues of restitution, inhibited his children from resettling in Anhalt, although after her divorce his wife bought a home in Dessau, and worked to promote the region.[17]

A difficulty for Eduard has been the adult adoptees of his aunt Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt. Adopted for what has been presumed to be mercenary reasons, and laying claim to be princes of Anhalt, they are estimated to number 35 persons.[8] Outside of Germany the most notable of the adoptees is the last husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frederic von Anhalt formerly, Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg. In 2010, Eduard released a statement restating that such individuals would never be officially recognised by the family as members of House of Anhalt-Ascania.[19]

Eduard gained international attention in August 2010 when he claimed to have advanced knowledge of the engagement of his distant cousin Prince William of Wales to Kate Middleton. Although a spokesperson for the British Royal family denied Eduard's claim,[20] the engagement was indeed announced a few months later.[21]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 21 July 1980, in Munich, Eduard married Corinne Gisa Elisabeth Krönlein (born Würzburg, 19 August 1961), daughter of Günther Krönlein and wife Anneliese Benz, in a civil ceremony.[citation needed] The couple renewed their vows in a religious ceremony on 7 June 1986 in S-charl, near Scuol, Switzerland, but later divorced in 2014.[citation needed][22] Eduard and Corinne have three daughters:

  • Julia Katharina Elisabeth (born 14 December 1980, Bad Tölz) married 12 July 2008 Marc Bernath,[citation needed]
    • Julius Maxime Laszlo[23] (born 21 December 2010, Munich)[3]
  • Julia Eilika Nicole (born 1 January 1985, Munich), has one son and one daughter with her partner, Fabian Harte:[3]
    • Leopold (b. 2011)
    • Julia Philine (b. 2013)
  • Julia Felicitas Leopoldine Friederike Franziska (born 14 May 1993, Munich)


Eduard is the last male of what is considered the "House of Ascania", itself from the Billung dynasty, traced back ultimately to the Count Wichmann (Wychmannus comes) in 811 AD. If Eduard died without male issue, the House would be considered extinct. The male line of Ascanians survives, however, in the Counts von Westarp, descendants of Prince Franz of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym and his morganatic wife Karoline Westarp and the Counts von Waldersee who descend from Count Franz Johann von Waldersee (1763–1823), illegitimate son of Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817) and his mistress Eleonore Hofmeyer (1739–1816).[citation needed] In 2010 Eduard modified the House of Anhalt-Ascania Laws, abolishing the Salic or Semi-Salic laws; recognising his first born daughter as his heir; and ruling that gender would in future be irrelevant in determining the line of descent.[19]

Dynastic honours[edit]



  1. ^ a b Casagrande, Sabina (31 August 2007). "German Duke: Diana Revolutionized Europe's Monarchies". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 4 December 2011. Prince Julius Eduard von Anhalt, Duke of Saxony, is the head of the House of Anhalt-Ascania and a member of Germany's higher nobility.
  2. ^ "Adel: Eheskandale im Hause Anhalt". Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  3. ^ a b c Anhalt-Askanien: Family
  4. ^ Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George H.H. The Duke of Anhalt Appointed Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice, of Honor Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Almanach de Gotha, "Société des Amis de l'Almanach de Gotha". Archived from the original on February 11, 2006. Retrieved 2017-09-17.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (ed.) (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World, 1st edition. London: Burke's Peerage. pp. 195–196. ISBN 0-85011-023-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels: Furstliche Hauser Band III. C. A. Starke Verlag. 1955. p. 3.
  8. ^ a b c Schmemann, Serge (29 April 1990). "EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; A Prince, His Castle and the Tenants". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2011. He ended up as host of a series on the nobility of Europe, Noblesse Oblige.
  9. ^ Von Tuma, Thomas (20 March 2000). "Rent A Royal". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 4 December 2011. In Wahrheit, glauben Experten, ließe sich aus den Wappenträgern noch weit mehr rausholen. "Die Werbewirtschaft hat die Zugkraft deutscher Adelshäuser, die Geschichte und Glaubwürdigkeit repräsentieren, einfach noch nicht erkannt", glaubt Eduard Prinz von Anhalt, medialer Aktiv-Posten des deutschen Hochadels und gern bei Königshochzeiten als TV-Kommentator präsent.
  10. ^ Deutschen Nat. "Anhalt, Eduard von". Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  11. ^ Anhalt, Eduard Prinz von (1978). Askanische Sagen Über die Entstehung der Deutschen (in German). München, Bayern, Deutschland: Mahnert-Lueg.
  12. ^ Prinz von Anhalt, Eduard (2004). Sagenhaftes Askanien. Geschichten und Legenden (in German). München, Bayern, Deutschland: Langen/Müller. ISBN 978-3-7844-2974-8.
  13. ^ Burke's Royal Families of the World, Europe and Latin America
  14. ^ Sturm, Christian Peinlicher Familienkrachim Hause Sachsen-Anhalt: Ist Prinz Eduard Himmler's Sohn, Bild, 14 February 1990, Page 3
  15. ^ "Adelige Heimkehr auf den Familienbesitz im Harz". Welt Online. 2000-08-25. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  16. ^ "Liebesbriefe". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  17. ^ a b "Die Rückkehr des Askaniers | MDR.DE". (in German). Archived from the original on 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  18. ^ "Ferienwohnung Röhrkopf Harz - Willkommen! Ferienwohnungen Röhrkopf/Ballenstedt im Harz". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  19. ^ a b "Aktualisierung des Hausgesetzes der Familie Anhalt-Askanien | Anhalt-Askanien". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  20. ^ "Palace clears up mystery of Kate and Wills' wedding". Hello. 20 August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2011. The recent rumour of royal wedding bells soon ringing for Kate Middleton and Prince William has been called “nonsense and speculation” by St James's Palace.
  21. ^ "Press Release: His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton are engaged to be married". The Prince of Wales. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  22. ^ Burke's Royal Families of the World, Europe and Latin America
  23. ^ Die Töchter Anhalts, Mitteldeustche Zeitung. February 2, 2012. "Genau. Sie haben unseren Nachnamen bekommen."
  24. ^ Eduard Prinz von Anhalt, Corinna Prinzessin von Anhalt. "Orden Albrecht-der-Baer". Anhalt-Askanien. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  25. ^ Burke, Bernard (1858). The book of orders of knighthood and decorations of honour of all nations: comprising a historical account of each order, military, naval, and civil, from the earliest to the present time, with lists of the knights and companions of each British order. London: Hurst And Blackett. pp. 1–2.
  26. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2016-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Eduard, Prince of Anhalt
Born: 3 December 1941
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Duke of Anhalt
9 October 1963 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Duchy abolished in 1918