Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia

Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia

Prince Wilhelm Karl Adalbert Erich Detloff of Prussia (January 30, 1922 in Potsdam – April 9, 2007 in Holzminden) was the third son of Prince Oskar of Prussia, and the last surviving grandson of Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor. He was the thirty-sixth Master of Knights (Herrenmeister) of the ancient and benificent, German-Lutheran Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg), also known as Der Johanniterorden.


Wilhelm Karl was the youngest of four children of Prince Oskar of Prussia(1888–1958) and Countess Ina-Marie von Bassewitz, Countess of Ruppin (1888–1973). Having joined the Protestant Bailiwick of the Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem (known informally as the Johanniterorden) in 1944, he succeeded his father as its head, serving as the thirty-sixth Herrenmeister ("Master of the Knights") of the Order from 1958 until 1999. He worked tirelessly to keep the Order intact during the Cold War and helped to reunite its membership after the fall of East Germany.

Amongst other orders and awards, Wilhelm Karl was a recipient of the Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Grand Merit Cross (with star) of the German Order of Merit (Federal Republic of Germany).

In 1952, Prince Wilhelm Karl married Armgard von Veltheim (born in 1926). The couple had two sons and a daughter. Their youngest child, the historian Dr. phil. Oskar, Prince of Prussia (born in 1959), succeeded him as the Master of the Knights of the Johanniterorden.

Published Works

  • Order of the Johanniters: Talks and Treatises, 1983.
  • Johanniter and the July 20, 1944 Plot (with Gen-Lt Bernd frhr Freytag von Loringhoven), 1989.
  • The Soldiers of the Wehrmacht (with Karl-Günther von Hase and Hans Poeppel), 1998. (ISBN 3-7766-2057-9)


This page is a translation of the German language Wikipedia article.

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