William II of Württemberg

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William II (German Wilhelm II) (25 February 1848 in Stuttgart – 2 October 1921 in Bebenhausen) was the last King of Württemberg. He ruled from 6 October 1891 until the abolition of the kingdom on 30 November 1918.

Early years

Frederick 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 Frederick was their only child.

Frederick's growing years coincided with a progressive diminished 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 Württemberg

Frederick'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. He died in 1921 at Bebenhausen.

Personality and interests

Considered to be a popular monarch, Frederick 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 ship 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 children

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

  • 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 her 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.


With 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.


  • 25 February 1848 – 25 June 1864:His Royal Highness Prince William of Württemberg
  • 25 June 1864 – 6 October 1891: His Royal Highness Crown Prince William of Württemberg
  • 6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918:His Majesty The King of Württemberg
  • 30 November 1918 – 2 October 1921:His Majesty King William II of Württemberg

Decorations and awards

Awards of Württemberg

Grand Master of the following Orders:

  • Order of the Crown
  • Order of Military Merit
  • Friedrich Order
  • Order of Olga

Foreign awards

  • Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austria)
  • Knight of the Order of the Garter (United Kingdom) – Expelled in 1915
  • Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Kingdom of Italy)
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph (Kingdom of Bavaria)
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of St. Henry (Kingdom of Saxony)
  • Pour le Mérite (German Empire)

Source: wikipedia.org

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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Princess Catherine of WürttembergPrincess Catherine of WürttembergFather24.08.182106.12.1898
        2Prince Frederick of WürttembergPrince Frederick of WürttembergFather21.02.180809.05.1870
        3Princess MariePrincess MarieWife23.05.185730.04.1882
        4George Victor Prince of Waldeck and PyrmontGeorge Victor Prince of Waldeck and PyrmontFather in-law14.01.183112.05.1893
        5Princess Helena of NassauPrincess Helena of NassauMother in-law18.08.183127.10.1888
        6Princess Elisabeth of Waldeck and PyrmontPrincess Elisabeth of Waldeck and PyrmontSister in-law06.09.187323.11.1961
        7Princess Pauline of Waldeck and PyrmontPrincess Pauline of Waldeck and PyrmontSister in-law19.10.185503.07.1925
        8Prince Wolrad of Waldeck and PyrmontPrince Wolrad of Waldeck and PyrmontBrother in-law26.06.189217.10.1914

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