William II of Württemberg
This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
William II (German: Wilhelm II.; 25 February 1848 – 2 October 1921) was the last King of Württemberg. He ruled from 6 October 1891 until the dissolution of the kingdom on 30 November 1918. He was also the last German ruler to abdicate in the wake of the November Revolution of 1918.
|King of Württemberg|
|Reign||6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918|
|Born||25 February 1848|
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
|Died||2 October 1921 (aged 73)|
Bebenhausen, Württemberg, Weimar Republic
|Spouse||Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont|
Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe
|Issue||Pauline, Princess of Wied|
|Father||Prince Frederick of Württemberg|
|Mother||Princess Catherine of Württemberg|
William was born the son of Prince Frederick of Württemberg (1808–1870) by his wife Princess Catherine Frederica of Württemberg (1821–1898), herself the daughter of King William I of Württemberg (1781–1864). His parents were first cousins, being the children of two brothers, and William was their only child.
William's growing years coincided with a progressive dimininution of Württemberg's sovereignty and international presence, concomitant with the process of German unification. In 1870, Württemberg took the side of Prussia in the Franco-German War. In 1871, Württemberg became a state of the German Reich, a significant limitation on its sovereignty.
King of WürttembergEdit
William's father died in 1870, but his mother lived to see him seated on the throne of Württemberg. In 1891, William succeeded his childless maternal uncle, King Charles I (1823–1891) and became King of Württemberg. This was not, as it may seem, a departure from the Salic law which governed succession in the German states; his claim to the throne came because he was the nearest agnatic heir of his maternal uncle, as the senior male-line descendant of Frederick I of Württemberg through his younger son Prince Paul.
King William became a Generalfeldmarschall during World War I. In 1918, he was deposed from the throne along with the other German rulers. King William finally abdicated on 30 November 1918, ending over 800 years of Württemberg rule. He died in 1921 at Bebenhausen.
Personality and interestsEdit
Considered to be a popular monarch, William had the habit of walking his two dogs in public parks in Stuttgart without being attended by bodyguards or the like. During these excursions, he would often be greeted by his subjects with a simple Herr König ("Mister King").
Despite living in a landlocked kingdom, William II was a yachting enthusiast. The king was instrumental in the establishment of the Württembergischer Yacht Club (formerly "Königlich Württembergischer Yacht-Club" or Royal Yacht Club of Württemberg) in 1911 on Lake Constance.
Marriages and childrenEdit
- Princess Pauline of Württemberg (19 December 1877 – 7 May 1965); married in 1898 William Frederick, Prince of Wied (1872–1945), and had issue.
- Prince Ulrich of Württemberg (28 July 1880 – 28 December 1880), died in infancy
- A stillborn daughter (24 April 1882)
Marie died on 30 April 1882 in Stuttgart, from complications resulting from the birth of their third child. William, already depressed by the death of his only son, is said never to have recovered from this blow.
On William II's death in 1921 without male issue, the royal branch of the House of Württemberg became extinct, and the headship of the house devolved to Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg, head of the Roman Catholic cadet branch of the dynasty, based at Altshausen.
- German awards
- Anhalt: Grand Cross of Albert the Bear, 1889
- Baden: Knight of the House Order of Fidelity, 1876
- Brunswick: Grand Cross of Henry the Lion, 1899
- Ernestine duchies: Grand Cross of the Saxe-Ernestine House Order, 1874
- Cross of Honour of the House Order of Lippe, 1st Class
- Military Merit Medal (Schaumburg-Lippe)
- Mecklenburg: Grand Cross of the Wendish Crown, with Crown in Gold
- Nassau Ducal Family: Knight of the Gold Lion of Nassau
- Oldenburg: Grand Cross of the Order of Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig, with Golden Crown, 13 February 1877
- Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: Grand Cross of the White Falcon, 1892
- Hohenzollern: Cross of Honour of the Princely House Order of Hohenzollern, 1st Class
- Foreign awards
- Kingdom of Italy: Knight of the Annunciation, 25 September 1893
- Empire of Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, 23 May 1896
- Netherlands: Grand Cross of the Netherlands Lion
- Russian Empire:
- Spain: Knight of the Golden Fleece, 3 May 1892
- Sweden: Knight of the Seraphim, 9 July 1913
- United Kingdom: Stranger Knight of the Garter, 23 February 1904
Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg, 1817
Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, Variant
|Ancestors of William II of Württemberg|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William II of Württemberg.|
- Abdication text (in German)
- Staatshandbuch für Württemberg. 1889. p. 283.
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1889), "Königliche Orden" pp. 26, 56, 60
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1886/7) "Königliche Orden" p. 52
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für des Herzogtum Anhalt (1894), "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p. 17
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1910), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 39
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern (1906), "Königliche Orden" p. 7
- Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Herzogtums Braunschweig für 1905. Braunschweig 1905. Meyer. p. 11
- Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1884), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 32
- Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg0: 1879. Schulze. 1879. p. 34.
- Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 16
- "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1898). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 54.
- 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 149.
- "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1895, p. 166, retrieved 21 March 2019
- Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1915, p. 671, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via runeberg.org
- Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 72
William II of WürttembergBorn: 25 February 1848 Died: 2 October 1921
| King of Württemberg
|Titles in pretence|
|Loss of title
||— TITULAR —
King of Württemberg
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918