Monarchy in Germany: Will the Kaiser return?

"Is the monarchy coming back?" This is the question asked by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 1953 on its first page with a view to the "human shock" experienced by millions of Germans at the sight of the "sacred act of consecration" of the coronation of Elizabeth II 35 years after the end of Hohenzollern rule, a third of polls in “parts of Germany” spoke out in favor of the return of the monarchy. After all, none other than Winston Churchill had stated that National Socialism would hardly have come to power in Germany "if it had also taken up the fight against traditional attachment to the ancestral dynasties".

Reinhard Muller

Responsible editor for "current affairs" and FAZ objection, responsible for "state and law".

The Basic Law, which was already in force at the time, of course sets limits to such attachment, which was not only widespread in the tabloid media. Germany is a "Federal Republic" - and the republican principle falls under the so-called eternity guarantee. A monarchy may therefore not be introduced under this constitution. In no form. Prohibited is an incumbent head of state for life by virtue of succession.

Of course, the republic also stands on older foundations and carries with it dynastic remains. That's how it looked Federal Constitutional Court 2004 has to state: "The marriage and family traditions of aristocratic families no longer have any significance for the appointment of the head of state." It was about the succession of the former Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, the eldest son of the last German Emperor. In 1938, the Crown Prince signed an inheritance contract with his second eldest son Louis Ferdinand in the presence of the Emperor. Wilhelm II renounced his rights to the household assets in favor of the crown prince. In the contract of inheritance, his son Louis Ferdinand was named the sole heir. Heirs could not be those who “did not come from a marriage that corresponded to the principles of the old Brandenburg-Prussian house constitution. . ."

Self-proclaimed countess is not allowed to call herself that

Louis Ferdinand had made his grandson Georg Friedrich the sole heir, the son of his third eldest son, who died in a military exercise in 1977. The passed-over eldest son, who had declared a waiver in 1961, went all the way to the Federal Constitutional Court. And that saw the fundamental right to freedom of marriage violated. It is true that the testator is not forced to treat his descendants equally. However, the Federal Court of Justice failed to examine whether "unreasonable pressure" had been exerted. With the entry into force of the Weimar Imperial Constitution in 1919, the House Laws had become “irrelevant from the point of view of constitutional law”. To be on the safe side, Karlsruhe also stated that the Basic Law stands in the way of reintroducing the monarchy in Germany.

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