Annual memorial service in Mirow

Duke Carl Borwin

The first of the two annual memorial services for deceased members of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz took place at 2pm today in the Church of St John on the Castle Island in Mirow.  The memorial service is held annually on the penultimate Saturday of August and has taken place every year since 1996.

The service was lead by the retired Catholic pastor Bernhard Szymanski who was supported by the Evangelical Pastor of Mirow, Jörg Heinrich. The grand ducal family’s historian and spokesman Dr Rajko Lippert gave a talk on the life of Duke Carl Borwin who this year’s service was dedicated to.

Duke Carl Borwin of Mecklenburg (pictured), the youngest child of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V, was born 125 years ago this year (10 October 1888) and died tragically aged 19 on 24 August 1908, exactly 105 years ago. His death is somewhat shrouded in mystery. The official version of his death stated he died of heart failure; however speculation was rife that he was in fact killed in a duel with his brother in law Count Georges Jametel, husband of Duchess Marie. Giving credence to this rumour was the fact the duke, whose remains rest in the family crypt in Mirow, did not receive an official funeral and from the shocked grand ducal family only his father and brother, the future Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI, attended.

In memory of her late son the Grand Duchess Elisabeth opened the Duke Carl Borwin Memorial House in Neustrelitz in 1910. On 10 October to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Duke Carl Borwin a number of events will take place at the memorial house to commemorate the occasion.