The room of the Hannover Regional Court, which was supposed to host two famous members of the German aristocracy, was left empty this Thursday due to an unexpected problem. In the fierce, unprecedented and tragic dispute between Prince Ernesto Augusto de Hannover and his eldest son Ernesto Augusto Jr, in which a fortune of 350 million euros and several emblematic properties are involved, such as the famous Marienburg Castle, the The court has decided to postpone until March of next year the first oral hearing that was to take place this Thursday.
According to the judicial information, the reason is that the lawyer of Prince Ernesto Augusto de Hannover resigned from his mandate “with little notice” and his successor requested a postponement. “The background to the cancellation of the hearing is that the previous lawyer for the two plaintiffs (the prince and the E-GmbH corporation) resigned on short notice. After a new representative of the first plaintiff has been legitimized today [23 de noviembre] and has requested the postponement of the hearing, the Civil Chamber has agreed to this request, “says a statement from the Court.
The prince and his son will meet on March 22, 2022 in Hannover and a judge will have to decide who of the two owns the ancestral real estate inheritance of the aristocratic family. The fierce family struggle between Germany’s most famous prince and the heir to the Güelfa house began in July 2017, when the eldest son decided to marry Ekaterina Malysheva, a 30-year-old Russian designer. The wedding, instead of making her father happy, unleashed a family war, the outcome of which can bury the fragile family harmony forever. The cause? Money, a lot of money.
When the wedding was announced, the father of the current head of House Güelfa announced that he was opposed to the marriage of his son and that he would initiate legal action to recover all the gifts he had given to his first-born son in 2005, including the castle of Martienburg. and dozens of properties and land spread across Germany and Austria.
“It has not been easy for me to make this decision, because it also involves my son. But I have been forced to do so because the preservation of the interests of the Hannover house is at stake, including valuable cultural assets that have been the property of the House for centuries ”, said the prince when confirming the unprecedented war that faced his first-born son . Ernesto Augusto feared that, in the event of a hypothetical divorce from his son, part of the Güelfa House assets would remain in the hands of Ekaterina Malysheva.
The war escalated and reached a point of no return a year later, when an angry prince accused his son and heir of having committed an act of “great ingratitude”, by giving up the Marienburg palace for the symbolic price of a euro to the Federal State of Lower Saxony. The young man admitted without shame and with a good dose of humility, that he no longer had money to pay for the maintenance and renovation costs of the castle.
“An almost cinematic story is taking place in Lower Saxony: 35-year-old Prince Ernest Augustus Jr. of Hanover wants to sell his dilapidated Marienburg castle for one euro. The reason is simple: he lacks the money to renovate the historic castle ”, pointed out the German magazine Gala, echoing a rumor that grew over time and that had its origin 15 years ago, when the junior prince announced the auction of several family treasures. The action culminated in sales of the order of 44 million euros that were destined to pay off old debts and renovate a palace tower that was falling apart.
“It was a decision of great importance for my family,” admitted the young man when he announced the sale of the palace in mid-December 2018. “We have found a good solution that will allow the palace and its inventory to be preserved for the public ”.
“The sale is illegal and unworthy,” his father sentenced in a letter sent to the regional government in which he asked for the immediate return of the palace that he gave to his son in 2004 to prevent the mansion from passing into the hands of commoners who, after Long negotiations, they had promised to invest in its restoration between 30 and 50 million and to open its doors to cultural events to turn it into a major tourist attraction.
The furious reaction of the still head of the Güelfa house paralyzed the negotiations that his son had carried out with the authorities in the last seven years and culminated in the government’s decision to suspend the transfer of the ancestral seat of the family. The 67-year-old aristocrat, who in his recent past was the protagonist of a countless number of newspaper articles that made reference to his problems with alcohol and physical attacks, in addition to having been baptized by the BILD newspaper as the “pissing prince”, after being photographed urinating in the Turkish pavilion at the Hannover World’s Fair in 2000, he asks the courts to revoke the donation he made to his son; properties such as the formidable Marienburg Castle, Calenberg Castle and Prince Herrenhausen’s Palace, where Ernesto Augusto Jr., his wife and three children currently reside and also requires the payment of five million euros.
For his part, Ernesto Augusto Junior describes the allegations contained in the lawsuit as false. “All the arguments have already been refuted out of court in the past. In this context, I am calm regarding the legal dispute, “said the 38-year-old eldest son, who declined to comment on the procedure and individual procedural steps” out of consideration “for his family.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.