Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover

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Prince Welf Ernst
Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover
Born(1947-01-25)25 January 1947
Schloss Marienburg, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Allied-occupied Germany
Died10 January 1981(1981-01-10) (aged 33)
Poona, Maharashtra, India[1]
IssuePrincess Saskia of Hanover
Full name
Welf Ernest Augustus Andrew Philip George William Louis Berthold
German: Welf Ernst August Andreas Philipp Georg Wilhelm Ludwig Berthold[1]
FatherPrince George William of Hanover
MotherPrincess Sophie of Greece and Denmark

Prince Welf Ernst of Hanover (Welf Ernst August Andreas Philipp Georg Wilhelm Ludwig Berthold Prinz von Hannover[1]), Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (25 January 1947 – 10 January 1981) was the eldest son of Prince George William of Hanover and his wife Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Welf was a first cousin of Charles, Prince of Wales. The prince used the name Welf Prinz von Hannover.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Lower Saxony at the Hanover family seat of Schloss Marienburg, Welf was raised in Munich.[2] In 1969 the prince married Wibke van Gunsteren. Welf and his wife became disciples of Osho,[2] taking the names Vimalkirti ("Spotless splendour") and Wibke Prem Turiya ("Spiritual love").[2] In 1975 Welf and Wibke along with their five-year-old daughter Tania Saskia, moved to Poona, India to live in Osho's ashram.

Welf died at the age of 33 at a clinic in Poona from a cerebral haemorrhage after collapsing during a morning karate practice session and becoming paralyzed.[3][4][2]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Welf married Wibke Christians[1] (born 26 November 1948 at Lübbecke, Westphalia, Germany[1]), daughter of Dr Hans Daniel Christians and Ursula Schmidt-Prange (later Mrs Harry Van Gunsteren),[1] on 23 May 1969 in a civil ceremony.[1] They were married two days later in a religious ceremony at Essen-Bredeney in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.[1] Although many genealogical sources record the opposite, Welf Ernst and Wibke were not divorced in 1979,[3] but lived together (un-divorced) up to his death. They had one daughter:

  • Princess Tania Saskia Viktoria-Luise of Hanover[1] (born 24 July 1970 at Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1]). Princess Saskia's first husband was Michael Alexander Naylor-Leyland[5] (14 July 1956 -16 October 2015)[6] whom she married on 6 July 1990.[1][6] They have two children:
Princess Saskia married her second husband, Edward Hooper, on 27 January 2001. They have one son:
  • Louis Ivan Welf Otto Hooper (born 6 April 2007)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Darryl Lundy (10 May 2003). "Welf Ernst Hanover, Prince of Hanover". Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wilhelm Bittorf (3 February 1981). "Ein Welfe im Nirwana: Der Tod eines deutschen Prinzen, der für Bhagwan lebte". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2008-09-20. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ a b Eilers, Marlene. Queen Victoria's Daughters. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden, 1997. P.173, note 41. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  4. ^ Eilers, Marlene (1997). Queen Victoria's Descendants. Sweden: Rosvall. pp. 25–26, 129. ISBN 91-630-5964-9.
  5. ^ a b c Henri van Oene (22 October 2001). "HRH Prince Georg Wilhelm and his descendants". Henri van Oene's Royal Genealogies Page. Archived from the original on 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-18. External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d Lynsey Ayers (8 May 2007). "Descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland: Seventh Generation". Descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2008-08-18. External link in |publisher= (help)