Grand Duke Adolphe (1817-1905) and Wives (Elisabeth and Adelheid)


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Adolphe I Wilhelm August Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau (Biebrich, 24 July 1817 - Schloß Hohenburg, 17 November 1905); married 1stly in St.Petersburg on 31 January 1844 Grand Duchess Elisabeth Mikhailovna of Russia (Moscow 26 May 1826 - Wiesbaden 28 January 1845); m.2ndly in Dessau on 23 April 1851 Princess Adelheid of Anhalt (Dessau 25 December 1833 - Schloß Königstein 24 November 1916)

Dynasty: Nassau-Weilburg

Reign Nassau: 1839 - 1866

Reign Luxembourg: 1890 - 1905

Predecessor Nassau: Duke Wilhelm I of Nassau

Predecessor Luxembourg: King Willem III of The Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Successor: Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau

Children Adolphe and Adelheid: Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg; Prince Friedrich of Nassau; Princess Marie of Nassau; Prince Franz of Nassau and Grand Duchess Hilda of Baden

Parents Adolphe: Duke Wilhelm of Nassau and Princess Luise of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Parents Elisabeth: Grand Duke Michael Pavlovitch of Russia and Princess Charlotte of Württemberg

Parents Adelheid: Prince Friedrich of Anhalt-Dessau and Landgravine Marie of Hese-Kassel

Siblings Adolphe: Princess Auguste of Nassau; Duchess Therese of Oldenburg; Prince Wilhelm of Nassau; Prince Möritz of Nassau; Princess Marie of Nassau; Prince Wilhelm of Nassau and Fürstin Marie of Wied

Half Siblings Adolphe: Fürstin Helene of Waldeck-Pyrmont; Prince Nokolaus of Nassau and Queen Sophie of Sweden & Norway

Siblings Elisabeth: Grand Duchess Maria Mikhailovna of Russia; Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; Grand Duchess Alexandra Mikhailovna of Russia and Grand Duchess Anna Mikhailovna of Russia

Siblings Adelheid: Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Hilda of Anhalt-Dessau
 
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From this wikipedia article:

Adolphe I, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (Adolph Wilhelm August Karl Friedrich of Nassau-Weilburg) (July 24, 1817 – November 17, 1905) was the last Duke of Nassau, and the fourth Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
He was a son of Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau (1792 - 1839) and his first wife Charlotte Luise Friederike of Saxe-Altenburg. Adolphe's half-sister, Sophia of Nassau, married King Oscar II of Sweden.
Adolph became Duke of Nassau on August 30, 1839, after the death of his father. He supported the Austrian Empire in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. After Austria's defeat, Nassau was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia.
In 1879, Adolphe's niece Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the daughter of another of his half-sisters, married her distant relative King William III of the Netherlands. In 1890, their only daughter Wilhelmina succeeded to the Dutch throne, but was excluded from the succession to Luxembourg by the Salic Law. The Grand Duchy, which had been linked to the Netherlands since 1815, passed to the Dutch royal family's distant relative - the dispossessed Duke Adolphe. The Grand Dukes of Luxembourg are still descendants of Adolphe, although through female lines.
On January 31, 1844, Adolph married Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia, niece of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. She died less than a year afterwards in childbirth with a stillborn daughter.
On April 23, 1851, he remarried Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau (25 December 1833-24 November 1916), a daughter of Friedrich, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau. They had five children, of whom only two lived to the age of eighteen and to become prince and princess of Luxembourg.
  • Prince William (1852–1912)
  • Prince Friedrich (28 September 1854-23 October 1855)
  • Princess Marie (14 November 1857-28 December 1857)
  • Prince Franz (30 January 1859-2 April 1875 Vienna)
  • Princess Hilda Charlotte Wilhelmine (1864 - 1952), married HRH Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden.
In 1892, Grand Duke Adolphe conferred the hereditary title Count of Wisborg on his Swedish nephew, Oscar, who had lost his Swedish titles after marrying without his father's approval. Wisborg (also spelt Visborg) was the old castle in the citry of Visby within Prince Oscar's lost Dukedom of Gotland, but the title itself was created in the nobiliy of Luxembourg.
 
From this wikipedia site:

Elizabeth Mikhailovna, Grand Duchess of Russia (Moscow, 26 May 1826 - Wiesbaden, 28 January 1845) was the second child and daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich of Russia and Princess Charlotte of Wurttemberg who took the name Elena Pavlovna upon her conversion to the Orthodox faith. Through her father, Elizabeth was a granddaughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia, and a niece of both Russian emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I.
Elizabeth, nicknamed "Lili", was born in the Kremlin in Moscow and she was named after her aunt who had died eariler that month, the Empress Elizabeth, wife of Emperor Alexander I and a close friend of Elena Pavlovna. She grew up with her other siblings in the Mikhailovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg. Elizabeth was said to be the prettiest among her sisters, and like her mother, Elena Pavlovna, Elizabeth was graceful in manners and well-educated. By the end of 1843, Adolf, Duke of Nassau was visiting St Petersburg and met Elizabeth for the first time. Adolf's stepmother was Princess Pauline of Wurttemberg, Elizabeth's maternal aunt, and so he was related to the Russians in some way. Adolf and Elizabeth fell in love and they eventually got married in 31 January 1844 in St Petersburg. Elizabeth was 17 years old and Adolf was 26.
After the wedding, the couple stayed in Russia for some time until they moved to Germany and took up residence in Castle Biebrich in Wiesbaden. Elizabeth, now Duchess of Nassau, was popular among the people.
She and Adolf were happily married and the news that she was already pregnant with their first child brought great happiness to the couple. Unfortunately, their happiness would not last long and after only a year, Elizabeth died giving birth to a daughter, who didn't survive as well. The grief-stricken Adolf ordered the construction of a Russian Orthodox church - the St. Elizabeth's Church in Neroberg Park, Wiesbaden - to house the remains of his beloved wife. The location of the church on the hill was chosen by Adolf himself so that he could always have a view of the church from his residence. Elizabeth's sarcophagus can still be seen today inside the church.
 
His father, Duke William bullied his family. He even made fun of Duchess Pauline (his second wife) hearing problems. I wondered how is his relationship with the grand duke?

During his years in Nassau, he was initially popular but he turned out to be a conservative and reactionary. I also read he was an old fashioned man, that was why he sided with the Austro-Hungarian empire. I think his people turned out quite hostile to him, since he had to go out ungarded in his uniform to announce that he will grant a constitution to them.

Though I also read he treated Duchess Pauline with respect. He built a palace for her and his half siblings.
 
In 1884, Fischbach Castle was bought from Grand Duke William III (King Willem III of The Netherlands) by Duke Adolphe of Nassau.
Adolphe would become Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890.
 
I'm going to talk here about Grand Duke Adolphe's brothers.

Grand Duke Adolphe was the son of Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau (He was married twice: first to Princess Louise of Saxe-Hildburghausen and then to
Princess Pauline of Württemberg).

Brothers of Grand Duke Adolphe:
  • Therese, Duchess of Oldenburg m: Duke Peter of Oldenburg
  • Marie, Princess of Wied m:Hermann, Prince of Wied
  • Helena, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont m:George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont
  • Prince Nikolaus m:Natalia Alexandrovna Pushkina
  • Sophia, Queen of Sweden and Norway m: King Oscar II of Sweden
 
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Today I learned that he inherited Luxembourg due to Salic law and being the 17th cousin once removed of William III of the Netherlands, which seems insane, to put it mildly, and is apparently a record for "farthest inheritance of a crown".

How in the world was there nobody in line before him?
 
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Today I learned that he inherited Luxembourg due to Salic law and being the 17th cousin once removed of William III of the Netherlands, which seems insane, to put it mildly, and is apparently a record for "farthest inheritance of a crown".

How in the world was there nobody in line before him?

There weren't any legitimately born MEN that were only born direct line males between the King and him. Plenty of men born to princesses and their descendants but no male to male to male to male etc... men between the two.
 
Today I learned that he inherited Luxembourg due to Salic law and being the 17th cousin once removed of William III of the Netherlands, which seems insane, to put it mildly, and is apparently a record for "farthest inheritance of a crown".

It was semi-Salic law, actually. See Article 42 from the original Nassau Family Pact.

How in the world was there nobody in line before him?

In bygone times it was less unusual for boys and men to die prematurely, and for younger sons especially to remain unmarried, and so male lines went extinct with some frequency. The sons of Adolphe's predecessor King-Grand Duke Willem III died at fairly young ages.

There weren't any legitimately born MEN that were only born direct line males between the King and him. Plenty of men born to princesses and their descendants but no male to male to male to male etc... men between the two.

There was Georg of Merenberg, but he was a morganaut without inheritance rights.
 
Thanks, Tatiana.

I see article 42 is about the extinction of the whole House, but unfortunately I can't read German so I'm unable to see the semi-Salic distinction.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around "17th cousin once removed". :eek:

Not only do I have a feeling we must have at least a few of those of current royals as members posting here, even in the Netherlands, where they famously had no boys, I don't think they were nearly at "17th cousin once removed", even when it was Wilhelmina and then Juliana alone!

And, just out of curiosity... who was the common ancestor for Willem and Adolphe?
 
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Thanks, Tatiana.

I see article 42 is about the extinction of the whole House, but unfortunately I can't read German so I'm unable to see the semi-Salic distinction.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around "17th cousin once removed". :eek:

Not only do I have a feeling we must have at least a few of those of current royals as members posting here, even in the Netherlands, where they famously had no boys, I don't think they were nearly at "17th cousin once removed", even when it was Wilhelmina and then Juliana alone!

Not sure what you mean. Adolphe was Wilhelmina's father's successor because within the Dutch royal family no closer relative met the criteria - and Wilhelmina was a girl and her three half-brothers had passed away without issue.

Interestingly, enough; Willem and Adolphe were also third cousins:
Stadtholder Willem IV - Stadtholder Willem V - King Willem I - King Willem II - King Willem III
Stadtholder Willem IV - Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau - Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Nassau-Weilburg - Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau(-Weilburg) - Grand duke Adolphe of Luxembourg

And, just out of curiosity... who was the common ancestor for Willem and Adolphe?
Great question: I had no idea, so tried to decipher it:

LUXEMBOURG
1-Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1817-1905)
2-Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau (1792-1839)
3-Friedrich Wilhelm, Fürst of Nassau-Weilburg (1768-1816)
4-Karl Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (1735-1788)
5-Karl August, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (1685-1753)
6-Johann Ernst, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1664-1719)
7-Friedrich, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1640-1675)
8-Ernst Casimir, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1607-1655)
9-Ludwig II, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1565-1627)
10-Albrecht, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1537-1593)
11-Philipp III, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1504-1559)
12-Ludwig I, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1473-1523)
13-Johann III, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1441-1480)
14-Philipp II, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1418-1492)
15-Philipp I, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1368-1429)
16-Johann I, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1309-1371)
17-Gerlach, Count of Nassau (1283-1361)
18-Adolf, King of Germany (1255-1298)
19-Walram II, Count of Nassau (1220-1276)
20-Heinrich/Hendrik II, Count of Nassau (1180-1250)

THE NETHERLANDS
1-Willem III, King of the Netherlands (1817-1890)
2-Willem II, King of the Netherlands (1792-1849)
3-Willem I, King of the Netherlands (1772-1843)
4-Willem V, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands (1748-1806)
5-Willem IV, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands (1711-1751)
6-Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Friesland & Groningen (1687-1711)*
7-Hendrik Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland & Groningen (1657-1696)
8-Willem Frederik, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen & Drenthe (1613-1664)
9-Ernst Casmir I, Count of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen & Drenthe (1573-1632)
10-Johann/Jan VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1536-1606)
11-Willem I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1487-1559)**
12-Johann/Jan V, Count of Nassau-Vianden-Dietz (1455-1516)
13-Johann/Jan IV, Count of Nassau-Dietz-Dillenburg (1410-1475)
14-Engelbert I, Count of Nassau (1370-1442)
15-Johann/Jan I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1340-1416)
16-Otto II, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1305-1351)
17-Heinrich/Hendrik I, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1270-1343)
18-Otto I, Count of Nassau (?-1289)
19-Heinrich/Hendrik II, Count of Nassau (1180-1250)

* Most recent common ancestor of all European royal thrones
** Father of Willem the Silent
 
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Thanks, Somebody.

What I mean is, even with the incredibly short and basically critical line of succession the Netherlands had for a while, I don't believe that either Wilhelmina's or Juliana's prospective heir was anything even close to 17th-once-removed, rather something you didn't need to go to the 10th century for.

17th-cousin-once-removed is so astonishing I'd be astounded if even a modern peerage was inherited that way. Otherwise you end up with a "King Ralph" scenario.
 
Why so many generations back to find a heir

Next I looked into why no descendants of any previous ancestors were available (in most cases I only mention sons as daughters were not eligible):

1-Willem III, King of the Netherlands (1817-1890) - 3 sons died unmarried

2-Willem II, King of the Netherlands (1792-1849) - 4 sons; eldest son (see 1), second son never married, third son married but no issue, fourth son died in infancy

3-Willem I, King of the Netherlands (1772-1843) - 4 sons; eldest son (see 2), two still-born sons, third son had two sons and two daughters; however, both sons died in childhood; both daughters reached adulthood (among them: queen Louise of Sweden and Norway)

4-Willem V, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands (1748-1806) - 4 sons: two died in infancy, third (see 3), fourth unmarried

5-Willem IV, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands (1711-1751) - one son (see 4), next to 4 daughters (two stillborn; one of them Carolina: ancestor of Adolphe)

6-Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Friesland & Groningen (1687-1711)* - one son (see 5)

7-Hendrik Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland & Groningen (1657-1696) - two sons and many daughters: eldest son died in infancy, second son (see 6)

8-Willem Frederik, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen & Drenthe (1613-1664) - one son (see 7)

9-Ernst Casmir I, Count of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen & Drenthe (1573-1632) - 6 sons: eldest stillborn, second and fifth died in infancy, third died in battle unmarried, fourth (see 8), sixth died in childhood

10-Johann/Jan VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1536-1606) - 12 sons (and 12 daughters):
1st: married (widowed 6 months later) with no issue
2nd: married with 14 sons (need to find out what happened with all of them)
3rd: married with 9 sons (unclear what happened to all of them)
4th: unmarried
5th: died in infancy
6th: (see 9)
7th: unmarried
8th, 9th, 10th: stillborn
11th: died in infancy
12th: married with 4 sons: eldest married with 10 sons (need to look into all of them), other three: 'canon' (priest)

11-Willem I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1487-1559)** - 5 sons:
1st: Willem the Silent: 4 sons (first married with no issue, second died in infancy, third never married, fourth married with issue - 2 sons: eldest: one son (King William III of England) without issue; second: died in infancy)
2nd: (see 10)
3rd: unmarried
4th: unmarried (died in battle)
5th: unmarried (died in battle)

12-Johann/Jan V, Count of Nassau-Vianden-Dietz (1455-1516) - 4 sons:
1st: 2 sons: first married with one daughter (René Chalon; who passed on the title Prince of Orange to Willem the Silent), second died in infancy
2nd: died unmarried at age 20
3rd: died in infancy or stillborn
4th: (see 11)

13-Johann/Jan IV, Count of Nassau-Dietz-Dillenburg (1410-1475) - 2 sons: eldest: no legitimate children, youngest: (see 12)

14-Engelbert I, Count of Nassau (1370-1442) - 4 sons: eldest (see 13), second: married with one daughter, third and fourth: died in infancy or childhood;

15-Johann/Jan I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1340-1416): 5 sons: one died in infancy or childhood, the others had no children except for the middle son (see 14)

16-Otto II, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1305-1351) - 3 sons: eldest (see 15); middle and youngest were canons (priests)

17-Heinrich/Hendrik I, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1270-1343) - 2 sons: eldest (see 16), youngest was destined (by his parents) for religious life but ended up married with 2 sons - with issue (to be looked into)

18-Otto I, Count of Nassau (?-1289) - 4 sons: eldest (see 17), second: 2 sons (eldest: married with 5 sons (to be looked into), youngest: canon (priest))

19-Heinrich/Hendrik II, Count of Nassau (1180-1250) - the common ancestor: so his line did produce a heir for Luxembourg through his second son (the Orange-Nassaus descended from his third son).

(To be continued)
 
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Thanks, Tatiana.

I see article 42 is about the extinction of the whole House, but unfortunately I can't read German so I'm unable to see the semi-Salic distinction.

In brief, it states that should the entire male house of Nassau become extinct, then in spite of the fact that princesses renounced their rights of succession (as required by a separate provision in the family pact), the last male's heiress was to be his eldest daughter or, if he was childless, the closest female, and a new succession pact was to be introduced (to answer the question of who would succeed the heiress).


What I mean is, even with the incredibly short and basically critical line of succession the Netherlands had for a while, I don't believe that either Wilhelmina's or Juliana's prospective heir was anything even close to 17th-once-removed, rather something you didn't need to go to the 10th century for.

The Dutch line of succession was restricted at the time to the descendants of King Willem I and the male-line descendants of his aunt Princess Carolina, so that any relations through a 10th-century common ancestor would not have been eligible.


17th-cousin-once-removed is so astonishing I'd be astounded if even a modern peerage was inherited that way. Otherwise you end up with a "King Ralph" scenario.

Semi-Salic and Salic primogeniture have been the prevailing modes of succession in modern European monarchies until several decades ago. It would be interesting to know why the Luxembourg scenario was not repeated in other monarchies; perhaps they had better luck producing male heirs within the nearest family.
 
It would be interesting to know why the Luxembourg scenario was not repeated in other monarchies; perhaps they had better luck producing male heirs within the nearest family.
It was. The different states of the Holy Roman Empire were often inherited by other, often quite distant, male-line descendants of the ruling house when a specific ruling branch became extinct. A prominent example of a pact similar to that of the House of Nassau is the Treaty of Pavia from 1329 which regulated inheritance in the House of Wittelsbach and led to Maximilian of Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld becoming Elector of Bavaria in spite of it being almost 500 years since the two lines split. Other examples, but to my knowledge without a specific pact, are the frequent reorganisations of the Thuringian duchies of the House of Wettin.
 
Thanks, Somebody.

What I mean is, even with the incredibly short and basically critical line of succession the Netherlands had for a while, I don't believe that either Wilhelmina's or Juliana's prospective heir was anything even close to 17th-once-removed, rather something you didn't need to go to the 10th century for.

17th-cousin-once-removed is so astonishing I'd be astounded if even a modern peerage was inherited that way. Otherwise you end up with a "King Ralph" scenario.

I see - however, this would have been the Dutch line of succession it they also had applied salic law (i.e., the limitation that only male-line males could inherit) (and had not put limitations such as explained by Tatiana Maria) - it was for this reason that Wilhelmina was not accepted as her father's successor in Luxembourg but could ascend the throne in the Netherlands.

Of course, because the Dutch throne was open to women there would have been far more options (although the Dutch government made some changes to the law of succession to avoid the 'German cousins' (i.e., descendants of Wilhelmina's aunt) to succeed to the Dutch throne) so therefore is not comparable to a situation in which only men in male-line can inherit.
 
I see - however, this would have been the Dutch line of succession it they also had applied salic law (i.e., the limitation that only male-line males could inherit) - it was for this reason that Wilhelmina was not accepted as her father's successor in Luxembourg but could ascend the throne in the Netherlands.

Neither Luxembourg (see the linked text of Article 42 of the original 1783 family pact above) nor the Netherlands applied Salic law. Both had laws of succession that were semi-Salic.

Had Adolphe, his son, and his brother all predeceased King-Grand Duke Willem III, Wilhelmina would automatically have been her father's successor in Luxembourg as well, as dictated by Article 42 of the Family Pact.
 
Thanks, Tatiana.

I see article 42 is about the extinction of the whole House, but unfortunately I can't read German so I'm unable to see the semi-Salic distinction.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around "17th cousin once removed". :eek:

Not only do I have a feeling we must have at least a few of those of current royals as members posting here, even in the Netherlands, where they famously had no boys, I don't think they were nearly at "17th cousin once removed", even when it was Wilhelmina and then Juliana alone!

And, just out of curiosity... who was the common ancestor for Willem and Adolphe?

Despite the far removed connection between Willem III of Orange-Nassau and Adolf of Nassau, there were plenty of links between the two Houses. Of course the marriage in 1760 of Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau with Prince Carl-Christian of Nassau, direct ancestors of the current grand-ducal family.

The last Grand-Duke from the Orange-Nassau branch, King Willem III, was married with Emma von Waldeck und Pyrmont. Emma's mother (and thus Willem III's mother-in-law) was Princess Helena of Nassau, sister of Adolf of Nassau...

It is believed that Emma urged her husband to respect the Nassau Family Pact (and not alter it in favour of their daughter and heiress Princess Wilhelmina) so that her uncle Adolf's (and her mother's) Nassau branch would become a reigning dynasty again.

The links between the two Houses were pretty close via Emma and her mother Helena, respectively the wife of Willem III and the sister of Adolf.
 
Neither Luxembourg (see the linked text of Article 42 of the original 1783 family pact above) nor the Netherlands applied Salic law. Both had laws of succession that were semi-Salic.

Had Adolphe, his son, and his brother all predeceased King-Grand Duke Willem III, Wilhelmina would automatically have been her father's successor in Luxembourg as well, as dictated by Article 42 of the Family Pact.

So, except for Adolphe his son and brother, there were no other male-line heirs among any of his predecessors descendants?
 
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Despite the far removed connection between Willem III of Orange-Nassau and Adolf of Nassau, there were plenty of links between the two Houses. Of course the marriage in 1760 of Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau with Prince Carl-Christian of Nassau, direct ancestors of the current grand-ducal family.

True. It would be interesting to find out who was their nearest common ancestor (in contrast to their very far removed common male-line ancestor). Perhaps Somebody or one of the other genealogy experts here knows the answer to that?

It is believed that Emma urged her husband to respect the Nassau Family Pact (and not alter it in favour of their daughter and heiress Princess Wilhelmina) so that her uncle Adolf's (and her mother's) Nassau branch would become a reigning dynasty again.

I am not sure this is true, but I have heard somewhere that this influenced Grand Duke Adolph to acquiesce to Queen Wilhelmina's request for his permission to pass on the name of Nassau to her descendants. (Legally, I suppose he had no power over the name of the Dutch royal house, but apparently his consent as head of the house of Nassau was considered crucial by Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Emma.)

So, except for Adolphe his son and brother, there were no other male-line heirs among any of his predecessors descendants?

Correct. If you review one of the the family trees of the House of Nassau that are available online, it is interesting (though perhaps not unusual) how a house with so many members was reduced to so few.
 
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True. It would be interesting to find out who was their nearest common ancestor (in contrast to their very far removed common male-line ancestor). Perhaps Somebody or one of the other genealogy experts here knows the answer to that?
I believe their nearest common ancestor would be Stadtholder Willem IV.

(repeated from previous post for clarity):
Willem and Adolphe were also third cousins:
Stadtholder Willem IV - Stadtholder Willem V - King Willem I - King Willem II - King Willem III
Stadtholder Willem IV - Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau - Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Nassau-Weilburg - Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau(-Weilburg) - Grand duke Adolphe of Luxembourg

I am not sure this is true, but I have heard somewhere that this influenced Grand Duke Adolph to acquiesce to Queen Wilhelmina's request for his permission to pass on the name of Nassau to her descendants. (Legally, I suppose he had no power over the name of the Dutch royal house, but apparently his consent as head of the house of Nassau was considered crucial by Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Emma.)
It makes sense given their close relations that both of them were supportive of the other.

Correct. If you review one of the the family trees of the House of Nassau that are available online, it is interesting (though perhaps not unusual) how a house with so many members was reduced to so few.

It seems that a few generations above Heinrich II too little data is available to go back any further, so probably there are others but they are not recorded and therefore, it seems they were the last known descendants.
 
In the official biography of King Willem III it was stated that according experts the understanding of any Erbverein was: a treaty between sovereign princes of different Houses within a dynasty with as ultimate aim to keep the sovereign rights and possessions inside said dynasty.

Therefore the Nassauischer Erbverein was originally signed by the sovereign princes of Orange-Nassau, Nassau-Weilburg, Nassau-Saarbrücken and Nassau-Usingen.

Nassau-Saarbrücken and Nassau-Usingen soon became extinct and were inherited by Nassau-Weilburg (since 1806 Nassau).

The four original sovereign Houses were now reduced to two. When in 1866 Nassau ceased to be a reigning House, the Erbverein became void, according some experts. That was not a generally shared opinion. But it changed in 1867 when the King of Prussia and the Duke of Nassau agreed in a Treaty with returning parts of his lost domains and a financial compensation of 15 million in golden Guilders, a gigantic fortune for that time.

According King Willem III of the Netherlands, Grand-Duke of Luxembourg, with this Treaty the Duke of Nassau not only forfeited his sovereign rights, by doing so he had to compensate him because the purpose of the Erbverein was exactly to keep it all in the dynasty. This is documented in a correspondence between The Hague and Wiesbaden.

When the Prince of Orange died in 1884, the King realized he had to make amendments to the Constitution of the Grand-Duchy, in which the succession was based on the Nassauischer Erbverein. The Luxembourgian Prime Minister of the time, baron Félix de Blochausen agreed with the King.

In 1884 the King announced a visit to Luxembourg and wanted to hold an Address from the Throne. His purpose was to announce that in case of his death, leaving a minor heiress, Queen Emma would become the Regentess for his successor in Luxembourg: Princess Wilhelmina. The Luxembourgian Cabinet agreed with this view. Reason: better a far away Grand-Duchess in The Hague, than a nosy Duke of Nassau in Luxembourg interrupting the sea of freedom the Cabinet enjoyed under Willem III and expected to enjoy under Wilhelmina.

The Dutch Cabinet had mixed feelings about Luxembourg. In the framework of the gigantic colonial Empire, the personal union with Luxembourg was more a side detail, but nevertheless one which could drag the Netherlands into an international conflict, after all the ministers were responsible for the King who was also the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg.

In 1884 the King's counsels Constant graaf van Lynden van Sandenburg, Rutger Jan graaf Schimmelpenninck van Nijenhuis and Julius graaf van Zuylen van Nijvelt tried to have an audience to discuss "the Luxembourgian Question" with the King.

But out of fear for the King's bad temper, especially when it was about matters of the dynasty and about an affair not within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the three gentlemen requested an audience with Queen Emma.

Out of dynastic feelings for her uncle and her mother, the Queen encouraged the three gentlemen to resist the attempts of Baron Félix de Blochausen (the Luxembourgian Prime Minister) to change the succession. After some time the Queen herself carefully discussed the topic with King Willem III. He indeed was open to his spouse's charm and diplomatic skills. In the end the King authorized Constant graaf van Lynden van Sandenburg to negotiate a Treaty with the Duke of Nassau. Thanks to this Treaty, the personal union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg would cease with the death of Willem III. His spouse's uncle, Adolf, Duke of Nassau, would become a sovereign prince again.
 
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Reason: better a far away Grand-Duke or Grand-Duchess in The Hague, than a nosy Duke of Nassau in Luxembourg interrupting the sea of freedom the Cabinet enjoyed under Willem III and expected to enjoy under Wilhelmina.
How interesting! So according to this the government of Luxembourg would have preferred to retain the union with the Netherlands and had the Duke of Nassau imposed on them while the Dutch wanted out of the union?
 
How interesting! So according to this the government of Luxembourg would have preferred to retain the union with the Netherlands and had the Duke of Nassau imposed on them while the Dutch wanted out of the union?

Yes indeed, because the Luxembourgian Prime Ministers, including Baron Félix de Blochausen in 1884, essentially enjoyed free field of play within the framework of the personal union. Back then Luxembourg was considered the poorest part of all the provinces and just a sporadic summer destination for the King. No any nosy nearby prince interfering into matters of State, alike in all those German principalities.
 
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This is the first page of the Treaty of Separation of 1884 with which King Willem III, after initial resistance, changed his thoughts on having his daughter Wilhelmina to succeed him in Luxembourg as well. Instead his wife's uncle, Adolf von Nassau, would succeed him as Grand-Duke, with this finally respecting the Nassauischer Erbverein (despite his opinion that the Duke had forfeited his rights and duped the dynasty by "selling" the Duchy of Nassau to Prussia).

https://www.koninklijkeverzamelingen.nl/images/tentoonstelling/Luxemburg/scheiding.jpg

What I can read:

Sa Majesté Guillaume III, Roi des Pays-Bas, Prince d'Orange-Nassau, Grand-Duc de Luxembourg, Etc., Etc., Etc., en qualité de Chef de la Maison d'Orange-Nassau

et

Son Altesse le Duc Adolphe de Nassau, en qualité de Chef de la branche Walram de la Maison de Nassau


Considérant que d'après l'article 3 de la Constitution du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg du 17 Octobre 1868, la Couronne est héréditaire dans la famille de Nassau conformément au pacte du 30 Juin 1783 [etc] et qu'ainsi la succession au Trône du Grand-Duché passe aux Agnats de la Maison d'Orange-Nassau [....]
 
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It was. The different states of the Holy Roman Empire were often inherited by other, often quite distant, male-line descendants of the ruling house when a specific ruling branch became extinct. A prominent example of a pact similar to that of the House of Nassau is the Treaty of Pavia from 1329 which regulated inheritance in the House of Wittelsbach and led to Maximilian of Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld becoming Elector of Bavaria in spite of it being almost 500 years since the two lines split. Other examples, but to my knowledge without a specific pact, are the frequent reorganisations of the Thuringian duchies of the House of Wettin.


Not quite as many generations as the examples you gave, but due to Salic Law King Henry III of France was succeeded in 1589 by a very distant cousin Henry IV (Henry III of Navarre). Their common male-line ancestor was Louis IX (1214-1270).

Interestingly enough, through his mother Henry IV was also "heir of the body" of Louis X (1289-1316). Following the death of Louis's posthumous son John I (b-d 1316), Louis's daughter Jeanne was passed over in favor of his brother, Philip V, in the first implementation of Salic law. Jeanne was compensated with Navarre.
 
Was Adolphe styled Serene Highness or Highness as Duke of Nassau?
 
Following up on my previous post on finding descendants that weren't as far removed cousins as Wilhelmina's great-uncle that ended up succeeding instead of Wilhelmina. In this post the descendants of Otto I (his older brother's descendants reign Luxembourg while the Netherlands is ruled by his descendants).

18-Otto I, Count of Nassau (?-1289) - 4 sons: eldest (see 17), second: 2 sons (eldest: married with 5 sons (to be looked into), youngest: canon (priest))

Son 1: Henry (see previous post)

Son 2: Emicho († 7 June 1334), succeeded his father, became Count of Nassau-Hadamar in 1303. Had 8 children, including 2 sons:
* Johann (d. before 20 January 1365), Count of Nassau-Hadamar from 1334 to 1365 - had 10 children, including 5 sons:
**first: Emich (died in childhood)
**second: Emich (died in early adulthood - as a canon)
** third: Johann (died in early adulthood - unmarried)
** fourth: Heinrich (his father's heir; died without legitimate children)
** fifth: Emich III (his brother's heir; was put in a monastery by his relatives as he was considered incapable of ruling; so various relatives fought over 'Hadamar'; died unmarried as the last male in the Nassau-Hadamar line)
* Emicho II (d. 1359), from 1328 to 1336 canon in Mainz, from 1337 to 1359 co-ruler of Nassau-Hadamar - no children (as he was a canon)

Son 3: Otto (canon)

Son 4: John († Hermannstein, 10 August 1328), succeeded his father, became Count of Nassau-Dillenburg in 1303 - died unmarried.
 
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