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Prince George William of Hanover (born 1880)

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Prince George William
Hereditary Prince of Hanover
Born(1880-10-28)28 October 1880
Gmunden, Upper Austria, Austria-Hungary
Died20 May 1912(1912-05-20) (aged 31)
Nackel, Brandenburg, Germany
Full name
George William Christian Albert Edward Alexander Frederick Valdemar Ernest Adolph
German: Georg Wilhelm Christian Albrecht Eduard Alexander Friedrich Waldemar Ernst Adolf
FatherErnest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover
MotherPrincess Thyra of Denmark

George William, Hereditary Prince of Hanover (Georg Wilhelm Christian Albert Edward Alexander Friedrich Waldemar Ernst Adolf Prinz von Hannover; 28 October 1880 – 20 May 1912) was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover (1845–1923) and Princess Thyra of Denmark (1853–1933), the youngest daughter of Christian IX of Denmark (1818–1906) and Louise of Hesse-Kassel (1817–1898). George William was a great-great-grandson of George III of the United Kingdom (1738–1820) and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818).

In 1906 he was suggested as new reigning Duke of Brunswick, but this was turned down by the German Bundesrat the following year.

Personal life[edit]

George William served as Captain of the 42nd Regiment of Austria.[1] He was made an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order by King George V of the United Kingdom on 8 June 1910.[2]

The health of Prince George William was for long periods poor. He had tuberculosis, and his legs was so weak, that they couldn't support him. He spent the winters 1904-05 and 1905-06 in Africa, mainly Egypt, to seek relief for his health and some progress were made, but already in the fall of 1906 he had relapses. In 1906-07 he once more spent the winter in Egypt and other parts of British East Africa.[3][verification needed][4][verification needed]

He was known to his family by the nickname "Plumpy."[citation needed]

Duke of Brunswick?[edit]

After the death in September 1906 of the regent of the Duchy of Brunswick, Prince Albert of Prussia, George William's father the Duke of Cumberland wrote to the German Emperor and made the suggestion, that his eldest son (which he had presented to The Emperor earlier that year at the funeral of Christian IX of Denmark[5][verification needed]) should be granted the right as new reigning Duke of Brunswick and that he would renounce his own succession rights to the Brunswick duchy. The suggestion was turned down by The Bundesrat on 28 February 1907 since Ernest Augustus wouldn't renounce his succession rights for the crown of Hanover.[6][verification needed][7][verification needed]

King of Serbia?[edit]

Groups of Serbians was in late 1906 dissatisfied with the reign of Peter I of Serbia and asked Edward VII whether he would allow Prince Arthur of Connaught to become new king of Serbia. When the king and Prince Arthur declined the offer, the delegation in stead asked The Duke of Cumberland, whether he would allow his son prince George William to ascend the throne of Serbia. Nothing further came out of these efforts.[8][verification needed][9]


The memorial at the site of the accident that killed George William and Karl Grebe.

The prince died in a motor accident on 20 May 1912 at age 31 at Nackel, Brandenburg, Germany. He was at the wheel of his car en route to the funeral of his uncle, Frederick VIII of Denmark, when he skidded on a newly laid road surface.[10] George William and his valet Karl Grebe were killed in the accident. The German Emperor, Wilhelm II, arranged an honorary parade at the site of accident.[11] Later a memorial was erected at the site of the accident.

Another memorial for George William can be found in the Church in Nackel, a village in the municipality of Wusterhausen.

At the time of his death, George William was unmarried and left no issue.

His brother as Duke of Brunswick[edit]

The death of Prince George paved the way for his younger brother, Ernest Augustus, who was sent to Berlin, to thank the German Emperor for his message of condolence upon the death of George William. There Ernest August met Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, the only daughter of the Emperor, and the two immediately fell in love with each other. The following year the couple was married and Ernest Augustus was granted the Duchy of Brunswick where he served as the reigning Duke for five years until November 1918.[11][12]

Honours and awards[edit]

Military ranks[edit]

  • Austria-Hungary Leutnant, Infanterie-Regiment "Ernst August, Herzog von Cumberland" Nr. 42, ca. 1900-ca. 1904
  • Austria-Hungary Oberleutnant, Infanterie-Regiment "Ernst August, Herzog von Cumberland" Nr. 42, (presumed), ca. 1902-1907
  • Austria-Hungary Hauptmann, Infanterie-Regiment "Ernst August, Herzog von Cumberland" Nr. 42, ca. 1907-1912


References and notes[edit]

  1. Bortrick, William. "Kings of Great Britain - George III (1760 - 1820)". Burke's Peerage and Gentry. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chancery of the Royal Victorian Order". The London Gazette. No. 28383. 10 June 1910. p. 4075.
  3. Næstved Tidende. Sydsjællands Folkeblad, 22 September 1906: "Af Dagens krønike. Fra Hofferne" (p. 4) (in Danish]
  4. Dagens Nyheder, 9 March 1907: "Set og hørt. Prins Georg Wilhelm" (p. 1) (in Danish]
  5. Viborg Stifts Folkeblad, 25 May 1910: "Velferne." (p. 1) (in Danish)
  6. Lolland-Falsters Stifts-Tidende, 21 May 1912: "Prins Georg Wilhelm dræbt" (p. 2) (in Danish)
  7. Isefjordsposten, 14 October 1913: "Det brunsvigske Spørgsmaal" (p. 1) (in Danish)
  8. Kolding Folkeblad, 21 December 1906: "En konge søges. Serberne vil af med Kong Peter." (p. 2) (in Danish)
  9. Slobodan G. Markovich: British perceptions of Seribia and The Balkans, 1903-1906, Dialogue Association, France, 2000 (pp. 135 & 149-150)
  10. Municipality of Wusterhausen, 16 May 2012: "Als Nackel Weltgeschichte schrieb. Vor 100 Jahren verunglückte ein Welfenprinz an der heutigen Bundesstraße 5 – mit Folgen für Europas Königshäuser" (in German)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bo Bramsen (1992). Huset Glücksborg (in Danish). Forum.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link) Search this book on (vol. II, p. 202)
  12. Der Spiegel, 12 September 1951: "Es lebe unser Herzog" (in German)
  13. Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1912) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1912 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1912] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in dansk). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. p. 4. Retrieved 16 September 2019 – via da:DIS Danmark. Search this book on
  14. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1902), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 67

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