.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (August 2012) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,106 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Reuß jüngerer Linie]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Reuß jüngerer Linie)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Principality of Reuss-Gera
Fürstentum Reuß-Gera

Principality of the Reuss Junior Line
Fürstentum Reuß jüngerer Linie
Flag of Reuss-Gera
of Reuss-Gera
Coat of arms
Motto: Ich bau auf Gott
"I build/rely on God"
Anthem: Heil unserm Fürsten, Heil!
"Hail to our Prince, Hail!"[a]
Reuss-Gera within the German Empire
Reuss-Gera within the German Empire
Reuss-Gera within Thuringia
Reuss-Gera within Thuringia
• 1806–1818
Heinrich XLII
• 1818–1854
Heinrich LXII
• 1854–1867
Heinrich LXVII
• 1867–1913
Heinrich XIV
• 1913–1918
Heinrich XXVII
Minister of State 
• 1825–1839
Gustav von Strauch (first)
• 1918
Paul Ruckdeschel (last)
• Established
9 April 1806
• Disestablished
11 November 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Imperial County of Reuss
People's State of Reuss

The Principality of Reuss-Gera (German: Fürstentum Reuß-Gera), called the Principality of the Reuss Junior Line (German: Fürstentum Reuß jüngerer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state in modern Germany, ruled by members of the House of Reuss.[2] It was one of the successor states of the Imperial County of Reuss. The Counts Reuss, with their respective capitals and Residenzen at Gera, Schleiz, Lobenstein, Köstritz and Ebersdorf, were all elevated to the title of prince (Fürst) in 1806. Their successor branch heads shared that title, while their cadets were also each titled prince (Prinz).[2] Thus all males of the family were properly "Prince Heinrich (Roman numeral) Reuss, J.L.", without use of a nobiliary particle, although for convenience their branch names remained in colloquial use (for example, "Prince Heinrich I Reuss of Köstritz").


The territories of four separate branches of the Junior Line amalgamated between 1824 and 1848, at which time the senior branch of Gera retained sovereignty over the surviving cadet branches, which retained succession rights to the princely throne.[2] In 1905, the principality of Reuss Junior Line had an area of 827 km2 (319 square miles) and a population of 145,000, with Gera as its capital.

In the aftermath of World War I, the territory of the Junior Line merged with that of the Elder Line in 1919 as the People's State of Reuss, which became part of the new state of Thuringia on 1 May 1920.

The princely house

The House of Reuss practises a unique system of naming and numbering the male members of the family, every one of whom for centuries has borne the name "Heinrich", followed by a Roman numeral.[2] While most royal and noble houses assign a regnal number only to the ruling head of the house, and that in the sequential order of their reigns, the Reuss Junior Line ("Reuss, J.L.") used a numbering sequence for all male family members which began afresh with the first son born in each century. The male children within a single nuclear family need not bear sequential numbers, as all members of the larger family share the common numbering system. For example, the sons of Prince Heinrich LXVII Reuss of Schleiz, in order of their births, were named Heinrich V, Heinrich VIII, Heinrich XI, Heinrich XIV, and Heinrich XVI, with their male-line kinsmen holding the numerals in between according to the order of their births. In consequence of this naming system, certain heads of the Reuss Junior Line have had the highest numbers attached to their name of any European ruling families. The designation of "Junior Line" was dropped in 1930; the Elder Line ("Reuss, A.L.") had become extinct as its last male member, Heinrich XXIV, renounced his rights as sovereign in 1918 and died unmarried in 1927.[2]

In 1927 Heinrich XXIV, Prince Reuss of Greiz died and his titles passed to Heinrich XXVII, who became the 1st Prince Reuss and died the next year. His heir Heinrich XLV was arrested in August 1945 in Ebersdorf by the Soviet military and disappeared. On 5 January 1962 he was declared dead in absentia and Heinrich IV, Prince Reuss of Köstritz inherited his rights.

Counts of Plauen

One of the younger sub-lines of the branch which ruled the Reuss, J.L. until 1918, includes the "Counts of Plauen" from the late 19th century. When Prince Heinrich XXVI Reuss (1857–1913) married Countess Viktoria von Fürstenstein (1863–1949) in 1885, under the strict marriage rules then enforced by the Reuss dynasty, although he was but a younger son of a minor ruling family, their children were not allowed to bear the dynasty's princely title. They were, instead, designated "Counts of Plauen", although they remained in the line of succession to the two thrones of Reuss[2] The Fürstensteins lacked Uradel status: Viktoria's paternal grandfather, Pierre-Alexandre Le Camus (1774–1824), son of a minor noble French notary living in Martinique, rose to become foreign minister in Jerome Bonaparte's Kingdom of Westphalia, was ennobled there in 1807 and made a count of the Kingdom of France in 1817).[verification needed][3]

When the German Empire collapsed at the end of World War I, the reigning Prince Reuss lost his crown along with all the other monarchs whose realms were within Germany. In 1927, Henrich XXVI's son, known as Count Heinrich Harry of Plauen (1890–1951), was adopted by his childless uncle, Prince Heinrich XXX (1864–1939), and the now-deposed dynasty agreed to accept him as "Prince Heinrich Harry Reuß", along with those of his male-line descendants born of unions complying with the family's 1902 rules that permitted marriages to countesses (Heinrich Harry's wife, Huberta von Tiele-Winckler was only a baroness in her own right, but belonged to a family of comital rank in Prussia).[2] Their son Heinrich Enzio was thus accepted by the House of Reuss as a prince, but his own marriage to Baron Gustaf Peyron's daughter in 1949 occurred before the Reuss family conference of 1957 which lowered the marital standard again,[2] allowing dynastic inter-marriage with baronial families.

In 1992, Prince Heinrich Ruzzo of Reuss, Count of Plauen, a prince of the former sovereign House of Reuss, married Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a former lead singer of the popular 1970s Swedish musical group ABBA. Since her marriage to the prince, she has held the titles of Princess Reuss and Countess of Plauen with the style of Her Serene Highness. Heinrich Ruzzo died of lymphoma on October 29, 1999, leaving her the titles of Dowager Princess and Countess. She currently resides in Genolier in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. She has shared a home since 2020 with her British partner, Henry Smith, 5th Viscount Hambleden.

Since 1999 the House of Reuss has recognized Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss of Plauen (German: Heinrich Ruzzo, Prinz Reuß von Plauen) by his formal title, though without official membership in the dynasty or entitlement to the traditional style of Serene Highness.[2] Under German law the title has been allowed only as part of the surname since 1919, thus the name "Heinrich Ruzzo Prinz Reuss."

Princes of Reuss-Gera and Counts of Plauen

For the rulers of Reuss-Gera, see Imperial County of Reuss § Rulers of Reuss.

Other notable figures


  1. ^ There is no authorised version of the national anthem as the words are a matter of tradition; only the first verse is usually sung.[1] No statute has been enacted designating "God Save the King" as the official anthem. In the English tradition, such laws are not necessary; proclamation and usage are sufficient to make it the national anthem. "God Save the King" also serves as the Royal anthem for certain Commonwealth realms. The words King, he, him, his, used at present, are replaced by Queen, she, her when the monarch is female.


  1. ^ Berry, Ciara (15 January 2016). "National Anthem". The Royal Family. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Reuß". Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XVI (in German). Glücksburg: C.A. Starke Verlag. 2001. pp. 127–128, 139–140, 592–593. ISBN 978-3-7980-0824-3.
  3. ^ "Le Camus Pierre Alexandre, comte de Furstenstein". Les Amis et Passionnés du Père-Lachaise (APPL) (in French). 28 December 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.