Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern

Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern[1] (German: Leopold Stephan Karl Anton Gustav Eduard Tassilo Fürst von Hohenzollern)[1] (22 September 1835 – 8 June 1905)[1] was the head of the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern, and played a fleeting role in European power politics, in connection with the Franco-Prussian War.

Prince of Hohenzollern
Head of the Princely House of Hohenzollern
PredecessorKarl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern
Born(1835-09-22)22 September 1835
Died8 June 1905(1905-06-08) (aged 69)
SpouseInfanta Antónia of Portugal
IssueWilliam, Prince of Hohenzollern
Ferdinand I of Romania
Prince Karl Anton
Full name
German: Leopold Stephan Karl Anton Gustav Eduard Tassilo
FatherKarl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern
MotherPrincess Josephine of Baden
ReligionRomanian Orthodox

He was born into the dynasty's surviving Sigmaringen branch, which inherited all the dynasty's Swabian lands when the Hohenzollern-Hechingen branch became extinct.

Leopold's parents were Josephine of Baden and Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern.[1] Leopold was the older brother[1] of King Carol I of Romania and father of the future King Ferdinand of Romania.[1] Carol ascended the Romanian throne in 1866, and Leopold renounced his rights to the Romanian succession in favor of his sons in 1880.[2]

Entry into European controversyEdit

After the Spanish Revolution of 1868 that overthrew Queen Isabella II, Leopold was offered the Spanish Crown by the new government. This offer was supported by the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck, but opposed by the French Emperor Napoleon III on the grounds that the installation of a relative of the Prussian king would result in the expansion of Prussian influence and the encirclement of France. Leopold was forced to decline the offer.

Additional demands made by the French government heightened diplomatic tensions between Paris and Berlin. The deliberate or accidental mistranslation of a diplomatic communiqué, the Ems Telegram, also known as the Ems Dispatch, led to the declaration of war by France. Prussia's speedy mobilization, together with the support of the other members of the North German Confederation, resulted in French defeat, the consequences of which were:

  • the capture of Napoleon III and the collapse of his government
  • the French loss of Alsace and a part of Lorraine
  • the imposition upon France of huge war reparations (five billion gold francs) to be paid within five years
  • institution of the French Third Republic
  • creation of the German Empire.

Marriage and issueEdit

In 1861 Leopold married Infanta Antónia of Portugal, daughter of Queen Maria II of Portugal and King Ferdinand II of Portugal.[1] They had the following children:[1]

Had Leopold succeeded to the Spanish throne, he could possibly have founded a second German dynasty in Spain, following the extinction of the House of Austria less than two centuries earlier.


Leopold received the following decorations and awards:[3]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Darryl Lundy (19 March 2005). "Leopold Stephan Prinz von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen". thePeerage.com. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  2. ^ Renunciation letter of Leopold de Hohenzollern, in French, dated 22 November 1880[non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Preußen (1905), Genealogy p. 5
  4. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern
Cadet branch of the House of Hohenzollern
Born: 22 September 1835 Died: 8 June 1905
German nobility
Preceded by
Charles Anthony
Prince of Hohenzollern
2 June 1885 – 8 June 1905
Succeeded by