German Royalty: Marie Hohenzollern-Signaringen (1845-1912)

Figure 1.--This view of the Belgian royal family Prince Leopold, Prince Charles, and Princess Marie with their Grandmother Princess Marie Hohenzollern-Signaringen about 1910. Notice the elaborate hair styling.

Philip married Marie Luise Hohenzollern-Signaringen was born (1845). Her father was Karl Anton Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1811- ). Signaringen was the Catholic branch of the Hohenzollern family. He was rewarded with appointment as the primeminister of Prussia after abdicating and allowing Prussia to annex his lands. Her mother was Princess Friederike Luise, Princess of Baden (1813-1900), the daughter of Grand Duke Charles of Baden. Her brother was King Carol I of Romania and thus she was an aunt of his successor King Ferdinand of Romania. Marie was described as a 'lovely' girl. She was one of many potential wifes considered for Queen Victoria's youngest son, the fast living Prince of Wales (future Edward VII). The fact that she was Roman Catholic prevented her selection. Marie eventually married Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders, in Berlin (1867). Her title after marriage was Madame la Comtesse de Flandre. The Berlin site was chosen because she was Prussian princess. Philippe was the second son of King Leopold I of Belgium, but at the time did not have royal prospects. Princess Marie was an competent artist and even exhibiting her paintings at the Brussels Fair. She held a lively literary salon. It was for 40 years a notable gathering place of authors as well as a popular gatering for Brussels society. This no doubt provided Albert a liberal, artistic influence that earlier Belgian kings did not have. Marie Luise died in Belgium at the age of 67 years from pneumonia (1912). She was buried in the Church of Our Lady of Laeken. Two years later a massive German Army invaded Belgium, launching World War I (1914). The origins of Leopold I and Marie Hohenzollern-Signaringen meant that the Belgian royal family was largely of German origins at the time of World War I.


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Created: 8:47 PM 5/16/2011
Last updated: 8:47 PM 5/16/2011