|House of Hohenzollern|
|Country||Germany, Romania, Russia|
|Founder||Burkhard I, Count of Zollern|
|Estate(s)||Germany, Prussia, Romania, Russia|
The House of Hohenzollern (//, also US: /- , - -/-,, German: Haus Hohenzollern, pronounced [ˌhaʊ̯s hoːənˈt͡sɔlɐn] (listen), Romanian: Casa de Hohenzollern) is a German royal (and from 1871 to 1918, imperial) dynasty whose members were variously princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family came from the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the late 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle. The first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061.
The Hohenzollern family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch, which ruled the Burgraviate of Nuremberg and later became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch. The Swabian branch ruled the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1849, and also ruled Romania from 1866 to 1947. Members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525.
The Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled in personal union after 1618 and were called Brandenburg-Prussia. From there, the Kingdom of Prussia was created in 1701, eventually leading to the unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871, with the Hohenzollerns as hereditary German Emperors and Kings of Prussia.
Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918 led to the German Revolution. The Hohenzollerns were overthrown and the Weimar Republic was established, thus bringing an end to the German monarchy and Prussian monarchy. Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia is the current head of the formerly royal Prussian line, while Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern is the head of the formerly princely Swabian line.
Zollern, from 1218 Hohenzollern, was a county of the Holy Roman Empire. Later its capital was Hechingen.
The Hohenzollerns named their estates after Hohenzollern Castle in the Swabian Alps. The Hohenzollern Castle lies on an 855 meters high mountain called Hohenzollern. It still belongs to the family today.
The dynasty was first mentioned in 1061. According to the medieval chronicler Berthold of Reichenau, Burkhard I, Count of Zollern (de Zolorin) was born before 1025 and died in 1061.
In 1095, Count Adalbert of Zollern founded the Benedictine monastery of Alpirsbach, situated in the Black Forest.
The Zollerns received the Graf title from Emperor Henry V in 1111.
As loyal vassals of the Swabian Hohenstaufen dynasty, they were able to significantly enlarge their territory. Count Frederick III (c. 1139 – c. 1200) accompanied Emperor Frederick Barbarossa against Henry the Lion in 1180, and through his marriage was granted the Burgraviate of Nuremberg by Emperor Henry VI in 1192. In about 1185, he married Sophia of Raabs, the daughter of Conrad II, Burgrave of Nuremberg. After the death of Conrad II who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted Nuremberg as Burgrave Frederick I.
In 1218, the burgraviate passed to Frederick's elder son Conrad I, he thereby became the ancestor of the Franconian Hohenzollern branch, which acquired the Electorate of Brandenburg in 1415.
After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves:
The senior Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Conrad I, Burgrave of Nuremberg (1186–1261).
The family supported the Hohenstaufen and Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th to 15th centuries, being rewarded with several territorial grants. Beginning in the 16th century, this branch of the family became Protestant and decided on expansion through marriage and the purchase of surrounding lands.
In the first phase, the family gradually added to their lands, at first with many small acquisitions in the Franconian region of Germany:
In the second phase, the family expanded their lands further with large acquisitions in the Brandenburg and Prussian regions of Germany and present-day Poland:
These acquisitions eventually transformed the Franconian Hohenzollerns from a minor German princely family into one of the most important dynasties in Europe.
From 8 January 1701 the title of Elector of Brandenburg was attached to the title of King in Prussia and, from 13 September 1772, to that of King of Prussia.
Main article: Burgraviate of Nuremberg
At Frederick V's death on 21 January 1398, his lands were partitioned between his two sons:
After John III/I's death on 11 June 1420, the margraviates of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Kulmbach were briefly reunited under Frederick VI/I/I. He ruled the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach after 1398. From 1420, he became Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. From 1411 Frederick VI became governor of Brandenburg and later Elector and Margrave of Brandenburg as Frederick I. Upon his death on 21 September 1440, his territories were divided among his sons:
In 1427 Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg sold Nuremberg Castle and his rights as burgrave to the Imperial City of Nuremberg. The territories of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Kulmbach remained possessions of the family, once parts of the Burgraviate of Nuremberg.
Main article: Principality of Ansbach
On 2 December 1791, Christian II Frederick sold the sovereignty of his principalities to King Frederick William II of Prussia.
Main article: Principality of Bayreuth
On 2 December 1791, Charles Alexander sold the sovereignty of his principalities to King Frederick William II of Prussia.
Main article: Duchy of Krnov
The Duchy of Jägerndorf (Krnov) was purchased in 1523.
The duchy of Jägerndorf was confiscated by Emperor Ferdinand III in 1622.
Main article: Margraviate of Brandenburg
In 1411, Frederick VI, Burgrave of the small but wealthy Nuremberg, was appointed governor of Brandenburg in order to restore order and stability. At the Council of Constance in 1415, King Sigismund elevated Frederick to the rank of Elector and Margrave of Brandenburg as Frederick I. According to the Iron Kingdom, the most comprehensive book about the History of Prussia written by historian Christopher Clark, in 1417, Elector Frederick purchased Brandenburg from its then-sovereign, Emperor Sigismund, for 400,000 Hungarian guilders.
|Frederick I||also as Frederick VI Burgrave of Nuremberg||1415–1440||1371||1440||Elisabeth of Bavaria|
|Frederick II||Son of||1440–1471||1413||1471||Catherine of Saxony|
|Albrecht III Achilles||Brother of||1471–1486||1414||1486||Margaret of Baden|
|John Cicero||Son of||1486–1499||1455||1499||Margaret of Thuringia|
|Joachim I Nestor||Son of||1499–1535||1484||1535||Elizabeth of Denmark|
|Joachim II Hector||Son of||1535–1571||1505||1571||Magdalena of Saxony|
|John George||Son of||1571–1598||1525||1598||Sophie of Legnica|
|Joachim Frederick||Son of||1598–1608||1546||1608||Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin|
|John Sigismund||Son of
||1608–1619||1572||1619||Anna, Duchess of Prussia|
Main article: Margraviate of Brandenburg-Küstrin
The short-lived Margraviate of Brandenburg-Küstrin was set up as a secundogeniture of the House of Hohenzollern.
Main article: Brandenburg-Schwedt
Although recognized as a branch of the dynasty since 1688, the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Schwedt remained subordinate to the electors, and was never an independent principality.
Main article: Dukes of Prussia
In 1525, the Duchy of Prussia was established as a fief of the King of Poland. Albert of Prussia was the last Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights and the first Duke of Prussia. He belonged to the Ansbach branch of the dynasty. The Duchy of Prussia adopted Protestantism as the official state religion.
From 1701, the title of Duke of Prussia was attached to the title of King in and of Prussia.
In 1701, the title of King in Prussia was granted, without the Duchy of Prussia being elevated to a Kingdom within Poland but recognized as a kingdom by the Holy Roman Emperor, theoretically the highest sovereign in the West. From 1701 onwards the titles of Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title of King in Prussia. The Duke of Prussia adopted the title of king as Frederick I, establishing his status as a monarch whose royal territory lay outside the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire, with the assent of Emperor Leopold I: Frederick could not be "King of Prussia" because part of Prussia's lands were under the suzerainty of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. In Brandenburg and the other Hohenzollern domains within the borders of the empire, he was legally still an elector under the ultimate overlordship of the emperor. By this time, however, the emperor's authority had become purely nominal over the other German prices outside the immediate hereditary lands of the emperor. Brandenburg was still legally part of the empire and ruled in personal union with Prussia, though the two states came to be treated as one de facto. The king was officially Margrave of Brandenburg within the Empire until the Empire's dissolution in 1806. In the age of absolutism, most monarchs were obsessed with the desire to emulate Louis XIV of France with his luxurious palace at Versailles.
In 1772, the Duchy of Prussia was elevated to a kingdom.
See also: List of monarchs of Prussia
Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg since 1688
|1657||1713||Elisabeth Henriette of Hesse-Kassel|
|Frederick William I||Son of||1713–1740||1688||1740||Sophia Dorothea of Hanover|
King of Prussia from 1772
|1712||1786||Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern|
Frederick William's successor, Frederick the Great gained Silesia in the Silesian Wars so that Prussia emerged as a great power. The king was strongly influenced by French culture and civilization and preferred the French language.
In the 1772 First Partition of Poland, the Prussian king Frederick the Great annexed neighboring Royal Prussia, i.e., the Polish voivodeships of Pomerania (Gdańsk Pomerania or Pomerelia), Malbork, Chełmno and the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia, thereby connecting his Prussian and Farther Pomeranian lands and cutting the rest of Poland from the Baltic coast. The territory of Warmia was incorporated into the lands of former Ducal Prussia, which, by administrative deed of 31 January 1772 were named East Prussia. The former Polish Pomerelian lands beyond the Vistula River together with Malbork and Chełmno Land formed the Province of West Prussia with its capital at Marienwerder (Kwidzyn) in 1773. The Polish Partition Sejm ratified the cession on 30 September 1772, whereafter Frederick officially went on to call himself King "of" Prussia. From 1772 onwards the titles of Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title King of Prussia.
In 1871, the Kingdom of Prussia became a constituent member of the German Empire, and the King of Prussia gained the additional title of German Emperor.
See also: List of monarchs of Prussia
King in Prussia since 1740
|1712||1786||Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern|
|Frederick William II||Nephew of||1786–1797||1744||1797||Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
|Frederick William III||Son of||1797–1840||1770||1840||Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Frederick William IV||Son of||1840–1861||1795||1861||Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria|
|William I||Brother of||1861–1888
German Emperor from 1871
|1797||1888||Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach|
|Frederick III||Son of
|1831||1888||Victoria, Princess Royal|
|Wilhelm II||Son of||1888–1918
|1859||1941||Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein|
Main article: German Emperor
In 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed. With the accession of William I to the newly established imperial German throne, the titles of King of Prussia, Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title of German Emperor.
Prussia's Minister President Otto von Bismarck convinced William that German Emperor instead of Emperor of Germany would be appropriate. He became primus inter pares among other German sovereigns.
William II intended to develop a German navy capable of challenging Britain's Royal Navy. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on 28 June 1914 set off the chain of events that led to World War I. As a result of the war, the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires ceased to exist.
In 1918, the German empire was abolished and replaced by the Weimar Republic. After the outbreak of the German revolution in 1918, both Emperor William II and Crown Prince William signed the document of abdication.
The official religion of the state was "bi-confessional". John Sigismund's most significant action was his conversion from Lutheranism to Calvinism, after he had earlier equalized the rights of Catholics and Protestants in the Duchy of Prussia under pressure from the King of Poland. He was probably won over to Calvinism during a visit to Heidelberg in 1606, but it was not until 25 December 1613 that he publicly took communion according to the Calvinist rite. The vast majority of his subjects in Brandenburg, including his wife Anna of Prussia, remained deeply Lutheran, however. After the Elector and his Calvinist court officials drew up plans for mass conversion of the population to the new faith in February 1614, as provided for by the rule of Cuius regio, eius religio within the Holy Roman Empire, there were serious protests, with his wife backing the Lutherans. This was doubly important as Anna brought with her the duchy of Prussia into the Brandenburg line of the house and the nascent Brandenburg-Prussian state. Resistance was so strong that in 1615, John Sigismund backed down and relinquished all attempts at forcible conversion. Instead, he allowed his subjects to be either Lutheran or Calvinist according to the dictates of their own consciences. Henceforward, Brandenburg-Prussia would be a bi-confessional state, with the ruling Hohenzollern house staying Calvinist.
This situation persisted until Frederick William III of Prussia. Frederick William was determined to unify the Protestant churches to homogenize their liturgy, organization, and architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of churches. The merging of the Lutheran and Calvinist (Reformed) confessions to form the United Church of Prussia was highly controversial. Angry responses included a large and well-organized opposition. The crown's aggressive efforts to restructure religion were unprecedented in Prussian history. In a series of proclamations over several years, the Church of the Prussian Union was formed, bringing together the majority group of Lutherans and the minority group of Reformed Protestants. The main effect was that the government of Prussia had full control over church affairs, with the king himself recognized as the leading bishop.
In June 1926, a referendum on expropriating the formerly ruling princes of Germany without compensation failed and as a consequence, the financial situation of the Hohenzollern family improved considerably. A settlement between the state and the family made Cecilienhof property of the state but granted a right of residence to Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie. The family also kept the ownership of Monbijou Palace in Berlin, Oleśnica Castle in Silesia, Rheinsberg Palace, Schwedt Palace and other property until 1945.
Since the abolition of the German monarchy, no Hohenzollern claims to imperial or royal prerogatives are recognized by Germany's Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany of 1949, which guarantees a republic.
The communist government of the Soviet occupation zone expropriated all landowners and industrialists; the House of Hohenzollern lost almost all of its fortune, retaining a few company shares and Hohenzollern Castle in West Germany. The Polish government appropriated the Silesian property and the Dutch government seized Huis Doorn, the Emperor's seat in exile.
After German reunification, however, the family was legally able to reclaim their portable property, namely art collections and parts of the interior of their former palaces. Negotiations on the return of or compensation for these assets are not yet completed.
The Berlin Palace, home of the German monarchs, was rebuilt in 2020. The Berlin Palace and the Humboldt Forum are located in the middle of Berlin.
|Relation to predecessor|
|Wilhelm II||1918–1941||Succeeded himself as pretender to the throne.|
|Crown Prince Wilhelm||1941–1951||Son of|
|Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia||1951–1994||Son of|
|Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia||since 1994||Grandson of|
|Carl Friedrich, Prince of Prussia||Son of (heir apparent)|
The head of the house is the titular King of Prussia and German Emperor. He also bears a historical claim to the title of Prince of Orange. Members of this line style themselves princes of Prussia.
Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, the current head of the royal Prussian House of Hohenzollern, was married to Princess Sophie of Isenburg on 27 August 2011. On 20 January 2013, she gave birth to twin sons, Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander and Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht, in Bremen. Carl Friedrich, the elder of the two, is the heir apparent.
|House of Hohenzollern|
The cadet Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Frederick IV, Count of Zollern. The family ruled three territories with seats at, respectively, Hechingen, Sigmaringen and Haigerloch. The counts were elevated to princes in 1623. The Swabian branch of the Hohenzollerns is Roman Catholic.
Affected by economic problems and internal feuds, the Hohenzollern counts from the 14th century onwards came under pressure by their neighbors, the Counts of Württemberg and the cities of the Swabian League, whose troops besieged and finally destroyed Hohenzollern Castle in 1423. Nevertheless, the Hohenzollerns retained their estates, backed by their Brandenburg cousins and the Imperial House of Habsburg. In 1535, Count Charles I of Hohenzollern (1512–1576) received the counties of Sigmaringen and Veringen as Imperial fiefs.
In 1576, when Charles I, Count of Hohenzollern died, his county was divided to form the three Swabian branches. Eitel Frederick IV took Hohenzollern with the title of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Karl II took Sigmaringen and Veringen, and Christopher got Haigerloch. Christopher's family died out in 1634.
In 1695, the remaining two Swabian branches entered into an agreement with the Margrave of Brandenburg, which provided that if both branches became extinct, the principalities should fall to Brandenburg. Because of the Revolutions of 1848, Constantine, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen abdicated their thrones in December 1849. The principalities were ruled by the Kings of Prussia from December 1849 onwards, with the Hechingen and Sigmaringen branches obtaining official treatment as cadets of the Prussian royal family.
The Hohenzollern-Hechingen branch became extinct in 1869. A descendant of this branch was Countess Sophie Chotek, morganatic wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Lotharingen.
In 1204, the County of Hohenzollern was established out of the fusion of the County of Zollern and the Burgraviate of Nuremberg. The Swabian branch inherited the county of Zollern and, being descended from Frederick I of Nuremberg, were all named "Friedrich" down through the 11th generation. Each one's numeral is counted from the first Friedrich to rule his branch's appanage.
The most senior of these in the 12th century, Count Frederick VIII (d. 1333), had two sons, the elder of whom became Frederick IX (d. 1379), first Count of Hohenzollern, and fathered Friedrich X who left no sons when he died in 1412.
But the younger son of Friedrich VIII, called Friedrich of Strassburg, uniquely, took no numeral of his own, retaining the old title "Count of Zollern" and pre-deceased his brother in 1364/65. Prince Wilhelm Karl zu Isenburg's 1957 genealogical series, Europäische Stammtafeln, says Friedrich of Strassburg shared, rather, in the rule of Zollern with his elder brother until his premature death.
It appears, but is not stated, that Strassburg's son became the recognized co-ruler of his cousin Friedrich X (as compensation for having received no appanage and/or because of incapacity on the part of Friedrich X) and, as such, assumed (or is, historically, attributed) the designation Frederick XI although he actually pre-deceased Friedrich X, dying in 1401.
Friedrich XI, however, left two sons who jointly succeeded their cousin-once-removed, being Count Frederick XII (d. childless 1443) and Count Eitel Friedrich I (d. 1439), the latter becoming the ancestor of all subsequent branches of the Princes of Hohenzollern.
In the 12th century, a son of Frederick I secured the county of Hohenberg. The county remained in the possession of the family until 1486.
The influence of the Swabian line was weakened by several partitions of its lands. In the 16th century, the situation changed completely when Eitel Frederick II, a friend and adviser of the emperor Maximilian I, received the district of Haigerloch. His grandson Charles I was granted the counties of Sigmaringen and Vehringen by Charles V.
Main article: Hohenzollern-Hechingen
The County of Hohenzollern-Hechingen was established in 1576 with allodial rights. It included the original County of Zollern, with the Hohenzollern Castle and the monastery at Stetten.
In December 1849, the ruling princes of both Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen abdicated their thrones, and their principalities were incorporated as the Prussian province of Hohenzollern. The Hechingen branch became extinct in dynastic line with Konstantin's death in 1869.
|Eitel Friedrich IV||Son of Charles I||1576–1605||1545||1605||Veronica of Ortenburg|
Sibylle of Zimmern
|Johann Georg||Son of
raised to Prince in 1623
|1605–1623||1577||1623||Franziska of Salm-Neufville|
|Eitel Frederick V||Son of
also count of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
|1623–1661||1601||1661||Maria Elisabeth van Bergh ’s-Heerenberg|
|Philipp||Brother of||1661–1671||1616||1671||Marie Sidonie of Baden-Rodemachern|
|Friedrich Wilhelm||Son of||1671–1735||1663||1735||Maria Leopoldina of Sinzendorf|
Maximiliane Magdalena of Lützau
|Friedrich Ludwig||Son of||1735–1750||1688||1750||unmarried|
|Josef Friedrich Wilhelm||Son of Herman Frederick of Hohenzollern-Hechingen||1750–1798||1717||1798||Maria Theresia Folch de Cardona y Silva|
Maria Theresia of Waldburg-Zeil
|Hermann||Son of Franz Xaver of Hohenzollern-Hechingen||1798–1810||1751||1810||Louise of Merode-Westerloo|
Maximiliane of Gavre
|Friedrich Hermann Otto||Son of||1810–1838||1776||1838||Pauline, Duchess of Sagan|
|Constantine||Son of||1838–1849||1801||1869||Eugénie de Beauharnais|
Amalie Schenk von Geyern
Main article: Hohenzollern-Haigerloch
The County of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch was established in 1576 without allodial rights.
Between 1634 and 1681, the county was temporarily integrated into the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
Upon the death of Francis Christopher Anton in 1767, the Haigerloch territory was incorporated into the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
Main article: Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
The County of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was established in 1576 with allodial rights and a seat at Sigmaringen Castle.
In December 1849, sovereignty over the principality was yielded to the Franconian branch of the family and incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia, which accorded status as cadets of the Prussian Royal Family to the Swabian Hohenzollerns. The last ruling Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Karl Anton, would later serve as Minister President of Prussia between 1858 and 1862.
|Charles II||Son of Charles I||1576–1606||1547||1606||Euphrosyne of Oettingen-Wallerstein|
Elisabeth of Palant
elevated to Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1623
|1606–1638||1578||1638||Johanna of Hohenzollern-Hechingen|
|Meinrad I||Son of||1638–1681||1605||1681||Anna Marie of Törring at Seefeld|
|Maximilian I||Son of||1681–1689||1636||1689||Maria Clara of Berg-'s-Heerenberg|
|Meinrad II||Son of||1689–1715||1673||1715||Johanna Catharina of Montfort|
|Joseph Friedrich Ernst||Son of||1715–1769||1702||1769||Marie Franziska of Oettingen-Spielberg|
Judith of Closen-Arnstorf
|Karl Friedrich||Son of||1769–1785||1724||1785||Johanna of Hohenzollern-Bergh|
|Anton Aloys||Son of||1785–1831||1762||1831||Amalie Zephyrine of Salm-Kyrburg|
|Karl||Son of||1831–1848||1785||1853||Marie Antoinette Murat|
|Karl Anton||Son of||1848–1849||1811||1885||Josephine of Baden|
Main article: House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
The family continued to use the title of Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. After the Hechingen branch became extinct in 1869, the Sigmaringen branch adopted title of Prince of Hohenzollern.
In 1866, Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was chosen prince of Romania, becoming King Carol I of Romania in 1881.
Charles's elder brother, Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern, was offered the Spanish throne in 1870 after a revolt exiled Isabella II in 1868. Although encouraged by Bismarck to accept, Leopold declined in the face of French opposition. Nonetheless, Bismarck altered and then published the Ems telegram to create a casus belli: France declared war, but Bismarck's Germany won the Franco-Prussian War.
The head of the Sigmaringen branch (the only extant line of the Swabian branch of the dynasty) is Karl Friedrich, styled His Highness The Prince of Hohenzollern. His official seat is Sigmaringen Castle.
Main article: Kingdom of Romania
The Principality of Romania was established in 1862, after the Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia had been united in 1859 under Alexandru Ioan Cuza as Prince of Romania in a personal union. He was deposed in 1866 by the Romanian parliament.
Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was invited to become reigning Prince of Romania in 1866. In 1881 he became Carol I, King of Romania. Carol I had an only daughter who died young, so the younger son of his brother Leopold, Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, would succeed his uncle as King of Romania in 1914, and his descendants, having converted to the Orthodox Church, continued to reign there until the end of the monarchy in 1947.
|Carol I||Son of Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern
titled as Prince until 1881
|1866–1914||1839||1914||Elisabeth of Wied|
|Ferdinand I||Nephew of Carol I||1914–1927||1865||1927||Marie of Edinburgh|
|Michael I||Grandson of Ferdinand I
|1927–1930 (regency)||1921||2017||Anne of Bourbon-Parma|
|Carol II||Son of Ferdinand I||1930–1940||1893||1953||Zizi Lambrino|
|Michael I||Son of Carol II
|1940–1947||1921||2017||Anne of Bourbon-Parma|
In 1947, the King Michael I abdicated and the country was proclaimed a People's Republic. Michael did not press his claim to the defunct Romanian throne, but he was welcomed back to the country after half a century in exile as a private citizen, with substantial former royal properties being placed at his disposal. However, his dynastic claim was not recognized by post-Communist Romanians.
On 10 May 2011, King Michael I severed the dynastic ties between the Romanian Royal Family and the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. After that the branch of the Hohenzollerns was dynastically represented only by the last king Michael, and his daughters. Having no sons, he declared that his dynastic heir, instead of being a male member of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen princely family to which he formerly belonged patrilineally and in accordance with the last Romanian monarchical constitution, should be his eldest daughter Margareta.
The royal house remains popular in Romania and in 2014 Prime Minister Victor Ponta promised a referendum on whether or not to reinstate the monarchy if he were re-elected.
In mid-2019, it was revealed that Prince Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, Head of the House of Hohenzollern had filed claims for permanent right of residency for his family in Cecilienhof, or one of two other Hohenzollern palaces in Potsdam, as well as return of the family library, 266 paintings, an imperial crown and sceptre, and the letters of Empress Augusta Victoria.
Central to the argument was that Monbijou Palace, which had been permanently given to the family following the fall of the Kaiser, was demolished by the East German government in 1959. Lawyers for the German state argued that the involvement of members of the family in National Socialism had voided any such rights.
In June 2019, a claim made by Prince Georg Friedrich that Rheinfels Castle be returned to the Hohenzollern family was dismissed by a court. In 1924, the ruined Castle had been given by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate to the town of St Goar, under the provision it was not sold. In 1998, the town leased the ruins to a nearby hotel. His case made the claim that this constituted a breach of the bequest.