William II of Württemberg

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William II
King William in 1892
King of Württemberg
Reign6 October 1891 – 30 November 1918
PredecessorCharles I
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Born(1848-02-25)25 February 1848
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died2 October 1921(1921-10-02) (aged 73)
Bebenhausen, Württemberg, Weimar Republic
(m. 1877; died 1882)
(m. 1886)
IssuePauline, Princess of Wied
Prince Ulrich
German: Wilhelm Karl Paul Heinrich Friedrich
FatherPrince Frederick of Württemberg
MotherPrincess Catherine of Württemberg

William II (German: Wilhelm Karl Paul Heinrich Friedrich; 25 February 1848 – 2 October 1921) was the last King of Württemberg. He ruled from 6 October 1891 until the dissolution of the kingdom on 30 November 1918. He was the last German ruler to abdicate in the wake of the November Revolution of 1918.

Early years[edit]

William 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 William was their only child.

William's growing years coincided with a progressive diminution 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 Empire, a significant limitation on its sovereignty.

King of Württemberg[edit]

Silver coin: 5 marks German Empire, Wilhelm II, 1900

William'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,[1] ending over 800 years of the House of Württemberg rule. He died in 1921 at Bebenhausen.

Personality and interests[edit]

Considered to be a popular monarch, William 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 yachting 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[edit]

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

Marie died on 30 April 1882 in Stuttgart, from complications resulting from the birth of their 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.


On 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, head of the Catholic cadet branch of the dynasty, based at Altshausen. Albrecht was a descendant of Alexander of Württemberg, the 7th son of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg (1732–1797).


German awards[2]
Foreign awards[2]


Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg, 1817

Royal Monogram of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, Variant

Coat of Arms of King Wilhelm II as a Knight of the Golden Fleece


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abdication text (in German)
  2. ^ a b Staatshandbuch für Württemberg. 1889. p. 283.
  3. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1889), "Königliche Orden" pp. 26, 56, 60
  4. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1886/7) "Königliche Orden" p. 52
  5. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für des Herzogtum Anhalt (1894), "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p. 17
  6. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1910), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 39
  7. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern (1906), "Königliche Orden" p. 7
  8. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Herzogtums Braunschweig für 1905. Braunschweig 1905. Meyer. p. 11
  9. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1884), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 32
  10. ^ "Ludewigs-orden", Großherzoglich Hessische Ordensliste (in German), Darmstadt: Staatsverlag, 1914, p. 5 – via hathitrust.org
  11. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg0: 1879. Schulze. 1879. p. 34.
  12. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach Archived 2020-09-06 at the Wayback Machine (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 16
  13. ^ Sachsen (1901). "Königlich Orden". Staatshandbuch für den Königreich Sachsen: 1901. Dresden: Heinrich. p. 4 – via hathitrust.org.
  14. ^ a b c "Königlich Preussische Ordensliste", Preussische Ordens-Liste (in German), 1, Berlin: 7, 935, 1052, 1886 – via hathitrust.org
  15. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Italia : Ministero dell'interno (1898). Calendario generale del Regno d'Italia. Unione tipografico-editrice. p. 54.
  17. ^ 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 149.
  18. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1895, p. 166, retrieved 21 March 2019
  19. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1915, p. 671, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via runeberg.org
  20. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 72

External links[edit]

William II of Württemberg
Born: 25 February 1848 Died: 2 October 1921
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Württemberg
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
King of Württemberg
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by