His Majesty Friedrich IV, Emperor of the German Empire (Georg Friedrich Ferdinand: born 10 June 1976) is the eldest child and only son of the late Prince Louis Ferdinand Sr of Prussia and Donata, Countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen. He is the current Head of the House of Hohenzollern.
Georg Friedrich has been the Head of the House of Hohenzollern since 26 September 1994, when he ascended the throne upon the death of his grandfather Louis Ferdinand I, German Emperor
Early Life Edit
Georg Friedrich was born on 10 June 1976 at the official residence of his parents, Crown Prince's Palace in Potsdam, as the only son of Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Crown Princess Donata. His paternal grandparents were Wilhelm IV, German Emperor and Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia.
Georg Friedrich was christened on 14 September 1976 at the Imperial Abbey. His parents appointed the following to be his godparents:
- Wilhelm IV, German Emperor (his paternal grandfather)
- King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
- Charles, Prince of Wales
- Johann-Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Castell-Rüdenhausen (his maternal uncle)
On 15 May 1976, his father was stationed in Bremen as a Captain Instructor, during military maneuvers he was pinned between two armored vehicles while loading a team car, he was taken to Berlin University Hospital where the lower half of his leg was amputated due to no circulation of blood. Two months later on 11 July 1977, he died from an infection due to his internal injuries leaving his thirteen-month-old son as the heir to the German Empire
After the death of his father, Georg Friedrich and his sister and only sibling, Princess Cornelie-Cecile of Prussia spent much of their youth in the care and under the guidance of their grandfather, Louis Ferdinand I, German Emperor.
The Emperor and the Dowager Crown Princess were determined that the heir to the German Empire should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch.
At the age of seven, an educational programme was devised by the Emperor, the Emperor's private secretary and his senior adviser. The young prince was supervised by several tutors. He studied; history, geography, physics, music and religion and excelled at Gymnastics and required of a German Prince, horse riding.
In September 1986, the ten-year-old Crown Prince was accompanied by his tutor and governor when he boarded at Black Forest Preparatory School in Kandern, Germany and spent the next three years until his thirteenth birthday in June 1989. At Black Forest, he also participated in football—along with Swimming, basketball, Rugby, Clay pigeon shooting, Cross country running and Team Building skills. During summer break, he returned home to his family but for most of his vacation he was privately tutored for his future role as Head of State.
From the age of thirteen, the Crown Prince was educated at the Gymnasium in Berlin, he spent the next five years there until he was eighteen in June 1994.
To prepare for his role as the head of state, Crown Prince Georg Friedrich followed a broad program of studies on the court system, social organizations and institutions, trade unions, and employers' associations. In addition, he closely studied the affairs of the Reichstag, Government, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On 26 September 1994, Georg Friedrich became German Emperor and King of Prussia, just three months after his eighteenth birthday upon the death of his grandfather, Wilhelm IV and after his accession, the new emperor as well as being Head of State continued to study his chosen subjects.
Crown Prince of the German Empire Edit
Death of his father and becoming heir apparent Edit
On 15 May 1977, just after his first birthday the Prince’s father, Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand was stationed at his base in Potsdam where he was posted as Captain Instructor in February 1977. During military maneuvers he was pinned between two armored vehicles while loading a team car, he was taken to Berlin University Hospital where the lower half of his leg was amputated due to no circulation of blood. Two months later, he was returned to hospital due to an infection caused by his internal injuries he died on 11 July 1977, leaving thirteen-month-old Georg Friedrich as heir to the German Empire.
He was proclaimed German Crown Prince, Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, Duke of Bremen and Earl of Munster on 21 July 1977, by his grandfather, Wilhelm IV present at the proclamation were; the Emperor, the Dowager Crown Princess, other members of the Imperial Family, parliament, the Government and the Emperor’s Cabinet.
Role and Duties as Crown Prince Edit
The main role of the Crown Prince and the heir to the throne was to support the Emperor as the focal point for national pride, unity and allegiance and bringing people together across from all sections of society, representing stability and continuity, highlighting achievements, and emphasizing the importance of service and the voluntary sector by encouragement and example.
As the heir apparent to the throne, Georg Friedrich was a senior working member of the Imperial and Royal Family of the German Empire with his own agenda of official engagements and he holds a significant supportive role to his grandfather. He also attended regular advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the Emperor. He also took part in the regular official dinners hosted by the Emperor, the Emperor's birthday celebrations, his own birthday celebrations, state visits to Prussia, high level and official visits from foreign dignitaries, the opening of Parliament, and celebrations of the National Day of Germany
In the absence of the Emperor, an order is issued to have the Crown Prince manage the affairs of the state until the Emperor’s return. As the Crown Prince did not reach the age of majority in time to become regent it was designated to his uncle, Prince Christian-Sigismund but with the Crown Prince's permission.
Declarations of Majority Edit
Crown Prince Georg Friedrich’s temporary declaration of Majority took place in the throne room of the Royal Palace of Berlin on 10 June 1992, on his sixteenth birthday. As of the day he turned 16, he could act as temporary Regent of State with a standby regent when his grandfather was not in the country.
His official declaration of Majority took place in the throne room in the Royal Palace of Berlin on 10 June 1994, on his eighteenth birthday the day he came officially of age he can act as Official Head of State when his grandfather was absent or out of the country.
During 1994, Emperor Wilhelm IV’s health started to deteriorate and the seventeen-year-old Crown Prince had to frequently stand in for him at official functions.
However, Crown Prince Georg Friedrich turned eighteen on 10 June 1994 and was able to take over as Regent If it was necessary.
Three months later, On 26 September 1994, Emperor Wilhelm IV died at the age of 86 and Georg Friedrich became the fifth German Emperor, the twelfth King of Prussia and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg. In his diary he wrote “I was woken at 07:00 in the morning by mamma, who told the Archbishop of Berlin and the Lord Chamberlain were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting room alone and saw wearing my robe. The Lord Chamberlain then acquainted me and told me that my beloved grand-papa was no longer here, and he passed away at 06:19 this morning and consequently I am the Emperor. Official documents prepared on the first day of his reign described him as Georg Friedrich, but his first name was withdrawn at the wish of himself only his family call him by his first name.
The day after his grandfather's death, Georg Friedrich was proclaimed as the 5th Emperor of the German Empire and the twelfth King of the Kingdom of Prussia. He ascended the throne as Friedrich IV with his mother, his stepfather, his sister, his half-brother, his uncles and cousins were present during the proclamation of the Emperor.
At the time of his accession, the Government was led by German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, the prime minister at once became a powerful influence on the politically some experienced Emperor, who relied on him for advice.
His new position as Emperor and as the sole heir to the estate of his grandfather was challenged by his uncles, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Prince Michael who filed a lawsuit claiming that despite their renunciations as dynastic at the time of their marriages, the loss of their inheritance rights based on their selection of spouse was discriminatory and unconstitutional. His uncles were initially successful, the Regional Court of Hechingen and the higher Regional Court of Stuttgart ruling in their favour in 1997 claiming the requirement to marry equally was "immoral". However, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany overturned the original rulings of in favour of Georg Friedrich's uncles, the case being remanded to the courts at Hechingen and Stuttgart. This time both courts ruled in favour of Georg Friedrich. His uncles then took their case to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany which overruled the previous court rulings in the Emperor's favour. On 19 October 2005, a German regional court ruled that Georg Friedrich was indeed the principal heir of his grandfather, Louis Ferdinand (who was the primary beneficiary of the trust set up for the estate of Wilhelm II), but also concluded that each of the children of Louis Ferdinand was entitled to a portion of the Prussian inheritance.
Personal Life Edit
Now Georg Friedrich was Emperor, the Government decided that the young Emperor should marry and continue the line of succession. When on a state visit to Belgium in March 1995, the young emperor was on his first state visit to Belgium met the Archduchess (great-niece of Albert II of Belgium, who had been on the throne of Belgium since 1993) again for the first time since they were teenagers at a gala performance and then a dinner. During his three-day visit, the Emperor had several private outings with the Archduchess. After the Emperor's visit, the couple immediately started exchanging letters and visiting each other in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. The couple were seen together at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine's relationship developed further when the Emperor invited Marie Christine to a sailing weekend around the lake district aboard the Imperial Yacht, SMY Hohenzollern. Followed by an invitation to Hohenzollern Castle, the Imperial Family's holiday residence to meet his family. Marie Christine was well received by the Emperor's mother, stepfather, grandparents, his sister, half-brother and step-siblings.
Engagement and Marriage Edit
The Emperor consulted with his cabinet and received permission to marry from the Government and he also received the permission from the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Archduke Carl Christian of Austria to marry Marie Christine and they granted his proposal. Georg Friedrich invited Marie Christine to Germany for the weekend and just after a dinner they went into the garden and he then proposed to her and she accepted his proposal. The engagement between Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine was publicly announced on 8 September 1996.
The civil ceremony took place in the City Hall of Potsdam on 20 August 1997 and was officiated by the Mayor of Potsdam.
The couple were married at St Peter and Paul’s Cathedral on 22 August 1997 by the Archbishop of Berlin. As Georg Friedrich was Head of State, the wedding was a state occasion. After the wedding ceremony, the couple were driven in the Golden Coach and then were rowed in the Imperial Yacht along the waters of Berlin to the Royal Palace and appeared on the balcony and shared their first kiss as husband and wife. Following five appearances on the balcony, they attended a three-course luncheon held for the couple, their families, foreign royals, dignitaries, ambassadors and friends. The luncheon, prepared in the Royal Palace kitchens was served in the largest room in the Palace. After the wedding banquet, the couple left the royal palace in an open carriage were driven over to Potsdam station and the couple went to Hohenzollern castle for their honeymoon, the couple returned to Berlin three days later so the Emperor return to his duties.
Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine have seven children together:
On 19 April 1998, The Imperial and Royal Court announced that the Empress was pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in October 1998. On 10 October 1998, It was announced that the Empress gave birth to a son and heir. He is first-in-line to succeed the Imperial throne after his father.
- His Imperial and Royal Highness Wilhelm Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Prussia, born 10 October 1998. He is the eldest child and first son of both Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
On 10 November 1999, The Imperial and Royal Court announced that Empress Marie Christine was pregnant and expecting the couple's second child in May 2000. In January 2000, It was announced that the Empress was expecting twins. On 15 May 2000, It was announced that the Empress gave birth to their twin children, a son and daughter.
- His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Christian Alexander, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, born 15 May 2000. He is the second eldest child and son of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
- Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Princess Kira Astrid of Prussia, born 15 May 2000. She is the third child and first daughter of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
On 22 October 2003, The Prussian Royal Court announced that Empress Marie Christine was pregnant and expecting the couple's third child in June 2004. On 18 June 2004, It was announced that the Empress gave birth to their fourth child, a second daughter.
- Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Princess Victoria Marie of Prussia, born 18 June 2004. She is the second daughter of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
On 31 August 2007, The Imperial Court announced that the Empress is pregnant and expecting the couple’s fifth child in January 2008. On 19 January 2008, The Imperial Court announced that the Empress had given birth to her third son at 19:24 CET.
- His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Heinrich of Prussia, born 19 January 2008. He is the third son of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
On 17 November 2010, The Royal Court announced that the Empress is pregnant and expecting their sixth child in April 2011. On 19 April 2011, The Imperial Court announced that the Empress gave birth to their fourth son at 08:51 CET.
- His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Albert Leopold of Prussia, born 19 April 2011. He is the fourth son of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
On 19 September 2014, The Imperial Court announced that the Empress is pregnant and expecting the seventh child in March 2015. On 31 March 2015, The Imperial Court announced that the Empress gave birth to their third daughter.
- Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Marie Josephine of Prussia, born 31 March 2015. She is the third daughter and last child of Georg Friedrich and Marie Christine.
Areas of Interest Edit
Scientific research, Climate Change and Sustainability Edit
The Emperor has a personal interest in Scientific research, Climate Change and Sustainability. He has been interviewed by several media and production companies for their commitment to sustainability. He participated in expeditions, forums and events on climate. The Emperor has represented the German Empire as a promoter of sustainable German energy.
Sports and Health Edit
The Emperor and sons, The Crown Prince and The Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg both encourage German participation in sports. He is a patron and honorary member of various sports organisations, he also promotes an active lifestyle in society.
The Emperor has been a keen sailor since his childhood and as Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Navy, he often competes in local competitions. Being a competitive Farr 40 skipper as well as an accomplished Dragon boater. He won victories and was a leader in the steps championships. In 2007, He competed in Rolex Baltic Week from 17–19 August in Neustadt, Germany.
Titles, Styles, Honours and Arms Edit
Titles and Styles Edit
- 10 June 1976 - 21 July 1977: His Royal Highness Prince Georg Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of the German Empire
- 21 July 1977 - 26 September 1994: His Imperial and Royal Highness The German Crown Prince and Crown Prince of Prussia
- 26 September 1994 - present: His Imperial & Royal Majesty The German Emperor, King of Prussia and The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg
Georg Friedrich's full title and style as German Emperor:
His Imperial and Royal Majesty Georg Friedrich the First, by the Grace of God, German Emperor, King of Prussia and The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg; Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern; Sovereign and Supreme Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz; Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen; Duke of Saxony, of Westphalia, of Angria, of Pomerania, Lüneburg, Holstein and Schleswig, of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelders, Cleves, Jülich and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kassubes, of Crossen, Lauenburg; Landgrave of Hesse and Thuringia; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Prince of Orange; Prince of Rügen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and Pyrmont, of Halberstadt, Münster, Minden, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, of Verden, Cammin, Fulda, Nassau and Moers; Princely Count of Henneberg; Count of Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, Tecklenburg and Lingen, of Mansfeld, Sigmaringen and Veringen; Lord of Frankfurt.
National dynastic honours Edit
- German Empire: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Black Eagle
- German Empire: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Red Eagle
- German Empire: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Crown
- House of Prussia: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon of the Imperial and Royal Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown
- House of Prussia: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of Saint John
- House of Prussia: Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Prussian House Order of Hohenzollern
- House of Prussia: Sovereign Knight Commander of the Imperial and Royal Order of Merit
- House of Prussia: Sovereign of the Imperial and Royal Order of Louise
- House of Prussia: Sovereign Knight with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of Wilhelm
National honours Edit
- Grand Ducal Family of Mecklenburg: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Griffon
- Grand Ducal Family of Mecklenburg: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the House Order of the Wendish Crown
- Ducal Family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: Knight Grand Cross of the Ducal Royal Saxe-Ernestine Saxe Coburg and Gotha House Order
Foreign honours Edit
- Austrian Imperial and Royal Family: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold
- Brazil - Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross
- Brunei: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei
- Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Balkan Mountains
- Chile: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit
- Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Elephant
- Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Danneborg
- Recipient of the 70th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
- Recipient of the 75th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
- Egypt: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Nile
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Star
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
- Hungary: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
- Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
- IOC: The Gold Olympic Order
- Japan: Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Jordan – Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
- Grand Cross of the Order of Adolph of Nassau (22/08/1997)
- Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau (22/08/1997)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Commander of the Order of the Golden Ark
- King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal (2013)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
- Grand Cross of the Military Order of Aviz
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. James of the Sword
- Romania: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
- Spain: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- United Kingdom:
- Knight of the Order of the Garter
- Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain