Principality of Reuss-Gera

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Principality of Reuss-Gera

Fürstentum Reuß-Gera  (German)
Flagge Furstentum Reuss jungere Linie.svg
Coat of Arms of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: Ich bau auf Gott
"I build on God"
Anthem: Heil unserm Fürsten, Heil!
"Hail to our Prince, Hail!"
German Empire - Reuss Gera (1871).svg
The Reuss Junior Line within the German Empire
The Reuss Junior Line within Thuringia
Heinrich XLII
Heinrich LXII
Heinrich LXVII
Heinrich XIV
Heinrich XXVII
Minister of State  
Gustav von Strauch
Paul Ruckdeschel
9 April 1806
11 November 1918
1905827 km2 (319 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Imperial County of Reuss
People's State of Reuss Flagge Furstentum Reuss altere Linie.svg

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. [1] It was one of the successor states of the Imperial County of Reuss. The Counts Reuss, with their respective capitals and Residenzen at Gera, Schleiz, Lobenstein, Köstritz and Ebersdorf were all elevated to the title of prince ( Fürst ) in 1806, and their successor branch heads shared that title, while their cadets were also each titled prince (Prinz). [1] Thus all males of the family were properly "Prince Heinrich (Roman numeral) Reuss, J.L.", without use of a nobiliary particle, although for convenience their branch names remained in colloquial use (for example, "Prince Heinrich I Reuss of Köstritz").



The territories of four separate branches of the Junior Line amalgamated between 1824 and 1848, at which time the seniormost line of Gera retained sovereignty over the surviving cadet branches, which retained succession rights to the princely throne. [1] 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 People's State of Reuss, which became part of the new state of Thuringia on 1 May 1920.

The princely house

The House of Reuss practises a unique system of naming and numbering the male members of the family, every one of whom for centuries has borne the name "Heinrich", followed by a Roman numeral. [1] While most royal and noble houses assign a regnal number only to the ruling head of the house, and that in the sequential order of their reigns, the Reuss Junior Line ("Reuss, J.L.") used a numbering sequence for all male family members which began afresh with the first son born in each century. The male children within a single nuclear family need not bear sequential numbers, as all members of the larger family share the common numbering system. For example, the sons of Prince Heinrich LXVII Reuss of Schleiz, in order of their births, were named Heinrich V, Heinrich VIII, Heinrich XI, Heinrich XIV, and Heinrich XVI, with their male-line kinsmen holding the numerals in between according to the order of their births. 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 ruling families. The designation of "Junior Line" was dropped in 1930; the Elder Line ("Reuss, A.L.") had become extinct as its last male member, Heinrich XXIV, renounced his rights as sovereign in 1918 and died unmarried in 1927. [1]

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

Counts of Plauen

One of the younger sub-lines of the branch which ruled the Reuss, J.L. until 1918, includes the "Counts of Plauen" from the late 19th century. When Prince Heinrich XXVI Reuss (1857-1913) married Countess Viktoria von Fürstenstein (1863-1949) in 1885, under the strict marriage rules then enforced by the Reuss dynasty, although he was but a younger son of a minor ruling family, their children were not allowed to bear the dynasty's princely title. They were, instead, designated "Counts of Plauen", although they remained in the line of succession to the two thrones of Reuss [1] The Fürstensteins lacked Uradel status: Viktoria's paternal grandfather, Pierre-Alexandre Le Camus (1774-1824), son of a minor noble French notary living in Martinique, rose to become foreign minister in Jerome Bonaparte's Kingdom of Westphalia, was ennobled there in 1807 and made a count of the French Empire in 1817)[ verification needed ]. [2]

When the German Empire collapsed at the end of World War I, the reigning Prince Reuss lost his crown along with all the other monarchs whose realms were within Germany. In 1927, Henrich XXVI's son, known as Count Heinrich Harry of Plauen (1890-1951), was adopted by his childless uncle, Prince Heinrich XXX (1864-1939), and the now-deposed dynasty agreed to accept him as "Prince Heinrich Harry Reuß", along with those of his male-line descendants born of unions complying with the family's 1902 rules that permitted marriages to countesses (Heinrich Harry's wife, Huberta von Tiele-Winckler was only a baroness in her own right, but belonged to a family of comital rank in Prussia). [1] Their son Heinrich Enzio was thus accepted by the House of Reuss as a prince, but his own marriage to Baron Gustaf Peyron's daughter in 1949 occurred before the Reuss family conference of 1957 which lowered the marital standard again, [1] allowing dynastic inter-marriage with baronial families.

Strictly, therefore, since 1996 the House of Reuss recognized Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss by that title, but without official membership in the dynasty or entitlement to the traditional style of Serene Highness , [1] while in German law the title is allowed since 1919 only as part of the surname, thus "Heinrich Ruzzo Prinz Reuss".

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 XXIV, Count of Reuss-Schleiz-Köstritz 1692-1748 (1681-1748) (de), all surviving dynasts descend from him

Monarchy abolished in 1918.

Heads of the House of Reuss

  • Heinrich XXVII , 1918-1928 (1858-1928), became "Prince Reuss" 1927 on death of 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 (see below)
  • 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)
                    • (1) Heinrich XXIX, Hereditary Prince Reuss (born 1997)
                    • (2) Prince Heinrich V Reuss (born 2012)
                • Prince Heinrich VII Reuss (1927-2002)
                  • (3) Prince Heinrich XIX Reuss (born 1974)
                  • (4) Prince Heinrich XXI Reuss (born 1976)
          • Prince Heinrich XII (1829-1866)
            • Prince Heinrich XXVIII (1859-1924, renounced his titles 1908)
              • Prince Heinrich XXXIV (1887-1956)
                • Prince Heinrich I (1910-1982)
                  • (5) Prince Heinrich VIII (born 1944)
                    • (6) Prince Heinrich XX (born 1975)
                    • (7) Prince Heinrich XXIII (born 1979)
                  • (8) Prince Heinrich IX (born 1947)
                    • (9) Prince Heinrich XXVI (born 1988)
                  • (10) Prince Heinrich X (born 1948)
                    • (11) Prince Heinrich XXIV (born 1984)
                • Prince Heinrich III (1919-1993)
                  • (12) Prince Heinrich XII (born 1950)
                    • (13) Prince Heinrich XXI (born 1976)
                      • (14) Prince Heinrich III (born ca. 2010)
                      • (15) Prince Heinrich IV (born 2011)
                    • (16) Prince Heinrich XXV (born 1984)
                  • (17) Prince Heinrich XVII (born 1968)
                    • (18) Prince Heinrich II (born 2004)
        • Prince Heinrich LXXIV (1798-1886), third surviving son, descendants survive as Count of Plauen Line
    • Heinrich XXIII, Count of Reuss-Schleiz-Köstritz junior line 1748-1787 (1722-1787), third surviving son, dynasts survive in 2015

Other notable figures

Related Research Articles

Imperial County of Reuss

Reuss was the name of several historical states located in present-day Thuringia, Germany. Its rulers, the House of Reuss, named all of their male children Heinrich after the end of the 12th century in honour of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1190–1197), to whom they owed the estates of Weida and Gera. The head of each branch of the family bore the German title Fürst (Prince) as did their male children.

Saalburg-Ebersdorf Place in Thuringia, Germany

Saalburg-Ebersdorf is a town in the Saale-Orla-Kreis district, in Thuringia, Germany close to the Bavarian border. It is situated on the river Saale, 10 km southwest of Schleiz, 30 km west of Plauen and 30 km north-west of Hof.


Reuss-Ebersdorf was a county and from 1806 a principality located in Germany. The Counts of Reuss-Ebersdorf belonged to the Reuss Junior Line. Reuss was successively a part of the Holy Roman Empire, Confederation of the Rhine, German Confederation, North German Confederation, German Empire and Weimar Republic before becoming a part of Thuringia in 1920.


Reuss-Lobenstein was a state located in the German part of the Holy Roman Empire. The members of Reuss-Lobenstein family belonged to the Reuss Junior Line. Reuss-Lobenstein has existed on two occasions, it was firstly created in 1425 as a lordship with Heinrich II, Lord of Reuss-Lobenstein becoming the first ruler. The first Lordship of Reuss-Lobenstein came to an end in 1547 when the territory went to Reuss-Plauen.

Principality of Reuss-Greiz

The Principality of Reuss-Greiz, called the Principality of the Reuss Elder Line after 1848, was a sovereign state in modern Germany, ruled by members of the House of Reuss. The Counts Reuss of Greiz, Lower-Greiz and Upper-Greiz were elevated to princely status in 1778 and thereafter bore the title of Prince Reuss, Elder Line, or Prince Reuss of Greiz.

Princess Woizlawa Feodora Reuss of Köstritz was a German royal and a member of the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. At the time of her death at the age of 100, she was the oldest living royal and the oldest living resident of Gorwihl.

Heinrich IV, Prince Reuss of Köstritz

Heinrich IV, Prince Reuss was the head of the German Princely House of Reuss.

Heinrich XI, Prince Reuss of Greiz 18th-century German noble

Heinrich XI, Prince Reuss of Greiz was the first Prince Reuss of Greiz from 1778 to 1800.

Heinrich XIX, Prince Reuss of Greiz was Prince Reuss of Greiz from 1817 to 1836.

Heinrich LXII, Prince Reuss Younger Line Prince Reuss Younger Line

Heinrich LXII, Prince Reuss Younger Line was the first Prince Reuss Younger Line from 1848 to 1854.

Heinrich LXVII, Prince Reuss Younger Line Prince Reuss Younger Line

Heinrich LXVII, Prince Reuss Younger Line was Prince Reuss Younger Line from 1854 to 1867.

Heinrich XIV, Prince Reuss Younger Line Prince Reuss Younger Line

Heinrich XIV, Prince Reuss Younger Line was Prince Reuss Younger Line from 1867 to 1913.

Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line

Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line was the head of the House of Reuss from 1928 to 1945, as well the last male member of the Reuss-Schleiz branch of the Younger Line.

Prince Heinrich VIII Reuss of Köstritz is a son of Prince Heinrich I Reuss of Köstritz, and is a member of the House of Reuss.

Prince Heinrich I Reuss of Köstritz was son of Prince Heinrich XXXIV Reuss of Köstritz and member of the House of Reuss.

Henry V of Plauen was Burgrave of Meissen and Lord of Plauen and Voigtsberg.

Henry VI of Plauen was Burgrave of Meissen, Lord of Plauen and Lord of Schleiz and Lobenstein.

Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss of Plauen Count of Plauen

Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss, Count of Plauen, known as Prince Ruzzo Reuss for short, was a Swiss-born Swedish landscape architect and, by tradition, a prince of the formerly sovereign House of Reuss. His branch ruled the Principality of Reuss-Gera until 1918. Until his death, he was married to former ABBA singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad, his second wife who became Princess Reuss of Plauen following the marriage.

Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera

Henry II of Reuss , nicknamed the Posthumous' because his father died two months before he was born, was Lord of Gera, Lord of Lobenstein and Lord of Oberkranichfeld.

Countess Emilie Agnes Reuss of Schleiz, was a German noblewoman member of the House of Reuss and by her two marriages Countess of Promnitz-Pless and Duchess of Saxe-Weissenfels-Dahme.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Reuß". Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Band XVI (in German). Glücksburg: C.A. Starke Verlag. 2001. pp. 127–128, 139–140, 592–593. ISBN   978-3-7980-0824-3.
  2. "Le Camus Pierre Alexandre, comte de Furstenstein". Les Amis et Passionnés du Père-Lachaise (APPL) (in French). 28 December 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2019.