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Prince of Hohenzollern
Preceded by Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern
Succeeded by William
Personal details
Born (1835-09-22)22 September 1835
Died 8 June 1905(1905-06-08) (aged 69)
Spouse(s) Infanta Antónia of Portugal
Religion Romanian Orthodox

Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern[1][2] (German language: Leopold Stephan Karl Anton Gustav Eduard Tassilo Fürst von Hohenzollern)[1][2] (22 September 1835 – 8 June 1905)[1][2] was the head of the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern, and played a fleeting role in European power politics, in connection with the Franco-Prussian War.

He was born into the dynasty's surviving Sigmaringen branch, which inherited all the dynasty's Swabian lands when the Hohenzollern-Hechingen branch became extinct.

Leopold's parents were Josephine of Baden and Karl Anton, Prince of Hohenzollern.[1][2] Leopold was the older brother[1][2] of King Carol I of Romania and father of the future King Ferdinand of Romania.[1][2] Carol ascended the Romanian throne in 1866, and Leopold renounced his rights to the Romanian succession in favor of his sons in 1880.[3]

Entry into European controversy

After the Spanish Revolution of 1868 that overthrew Queen Isabella II, Leopold was offered the Spanish Crown by the new government. This offer was supported by the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck, but opposed by the French Emperor Napoleon III on the grounds that the installation of a relative of the Prussian king would result in the expansion of Prussian influence and the encirclement of France. Leopold was forced to decline the offer.

Additional demands made by the French government heightened diplomatic tensions between Paris and Berlin. The deliberate or accidental mistranslation of a diplomatic communiqué, the Ems Telegram, also known as the Ems Dispatch, led to the declaration of war by France. Prussia's speedy mobilization, together with the support of the other members of the North German Confederation, resulted in French defeat, the consequences of which were:

  • the capture of Napoleon III and the collapse of his government
  • the French loss of Alsace and a part of Lorraine
  • the imposition upon France of huge war reparations (five billion gold francs) to be paid within five years
  • institution of the French Third Republic
  • creation of the German Empire.

Marriage and issue

In 1861 Leopold married Infanta Antónia of Portugal, daughter of Queen Maria II of Portugal and King Ferdinand II of Portugal.[1][2] They had the following children:[1][2]

  • William, Prince of Hohenzollern (7 March 1864 – 22 October 1927) he married Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies on 27 June 1889. They have three children. He remarried Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria on 20 January 1915.
  • Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern (25 August 1865 – 20 July 1927) he married Princess Marie of Edinburgh on 10 January 1893. They have six children.
  • Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern (1 September 1868 – 21 February 1919) he married Princess Joséphine Caroline of Belgium on 28 May 1894. They have four children.

Had Leopold succeeded to the Spanish throne, he could possibly have founded a second German dynasty in Spain, following the extinction of the House of Austria less than two centuries earlier.


Leopold received the following decorations and awards:[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Darryl Lundy (19 March 2005). "Leopold Stephan Prinz von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Paul Theroff. "HOHENZOLLERN". Paul Theroff's Royal Genealogy Site. Archived from the original on 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  3. Renunciation letter of Leopold de Hohenzollern, in French, dated 22 November 1880
  4. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Preußen (1905), Genealogy p. 5
Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern
House of Hohenzollern
Cadet branch of the House of Hohenzollern
Born: 22 September 1835 Died: 8 June 1905
German nobility
Preceded by
Charles Anthony
Prince of Hohenzollern
2 June 1885 – 8 June 1905
Succeeded by

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