William II of Württemberg

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.

William II
Andersen & Klemm - Wilhelm II. von Württemberg (1892 RB25-21).jpg
King of Württemberg
Reign6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918
PredecessorCharles I
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Born(1848-02-25)25 February 1848
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died2 October 1921(1921-10-02) (aged 73)
Bebenhausen, Württemberg, Weimar Republic
SpouseMarie of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe
IssuePauline, Princess of Wied
Prince Ulrich
Wilhelm Karl Paul Heinrich Friedrich
FatherPrince Frederick of Württemberg
MotherPrincess Catherine of Württemberg

Early yearsEdit

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,[1] 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

On 15 February 1877 at Arolsen he married Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1857–1882). They had three children:

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.

Nevertheless, he was King and it was his duty to secure the succession. On 8 April 1886, at Bückeburg, he married Princess Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe (1864–1946). They had no children.


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[2]
Foreign awards[2]


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


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Abdication text (in German)
  2. ^ a b Staatshandbuch für Württemberg. 1889. p. 283.
  3. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1889), "Königliche Orden" pp. 26, 56, 60
  4. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1886/7) "Königliche Orden" p. 52
  5. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für des Herzogtum Anhalt (1894), "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p. 17
  6. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1910), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 39
  7. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern (1906), "Königliche Orden" p. 7
  8. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Herzogtums Braunschweig für 1905. Braunschweig 1905. Meyer. p. 11
  9. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1884), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 32
  10. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg0: 1879. Schulze. 1879. p. 34.
  11. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 16
  12. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1898). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 54.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1895, p. 166, retrieved 21 March 2019
  16. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1915, p. 671, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via runeberg.org
  17. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 72

External linksEdit

William II of Württemberg
Born: 25 February 1848 Died: 2 October 1921
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles I
King of Württemberg
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
King of Württemberg
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Duke Albrecht