Prince Christoph of Hesse

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Prince Christoph
Prince of Hesse
Cristóbal de Hesse, 1901.jpg
Born (1901-05-14)14 May 1901
Frankfurt, Germany
Died 7 October 1943(1943-10-07) (aged 42)
Forlì, Italy
Spouse Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark
Issue Princess Christina Margarethe
Princess Dorothea Charlotte Karin
Prince Karl Adolf Andreas
Prince Rainer Christoph Friedrich
Princess Clarissa Alice
House Hesse-Kassel
Father Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse
Mother Princess Margaret of Prussia

Christoph Ernst August of Hesse (Frankfurt, 14 May 1901 – Apennine Mountains near Forlì, 7 October 1943) was the fifth son of Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse and Princess Margaret of Prussia. He was a German SS officer killed in a plane crash during World War II. He was a brother-in-law of Prince Philip, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II.[1]


Born in Frankfurt, Prince Christoph was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha through their eldest daughter Victoria, Princess Royal, wife of Frederick III, German Emperor.[2] He had several brothers, including Prince Philipp and Prince Wolfgang.[3] His two eldest brothers, Friedrich Wilhelm and Maximilian, both died in World War I.

Their father, Prince Frederick Charles, was elected King of Finland in 1918, after Finland declared its independence from the fallen Russian Empire.[4] However, the overwhelming Republican victories in the Finnish parliamentary election, 1919 effectively ended any ambitions for a Finnish monarchy.[4]


Prince Christoph was a director in the Third Reich's Ministry of Air Forces, Commander of the Air Reserves, and held the rank of Oberführer in the SS.[5] His brother Prince Philipp joined Hitler's SA.[3] They were certainly not the only family members to embrace Nazism; their mother, "Mossy", invited Adolf Hitler to tea and flew the swastika from her home at Schloss Kronberg.[6]

The historian Hugo Vickers claims that Prince Christoph was "disenchanted" with the Nazi Party by the time of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.[7] He told his mother: "The death of a certain dangerous and cruel man is the best news I had in a long time."[8]

Prince Christoph served in the Luftwaffe Research Office[9] and in 1942 he joined the staff of the Jagdgeschwader (fighter squadron) 53.[7] He was primarily based in Tunisia and Sicily, with missions to Malta.[7] After the Allied Invasion of Italy, he was recalled to Germany, but never made it home.[7]

On 7 October 1943, he was killed when his plane, a Siebel 104, collided with a hill in the Apennine Mountains near Forlì, Italy.[7] His body and the body of his copilot were found two days later and they were buried on the site.[7]


Christoph married Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark on 15 December 1930 in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany.[5] Princess Sophie was the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, and the sister of the future Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[7]

They had five children:[10][11]

  • Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse (10 January 1933 – 22 November 2011), married Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia (1929–1990) on 2 August 1956 and divorced in London in 1962. They had two children and two granddaughters. She remarried Robert Floris van Eyck (1916–1991) on 3 December 1962 and had two further children and two granddaughters.
    • Princess Maria Tatiana of Yugoslavia (born 18 July 1957) married Gregory Thune-Larsen on 30 June 1990 and had two daughters:
      • Sonia Tatiana Thune-Larsen (born 29 October 1992)
      • Olga Kristin Thune-Larsen (born 26 October 1995)
    • Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia (6 February 1960 – 14 May 1994)
    • Hélène Sophie van Eyck (born 25 October 1963) married to Roderick Alan Harman, with whom she has two daughters:
      • Sascha Alexandra Sophia Harman (born 26 July 1986)
      • Pascale Olivia Harman (born 19 March 1989)
    • Mark van Eyck (born 16 February 1966) married Joanne Green in 1992 but they separated
  • Princess Dorothea Charlotte Karin of Hesse (born 24 July 1934), married Prince Friedrich Karl zu Windisch-Grätz (7 July 1917 – 29 May 2002) on 31 March 1959 and had two daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
    • Princess Marina Margarita Sofia Leontina Christina of Windisch-Grätz (born 3 December 1960) married Gyula Lajos Jakabffy on 8 May 1988. They have two daughters:
      • Réka Dorothea Sita Jakabffy (born 17 September 1988)
      • Sophia Magdolna Jakabffy (born 27 August 1989)
    • Princess Clarissa Elisabeth Fiore of Windisch-Grätz (born 5 August 1966) married Eric De Waele on 16 November 1985. They have four children and two grandchildren:
      • Michel Jean Henri de Waele (born 18 May 1986) married Caroline Libbrecht in 2011. They have two children:
        • Raphaël De Waele (born 2013)
        • Lucy De Waele (born 2015)
      • Alexander Federico Mark de Waele (born 3 July 1987)
      • Mathieu Paul Philippe de Waele (born 16 December 1988)
      • Rubi Jade de Waele (born 26 January 1994)
  • Prince Karl Adolf Andreas of Hesse (born 26 March 1937) married Countess Yvonne Margit Valerie Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget und Szapár (born 4 April 1944 in Budapest) on 26 March 1966 and two children and three grandchildren:
    • Prince Christoph of Hesse (born 18 June 1969) unmarried and without issue.
    • Princess Irina of Hesse (born 1 April 1971), married Alexander, Count of Schönburg-Glauchau (born 15 August 1969) on 30 April 1999 and have three children:
      • Countess Maria-Letitia Jolanta of Schönburg-Glauchau (born 30 July 2001)
      • Count Maximus Carolus Joachim Maria of Schönburg-Glauchau (born 25 May 2003)
      • Count Valentin Polykarp Josef Maria of Schönburg-Glauchau (born 23 January 2005)
  • Prince Rainer Christoph Friedrich of Hesse (born 18 November 1939), unmarried and without issue.
  • Princess Clarissa Alice of Hesse (born 6 February 1944) married Jean-Claude Derrien (born 12 March 1948) on 20 July 1971 and were divorced in 1976. She has an illegitimate daughter:
    • Johanna von Hesse (born 25 August 1980), married Karl-Heinz Dietrich (born 16 April 1967) on 12 August 2011. They have four children:
      • Anna Clarissa Dietrich (born 3 February 2013)
      • Nikolaus Karl Dietrich (born 6 May 2014)
      • Heinz Anton Dietrich (born 25 December 2016)
      • Marie Elisabeth Dietrich (born 25 December 2016)



  1. ^ Eade, Philip (2011). Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II (Kindle ed.). New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 9781429961684.
  2. ^ Hoelterhoff, Manuela. "`Royals and the Reich' Reveals Fateful History of Nazi Princes". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b Petropoulos, Jonathan (2008). Royals and the Reich (First ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195339277.
  4. ^ a b Tillotson, H.M. (June 1993). Finland at Peace and War 1918-1993 (First ed.). Michael Russell. ISBN 978-0859551960.
  5. ^ a b c Almanach de Gotha. Gotha, Germany: Justus Perthes. 1944. pp. 61–62.
  6. ^ Philip, Mansel. "The Prince and the F". The Spectator (UK). Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Vickers, Hugo (2013). Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece (Kindle ed.). St Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0312288860.
  8. ^ Landgravine Margaret of Hesse-Kassel, June 1942. (Archives of Hessische Hausstiftung, Schloss Fasanerie, Eichenzell). Vickers, Hugo. Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece. St. Martin's Press. Kindle Edition.
  9. ^ Judd, Denis (1981). Prince Philip: A Biography (First American ed.). New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11131-2.
  10. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (editor). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage, London, 1973, pp. 284-285 ISBN 0-220-66222-3
  11. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIIII. "Haus Hessen". C.A. Starke Verlag, 2007, pp. 34-35. (German). ISBN 978-3-7980-0841-0.

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