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The Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Das Großherzogliche Haus Mecklenburg-Strelitz

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Duke of Mecklenburg, Prince of Wenden, Schwerin and Ratzeburg, Count of Schwerin, Lord of the Lands of Rostock and Stargard, Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Head of the Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Duke Borwin was born on 10 June 1956 in Freiburg-im-breisgau, the youngest child and only son of Duke Georg Alexander and Duchess Ilona. He was christened into the Roman Catholic Church with the names Georg Borwin Friedrich Franz Carl Stephan Konrad Hubertus Maria. Among his godparents was Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

As is traditional for the eldest son of the family he received Georg as his first Christian name, his second name Borwin is an old Wendish name which has a long connection with the House of Mecklenburg dating back to Prince Heinrich Borwin I of Mecklenburg (died 1227), the grandson of the ancestor of the grand ducal house, Niklot, Prince of the Obotrites.

Education and career

Duke Borwin grew up in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest West Germany receiving his education at the Waldorf School in Freiburg between 1963 and 1976. After his schooling Duke Borwin spent time serving in the German Army leaving with the rank Captain of the German Federal Forces. Later he attended the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute, graduating in 1987 with an engineer degree in viticulture and beverage technology.

In his career Duke Borwin has managed a hotel with his wife and worked in the beverage industry. Currently he is employed by Frankonia, Germany’s largest hunting outfitter, and Nagel Auktionen, an art auction house based in Stuttgart. He is also involved in the solar energy industry providing advice on photovoltaics. Having studied a course at the Weapons School in Suhl, Thuringia, in August 2015 Duke Borwin qualified as a licensed weapons dealer.

Personal life

Duke Borwin married Alice Wagner in Hinterzarten on 24 December 1985 in a civil ceremony, followed by a religious ceremony on 19 July 1986. The couple have three children Duchess Olga, born 1988, Hereditary Prince Alexander, born 1991 and Duke Michael, born 1994.

Duke Borwin's interests include art, culture, the environment, social issues and outdoor pursuits such as hunting and fishing. Duke Borwin and his wife live in the Black Forest region of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Head of the house

Duke Borwin becDuke Borwin in front of a portrait of his ancestor Duke Georg (1824-1876)ame heir apparent to the headship of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz upon the death of his grandfather Duke Georg on 6 July 1963 and succeeded as head of the house on 26 January 1996 on the death of his father Duke Georg Alexander. With the death of Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 31 July 2001, Duke Borwin has in effect been head of the entire House of Mecklenburg due to the terms of the 1701 Treaty of Hamburg.

Although not resident in Mecklenburg-Strelitz Duke Borwin maintains a close link to the state attending various functions there throughout the year. Being directly descended from the Russian branch of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, which was founded by his great-great grandfather Duke Georg upon his 1851 marriage to Grand Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna of Russia, Duke Borwin also retains ties to Russia having first visited the country in 1997.

After becoming head of the house Duke Borwin had to address the restitution process with the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which his father had begun after German reunification in 1990 with claims dating back to the period of Nazi rule. When the process was concluded in 2004 the grand ducal family reclaimed some land and buildings in Remplin, the majority of which were in a poor condition, including the north wing of the Remplin Palace which was all that remained after the majority of it was destroyed by the Nazis in an arson attack in 1940.


Duke Borwin is actively involved with a number of charitable causes. From 2003 to 2015 he served as chairman of the Friends Association of the Upper Black Forest Support Centre whose purpose is to raise funds for the Support Centre which serves children with special needs. He is also the patron, protector and honorary grand master of the Knights Order of the Griffin, which has legal status as a German registered association and provides support to various charitable projects. The order which was created in 1984 revived the Griffin name of the defunct Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Order of the Griffin.

Duke Borwin is a supporter of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and was a guest at the dedication of their baptismal site by the River Jordan in January 2014. He also supported the 1998 republication, after a 54 year absence, of the famous genealogical directory the Almanach de Gotha and serves as member of its Comité de Patronage. Duke Borwin is also patron of the lineage society the Order of the Founders of North America 1492-1692 which he was admitted into due to his descent from King Felipe II, under whose reign Spain ruled and colonised parts North America.

Honours and decorations

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