Georg Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Altenburg

by Scott Mehl
© Unofficial Royalty 2021

Georg Moritz was the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Altenburg, and the last Head of the House of Saxe-Altenburg. Upon his death with no heir, the House of Saxe-Altenburg merged into the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

photo: By Schlegel, Dresden – Original publication: Published as a postcard in Europe.Immediate source: Private Collection – Wartenberg Trust, PD-US,

Wilhelm Georg Moritz Ernst Albrecht Friedrich Karl Constantine Eduard Maximilian was born on May 13, 1900 in Potsdam, where his father – then 3rd in line to the ducal throne of Saxe-Altenburg – was serving with the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards of the Prussian army. His father was the future Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, and his mother was Princess Adelheid of Schaumburg-Lippe. Georg Moritz had three siblings:

  • Princess Charlotte (1899) – married Prince Sigismund of Prussia, had issue
  • Princess Elisabeth Karola (1903) – unmarried
  • Prince Friedrich Ernst (1905) – unmarried

He became Hereditary Prince in February 1908 when his father became the reigning Duke. The family left Potsdam and returned to Altenburg, taking up residence at Altenburg Castle. The young prince was educated privately at home for several years before being sent to the King Georg High School in Dresden in 1913. He also received military training with the 8th Thuringian Infantry Regiment.

In November 1918, his father was forced to abdicate when the German monarchy was dissolved. From an early age, Georg Moritz was interested in anthroposophy – “a philosophy based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) which maintains that, by virtue of a prescribed method of self-discipline, cognitional experience of the spiritual world can be achieved.” (source:  From the early 1930s, he devoted much of his life to his interest, teaching and promoting anthroposophy at Hamborn Castle. He later rented a nearby farm where he lived for many years.

Although anthroposophy was banned by the Nazi regime, thanks to the intervention of Georg Moritz, research with disabled children was allowed to continue at Hamborn until 1941. The Gestapo put an end to the research and Georg Moritz was placed in custody for over nine months. He returned to Hamborn in 1946 after the war, living in a small apartment in the castle and promoting his research and studies. In addition, he served on the board of the local social charity for many years.

Upon his father’s death in 1955, Georg Moritz became Head of the House of Saxe-Altenburg and pretender to the former ducal throne.

Georg Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Altenburg died from pneumonia on February 13, 1991 in Rendsburg, Germany. As he had never married, and his younger brother had died several years earlier with no heirs, this brought an end to the House of Saxe-Altenburg. It was merged into the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, led by a distant cousin, Michael, the current pretender to the former grand ducal throne of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

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Saxe-Altenburg Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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