House of Wettin

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House of Wettin
Saxony, Meissen and Thuringia
Banner of Saxony (1^1).svg
Country: Saxony
Titles: Margrave of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringia, Duke of Saxony, Grand Duke of Saxony, Elector of Saxony, King of Saxony
Founder: Thiedericus
Final Ruler: Many sovereigns in different states until 1918
Current Head: Prince Michael, titular Grand Duke of Saxony
Founding Year: 900s A.D.
Dissolution: 1918
Ethnicity: German
Cadet Branches: In order of seniority:
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Grand Duchy of Saxony)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Saxony (Kingdom of Saxony)

The House of Wettin was a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors (Kurfürsten) and kings that ruled in what is known today as the German states of Saxony and Thuringia for more than 800 years. Members of the Wettin family were also kings of Poland, as well as forming the ruling houses of Great Britain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Saxony, and Belgium. Today only the British and Belgian lines still rule their countries, but the last Tsar of Bulgaria, Simeon II, was Prime Minister of Bulgaria between 2001 and 2005. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is the only ex-king who has ever returned to his country as an elected leader.

Origins: Wettins of Saxony[change | change source]

The oldest known member of the House of Wettin was Thiedericus (died 982). Around 1000, as part of the German conquest of Slavic territory, the family got Wettin Castle and changed their name. It was usual for noblemen to change their name to the name of their territory. Wettin Castle is located in Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt in the Hosgau on the Saale River. [1]

Branches of the House of Wettin[change | change source]

The House split into two main branches, the Ernestine and the Albertine. The descendants of Ernest often subdivided their land and ended up with a lot of small duchies, but one (Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) became very important. Ernest's younger brother was Albert. His descendants became Electors of Saxony, and in 1806, Kings of Saxony

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[change | change source]

Descendants of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha have become:

and also husbands of the queens of

The wife of the Emperor of Mexico (Carlota of Mexico) was also a member of the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. As such, the British, Portuguese, and for a time, Mexican, thrones became a possession of persons who belonged to the House of Wettin.

During World War I the British Royal Family changed the name as well as their personal surnames to Windsor by an Order-in-Council of King George V. The Kings of Belgiums now do not use the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha name, but have never officially changed it.

List of branches of the House of Wettin[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. IX, col. 50, Munich 1969-1999

Other websites[change | change source]