Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse

Prince and Landgrave of Hesse
Born (1966-10-17) 17 October 1966
Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Spouse Countess Floria Franziska Marie-Luisa Erika von Faber-Castell
Issue Princess Paulina
Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Hesse
Prince August
Full name
Heinrich Donatus Philipp Umberto
House Hesse
Father Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse
Mother Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
Hessian Grand Ducal Family

HRH The Landgrave
HRH The Landgravine

  • HRH The Hereditary Prince Moritz
  • HH Princess Paulina
  • HH Prince August

  • HH Princess Mafalda
  • HH Princess Elena
  • HH Prince Philipp
    HH Princess Laetitia
    • HH Princess Elena
    • HH Prince Tito
    • HH Princess Elisabeth

Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse (Heinrich Donatus Philipp Umberto; born 17 October 1966) is the eldest son and successor of German aristocrat Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, and his former wife, Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. A great-grandson of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, he is named in part after Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse. He is also a great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, through his paternal grandfather Philipp's mother Margaret, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. His father Moritz was a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.


A trained economist, Donatus directs the Hessische Hausstiftung (Foundation of the House of Hesse), a foundation (see below) established to curate and showcase the cultural heritage and history of the House of Hesse,[1] a dynasty which ruled the Electorate of Hesse-Cassel until 1866, the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine until 1918, and whose male-line descendants include the Protestant leader Philip the Magnanimous, the Swedish king Frederick I, Russia's last tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, the exiled Spanish queen Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, and Britain's last viceroy of India, the assassinated Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Donatus also manages Prinz von Hessen, a winery specializing in production of varietal vintages on his 45 hectare vineyard.[1]

Prince Donatus' father became the head of the Hesse-Cassel line on the death of his own father, Landgrave Philip in 1980.[2] Having also been the adopted son and heir of his distant cousin, Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine, the latter's death in 1968 as the last male of the Hesse-Darmstadt branch left Moritz head of the entire House of Hesse, to which Donatus is the successor.

Marriage and issue

Donatus married Countess Floria Franziska Marie-Luisa Erika von Faber-Castell (born 14 October 1974 Düsseldorf) in a civil ceremony in Wiesbaden on 25 April 2003. The bride is a communications professional and a niece of Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, chairman of the board of the famous Faber-Castell pen-and-pencil company headquartered near Nuremberg and scion of the eponymous family.[1]

The couple's religious wedding ceremony took place on 17 May 2003, attended by royalty and aristocrats.[3] Held at the Johanneskirche and followed by a grand ball in the Green Salon, state room of the former Friedrichshof palace in Kronberg (now a luxury hotel and golf course) where Donatus's ancestress, the German Empress Frederick, lived in widowhood, more than 300 guests were present.[1] Among them was Caroline, Princess of Hanover, the (then) heiress presumptive of Monaco;[1] Princess Benedikte of Denmark, aunt of the bridegroom and sister of Queens Margrethe II and Anne-Marie of Greece; and Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis.

Landgrave Donatus and his wife have a daughter and two sons, Princess Paulina and Hereditary Prince Moritz (twins, born 26 March 2007, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and Prince August (born 24 August 2012, Frankfurt am Main, Germany).[4]


Foundation of the House of Hesse

Founded in 1928, the Foundation of the House of Hesse is the successor institution of a family trust that had been established in 1830, confiscated by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866, and re-established after partial restitution in 1878. The foundation manages the family fortunes including forests, agricultural estates, castles, hotels and an art collection. The latter is mainly shown at Fasanerie Palace in Eichenzell, Hesse, a former summer palace of the Prince Abbots of Fulda that had been taken over by the Landgraves of Hesse after the secularization and mediatisation of the Prince-bishopric of Fulda in 1803. Schlosshotel Kronberg and Grandhotel Hessischer Hof in Frankfurt are hotels, the Weingut Prinz von Hessen a winery in Johannisberg which was purchased in 1957, while Schloß Wolfsgarten south of Frankfurt am Main and Panker estate are used as private seats of the family. Other castles have been sold, such as Schloss Philippsruhe in Hanau (in 1950), Schloss Rumpenheim in Offenbach am Main (in 1965) and Tarasp Castle in Switzerland (in 2016).

References and notes

    1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Hessen-Prinz heiratet Faber-Castell-Gräfin". Stern. 18 May 2003.
    2. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels; Furstlich Hauser Band XVI. Limburg-an-der-Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke. 2001. pp. 24–25, 33. ISBN 3-7980-0824-8.
    3. "Mariage chez les Faber-Castell". 28 May 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
    4. An Online Gotha - Hesse
    Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
    Born: 17 October 1967
    Lines of succession
    Preceded by
    Alexia Brandram
    Line of succession to the British throne
    descended from Victoria, Princess Royal, daughter of Queen Victoria
    Succeeded by
    Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Hesse
    Regnal titles
    Preceded by
    Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse
    Head of the House of Hesse
    23 May 2013 –
    Succeeded by
    Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Hesse
    Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
    23 May 2013 –
    Reason for succession failure:
    Grand Duchy abolished in 1918
    Elector of Hesse
    23 May 2013 –
    Reason for succession failure:
    Electorate annexed by Prussia in 1866
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