Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Newest Royal Centenarian: 100 Years of Princess Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar, Princess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Princess Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar and Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on their wedding day.
Photograph (c) Eurohistory Photo Collections.

On 31 March 1920, HSH Princess Felicitas Sophie Katharine Margarethe Hermine Irene zu Salm-Horstmar was born at Potsdam. Today, the princess celebrates her 100th birthday. Felicitas is the oldest living member of the European Gotha.

The paternal grandmother of Felicitas: Fürstin Emilie zu Salm-Horstmar (1841-1892).
The mother of Felicitas: Princess Sabine von Schoenaich-Carolath (1893-1965).
© Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels / photo: J. Geleyns / Ro scan

The princess was the third daughter of Prince Emich zu Salm-Horstmar (1883-1959) and Princess Sabine von Schoenaich-Carolath (1893-1965). Emich and Sabine married in 1914; the couple had three children: Princess Sieglinde (1915-2006; who married Franz Bussmann), Princess Rosmarie (1918-2005; who married Conrad Kirchmeyer), and Princess Felicitas. The paternal grandparents of Princess Felicitas were Fürst Otto I zu Salm-Horstmar (1833-1892) and Countess Emilie zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1841-1892). The maternal grandparents of Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar were Fürst Karl zu Carolath-Beuthen (1845-1912) and his second wife Countess Katharina von Reichenbach-Goschütz (1861-1941).

Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach with his son Bernhard.
Grand Duchess Feodora of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach with her son Bernhard.
Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

Princess Felicitas married Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1917-1986) on 12 March 1943 at Heinrichau. Bernhard was the third child and second son of Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1876-1923) and his second wife Princess Feodore of Saxe-Meiningen (1890-1972). Felicitas and Bernhard had three children: Princess Katharina (b.1944), Prince Alexander (1945-1945), and Prince Wilhelm Ernst (b.1946). Felicitas and Bernhard divorced in 1956 after thirteen years of marriage.

Princess Katharina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach marries Prince Emanuel of Hohenzollern.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
Princess Katharina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach with her daughter Eugenia and granddaughter Angelina.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

In May 1968, Princess Katharina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the only daughter of Felicitas, married Prince Emanuel of Hohenzollern (1929-1999). Emanuel was the son of Prince Franz Joseph of Hohenzollern (1891-1964) and Princess Maria Alix of Saxony (1901-1990). Katharina and Emanuel had two children, Princess Eugenia (b.1969) and Prince Carl Alexander (b.1970), before divorcing in 1985.

Fürstin Katharina von Wrede with her children: Princess Désirée and Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his children: Prince Georg-Constantin and Princess Désirée.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

In May 1973, Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the only surviving son of Felicitas, married Eva Katalin [Katharina] Kovarcz de Kovarczfalva (b.1945). Eva was the daughter of Dezsö Kovarcz de Kovarczfalva and Eva-Maria Fiala-Vogelsang. Wilhelm Ernst and Eva had two children, Princess Désirée (b.1974) and Prince Georg-Constantin (1977-2018), before divorcing in 1985. Eva married Fürst Karl von Wrede (b.1942) in 1991.

Princess Désirée of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Count Florian von und zu Hoensbroech on their wedding day.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

From her four grandchildren, Princess Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar has seven great-grandchildren. In 1991, her granddaughter Princess Eugenia of Hohenzollern married Alexander Sautter: the couple have two daughters. In 2000, her granddaughter Princess Désirée of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach married Count Florian von und zu Hoensbroech (b.1969): the couple have five sons.

The ill-fated heir: Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

In August 2015, the ninety-five year-old Princess Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar attended the marriage of her grandson Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach to Olivia Page (b.1979). Given that the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach dynasty was short of male dynasts, Georg-Constantin would have eventually become the Head of the Grand Ducal House after his cousin Michael Benedikt and his father Wilhelm Ernst. Sadly, the prince died as the result of an equestrian accident in 2018.



Princess Felicitas is a first cousin once removed of Fürst Philipp Otto zu Salm-Horstmar, the head of the family.

We wish the Princess many happy returns of the day!

4 comments:

  1. Very best wishes to Her Serene Highness on her centenary! A most felicitous occasion.

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  2. What about Fürstin Marianne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn? She is even older.

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    Replies
    1. Fürstin Marianne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, aka Mamarazza, certainly figures amongst the oldest living noble ladies. I believe her birthday was noted here. Princess Felicitas zu Salm-Horstmar, having been married to a member of the First Part of the Almanach de Gotha, is noted due to the fact that she was part of a formerly reining "royal" (grand ducal, in actuality) dynasty.

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    2. Thank you for the reply :) So, I included both parts of Almanach de Gotha. Felicitas is among First one and Manny is in the second, that's the difference.

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