Bernhard, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen

Bernhard (IV)
Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
Head of the House of Saxe-Meiningen
Period 6 January 1946 – 4 October 1984
Predecessor Prince Georg
Successor Prince Konrad
Spouse Margot Grössler
Baroness Vera Schäffer of Bernstein
Feodora Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen
Frederick Ernest Prinz von Sachsen-Meiningen
Princess Eleonore
Prince Konrad
Princess Almut
Full name
Bernhard Friedrich Julius Heinrich
House House of Wettin
Father Prince Frederick Johann of Saxe-Meiningen
Mother Princess Adelaide of Lippe
Born 30 June 1901(1901-06-30)
Köln, Germany
Died 4 October 1984(1984-10-04) (aged 83)
Bad Krozingen, Germany

Bernhard, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen (German: Bernhard, Prinz von Sachsen-Meiningen; 30 June 1901  – 4 October 1984) was the head of the House of Saxe-Meiningen from 1946 until his death.


Prince of Saxe-Meiningen

Bernhard was born in Köln the third son of Prince Frederick Johann of Saxe-Meiningen and Countess Adelaide of Lippe-Biesterfeld. His father was the second son of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and his mother a daughter of Count Ernst of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

After the death of his older brother Prince Georg in 1946 his nephew Prince Frederick Alfred renounced his succession rights and so Bernhard succeeded to the headship of the house of Saxe-Meiningen and the nominal title of Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (as Bernhard IV).

As his first marriage was morganatic his second son Prince Frederick Konrad succeeded him as head of the ducal house following his death in Bad Krozingen.

Bernhard and his first wife were declared guilty of a Nazi conspiracy against Austria in 1933; he was sentenced to six weeks in prison, while she was placed under house arrest.After intervention of the German envoy, he was released from prison, upon which they escaped to Italy . Three weeks later he was arrested while trying to return to his castle of Pitzelstaetten[1] [2]


Bernhard was married morganatically to Margot Grössler, a merchant's daughter from Breslau (today: Wrocław) in Eichenhof im Riesengebirge on 25 April 1931. This union ended in divorce on 10 June 1947. They had two children, both of whom had no succession rights:

  • Feodora Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen (born Schloß Pitselstettin, 27 April 1932), married on 8 August 1967 to Burkhard Kippenberg.
  • Frederick Ernest Prinz von Sachsen-Meiningen (21 January 1935 – 13 July 2004), married firstly on 3 March 1962 to Ehrengard of Massow, but the marriage was dissolved in 1973; secondly, he married on 12 June 1977 with Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. From his second marriage, he has a son and a daughter.

Bernhard married secondly in Ziegenberg über Bad Nauheim on 11 August 1948 to Baroness Vera Schäffer of Bernstein (1914–1994). They had three children, all with full rights to the succession to the house of Saxe-Meiningen:

  • Princess Eleonore Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (b. Ziegenberg, 9 November 1950), married on 21 May 1983 to Peter Eric Rosden.
  • Prince Frederick Konrad of Saxe-Meiningen (born Ziegenberg, 14 April 1952).
  • Princess Almut of Saxe-Meiningen (born Bützbach, 25 September 1959), married on 16 October 1993 to Eberhard von Braunschweig.



  1. ^ To, Wireless (December 11, 1933). "Nazi Prince and Princess Flee Austria, Abusing Freedom German Envoy Obtained". NYTimes. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  2. ^ "AUSTRIANS RETAKE PRINGE WHO FLED; Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen, Nazi, Is Captured Trying to Re-enter His Castle.". NYTimes. Januari 1, 1934. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 

External links

Bernhard, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 30 June 1901 Died: 4 October 1984
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Prince Georg
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
6 January 1946 – 4 October 1984
Reason for succession failure:
Duchy abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Prince Konrad

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