Princess Maria Margarethe of Hohenzollern was born on 2 January 1928 in Sigmaringen. She was the only daughter of Prince Franz Joseph of Hohenzollern and his wife Princess Maria Alix of Saxony.
Princess Maria Margarethe was christened into the Roman Catholic Church receiving the names Maria Margarethe Anna Viktoria Luise Josephine Mathilde Theresia vom Kinde Jesu. She grew up in Munich with her parents and three brothers Prince Karl Anton, Prince Meinrad and Prince Emmanuel. In addition to her family’s home in the Bavarian capital, she also spent time at her family’s various palaces.
During World War II after her family’s Sigmaringen Castle had been requisitioned to serve as the seat of the French Vichy government in exile, Princess Maria Margarethe in a small act of defiance once notably sabotaged the elevator meaning the Head of State Marshal Petain was locked in it for three hours.
Following the end of World War II Princess Maria Margarethe began studying drawing and painting at Munich’s Academy of Fine Arts. With the end of her studies in 1950, specialising in surrealist art she went on to work as an illustrator of children’s books, for the German Theatre in Munich and for the magazine of Bavarian Broadcasting.
Duchess of Mecklenburg
On 18 December 1965 in Hechingen, Princess Maria Margarethe was married to Duke Carl Gregor in a civil ceremony. As the Princely Family of Hohenzollern were observing a year of mourning for Princess Maria Margarethe’s uncle the Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern, the couple’s religious wedding took place the following year on 23 April 1966 in the chapel of her family’s ancestral home Hohenzollern Castle. The couple’s marriage was childless.
Following the wedding Duchess Maria Margarethe and her husband lived in the Hohenzollern family property Villa Silberburg in Hechingen. With a shared passion for art the couple were both members of the Hechingen Artists Guild and together oversaw the running of the Steuben-Museum in the little White House in the Princes’ Garden between 1971 and 1973.
Duchess Maria Margarethe died in Hechingen at the age of 78 on 4 August 2006. She was buried in the Grand Ducal Family’s crypt in Inzigkofen which had been given to her husband’s family by her uncle Prince Friedrich following the death of her mother in law Duchess Irina in 1955.
- Honour Cross 1st Class of the Princely House Order of Hohenzollern