A summary family history
The Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a branch of the German noble house of Wettin and has its ancestral seat in Coburg. Its progenitors ruled from 1423 to 1547 as Electoral Princes of Saxony and later as Dukes of Coburg. The Saxon duchy of Gotha was acquired in 1826 and since that time the family bears the name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
The 19th century was the golden age of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During that era, through diplomacy and shrewd marriage politics, it became one of the most significant European ruling dynasties up to the end of the monarchies in 1918.The „Coburgs“ were closely related to almost all European princely families and furnished the sovereigns of four royal dynasties: Belgium, Portugal, Great Britain and Bulgaria.
The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’s family relations with Europe’s ruling nobility came, in a large part, from Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife, Queen Victoria of England. It is through their nine children and 42 grandchildren that the current dynastic lines of Great Britain and Coburg were continued. Furthermore, the progeny of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert also ruled in the German Empire, Russia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – and still do today in the latter four. Please also see the attached PDF for additional information.
This spectacular family history of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is at home in Castle Greinburg and is highlighted in the Saxe-Coburg und Gotha Festive Rooms.
The present head of the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is Prince Andreas. He descends from the British line established by his great great grandfather Prince Albert.
Schloss Dreinburg – Historical overview
Under the later Reichsfreiherr (Baron whose title has been confirmed upon him by the German king) of Stettenberg and Earls of Hardegg, Heinrich and Siegmund Prüschenk, the Castle of Greinburg was erected between 1488 and 1493 as one of the first castles in the German- speaking region.
In 1533 the Imperial Counsel, Burgvogt (Governor of a castle) of Enns and Landvogt (Governor of a territory) of Swabia, Johann Leble (Löbl), acquired the Castle. Under Leble (Löbl) the building received most of its present- day form. In 1621 the Castle of Greinburg was sold to the Earl Leonhard Helfrich of Meggau, who carried out basic changes. A three storeyed, columned arcade became the main feature for the appearance of the inner courtyard. Furthermore, under Meggau the Sala terrena (so-called stone theatre) was installed. In 1625 the “Rittersaal”, the Hall of Knights, and an adjoining chapel in the south west tower were redecorated. Anna of Meggau brought Castle and dominion of Grein into her marriage with her husband, Earl Ludwig Sigmund of Dietrichstein.
Since 1700 the owner of Greinburg was Earl Oktavian Karl of Carioni, who sold the Castle to Franz Ferdinand of Salburg and Prandegg in 1709.
In 1810 the family of Dietrichstein became once again the owners of Greinburg, however they sold the estate in 1811 to Josef Fink, the Mayor of Hainburg.
The Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha have been owners of the Castle only since 1822. In 1822 Duke Ernst III of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who in 1826 became Ernst I. of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, also acquired the dominions of Aich, Prandegg, Kreutzen, Ruttenstein and Zellhof together with the dominion of Grein. The son of Ernst I., Duke Ernst II., was proprietor of the Castle of Greinburg from 1844 until 1893. After his death in 1893 Queen Victoria of England was also briefly the owner of Greinburg. Until this day the Castle has been inhabited by the ducal family. The Castle of Greinburg was chosen, for instance, by the Duchess Viktoria Adelheid as her summer residence. Her son, Prince Friedrich Josias, lived there permanently until his death.
The building, which comprises four wings, houses the Coburg Rooms, which are the official rooms of the ducal family, as well as the Upper Austrian shipping museum.