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The House of Hohenzollern

The House of Hohenzollern is a German royal dynasty whose members were variously princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania.


            Frederick II The Great

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                                                         Frederick I first king of Prussia (1701-1713)


                                                     Frederick William I (1713-1740) = Sophie Dorothea of Hanover



         Prince Henry                       Frederick II the Great (1740-1797)                    Prince Augustas


                                                                                                                           Frederick William II  (1786-1797)



                                                        Victoria Princess Royal and Empress Frederick     =       Frederick William III (1797-1840)

                                            (Eldest daughter of Queen Empress Victoria)                                                                                             


              Nicholas I Romanov Emperor of  Russia = (Alexandra Feodorovna)  Princess Charlotte of Prussia



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Nicholas I Romanov

Emperor of Russia

King of Poland

Duke of Finland














 Princess Charlotte of Prussia

  Empress consort of Russia

                  sister of

 Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany




           Nicholas I Romanov Emperor of  Russia = Alexandra Feodorovna (Princess Charlotte of Prussia)


                                Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevitch of Russia = Princess Cacile Auguste of Baden


Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia = Countess Sophie Nikolaievna of Merenberg, Countess of Torby                                                                             I

Countess Anastasia Mikhailovna de Torby = Sir Harold Wernher Bt

                  otherwise styled Lady Zia Wernher



Through her daughters, Zia's grandchildren at the beginning of the 21st century included sisters who were the Duchesses, respectively, of Abercorn and Westminster, and another pair of sisters, the Countess of Dalhousie (born Marilyn Davina Butter), and Princess Rohays Galitzine (née Rohays Butter).

Michael Low  now lives in the old Manse on the Dalhousie estate with the Dalhousie monument to the war dead from the estate at the bottom of his garden in the ruins of the old estate chapel. 

Trevor Low purchased his property, a smallholding at the time,  at Danesfield  in Bruntingthorpe near Market Harborough from the family of Mrs Mawby who was the most famous family cook of her generation providing legendary meals for house guests at the Wernher country house during WW2. The Wernher  family seat at Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire was requisitioned as a a military hospital. The royal houses of Windsor and the exiled Romanovs  spent weekends at their country house at Lubenham near Market Harborough. Royal guests from around the world with celebrities, politicians, industrialists and financiers met for house parties in the style of a bygone era with the ingenuity of cook Mrs Mawby with her husband who was also the head gardener providing wartime fine dining. Lady Zia was always the  perfect hostess. 

Harold Wernher was the son Sir Julius Wernher whose talent for business was spotted by a diamond dealer named Jules Porgès of London and Paris, who sent Wernher in 1873 as his agent to the diamond mines of Kimberley, South Africa to buy and export diamonds. Wernher bought up mining interests and by 1875 was a member of the Kimberley mining board. In that same year, Porgès and Alfred Beit joined him in Kimberley, and Porgès formed the Compagnie Française des Mines de Diamants du Cap. Porgès returned to London after having made Wernher and Beit partners in the firm of Jules Porgès & Co. By 1884 Wernher returned to London and traded in diamond shares, while Beit remained in Kimberley to look after their interests. On Porgès' retirement in 1889, the firm was restructured and named Wernher, Beit & Co.   With one foot in Diamonds and the other in gold Julius with Rhodes, Rothschild, De Beers and others gathered up 90% of the world trade in diamonds and precious metals.


His son Harold inherited a vast fortune and as possibly Englands richest man set up a diverse group of companies (including Electrolux) and went on to be the  driving force to directing and deploying the D Day Mulberry harbours to the Allies at Normandy. Due to his forthright  "get things done"attitude and despite the  continuing personal support of Winston Churchill and the King, Harold was never fully  credited or rewarded for what was without question a key factor in the success of the Normandy invasion. The politicians  of the government who wrested power from post war chaos  had their finest day denying all attempts to recognise Harold Wernher's contribution to the war effort. The King and Churchill lobbied hard but their voice was unheard in the scramble as petty  scores to be settled. 



Burg Hohenzollern  


The House of Hohenzollern rose to power in Brandenburg in 1415, extending its reach to the Kingdom of Prussia three centuries later and as ruling monarch in a unified Germany from 1871. Wilhelm, who became Kaiser in 1888, was a grandson of Britain’s Queen Victoria. His wife, Auguste Victoria, was also his second cousin because her maternal grandmother was a half-sister of Queen Victoria. As  Frederick Great looked to consolidate his political and wealth power base in the face of Habsburg Austrian claims and ambitions many  Duchys  were absorbed into Prussia by alliance, marriage , inheritance and intrigue. Some were  taken by force. Prussia  gathered up  sizeable chunks of strategic land and later led the  establishment of the German Staes then the german Empire which collapsed after 1981 and the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 


Friedrich Prince of Prussia, the great-great grandson of the last kaiser Wilhelm II, works as a lawyer and keeps a low profile in Germany. Whilst the family are  lobbying for a return or restitution of significant  property and landholdings, some dubious links with the rise of the Third Reich make this a difficult  claim to progress. Castles and diamonds remain in dispute. 

The Silesian Wars were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in south-western Poland). The First (1740–1742) and Second (1744–1745) Silesian Wars formed parts of the wider War of the Austrian Succession, in which Prussia acted as one member of a coalition seeking territorial gain at Austria's expense.


General Von Romer led an audacious  Austrian cavalry charge at the battle of Mollowitz causing Frederick to flee the field and seek protection some miles away. Von Romer was killed as the the battle swung to Prussia and Frederick, in no small way caught with his pants down, was handed victory and Silesia. Prussia remained in the  college of  electors for the Holy Roman Emperor. 


The Third Silesian War (1756–1763) was one theatre of the global Seven Years' War, in which Austria in turn led a coalition of powers aiming to seize Prussian territory.

All three wars are generally considered to have ended in Prussian victory, and their territorial result was Austria's cession of the majority of Silesia to Prussia. Prussia emerged from the Silesian Wars as a new European great power and the leading state of Protestant Germany, while Catholic Austria's defeat by a lesser German power significantly damaged the House of Habsburg's prestige. The conflict over Silesia foreshadowed a wider Austro-Prussian struggle for hegemony over the German-speaking peoples that would later culminate in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. The seeds of 1914 had already been sown across Europe. 











Prince Henry of Prussia

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Prince Henry of Prussia ( 1726 - 1802)  was the 13th child of King Frederick William I of Prussia and Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. He loyally served as one of the top generals throughout Frederick's reign. A general at age 14 he was cautious but clever and he was never defeated on the battlefield.


In 1786 either Nathaniel Gorham, then-President of the Continental Congress, or Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the Prussian general who served in the Continental Army, suggested to Alexander Hamilton that Henry should become monarch of the United States. Washington and others were not so enthusiastic, but the prince declined.


Henry was also a front runner for the kingdoms of Poland and Wallachia. Although Prince Henry  never held the title of King, he was a staunch supporter of the Prussian crown and a major influence on his brother  King William Frederick I , his nephew King William Frederick II and also William Frederick III.

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