Principality of Reuss-Gera

Principality of Reuss-Gera
Fürstentum Reuß-Gera  (German)
Flag Coat of arms
Ich bau auf Gott
"I build on God"
Heil unserm Fürsten, Heil!
"Hail to our Prince, Hail!"
Reuss Junior Line within the German Empire
Reuss Junior Line within Thuringia
Capital Gera
Government Principality
   1806–1818 Heinrich XLII
  1818–1854 Heinrich LXII
  1854–1867 Heinrich LXVII
  1867–1913 Heinrich XIV
  1913–1918 Heinrich XXVII
Minister of State
  1825–1839 Gustav von Strauch
  1918 Paul Ruckdeschel
   Established 9 April 1806
   Disestablished 11 November 1918
   1905 827 km² (319 sq mi)
   1905 est. 144,570 
     Density 174.8 /km²  (452.8 /sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Imperial County of Reuss
People's State of Reuss

The Principality of Reuss-Gera (German: Fürstentum Reuß-Gera), called the Principality of the Reuss Junior Line (German: Fürstentum Reuß jüngerer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state in modern Germany, ruled by members of the House of Reuss. The Counts Reuss of Gera, of Schleiz, of Lobenstein, of Köstritz and of Ebersdorf, each became princes in 1806, and they and their reigning successors bore the title Prince of Reuss-Gera. One may also refer to them using their branch names (for example: Prince Reuss of Köstriz).


The territories of four separate branches of the Junior Line amalgamated between 1824 and 1848.

In 1905 the Principality of Reuss Junior Line had an area of 827 km2 (319 square miles) and a population of 145,000, with Gera as its capital.

In the aftermath of World War I the territory of the Junior Line merged with that of the Elder Line in 1919 as the Republic of Reuss, which in its turn became part of the new state of Thuringia on 1 May 1920.

The princely house

The House of Reuss practises an unusual system of naming and numbering the male members of the family, every one of which for centuries has borne the name "Heinrich". While most royal and noble houses give numbers only to the reigning head of the house, and that in the order of his reign, the Reuss Junior Line used a numbering sequence for all male family members which began and ended roughly as centuries began and ended. In consequence of this naming system, certain heads of the Reuss Junior Line have had the highest numbers attached to their name of any European nobility. Note also that the male children within a single nuclear family need not bear sequential numbers, as all members of the larger family use a common numbering system. For example, the sons of Prince Heinrich LXVII Reuss of Schleiz, in order of their births, used the names Heinrich V, Heinrich VIII, Heinrich XI, Heinrich XIV, and Heinrich XVI.

A notable member of this family, Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf (1757–1831), became the maternal grandmother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

The designation "junior line" fell into abeyance in 1930; the "elder line" had become extinct as its last member, Heinrich XXIV, renounced his rights in 1918 and died unmarried in 1927.

Princes of Reuss-Gera (1806–1918)

  • Heinrich I, Lord of Reuss-Schleiz 1666-1673, Count of Reuss-Schleiz 1673-1692 (1639-1692)
    • Heinrich XI, Count of Reuss-Schleiz 1692-1726 (1669-1726)
      • Heinrich I, Count of Reuss-Schleiz 1726-1744 (1695-1744)
      • Heinrich XII, Count of Reuss-Schleiz 1744-1784 (1716-1784)
        • Heinrich XLII, Count of Reuss-Schleiz from 1784, 1st Prince 1806-1818 (1752-1818)
    • Heinrich XXIV, Count of Reuss-Schleiz-Köstritz 1692-1748 (1681-1748), all surviving dynasts descend from him

Monarchy abolished 1918.

Heads of the House of Reuss

  • Heinrich XXVII, 1918-1928 (1858-1928), (became "Prince Reuss" 1927 on the death of the last Prince of the Elder Line)
    • Heinrich XLV, Prince Reuss 1928-1945/1962 (1895-1945/1962), missing 1945, declared dead 1962, headship passed to 7th cousin once removed
  • Heinrich XXIV, Count of Reuss-Köstritz 1692-1748 (1681-1748), from above
    • Heinrich IX, Count of Reuss-Köstritz middle line 1748-1780 (1711-1780), second surviving son
      • Prince Heinrich XLIV of Reuss-Köstritz (1753-1832)
        • Prince Heinrich LXIII of Reuss-Köstritz (1786-1841)
          • Heinrich IV, 4th Prince Reuss zu Schleiz-Köstritz 1878-1894 (1821-1894)
            • Heinrich XXIV, 5th Prince Reuss zu Schleiz-Köstritz 1894-1910 (1855-1910)
              • Heinrich XXXIX, 6th Prince Reuss zu Schleiz-Köstritz 1910-1945 (1891-1946), renounced title
                • Heinrich IV, 7th Prince Reuss zu Schleiz-Köstritz 1945-1962, Prince Reuss 1962–2012 (1919-2012)
                  • Heinrich XIV, Prince Reuss 2012-present (born 1955)
                    • Heinrich XXIX, Hereditary Prince of Reuss (born 1997)
                    • Prince Heinrich V of Reuss (born 2012)
                • Prince Heinrich VII of Reuss (1927-2002)
                  • Prince Heinrich XIX of Reuss (born 1974)
                  • Prince Heinrich XXI of Reuss (born 1976)
    • Heinrich XXIII, Count of Reuss-Schleiz-Köstritz junior line 1748-1787 (1722-1787), third surviving son, dynasts survive in 2015

Other notable figures

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