Just Who Is Prince Ernst August of Hanover?

We take a closer look at the life of Prince Ernst August of Hanover, the head of the royal House of Hanover, the husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and brother-in-law of Albert II, Prince of Monaco.

Born 26 February 1954, to Ernest Augustus, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick and Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Prince Ernst August of Hanover is the head of the royal House of Hanover.

This royal house held the thrones of the former Kingdom of Hanover until 1866, the thrones of the United Kingdom until 1901, and the throne of the sovereign Duchy of Brunswick from 1913 to 1918.

Though privileges of the nobility were revoked after the German revolution (1918 – 1919), the titles officially became a part of the family’s last name. The titles are documented in this format in their German passports, but not in their British passports. Prince Ernst August still claims the style, “Royal Prince of Great Britain and Ireland”.

Ernst August following the decree of his father to marry dynastically married Chantal Hochuli, who is the daughter and heiress of a Swiss real estate developer. However, their marriage did not last and the couple separated on the 23rd of October, 1997.

They have two sons together; Prince Ernst August and Prince Christian. Prince Ernst August of Hanover got married again on the 23rd of January, 1999 to Princess Caroline of Monaco, after settling legalities as regards the succession of rights and getting official approval from the three affected nations. They have one child together; Princess Alexandra.

Prince Ernst August of Hanover has been in the center of many controversies. In 2000, he sued the publishers of a photograph that captured him publicly urinating on the Turkish Pavilion at an event in Hanover. The published picture created a diplomatic incident where the Turkish embassy accused the Prince of insulting their countrymen. However, Prince Ernst August won the lawsuit against the publishers and was awarded €9,900 (Euros).  

Again in 2004, he was convicted of aggravated assault after allegedly beating a German man with a knuckleduster on the Kenyan island of Lamu. This time, he demanded a retrial, claiming the evidence against him was false. The controversies around the Prince goes even further to his removal from the chairmanship of a family foundation based in Liechtenstein because of his negligence.

This foundation, known as Duke of Cumberland Foundation, holds the properties near Gmunden in Austria, which are the Hanover’s main residence after 1866 when their Kingdom of Hanover was taken over by the Prussians.

Prince Ernst opposed his removal from the foundation and was not pleased that his son, Ernst, was put in charge. In 2017, he filed legal action against them and threatened to revoke the bestowal of his German property to his son. His controversies didn’t end there, he also publicly declared his non-consent to his son’s marriage, and didn’t attend the wedding because of the chairmanship dispute.

Prince Ernst has in recent times had repetitive altercations with the police. In July 2020, he was taken to a psychiatric unit of a hospital in Vocklabruck after he called the police on himself, then attacked them when they arrived. Also in September 2020, his employees called the police on Prince Ernst after he threatened their safety, and damaged properties.

Prince Ernst August has also suffered health-wise, being hospitalized several times over the years. He is currently treating throat cancer.

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