THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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Prince Inigo of Urach, born 12 April 1962, with his wife –
Daniela Freiin von und zu Bodman, born 28 August 1963.
By Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas
On July 6, 1253 Mindaugas was officially crowned as King of Lithuania by Pope Innocent IV. With his coronation was born the first Kingdom of Lithuania, giving rise to the state of Lithuania. When Mindaugas was killed by his nephew Trenoita, his nephew abolished the Kingdom and restored the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which lasted until 1795, when Catherine “the Great” conquered Lithuania, and the Grand Duchy became part of the Russian Empire.
The peak in the history of Lithuania was the reign of Vytautas "the Great" between 1392 and 1430. The Lithuanian Empire during his reign covered more than a million square kilometers, and was one of the most powerful nations in Europe. Led by Vytautas "the Great" Lithuanians and their allies (Poland) destroyed the power of the Teutonic Order (Germany) in 1410 during the Battle of Grünwald.
The Battle of Grünwald was one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe and is regarded as the most important victory in the history of Lithuania.
The period 1569 - 1795 was the decline of Lithuania during their official union with Poland. In
1795, Lithuania was occupied by the Russians for the first time and Russians tried to exterminate
Fortunately, Russians failed in their attempt to destroy Lithuanian culture, thanks to the work of many Lithuanian patriots. One prove of that is Lithuanian language that is one of only two living languages (together with Latvian) in the Baltic branch of the Indo – European language family. Lithuanian language is one of the world’s oldest languages and is believed to be the most conservative living Indo – European language, retaining many features of Proto – Indo – European now lost in other Indo – European languages. It's really amazing how our ancestors managed to preserve our language so pure, despite Russian oppressions.
The end of the eighteenth century was a period of revolutions that ended at the beginning of the nineteenth century destroying many monarchies. The majority of the revolting nations replaced their thrones with communist governments.
On February 16, 1918 Lithuania declared its independence from the Russian Empire. On June 4, 1918 the Council of Lithuania voted to invite HSH Prince Wilhelm von Urach, 2nd Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg to become King of Lithuania. Within a few months of his election, it became clear that Germany would lose World War I and on November 2, 1918 the Council of Lithuania reversed its decision, proclaiming the first Republic of Lithuania.
As King of Lithuania, HSH King Wilhelm von Urach used the name of Mindaugas II. His election as King of Lithuania can be explained by several factors: he was Roman Catholic (the dominant religion in Lithuania), he was not a member of the House of Hohenzollern, the family to which belonged the German Emperor Wilhelm II who wanted Lithuania to be a monarchy in personal union with Prussia (because Lithuania was the predecessor state of Prussia, the precursor state of the German Empire), he had had a successful military career, and finally, if the central powers had won the war, Lithuania could have expected German protection in the event of future intrusions by the Russian Empire.
Wilhelm von Urach was born as HSH Prince Wilhelm Karl Florestan Gero Crescentius of Urach, Count of Württemberg. He was the eldest son of Friedrich Wilhelm Alexander Ferdinand of Württemberg, 1st Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg (head of a morganatic branch of the Royal House of the then Kingdom of Württemberg), and of his second wife, Princess Florestine of Monaco, occasional acting Regent of Monaco (daughter of Prince Florestan I of Monaco). It is noteworthy that through his marriage to Duchess Amalie of Bavaria (1865–1912), HSH King Wilhelm von Urach is related, also, to the Lithuanian Princess Louise Caroline Radvila of Birzai.
Prince Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, 2nd Duke of Urach (Wilhelm Karl Florestan Gero Crescentius; German Fürst Wilhelm von Urach, Graf von Württemberg,
2. Herzog von Urach; 30 May 1864 – 24 March 1928) was a German prince who was elected King of Lithuania with the regnal name Mindaugas II on 11 July 1918. He never assumed the crown however, as German authorities declared the election invalid and the invitation was withdrawn in November 1918.
Wilhelm never had the chance to visit Lithuania, remaining instead at Liechtenstein Castle; however he started to learn the Lithuanian language. He had no time to move to Lithuania and finish to learn Lithuanian, because the Council of Lithuania reversed its decision to inviting him to become King of Lithuania. As the last King of Lithuania, if the monarchy resurface someday, his great-grandson HSH Prince Inigo von Urach, Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg would have the right to become King of Lithuania, as his heir.
Today, in the Liechtenstein Castle property of the House of Württemberg (Urach brand), there is a letter of Pope Benedict XV, welcoming Wilhelm's selection as the future King of Lithuania, and some letters between General von Ludendorff and Swiss government stating the election of King Mindaugas II in 1918.
Therefore, we can say that in Lithuanian history there were only two kings: Mindaugas I (who began his reign in 1253) and Mindaugas II (who began his reign 1918). The other monarchs who ruled Lithuania held the title of "Grand Duke of Lithuania", not "King of Lithuania".
It is recorded in all the “noble registers” like the Almanach of Gotha, that the Prince Wilhelm von Urach became King of Lithuania. The Royal Houses that ruled Lithuania during all their history were: House of Mindaugas (1236 -1285), House of Gediminas (1285 -1440), House of Jagiellon (1440 -1569), House of Poniatowski (1764 -1795) and House of Württemberg (1918).
HSH, the Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg; Inigo von Urach was born on April
12, 1962 in Bavaria, Germany. He is the direct descendant of the last Lithuanian King of Lithuanian, Roman Catholic and a dedicated father of three children. He is connected to Albanian, Bavarian, British, Liechtensteiner, Luxembourgish, Monegasque, Portuguese and Russian royal families by birth.
The Prince supports a Lithuanian culture center in Germany to promote Lithuanian culture, while he is learning our language. He is often visiting Lithuania, the country of his great-grandfather, and meeting Lithuanians from a wide spectrum of life. He also is working hard to promote Lithuania abroad, and he is able to bring closer ties between Lithuanian nobility and the rest of European nobility. Talking with Prince Inigo von Urach, he shared with us his views about his great-grandfather, his forefathers, monarchy and the current situation of Lithuania;
Prince Inigo of Urach during a visit to Lithuania in 2012.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: Some famous economists of the world argue that it is the modern parliamentary democracy that has plunged the world into the economic and financial crisis. Do You think the constitutional monarchy would be more resistant to such crises and have more ways to overcome them?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: The monarchies have the advantage that they have long term perspectives and no worries about the next election. Monarchy represents continuity and responsibility through its own family honor. The monarchs identify themselves with the country and the people. They are the country. Therefore they do nothing against themselves if they can rule a country. The work for a good standing in the world.
And the monarchs are the bad conscious for the politicians. But therefore they need the possibility of influence to say: This way we take.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: During Your first visit to Lithuania one the questions of the Lithuanian mass media was: "Are You thinking about the Lithuanian throne?" Your answer: "I am ready to repeat my grandfathers way if Lithuanian people may have need of my knowledge and experience". Has Your attitude changed over the 3 years that passed since then?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: As my grandfather, in a modern way, I would be ready for the challenges of today. If the Lithuanian people or their representatives ask me, I am ready. In my case, it is a historical heritage and duty.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: Do you have heirs if you become King of Lithuania some day?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: Yes, Duke Eberhard von Urach (1990), Duke Anselm von
Urach (1991) and Duchess Amelie von Urach (1994).
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: After your first visit to Lithuania in 2009 Lithuanian media reported about your plans to settle in Lithuania and invest in real estate. Have you carried out such plans?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: More or less. I made some investments in Lithuania. But I am not living in Lithuania for the time being. Even though I don’t live in Lithuania, I am in touch with Lithuanian people and with Lithuanian institutions.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: We learned in an interview with you in media a few years ago, that you are interested in environment and alternative energy sources. Now we ask you how do you find the decision to shut down Ingalina Nuclear Plant?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: I think that nuclear energy is a cul-de-sac. Uranium, like oil are finite and limited resources. Sooner or later the time will tell us. Maybe it will be fifty, maybe a hundred years, it does not matter. The uranium will finish, and what will happen when the camera stops working? And also all the pollution related to the fuel, production, use and later destruction. The best solution is green-energies. Let us recall the Gospel of Matthew: Is it human that your child asks for bread, and you give him a stone? And what we do, we leave all these problems to our children and grandchildren.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: How do you find the decision to construct a new Nuclear Plant in Visaginas area?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: This wise decision of the Lithuanian people is that they are against the nuclear power. Because what do you do with the, euphemistic called “nuclear waste”? It is raying and poisoning. It is angerous for fifty thousand years. 2000 Generations! Try to imaging this! For the security there are bad examples like the big accidents Harrisburg (a three miles island), Chernobyl or Fukushima. There are other possibilities, in renewable energy: e.g. water, solar, photovoltaic-biological (wood, energy wood, rap soil, bio-gas) or geological power.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: What is your point of view about the current economic situation in Lithuania?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: There are several possibilities. First, I have to make clear that I am not yet in the responsibility. The nowadays government is in charge to solve the problems. But they have the difficulties that they are not born for that, not grown up for that, not educated for that, just elected (for four years). And with that they are able to do it or not. This short time is good and bad, depends on the character of the politician. The politicians must make compromises, which often means to choose the worst of two or more opinions. To avoid further problems it is necessary to drop the nuclear power because of its nuclear, euphemistic called, "waste". This is toxic and radiant for ten thousands of years. Oil and gas is also finitely. What is remaining? The renewable energy resources.
LT has no mineral resources, only its people. And that must be the future. Logical is to revalue this people. And that means to improve the education and training of the people. Better schools, universities. Promotion of the mentally gifted pupils and students and make them stay in or come back to LT. A good example is King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. He founded the Maximilianeum to keep the mental resources (science, economic, military, administration) in and for the country, because it was HIS own kingdom. He thought in centuries and generations and had the possibility of influence. Summarized: The people and their potential (in science, medicine, technology, etc...) is the future.
L. JAKAVIČIUS-GRIMALAUSKAS: What does His Excellency feel for Lithuania and Lithuanians?
PRINCE INIGO VON URACH: Lithuanias Taryba had elected my grandfather Herzog Wilhelm v. Urach etc ... as the king of Lithuania. In this tradition I feel the responsibility to help LT if they want call me as their sovereign. One step is done by the monarchist movement to recognize me as the heir to the throne and the pretender of the throne. If LT and its people want and call me for King, I am ready for that to do all I can to make a good as possible future for LT. A king think in generations and centuries, he identifies with his country. That is the advantage. But meanwhile I try to help and support LT as good as I can privately. I feel for the people and I want LT to have a good position in the world. I want to make it attractive for its own people, wherever in the world they are, invite them to come back to LT. I am grateful for any support and help to make this come true.
To finish this article, I want to thank HSH Prince Inigo von Urach for all his attentions and his sharing with us of such interesting views about our past, present and future.
is a columnist and great-grandson of the Lithuanian editor, writer, theatre director and actor Liudvikas Jakavičius (Lietuvanis), and great-grandson of Honorata Grimalauskaitė-Jakavičienė, a Lithuanian noblewoman. He recently had the opportunity to interview HSH Prince Inigo von Urach, Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg.
Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas is a Lithuanian columnist and Law student at the University of Salamanca (Kingdom of Spain), and a great-grand son of the writer, publisher, banker and nobleman Liudvikas Jakavičius-Lietuvanis, the greatest exponent of Lithuanian literature of Interwar. He was born on July 23, 1984 at the Spanish Hospital of Mexico in Mexico City. He is son of the model and fashion designer Karmen Aida Jakavičiūtė-Grimalauskaitė Janavičiūtė, better known as Carla Rigg, whom conceived him as single mother. Liudvikas Jakavi čius-Grimalauskas studied his pre-university studies at different reputable schools of Mexico City, including Centro Universitario México (CUM), a Marist institution who had as pupils great personalities like Octavio Paz (Nobel Prize of Literature); Plácido Domingo (Tenor); Manuel Bartlett Díaz (politician); Carlos Fuentes (Cervantes Prize and Prince of Asturias Award) or José Ángel Gurría Treviño (former Governor of the Bank of México and current Secretary General of the OECD). In 2005, Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas recovered Lithuanian citizenship and left the exile with his mother. He renounced to Mexican citizenship before a notary, as he is skeptical about dual citizenship. When he received his Lithuanian passport he told reporters: “I am only Lithuanian. Citizenship is an expression of loyalty to the State and it is incompatible being loyal to more than one country. I am proud of my Lithuanian origin and I love my homeland, Lithuania”. Liudvikas Jakavičius- Grimalauskas live between Spain, United Kingdom and Lithuania. He is devoted to research and promote the life and work of his great-grandfather Liudvikas Jakavičius (Lietuvanis). In 2011, Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas announced to the press (Šiauliu kraštas) that he will open in the near future a museum about the Soviet Holocaust, and its going to be called “Liudvikas Jakavičius- Lietuvanis Museum”, in honor to his great-grandfather. As columnist, he has worked for several media like “Kultūros barai”, “Balsas”, “Valstietis” and “Numen. Revista de Excelencia” (the last, a Spanish magazine about monarchy directed by the Count of Bobadilla) to name a few. Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas and his family was part of the Lithuanian Diaspora who lived in the exile by the Soviet Occupation, and that returned to Lithuania after the fall of the communist regime. As his great-grandfather, Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas is devoted to promote and keep alive Lithuanian culture. Now he is working in first book that will be published during the next year. The book will be an official biography of his aunt, the Lithuanian-Spanish artist Marcia Bell (Graciela Isabel Jakavičiūtė-Grimalauskaitė Janavičiūtė). There he will write about his aunt’s career as an actress (20 films), singer (7 L.P.) and composer (for her and for other artists), and obviously, about her personal life too, like her relationship as fiancé with H.R.H. Gonzalo de Borbón y Dampierre, Duke of Aquitaine and grandson of Spanish monarchs Alfonso XIII & Queen Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (also granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom).
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