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Louis Ferdinand
German Crown Prince, Crown Prince of Prussia

Crown Prince of the German Empire
Reign (&00000000000000090000009 years, &0000000000000296000000296 days)
Spouse Donata, Countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen
Issue
Georg Friedrich I, German Emperor
Princess Cornelie-Cecile of Prussia
Full name
Louis Ferdinand Oscar Christian
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Louis Ferdinand I, German Emperor
Mother Grand Duchess Kira of Russia
Born 25 August 1944
Crown Prince's Palace, Potsdam, Prussia
Died 11 July 1977 (age 32)
Religion Lutheran
Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand of the German Empire (Louis Ferdinand Oskar Christian; born 25 August 1944 – died 11 July 1977) was the third son of Louis Ferdinand I, German Emperor and Grand Duchess Kira of Russia.

Louis Ferdinand was the Crown Prince of the German Empire and heir to the throne from 1967 until his death in 1977.

Early and Family Life Edit

Louis Ferdinand was born at the official residence of his parents the Crown Prince's Palace on 25 August 1944. As the third eldest son and fifth child of Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand and Crown Princess Kira of Prussia. His paternal grandparents were: Wilhelm III, German Emperor and Cecile, German Empress. His maternal grandparents were: Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The Prince had six siblings, four older and two younger:

  • Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (born 9 February 1939 - died 29 September 2015)
  • Prince Michael of Prussia (born 22 March 1940 – died 3 April 2014)
  • Princess Marie Cécile of Prussia (born 28 May 1942)
  • Princess Kira of Prussia (born 27 June 1943 – died 10 January 2004)
  • Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia (born 14 March 1946)
  • Princess Xenia of Prussia (born 9 December 1949 – died 18 January 1992)

When Louis Ferdinand was born in 1944. his grandfather Wilhelm III was Emperor and his father was the heir to the throne and he already had two elder brothers, Friedrich Wilhelm and Michael who were second and third-in-line of succession making Louis Ferdinand Jr fourth-in-line to the German Empire.

Education and Career Edit

Louis Ferdinand was born eighteen months before his younger brother and given the closeness in age of the two royal brothers, they were educated together.

In 1951, at the age of six an educational programme was devised by his father, the Emperor and the Emperor's private secretary and senior adviser, the brothers was supervised by several tutors. He studied; history, geography, physics, languages, music and excelled at Gymnastics and required of a German Prince, horse riding.

From mid 1954-56, for the next two years, Louis Ferdinand and his brother were to attend Hermann-Böse-Gymnasium in Bremen. In September 1956, the twelve-year-old Prince and his brother was accompanied by their tutor and governor when he boarded Schloss Plön, previously attended by his brothers and the sons of his great-grandfather, he spent the next six years until his eighteenth birthday in August 1962.

Upon leaving boarding school, Louis Ferdinand spent the next three years at the University of Bonn studying at Administrative Law, History, Business studies and Modern Politics.

Crown Prince of the German Empire Edit

Becoming Crown Prince Edit

Louis Ferdinand's elder brother, Prince Michael made the decision to contract a non-dynastic marriage, he submitted to his father, the Emperor, his renunciation on behalf of himself and his future descendants to the family's estates and the throne of the German Empire on 29 August 1966, Louis Ferdinand became second-in-line to the Empire after his eldest brother. Thirteen months later, his eldest brother, Friedrich Wilhelm also made the decision to contract a non-dynastic marriage, he submitted to his father, the Emperor, his renunciation on behalf of himself and his future descendants to the family's estates and the throne of the German Empire on 18 September 1967, making Louis Ferdinand as the newest heir to the German Empire and the family's estates.

On 21 September 1967, he was proclaimed Crown Prince of the German Empire, Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, Duke of Bremen and Earl of Munster by his father, Wilhelm IV, who was still in mourning for his wife and Louis Ferdinand's mother. Present at the proclamation were; the Emperor, his siblings, other members of the Imperial Family, parliament, the Government and the Emperor’s Cabinet.

Role and Duties of the 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, Louis Ferdinand 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 he became Crown Prince at the age of 23, he was old enough to act as Regent.

Military Service Edit

On 25 August 1954, on his tenth birthday in accordance and tradition with Hohenzollern Princes, he was enlisted as a Junior 1st Lieutenant of the First Infantry Regiment of the Foot Guards. In August 1962, he passed the officers examination and the now eighteen-year-old was promoted to the senior Lieutenants of the 1st Guards Infantry Regiment.

Marriage and Family Edit

On 9 November 1974, the engagement of the 30-year-old Crown Prince to 24-year-old Countess Donata was announced on the 67th birthday of his father, Wilhelm IV, German Emperor.

On 24 May 1975, Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand married Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen at Berlin Cathedral

They had two children together:

Grandchildren Edit

Louis Ferdinand and Donata have eight grandchildren:

Death and Succession 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. His wife was three months pregnant with their second child, due the following January, his daughter was born on 30 January 1978.

His one-year-old son, Georg Friedrich became Crown Prince of the German Empire and first-in-line to succeed the throne and was Crown Prince for the next 17 years until his succession as German Emperor on 26 September 1994 at the age of eighteen.

Titles, Styles and Honours Edit

Titles and Styles Edit

  • 25 August 1944 - 20 July 1951: His Royal Highness Prince Louis Ferdinand of Germany and Prussia
  • 20 July 1951 - 18 September 1967: His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Louis Ferdinand of Germany and Prussia.
  • 18 September 1967 - 11 July 1977: His Imperial and Royal Highness The German Crown Prince and Crown Prince of Prussia

Honours Edit

  • House of Prussia: Knight Grand Cordon with collar of the Royal Order of the Black Eagle
  • House of Prussia: Knight Grand Cordon with collar of the Royal Order of the Red Eagle
  • House of Prussia: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Royal Order of the Crown
  • House of Prussia: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
  • House of Prussia: Knight Grand Commander with Collar of the Royal Order of the House of Hohenzollern