Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis

Gloria, Dowager Princess of Thurn and Taxis (Mariae Gloria Ferdinanda Joachima Josephine Wilhelmine Huberta; born Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau, 23 February 1960) is a German socialite, businesswoman, philanthropist, Catholic activist, and artist. Through her marriage to Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, she became the Princess Consort of Thurn und Taxis.

Dowager Princess of Thurn and Taxis
Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis (1981).jpg
Gloria in 1981.
BornMariae Gloria Ferdinanda Joachima Josephine Wilhelmine Huberta Gräfin von Schönburg-Glauchau
(1960-02-23) 23 February 1960 (age 61)
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg
West Germany
(m. 1980; died 1990)
IssuePrincess Maria Theresia
Princess Elisabeth
Albert, 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis
Mariae Gloria Ferdinanda Joachima Josephine Wilhelmine Huberta Prinzessin von Thurn und Taxis
FatherJoachim, Count von Schönburg-Glauchau
MotherCountess Beatrix Széchenyi de Sárvár-Felsővidék
ReligionRoman Catholic[1]
OccupationCatholic activist, philanthropist, artist, socialite, businesswoman

Early life and familyEdit

Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau was born on 23 February 1960 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany. Her father, Joachim, Count of Schönburg-Glauchau, was the nominal head of the Glauchau branch of the German princely Schönburg family, a mediatised dynasty within the former Holy Roman Empire.[2] Her mother, Countess Beatrix Széchenyi de Sárvár-Felsővidék, was a member of the Hungarian nobility and a descendant of Count István Széchenyi. Her parents divorced in 1986 and her father married a second time to Ursula Zwicker. Gloria descends from various European royal and noble families including the Chotek von Wognin, Trubetskoy, Rechteren-Limpurg-Speckfeld, Kinsky and Golitsyn. She is one of five children from her father's two marriages. She has 2 brothers, Carl-Alban Count von Schönburg-Glauchau, born 2.2.1966 and formerly head of the family but renounced his rights after his marriage to Juliet Helene Beechhey Fowler, daughter of Nicholas Beechy-Fowler and Countess Jutta von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth. Her younger brother Alexander, Count of Schönburg-Glauchau, a writer and the current nominal head of the Schönburg-Glauchau branch of the family is married according to the rules of the house to Princess Irina of Hesse, grandniece of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II. One of her sisters was the socialite Countess Maya von Schönburg-Glauchau.[3] Gloria was baptized as an infant and raised in the Catholic faith.[4]

Childhood and adolescenceEdit

When she was a child, Gloria and her family moved to Africa, living in Togo and Somalia, where her father worked as an author and a journalist.[2] Although a member of the German nobility, her family had little wealth as a result of Communism in Germany and Hungary.[5] Her family's ancestral homes, castles Wechselburg, Hinterglauchau, Forderglauchau, Rochsburg, Alt-Penig and Neu-Penig had been seized by the Soviet government of Saxony in 1945. She moved back to Germany with her family in 1970 and was enrolled at the Konrad-Adenauer-Gymnasium in Meckenheim, later studying at Kloster Wald, a girl's boarding school in a Benedictine convent. As a teenager she worked as a waitress at a ski resort in St Moritz, Switzerland.

Marriage and issueEdit

In 1979 Gloria met Johannes, Hereditary Prince of Thurn and Taxis at a luncheon he was hosting at Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl in Munich. She had attended as the guest of his nephew Count Johannes von Schönborn-Wiesentheid. A few days later she ran into him at Café Reitschule while on her way to a Supertramp concert with friends. She decided to have dinner with him instead of attending the concert.[6] They began a relationship soon after and she accompanied him on a trip to South America. On 31 May 1980, Gloria and Johannes married in a Catholic ceremony in Regensburg, Bavaria. She wore a Valentino dress and a diamond diadem that had belonged to Empress Eugénie at the wedding.[5][7] At the time of their marriage Johannes was estimated to be worth between US$2 and US$3 billion.[8][3] She and her husband are fourth cousins twice removed, both descending from Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Upon their marriage she became the Hereditary Princess of Thurn and Taxis. When her father-in-law, Karl August, 10th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, died in 1982 her husband became the 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis.[9][2][10]

The couple had three children:[2]

Later lifeEdit

Gloria and her husband were known for their lavish lifestyle, becoming social and fashion icons in the 1980s. She became part of the European jet set and was referred to in the media as the "punk princess" and "Princess TNT".[3]

When her husband died in 1990, Gloria was left to settle his debts, which totaled at US$500 million.[3] Her son, Albert, became the 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis at the time of Johannes' death. She acted as the trustee for Albert, taking over management of the family estate, Saint Emmeram's Abbey. She went into isolation from society, studying finance, accounting, and estate management. She sold off family property including art, jewelry, castles, cars, and land to preserve the family fortune.[14][15] During this time she undertook a spiritual pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France, emerging as a sobered Roman Catholic activist and philanthropist.[3][4]

In 2001 Gloria was severely criticized for stating on a talk show that the high rate of AIDS in African countries was due not to a lack of safe sex practices but to the fact that "the blacks like to copulate ('schnackseln') a lot". In 2008 she said in an interview that Africans have a lot of sex because of Africa's higher temperatures.[16]

Gloria accompanied her sister, Maya, on pilgrimages to Lourdes and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain after Maya was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012.[17]

Gloria has become a successful artist, focusing mainly on portraits done with oil paint and pastel. The Hotel Chelsea asked her to do a series of pastels of its most famous denizens—a gallery show which brought her much acclaim as a painter.[18][5][19][20] She has referred to herself as a "dilettante", and cites her art collection as inspiration for her contemporary style of portraiture.[21] In 2015 she had a solo show at the National Exemplar Gallery in New York. She also paints freelance.[21]

In January 2019 the El Museo del Barrio in Manhattan decided to cancel an upcoming exhibition of Gloria's work at their 50th anniversary gala due to her right wing political stances and comments she had made about race and AIDS.[22]

Princess Gloria with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015.

A devout Catholic, Gloria serves 300 hot meals to the poor every day from a dedicated room in her home. She also works closely with conservative Traditionalist Catholic leaders including Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Wilhelm Imkamp, and Steve Bannon.[23] Her palatial home, Schloss Thurn und Taxis was suggested by Bannon as a potential site for a school to educate and train right-wing Catholics, although no firm plans have been made.[23]

Gloria is a personal friend of Hillary Clinton, and was one of a dozen women to attend her 2016 birthday party.[23]

Titles, styles and honoursEdit

Title and stylesEdit

Since former styles are not recognized, while hereditary titles are only recognised in German law as part of the surname in accordance with the Weimar Constitution of 1919, family members include the title as an integral part of their name in the form, Prinz/essin von Thurn und Taxis.[2]

  • 23 February 1960 – 30 May 1980: Her Illustrious Highness Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau
  • 30 May 1980 – 26 April 1982: Her Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Thurn and Taxis
  • 26 April 1982 – 14 December 1990: Her Serene Highness The Princess of Thurn and Taxis
  • 14 December 1990 – present: Her Serene Highness The Dowager Princess of Thurn and Taxis

Official in Germany: Gloria Prinzessin von Thurn und Taxis


Dynastic honoursEdit

German national honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit


Notable published worksEdit

  • Unsere Umgangsformen. Die Welt der guten Sitten von A-Z - with Princess Alessandra Borghese - (2000).[36] ISBN 9783806875799
  • Gloria: Die Fürstin - Im Gespräch mit Peter Seewald (2005).[37] ISBN 9783453380004
  • Die Fürstin und der Kardinal - with Cardinal Joachim Meisner - (2008).[38] ISBN 9783451298714


  1. ^ Colacello, Bob. "The Conversion of Gloria TNT".
  2. ^ a b c d e f Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels: Furstliche Hauser Band XIX. Limburg an der Lahn: C. A. Starke Verlag. 2011. pp. 365, 367, 369, 382–383, 385–386. ISBN 978-3-7980-0849-6.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Conversion of Gloria TNT". Vanity Fair. June 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Magazine, W. "Gloria Takes Manhattan: Gloria von Thurn und Taxis".
  5. ^ a b c Murphy, Anna (21 September 2014). "Gloria von Thurn und Taxis: whatever became of the 'punk princess'?" – via
  6. ^ Thurn und Taxis, Mariae Gloria; Eberle, Todd; Richardson, Sir John (24 November 2015). House of Thurn und Taxis. New York, New York: Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc. p. 6. ISBN 978-0847847143.
  7. ^
  8. ^ d'Elora, Camille (31 January 1995). "Point de Vue". Gloria von Thurn und Taxis: La Mal Aimée (in French). p. 5.
  9. ^ Willis, Daniel. The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain. Clearfield, 2002, Baltimore, US. p. 516. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1.
  10. ^ In 1919 royalty and nobility were mandated to lose their privileges in Germany, hereditary titles were to be legally borne thereafter only as part of the surname, according to Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution. Styles such as majesty and highness were not retained. Archived 24 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Tutzing, Jana Stegemann (14 September 2014). "Hochzeits-Ausflug in die Provinz" – via
  12. ^ "Hochzeit im Hause Thurn und Taxis - Maria Theresia heiratet Hugo Wilson".
  13. ^ a b Maria Theresia Ludowika Klothilde Helene Alexandra Prinzessin von Thurn und Taxis The Peerage.
  14. ^ Blasberg, Derek. "How a Jet-Setting Socialite Saved One of Europe's Most Stunning Castles". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Gloria von Thurn und Taxis: Die Fürstin von Punk bis Papst".
  17. ^ "Maya von Schönburg-Glauchau Neues Leben, neue Liebe!". Bunte. Hubert Burda Media. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  18. ^ Moehringer, J.R. "Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis Would Like to Paint Your Portrait".
  19. ^ "Opening of Gloria von Thurn und Taxis's Show - artnet News". 10 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Remember You Well at the Chelsea Hotel: Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis Has an Art Show, Rides a Motorcycle". 10 June 2014.
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c Horowitz, Jason (7 December 2018). "The 'It' '80s Party Girl Is Now a Defender of the Catholic Faith". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Photo" (PDF).
  25. ^ "altro - die fotoagentur : 01445-08". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  26. ^ "altro - die fotoagentur : 01449-08". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ a b Images, Gloria wearing the two mini now formed orders
  29. ^ [1] Archived 21 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ [2] Archived 21 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis Archived 3 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "altro - die fotoagentur : 01464-08". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  33. ^ "altro - die fotoagentur : 01466-08". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  34. ^ Order of Malta Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "Photo" (PDF). 2005.
  36. ^ "Unsere Umgangsformen - Die Welt der guten Sitten von A-Z de Gloria von/ Borghese, Alessandra Thurn und Taxis: Falken, Niedernhausen, 2000 9783806875799 - medimops".
  37. ^ "Detalles del libro".
  38. ^ "Detalles del libro".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis at Wikimedia Commons