Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (pilot)

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Prince Hubertus
Born(1909-08-24)24 August 1909
Reinhardsbrunn Castle, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, German Empire
Died26 November 1943(1943-11-26) (aged 34)
Velyki Mosty, General Government
Full name
Dietmar Hubertus Friedrich Wilhelm Philipp
House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Mother Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein

Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Dietmar Hubertus Friedrich Wilhelm Philipp; 24 August 1909 – 26 November 1943) was a German courier pilot and a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which reigned over the eponymous duchy in the German Empire. Born a prince of Great Britain and Ireland as the great-grandson of Queen Victoria, Hubertus lost this title during the First World War. He became heir apparent to the headship of his house in 1932, and he never married. Hubertus joined the Nazi Party upon the outbreak of the Second World War despite his opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism. He served in the German Army on the Eastern Front until he was killed in action. He is the maternal uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir.



Prince Hubertus with his sister Sibylla in 1917 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R14328, Kinder des Herzogs v. Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha.jpg
Prince Hubertus with his sister Sibylla in 1917

Prince Hubertus was born on 24 August 1909 at Reinhardsbrunn Castle, German Empire. [1] [2] [3] A 72-gun salute took place at Friedenstein Palace 40 minutes after the Prince's birth. [4] The third child and second son of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, [3] he was christened Dietmar Hubertus Friedrich Wilhelm Philipp on 21 September with his maternal grandfather, Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, serving as godfather. [4] Besides ruling a state of the German Empire, Charles Edward was a British peer and a British prince as the grandson of Queen Victoria. Charles Edward lost his Coburg and Gotha throne during the German Revolution of 1918–19, and then was stripped of his British titles in 1919 for siding with Germany in the First World War. [2] [5]

Reinhardsbrunn quarter of Friedrichroda, Germany

Reinhardsbrunn in Friedrichroda near Gotha, in the German state of Thuringia, is the site of a formerly prominent Benedictine abbey, the house monastery of the Ludovingian Landgraves of Thuringia abbey extant between 1085 and 1525. Later used as an administrative seat by the Ernestine dukes of Saxony, the premises were turned into a castle and park erected by the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1827.

Friedenstein Palace Castle in Gotha

Friedenstein Palace is an early Baroque palace built in the mid-17th century by Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha at Gotha, Thuringia, Germany. In Germany, Friedenstein was one of the largest palaces of its time and one of the first Baroque palaces ever built. Friedenstein served as the main seat of the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and later as one of the residences of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, closely linked with the Royal Family of Great Britain through the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The final two ruling Dukes were both princes of the United Kingdom.

Godparent person who sponsors a childs baptism

A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who bears witness to a child's baptism and then aids in their catechesis, as well as their lifelong spiritual formation. In the past, in some countries, the role carried some legal obligations as well as religious responsibilities. In both religious and civil views, a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development, to offer mentorship or claim legal guardianship of the child should anything happen to the parents.

Hubertus had an older brother, Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold, who was heir apparent to their father, and three more siblings: Princess Sibylla, Princess Caroline Mathilde, and Prince Friedrich Josias. [2] Though Charles Edward was brought up as an Englishman and the family mainly spoke English at home, Hubertus spoke German fluently, as did his siblings. He was hindered by timidity but was nevertheless the favourite of the family. [6] He was especially close to his sister Sibylla and remained her confidant in adulthood. [7] The children lived in fear of their father, who ran his family "like a military unit". [8]

Princess Caroline Matilda of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was a German princess, and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.


Little is known about the career of Prince Hubertus. [4] He received a private education before enrolling at the Gymnasium Casimirianum in Coburg. [5] He then studied law. [1] According to Harald Sandner, biographer of Duke Charles Edward, it became evident during the studies that Prince Hubertus was homosexual, [5] but his sexual orientation remained secret. [8]

Coburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Coburg is a town located on the Itz river in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. Long part of one of the Thuringian states of the Wettin line, it joined Bavaria by popular vote only in 1920. Until the revolution of 1918, it was one of the capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Through successful dynastic policies, the ruling princely family married into several of the royal families of Europe, most notably in the person of Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840. As a result of these close links with the royal houses of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Coburg was frequently visited by the crowned heads of Europe and their families.

When his brother Hereditary Johann Leopold renounced his succession rights in order to marry a commoner in 1932, Hubertus became the new heir apparent to the defunct throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. [5] The same year, Hubertus attended the wedding of his sister Sibylla and Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Duke of Västerbotten, staying close to the bride during the ceremony. [7] Hubertus himself was not willing to marry. [5] [8]

Second World War

The father of Prince Hubertus, Duke Charles Edward, was an ardent supporter of Adolf Hitler. [9] The entire family enthusiastically welcomed the rise of German nationalism. Soon, however, Hubertus and his mother, Duchess Victoria Adelaide, grew to despise the rising Nazi Party. After witnessing the torture of Jews, Prince Hubertus was forbidden to discuss it at home. [6] The Second World War broke out in September 1939, and all of Charles Edward's sons were enlisted in the German Army (Wehrmacht). [9] Prince Hubertus formally became a member of the Nazi Party on 19 October 1939, [5] but remained opposed to Hitler for the rest of his life. [6] In 1940, Hitler issued the Prinzenerlass , a decree prohibiting members of Germany's formerly reigning families from actively serving in the Wehrmacht, fearing that this would increase the public's sympathy for the deposed dynasties and threaten his grip on power. Such was Charles Edward's loyalty to Hitler, however, that the decree did not apply to the Duke's sons. [5] During the war it was even reported that Hitler considered making Hubertus his Gauleiter for the United Kingdom. [10]

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

German nationalism

German nationalism is the nationalist idea that Germans are a nation, promotes the unity of Germans and German-speakers into a nation state, and emphasizes and takes pride in the national identity of Germans. The earliest origins of German nationalism began with the birth of romantic nationalism during the Napoleonic Wars when Pan-Germanism started to rise. Advocacy of a German nation-state began to become an important political force in response to the invasion of German territories by France under Napoleon.

Nazi Party Fascist political party in Germany (1920-1945)

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of Nazism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

The graves of Hubertus and his siblings at Callenberg Castle Callenberg Friedhof 1.jpg
The graves of Hubertus and his siblings at Callenberg Castle

Prince Hubertus was an accomplished aviator. [6] Serving in the Luftwaffe as a courier pilot in the Eastern Front, [4] [10] Hubertus obtained the rank of Oberleutnant (senior pilot). [11] He was killed in action when his plane was shot down by the Soviet Air Forces on 26 November 1943 in Mosty, modern-day Ukraine. [2] It was his last flight before he was to be relocated. [7] News of his death spread on 3 December. [7] Hubertus was buried the following day at the Coburg family cemetery at Callenberg Castle. [11] The Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha announced the death of their son and heir in Gothaer Beobachter with a very short obituary on 11 December. [4] The ducal couple's youngest son, Prince Friedrich Josias, became heir apparent in his stead. [2]

Princess Sibylla was distraught by the death of her favourite brother. In 1946, she had a son, the long-awaited heir to the Swedish throne, and named him Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; he later became King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. [7] When King Carl XVI Gustaf's grandson was christened Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, the choice of the name Hubertus was criticized by journalist Henrik Arnstad due to Prince Hubertus' membership of the Nazi Party. Arnstad was rebuked for his comments by political analyst Ivar Arpi. [12]

Titles and honours

Hubertus was styled as "His Highness Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha". [3] Being a member of the House of Wettin, he also held the title Duke of Saxony. [2] As a male-line great-grandson of a British monarch, Hubertus was Prince of Great Britain and Ireland until the use of the title was restricted to the children and grandchildren of a monarch by letters patent of 1917. [13] He was a knight of the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim. [1]


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Saxe-Coburg and Gotha collective name for the duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in Germany

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Bavaria and Thuringia in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918. In November 1918, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was forced to abdicate. Saxe (Gotha) was subsequently merged into Thuringia whereas Coburg merged into Bavaria.

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Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was one of the Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin Dynasty. Established in 1699, the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield line lasted until the reshuffle of the Ernestine territories that occurred following the extinction of the Saxe-Gotha line in 1825, in which the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld line received Gotha, but lost Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen.

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Kelly, Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Saxony is an American investment banker. Through her marriage to Hubertus, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the heir apparent to the defunct ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, she is a princess of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


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