Prince Wolfgang of Hesse

Prince Wolfgang
Crown Prince of Finland
Prince of Hesse
Born (1896-11-06)6 November 1896
Died 12 July 1989(1989-07-12) (aged 92)
Spouse Princess Marie Alexandra of Baden
House Hesse-Kassel
Father Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse
Mother Princess Margaret of Prussia

Prince Wolfgang of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) (Wolfgang Moritz) (6 November 1896, Castle Rumpenheim, Offenbach am Main, Germany – 12 July 1989), was the designated Hereditary Prince of the monarchy of Finland (with the irredentistic pretension to Estonia), and as such, already called the Crown Prince of Finland officially until 14 December 1918, and also afterwards by some monarchists.

Wolfgang was the second-born of a pair of twins, the fourth child and son born to Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse (1868–1940) and Princess Margaret of Prussia (1872–1954). His maternal uncle was the German Emperor William II. Wolfgang's father Frederick Charles of Hesse was elected King of Finland on 9 October 1918, to replace his first cousin once removed, the deposed Russian emperor, Nicholas II, who was titled Grand Duke of Finland. However, Frederick Charles renounced the throne on 14 December 1918, and the title was never actually held by the family.

Wolfgang would have been his father's heir as King of Finland instead of his elder twin Prince Philipp of Hesse (1896–1980), apparently because Wolfgang was with his parents in 1918 and ready to travel to Finland (where rumoredly a wedding to a Finnish lady already was in the preparation for the coming Crown Prince). Philip was in the military and incommunicado at the time.

Wolfgang married on 17 September 1924 Princess Marie Alexandra of Baden (1902–1944), daughter of Prince Maximilian of Baden and Princess Marie Louise of Hanover; they had no children. When Wolfgang died, one of his nephews was his successor to the claims to the throne of Finland.

Sjöström (2013) bases the succession to the stipulations of the 1772 Instrument of Government, reporting that the heir and successor were Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse and Brabant, eldest son of the brother.

Korhonen (1998), followed by the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (2002) says that Prince Heinrich of Hesse-Kassel succeeded him in the claims to the throne of Finland.[1] This is based on a playful flight of thought published by Korhonen in Kaltio magazine in 1998.

The one-time choice in favor of the younger of these twins at that time, however, is no precedent that in next generations, the kingship would have been succeeded in secundogeniture, putting the eldest son always to the mere Hesse title. On the contrary, it is practically inconceivable that succession of a kingdom would depend on secondary consideration.

Wolfgang adopted his nephew, Prince Karl Adolf of Hesse (born 1937), elder son of his younger brother Christoph who was killed in action in 1943.

At the time of his death at the age of 92, Wolfgang was the only surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom who had been born in her lifetime. Victoria died in 1901 and Wolfgang was born in 1896.



  1. Baer, Katarina; Kuvat Pekka Elomaa. "Suomen Kuningas" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
Prince Wolfgang of Hesse
Born: 6 November 1896 Died: 12 July 1989
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse
King of Finland
28 May 1940 – 12 July 1989
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom never established
Succeeded by
Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse or Prince Heinrich of Hesse
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