HH Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
The email was ominous..."Dear Arturo, I have just received a telephone call from Germany asking me something concerning an accident a prince had in London. Do you know anything about this?"
The writer of this note was none other than HRH The Margrave of Meißen, Head of the Royal House of Saxony.
I was busy with meetings at the institution where I teach, and it was not until later last night that I was able to look into this worrisome inquiry. A few hours later, I discovered in the German news a report on the passing of HH Prince Georg-Gonstantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, last male heir to his family's ancient legacy. He suffered an accident on 9 June, near Apethorpe Palace, Northamptonshire, where he was participating in a riding contest. ( http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/apethorpe-palace/ ) A report of the tragic accident mentioned that the Prince had died at the scene.
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created as a duchy in 1809 when the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach where merged into a single political union. Since 1741, both duchies had been impersonal union in the senior male prince of the Ernestine branch of the Wetting Dynasty. Six years after the merger, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was raised to a Grand Duchy at the Congress of Vienna. It helped that Tsar Alexander I's sister, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, had married Hereditary prince Carl Friedrich (1783-1853). Among the former remaining Ernestine duchies, only Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach received this elevation.
Carl Friedrich and Maria Pavlovna are best known for their efforts to make Weimar, the grand duchy's capital, a major cultural center in Central Europe. The couple were patrons of such luminaries as: Goethe, Hummel, Lizst, and Wagner.
His only son having predeceased him in 1894, Carl Alexander was succeeded by his grandson Wilhelm Ernst, who was reputed among Gotha circles to have been a rather difficult man. In fact, the german press at one point described him as, "the most unpopular prince in all Germany." In 1903 he married Princess Caroline Reuß-Greiz, but she died in mysterious circumstances (suicide has been alleged) two years later. In 1910, Wilhelm Ernst, in desperate need of an heir, married Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen. They had four children: Sophia (briefly married to Fürst Friedrich-Günther of Schwarzburg (last of his line), Carl August (who married Baroness Elisabeth von Wangenheim); Bernhard (who married Princess Felizitas of Salm-Horstmar); and Georg, who in 1953 renounced his rights and adopted the name Georg Brenna.
While Hereditary Grand Duke Carl August became the father of the present Head of House Saxe-Weimar-Eisenahc, Michael Benedict, his brother Bernhard became the father of, among others, Prince Wilhelm Ernst (b. 1946), who in 1973 married Eva Kovarcz (whom he divorced in 1985). This now heartbroken couple are the parents of Prince Georg-Constantin, who was born in Munich, and of his elder sister Princess Désirée, married since 2000 to Count Florian v.u.z. Hoensbroech. The former Princess Eva remarried the Fürst of Wrede.
Princess Désirée and Prince Georg-Constantin of Sazxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Prince Georg-Constantin with his sister and her husband, Count Florian v.u.z. Hoensbroech.
After completing high school, Georg-Constantin enrolled at St. Andrews University, from where he graduated in 2000 with a Master's Degree in Business & Managerial Economics.
After graduating, Georg-Constantin embarked in a long and successful business career. He worked for Merrill Lynch, and then went to work in business development for H2O Capital Ltd. In 2010, he founded Belvedere Energy Group, "a renewable energy developer and advisory business. Belvedere worked across all renewable energy aspects with a global reach but had a particular focus on solar." Three years ago, Georg-Constantin became a founding partner of Sustainability Factory, "an independent incubator of sustainable technology projects and other such activities which are involved in sustainable food, water, and energy supplies."
Georg-Constantin was the designated heir to the Grand Ducal Family as his cousin Prince Michael Benedict only has a daughter, Leonie, and she cannot succeed to Headship of House Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
In 2015, Prince Georg-Constantin married Ms. Olivia Rachelle Page, whom he had met four years prior. Their wedding was celebrated in Weimar, a city for which the prince held a special tenderness and interest. In fact, it was there that I met Georg-Constantin and Olivia on 4/26/2016 while we attended the opening ceremonies for the exhibition: Die Ernestiner – Eine Dynasytie Prägt Europa. I had traveled to Coburg just a few days earlier as Prince Andreas had requested that I accompany him and his children to the opening ceremonies in Weimar and Gotha. Georg Constantin was approachable, kind, and interested in his family's historical role in developing Weimar's cultural legacy. His untimely death is a great tragedy, not just for his wife and parents, but also for the future of his dynasty. The two remaining male Saxe-Weimar-Eisenachs are both in their seventies.
Prince Georg-Constantin is survived by his widow, Princess Olivia, his parents, sister and her family.
May He Rest in Peace...