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European Kingdoms

Central Europe



During the general collapse of East Francia, or Germany, in the twelfth century, Swabia's dissolution left the way clear for its main successors to emerge from the shadows. Württemberg and Baden grew to encompass most of Swabia's former territory.

The collapse of Swabia was effectively triggered by the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. Duke Frederick II of Swabia put himself forward as a candidate for the imperial title but was defeated by the successful election of Lothar II. Conflict erupted between the two, and the rivalry had a destabilising effect on Germany as a whole and Swabia in particular. In 1137 the county of Württemberg was formed in western central Swabia as another step towards the total disintegration of the duchy during the general political crisis, although it took a further century to complete the process.

County of Württemberg
AD 1137 - 1495

(Additional information from Ulwencreutz's The Royal Families in Europe V, Lars Ulwencreutz.)

1137 - 1181

Louis I

1137 - 1154


1181 - 1201


1201 - 1228

Louis II

1228 - 1241


1241 - 1265

Ulrich I

1265 - 1279

Ulrich II

1279 - 1325

Eberhard I the Illustrious


With the death of John Parricide, any claim to the former Swabian duchy dies with him. Large areas of its territory have already gone to the established county of Württemberg and the margraviate of Baden. Territory formerly belonging to the Alemanni people also later forms parts of Austria (Vorarlberg), France (Alsace) and Switzerland, as well as the Bavarian Swabia region of Bavaria.

1325 - 1344

Ulrich III

1344 - 1392

Eberhard II the Whiner

Acted as regent for John I of Lorraine, his future son-in-law.

1344 - 1366

Ulrich IV

1392 - 1417

Eberhard III the Mild

1417 - 1419

Eberhard IV


1419 - 1441

Louis I

Urach. d.1450.

1419 - 1480

Ulrich V

1457 - 1496

Eberhard V

Urach. Became Duke Eberhard I.

1480 - 1495

Eberhard VI

Became Duke Eberhard II.

Duchy of Württemberg
AD 1495 - 1806

(Additional information from Ulwencreutz's The Royal Families in Europe V, Lars Ulwencreutz.)

1495 - 1496

Eberhard I

Formerly Count Eberhard V.

1496 - 1498

Eberhard II

Formerly Count Eberhard VI. d.1504.

1498 - 1519

Ulrich I

1519 - 1534

Württemberg is controlled by Austria.


The monastic state of the Teutonic Knights is secularised during the Protestant Reformation and replaced with a duchy in eastern East Prussia. The new master of the Knights moves the headquarters to Bad Mergentheim in the northernmost tip of the duchy of Württemberg.

Map of German states AD 1560
Introduced in 1560, the system of imperial states replaced the now-outdated feudal system, with an imperial circle ('reichskreis') being a regional grouping of the imperial states (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1534 - 1550

Ulrich I


1550 - 1568


1568 - 1593

Louis III the Pious

1593 - 1608

Frederick I

1608 - 1628

John Frederick

1628 - 1674

Eberhard III

1674 - 1677

William Louis

1677 - 1733

Eberhard IV Louis

1733 - 1737

Charles I Alexander

1737 - 1793

Charles Eugene


The future Duke Frederick III marries Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel on 15 October 1780 at Brunswick. Augusta is the maternal great-granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and Hanover.

1793 - 1795

Louis Eugene

1795 - 1797

Frederick II Eugene

1797 - 1806

Frederick III

Elector (1803). Became King Frederick.

Kingdom of Württemberg
AD 1806 - 1918

The duchy was elevated to a kingdom by France's Napoleon Bonaparte when it joined his Confederation of the Rhine. Thanks to the marriage between Frederick and Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1780, their children, including the future William I, were direct descendants of King George II of Great Britain and Hanover.

(Additional information from Ulwencreutz's The Royal Families in Europe V, Lars Ulwencreutz,and from The First World War, John Keegan (Vintage Books, 2000).)

1806 - 1816


First king of Württemberg. Formerly Duke Frederick III.

1806 - 1817

Ludwig Frederick Alexander


1816 - 1864

William I

Son of Frederick.


The younger brother of William I is Prince Paul of Württemberg. Prior to his marriage in 1805, Paul has a mistress named Friederike Porth by whom he fathers an illegitimate daughter named Karolina von Rothenburg (born 1805, shortly after her father's marriage). Despite his marriage, the child grows up around her father and finds a supportive and loving uncle in William I.

In 1836, Karolina falls pregnant by Karl, Baron (Freiherr) von Pfeffel of Bavaria. Paul is the one to make arrangements behind the scenes to ensure that his daughter receives a wedding which takes place before important dignitaries in the private chapel of the Bishop's Palace in Augsburg. The great-great-great-grandson of this union is Boris Johnson, mayor of London (2008-2012). This also makes him a direct (if illegitimate) descendant of George II of Great Britain and Hanover (as backed up by the BBC television series, Who Do You Think You Are).

Map of Confederation of German States AD 1815
Following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte 1814, the Congress of Vienna took on board much of his vital restructuring of the German principalities, with the result that a map of the new Confederation of German States in 1815-1817 looked very different to maps of the previous century (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1864 - 1891



Württemberg becomes a sub-kingdom in Prussia's German empire.

1891 - 1918

William II

Died 1921.


Wilhelm of Urach, a member of the royal house, is briefly elected king of Lithuania in the hope that this will bring about a form of independence. Instead, Germany's collapse in 1918 brings about the creation of a republic. Worse still for Württemberg, all German monarchies are abolished upon the defeat of the German empire at the end of the First World War. Württemberg becomes a constituent part of the new federal Germany and its future fortunes would be tied to this new political creation.

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