Charles I of Württemberg

Charles I
Karl I von Württemberg.jpg
King of Württemberg
Reign25 June 1864 – 6 October 1891
PredecessorWilliam I
SuccessorWilliam II
Born(1823-03-06)6 March 1823
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died6 October 1891(1891-10-06) (aged 68)
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg
Burial8 October 1891
Schlosskirche, Stuttgart, Germany
SpouseOlga Nikolaevna of Russia
Full name
Karl Friedrich Alexander
HouseHouse of Württemberg
FatherWilliam I of Württemberg
MotherPauline Therese of Württemberg

Charles (German: Karl Friedrich Alexander; 6 March 1823 – 6 October 1891) was King of Württemberg, from 25 June 1864 until his death in 1891.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Charles was born on 6 March 1823 in Stuttgart as the son of King William I and his third wife Pauline Therese (1800–1873).[3] As the king's eldest son he became Crown Prince of Württemberg.

He studied in Berlin and Tübingen.

Marriage and King of Württemberg[edit]

On 13 July 1846 Karl married Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna of Russia, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas I and Charlotte of Prussia.[3] (Charlotte was a daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia and of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; she took the name Alexandra Feodorovna upon her marriage into the Russian imperial family.) Karl acceded to the throne of Württemberg upon his father's death in 1864.

The couple had no children, perhaps because of Karl's homosexuality.[4] Karl became the object of scandal several times for his closeness with various men - most notoriously with the American Charles Woodcock, a former chamberlain whom Karl elevated to Baron Savage in 1888.[5][6] Karl and Charles became inseparable, going so far as to appear together in public dressed identically. The resulting outcry forced Karl to renounce his favorite. Woodcock returned to America, and Karl found private consolation some years later with the technical director of the royal theater, Wilhelm George.[4]

In 1870, Olga and Karl adopted Olga's niece Vera Konstantinovna, the daughter of her brother Grand Duke Konstantin.


He sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, but after the battle of Sadowa concluded a secret military treaty with Prussia, and took part on her side in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–'71, joining the new German Empire at the close of 1870.[7]

He died, childless, in Stuttgart on 6 October 1891, and was succeeded as King of Württemberg by his sister's son, William II. He is buried, together with his wife, in the Old Castle in Stuttgart.





For Karl's homosexuality and other familiar issues:

  • Queen Olga of Württemberg. Traum der Jugend goldener Stern, Reutlingen, Günther Neske, 1955
  • Jette Sachs-Colignon. Königin Olga von Württemberg, Stieglitz, 2002
  • Paul Sauer. Regent mit mildem Zepter. König Karl von Württemberg, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt Stuttgart, 1999


  1. ^ "Karl I, King of Württemberg". Unofficial Royalty. 2017-05-14. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  2. ^ Kessler, P L. "Kingdoms of Germany - Württemberg". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  3. ^ a b "King Karl I of Württemberg".
  4. ^ a b Sabine Thomsen. Die württembergischen Königinnen. Charlotte Mathilde, Katharina, Pauline, Olga, Charlotte – ihr Leben und Wirken [The Queens of Wuerttemberg: Charlotte Matilde, Katharina, Pauline, Olga, Charlotte – Their Lives and Legacies]. Silberburg-Verlag, 2006.
  5. ^ Jette Sachs-Colignon. Königin Olga von Württemberg, Stieglitz, 2002.
  6. ^ [Mann für Mann, Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller, Pages 409, 410]
  7. ^ Wikisource One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRipley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Charles I. (Würtemberg)" . The American Cyclopædia.
  8. ^ a b Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha 1891 (1891) page 90
  9. ^ "Toison Espagnole (Spanish Fleece) - 19th century" (in French), Chevaliers de la Toison D'or. Retrieved 2018-08-10.

External links[edit]

Charles I of Württemberg
Born: 6 March 1823 Died: 6 October 1891
Regnal titles
Preceded by
William I
King of Württemberg
Succeeded by
William II