William IV (Luxembourg)

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Grand Duke William IV of Luxembourg

Wilhelm IV. (* April 22, 1852 at Biebrich Castle near Wiesbaden ; † February 25, 1912 at Berg Castle in Luxembourg ) was Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Duke of Nassau from 1905 to 1912 .


Wilhelm was the eldest son of Duke Adolph von Nassau (1817-1905) and his wife Princess Adelheid Marie von Anhalt-Dessau (1833-1916), daughter of Prince Friedrich August and his wife Princess Marie Luise Charlotte von Hessen-Kassel .

The future Grand Duke of Luxembourg spent his childhood and youth in the ancestral Duchy of Nassau . After the annexation of the country by Prussia , the Hereditary Prince embarked on a career as a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army , which he left again in 1888 after the death of the Dutch Crown Prince Alexander in 1884, the prospect of an accession to the throne of the House of Nassau-Weilburg in Luxembourg emerged.

After his father Adolph was sworn in as Grand Duke of Luxembourg in November 1890, the new Hereditary Grand Duke took on various official duties before he was entrusted with the official duties of the head of state on April 4, 1902.

The Protestant Hereditary Grand Duke Wilhelm married the Portuguese Infanta Maria Anna of Braganza , who was of Catholic faith, on June 21, 1893 . The six girls of the hereditary grand ducal couple were brought up Catholic, like the majority of the Luxembourg population.

With the death of his father on November 17, 1905, William IV became the fifth Grand Duke of Luxembourg .

Henri (Luxemburg) Jean (Luxemburg) Charlotte (Luxemburg) Maria-Adelheid (Luxemburg) Wilhelm IV. (Luxemburg) Adolph (Luxemburg) Wilhelm III. (Niederlande) Wilhelm II. (Niederlande) Wilhelm I. (Niederlande)

Under the reign of Grand Duke Wilhelm, the succession to the throne was changed in favor of his eldest daughter Marie-Adelheid , as it was foreseeable that due to a lack of male offspring, all lines of the entire Nassau house would be extinct after his death.

This new regulation was not without controversy, because there were inheritance claims from Count Georg von Merenberg . The count was the son of Grand Duke Adolf's half-brother , Prince Nikolaus von Nassau , from his morganatic marriage to Nathalie Pushkin.

Marked by a serious illness, Wilhelm appointed his wife as governor in the Grand Duchy in 1908, before Grand Duchess Marie-Anne was appointed regent on November 13, 1908. The Grand Duchess held this office until Grand Duke Wilhelm's death on February 25, 1912, before exercising a second reign until her daughter Grand Duchess Marie-Adelheid came of age.

He is buried in the royal crypt of the Weilburg castle church.


Wilhelm IV married Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal on June 21, 1893 ; with her he had six daughters:

  1. Marie Adelheid (1894–1924), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  2. Charlotte (1896–1985), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, ∞ Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma (1893–1970)
  3. Hilda (1897–1979) ∞ Adolph Fürst zu Schwarzenberg (1890–1950)
  4. Antonia (1899–1954) ∞ Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria (1869–1955)
  5. Elisabeth (1901–1950) ∞ Prince Ludwig Philipp von Thurn and Taxis (1901–1933)
  6. Sophie (1902–1941) ∞ Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony (1896–1971)

The since 2000 as Grand Duke of Luxembourg reigning Henri of Nassau is the great-grandson of William IV. Of Luxembourg.


  • Pierre Even : Luxembourg-Nassau dynasty . Editions Schortgen, Luxemburg 2000, ISBN 2-87953-600-6 , pp. 245-259.
  • Pierre Even: The House of Nassau to the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg . Börde-Verlag, Werl 2009, ISBN 978-3-9811993-4-5 , p. 32.
  • Pierre Even: Wilhelm IV died 100 years ago. The suffering Grand Duke. His pioneering actions promoted the integration of the Luxembourg dynasty . In: Die Warte - Perspectives (cultural weekly supplement of the Luxembourg word ), number 7/2357, pp. 4–6; Luxembourg Word of February 16, 2012.

Web links

Commons : William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office Successor
Adolph I. Grand Duke of Luxembourg