Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony Duke of Saxony

Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony Duke of Saxony

Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony Duke of Saxony was born on 31 January 1926 at Prüfening Castle. He visited the primary school “Obere Pfarre auf dem Kaulberg“. Since 1936 he lived in Dresden at Wachwitz Castle which had been completed in the same year.

On 14 September 1944 Prince Maria Emanuel was imprisoned by the Gestapo due to his role in the assassination attempt against Hitler on 20 July 1944. He managed to escape from prison on 24 April 1945, and then went to Southern Germany. After the end of World War II, he lived in Westphalia (Wocklum), together with his father, Margrave Friedrich Christian of Meissen. From 1958 on he lived in Switzerland, where he met Princess Anastasia-Louise of Anhalt who later became his wife. They married on 23 June 1962 in Vevey at the Lake of Geneva. The couple lived in La Tour de Peilz (Switzerland) until Margrave Maria Emanuel’s death on 23 July 2012.

Margrave Maria Emanuel was buried on 30 July2012 in the tomb next to the Royal Chapel near Imst in Tyrol. Only the most intimate family members were present.

Head of the House
9 August 1968 – 23 July 2012

When Margrave Friedrich Christian of Meissen died on 9 August 1968, Prince Maria Emanuel became Head of the Royal House of Wettin. He held this position until his death in 2012.

During his time as Head of the House, he revived the Order of St. Henry which had been donated on 7 October 1736: In order to continue the tradition of 1736 after the end of the monarchy in Saxony, 300 knights of the Order of St Henry gathered in Bamberg in 1959 under the auspices of Grand Master Margrave Friedrich Christian.

Together with his wife, Margrave Maria Emanuel founded the “Sachsengruppe Zürich” (Group of Saxons Zurich) on 11 December 1970 and was Head of it until 1978.

As Maria Emanuel had no children, he nominated the son of his sister Princess Maria Anna – Margrave Alexander – for his immediate successor on 18 May 1997. Furthermore, Margrave Maria Emanuel legally adopted his nephew, the current Margrave Alexander,  on 26 September 1999.

All members of the House, in person or validly represented, agreed to this decision. Margrave Maria Emanuel’s ruling corresponds to the requirements established by the Statute of the “Verein Haus Wettin Albertinische Linie e.V.” (House of Wettin Albertine Line Association). This Statute has validly replaced the former House Law of 1837.Therefore, the regulation of succession is consistent with the Civil Code of Germany, the traditional Statutes of the Princes of the German Empire as well as the House Law of the Royal House of Wettin.


Decorations and memberships

After the peaceful Revolution of 1989, Margrave Maria Emanuel visited his homeland Saxony many times. Furthermore, he committed himself acting as a patron. Margrave Maria Emanuel maintained associated with his homeland Saxony until his death. He has received numerous awards for his voluntary work. Margrave Maria Emanuel was a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.



Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony Duke of Saxony Margrave of Meissen (* 31 December 1893 in Dresden, d. 9 August 1968 in Samedan, Switzerland). He married on 16 June 1923 in Regensburg

Princess Elisabeth Helene of Thurn and Taxis (* 15 December 1903 in Regensburg, † 22 October 1973 in Munich).


Brother and sisters

Princess Maria Josefa of Saxony Duchess of Saxony
(* 20 September 1928 in Bad Wörishofen)

Princess Maria Anna Josefa of Saxony Duchess of Saxony (* 13 December 1929 in Bad Wörishofen;
† 13 March 2012 in Munich)

Prince Albert Joseph Maria Franz Xaver of Saxony Duke of Saxony (* 30 November 1934 in Bamberg,
† 6 October 2012 in Munich)

Princess Mathilde Maria Josefa Anna Xaveria of Saxony Duchess of Saxony (* 17 January 1936 in Bamberg)



In 2001, a “Festgabe zum 75. Geburtstag” (75th Birthday Celebratory Volume) was published on the occasion of Margrave Maria Emanuel’s 75th birthday. It traces his life journey as well as his comprehensive work. We here refer to the detailed publication.