Marienburg: Does Ernst August explain his castle?

A family reunification can be imagined in a somewhat more intimate setting than in court, of all places. But that is exactly where Ernst August Prince of Hanover soon meets his son, Ernst August Hereditary Prince of Hanover. The Hanover Regional Court ordered the personal appearance.

Father and son meet again in court

The head of the Guelphs, the husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, accuses his son of “gross ingratitude” – and demands that Marienburg Castle be returned. The Hereditary Prince counters that the father’s complaint is “insubstantial”.

That doesn’t sound like harmony and quick agreement. The hearing at the regional court is a week from now, on November 25th.

It’s more than just a family quarrel

And it is more than a simple family dispute, it is also about the future of the castle: Father and son belong to the royal family of the Guelphs, which are considered to be one of the oldest noble families in Europe.

The former summer residence of the Guelphs is the Marienburg south of Hanover. In 2019 the family hit the headlines because Ernst August junior wanted to sell the ailing castle to the public sector for one euro – against his father’s will.

Ernst August Jr. wanted to sell the lock for 1 euro

Ernst August junior had drawn attention to the high debts that the operating company of the castle had accumulated under the direction of the Guelphs. But after his father’s objection, the deal negotiated with the Lower Saxony state government failed. A foundation solution was then found for the lock and inventory. In May, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Culture Björn Thümler said the castle should become the “Neuschwanstein of the North” – after the renovation.

It would be a truism to say that the father of the Hereditary Prince disagrees with this. The 67-year-old’s lawyer keeps a low profile, according to the regional court, Ernst August Prince of Hanover bases his claim, among other things, on the revocation of a donation as a result of “gross ingratitude”, unjustified enrichment and the loss of the basis of the business.

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In addition to the Marienburg, it is also about the return of the property Calenberg in the municipality of Pattensen-Schulenburg and the Princely House of Herrenhausen in Hanover. Ernst August junior, on the other hand, describes the allegations made in the lawsuit as false.

“All arguments of the lawsuit have already been invalidated out of court in the past. Against this background, I am calmly looking forward to the judicial dispute,” said the 38-year-old. Apart from that, he does not want to comment on the procedure and the individual steps “with consideration for my family”.

The Hereditary Prince says the future of the castle is assured

But the Hereditary Prince emphasizes one thing: “There is no reason to worry about the future of Marienburg Castle.” The legal situation in this regard has always been clear – and continues to be. “The foundation solution found with the state of Lower Saxony is legally secure; nothing stands in the way of the long-term preservation of Marienburg as the central cultural monument of Lower Saxony, which remains publicly accessible to everyone,” he said.

Guelph Prince reads out an apology

Or does the senior have his thoughts elsewhere? The 67-year-old was sentenced in March to a ten-month suspended sentence by the Wels regional court, and he was also instructed, among other things, not to be allowed to live on his property in Upper Austria.

On November 24th, one day before the hearing in Hanover, the Linz Higher Regional Court will decide on an appeal. In March, the district court of Wels considered it proven that the great-grandson of the last German emperor attacked police officers and massively threatened an administrator couple who were working on his property.

The Guelph Prince read out an apology in the process. The nobleman’s defense said that her client was in an exceptional situation after cancer surgery and because of a conflict with his son. “He felt abandoned,” said one of his defense lawyers.

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