Princess Calixta of Lippe
|Princess Waldemar of Prussia|
14 October 1895|
Potsdam, German Empire
15 December 1982 87) (aged|
Schloss Reinhartshausen, Erbach, Hessen, Germany
|Spouse||Prince Waldemar of Prussia|
House of Lippe (by birth)|
House of Hohenzollern (by marriage)
|Father||Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Lippe-Biesterfeld|
|Mother||Countess Gisela Berta of Ysenburg and Büdingen in Meerholz|
Family and early life
Countess Calixta of Lippe-Biesterfeld was born in Potsdam as the eldest child of Count Friedrich Wilhelm of Lippe-Biesterfeld (son of Julius, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld) and his wife Countess Gisela Berta Adelheid Klothilde Emma Klementine of Ysenburg and Büdingen in Meerholz. Her father was a colonel with the Prussian army. In 1905, her father assumed princely rank, causing Calixta to be granted the rank of princess with the style Her Serene Highness.
Princess Calixta was a first cousin of Princess Marie Adelheid of Lippe, as their fathers were brothers. Calixta and Marie Adelheid were also first cousins-once removed of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, consort of Juliana of the Netherlands.
Prince Waldemar suffered from haemophilia, and consequently there were no children. He spent much of his life in a hospital, and surprised many by choosing to marry.
World War II
Calixta and Waldemar resided in Bavaria for most of World War II but were at castle in Kamenz in Silesia as the war ended. In the spring of 1945, the couple fled to Tutzing from approaching Russian troops, as Calixta was unwilling to leave him at the mercy of the Red Army, despite Waldemar being in the throes of an attack of haemophilia. After a long and painfully debilitating journey through Prague, they finally reached Tutzing, a few miles south of Munich, where Waldemar received a blood transfusion. The American army overran the area the following day, and diverted all medical resources and supplies to treat nearby concentration camp victims. Consequently, these actions prevented Waldemar's German doctor from treating him. There, Waldemar died on 2 May 1945 from blood loss, due to a lack of blood transfusion facilities.
Though a decree was issued declaring it illegal to have private graves dug until the needs of the camps had been satisfied, Calixta succeeded in persuading a gravedigger to help her bury her husband. She was alone, however, when she undressed her husband's body in preparation for burial, and was attacked by a burglar and robbed of Waldemar's clothes and pajamas. She soon discovered that the coffin was too small, as her husband's elbows would not fit into the space below the lid; the following day, she was forced to break her husband's arms, successfully sealing the lid of the coffin and laying him to rest.
As Dowager Princess Waldemar of Prussia, Calixta survived her husband by over 35 years, residing at Reinhartshausen Castle near Erbach, a Stadtteil of Eltville, Hessen, West Germany, where she died on 15 December 1982.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 14 October 1895–1905: Her Illustrious Highness Countess Calixta of Lippe-Biesterfeld
- 1905 – 14 August 1919: Her Serene Highness Princess Calixta of Lippe
- 14 August 1919 – 15 December 1982: Her Royal Highness Princess Waldemar of Prussia
- 2 May 1945 - 15 December 1982: Her Royal Highness Dowager Princess Waldemar of Prussia
|Ancestors of Princess Calixta of Lippe|
- Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Calixta Agnes Prinzessin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld". Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "Calixta of Lippe – (1895–1982), German princess consort of Prussia". A Bit Of History. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "The Feudal Herald". Pegasus Associates and The Baronage Press. Retrieved 29 September 2010.