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Also a princely family in Germany having the remarkable property that all male members of the family are called Heinrich. Yup. All of them. And nothing but Heinrich. This has been going on for hundreds of years. They are distinguished by Roman numerals, in order of birth, starting afresh at I with the beginning of each century.

For example, Prince Heinrich VII Reuss (1825-1906) had the following children:

  1. Prince Heinrich XXXII Reuss (1878-1935)
  2. Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss (1879-1942)
  3. Princess Johanna Reuss (1882-1883)
  4. Princess Sophie Renata Reuss (1884-1968)
  5. Prince Heinrich XXXV Reuss (1887-1936)

Now Heinrich XXXII died without issue, but his brother Heinrich XXXIII had two children, Princess Marie Luise Friedrike Viktoria Wilhelmina Renata Charlotte Reuss (1915-1985) and Prince Heinrich II Reuss (1916-1993). Marie Luise has only a daughter and she has a son Moritz-Fabian (b. 1976), so the pan-Heinrichness must wear off at some point. Heinrich II died without issue.

Sophie Renata had these children:

  1. Prince Heinrich I Reuss (1910-1982)
    • He had children Feodora, Heinrich VIII, Heinrich IX, Heinrich X, Heinrich XIII, and Heinrich XV. Of these, Heinrich VIII has sons Heinrich XX and Heinrich XXIII; Heinrich IX has a son Heinrich XXVI (and a daughter Johanna -- thank heaven for X chromosomes); and Heinrich X has Heinrich XIV.
  2. Princess Felizitas Maria Gertrude Katharina Reuss (1914-1989).
    • As she is the female line, her children have nice normal names. For example, her eldest lad is Wolfgang-Ernst Ferdinand Heinrich Franz Karl Georg Wilhelm, Fürst zu Isenburg und Büdingen. He's married to Princess Leonille Elisabeth zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, and their second son's sixth forename along is plain old "Tom", so we're talking positively plebeian here.
  3. Prince Heinrich III Reuss (1919-1993)
    • He has two daughters and two sons, XII and XVII, and XII has XXI and XXV.

Stop screaming and come back here and read. We haven't finished yet. Not by a long chalk. Go up to the top and you'll see we haven't done Prince Heinrich XXXV Reuss yet, that's XXXV from the nineteenth century, that is. Something has gone awfully wrong here. He had a son Heinrich V (1921-1980), who also had a son (b. 1964), who is admittedly called Heinrich, but because the marriage was morganatic, he is not admitted to the grand roll of numbered dynasts, and is plain Heinrich Ico Prinz Reuss. The ignominy of it! And what sort of a name is Ico, anyway? Was there an Ico in the Brady Bunch? One of the Horatii, the Gracchi, the Tracys? I don't think so.


The arms of Reuss are Sable a Lion Or armed langued and crowned Gules.

One slight complication should be mentioned. They don't use these plain, they use them quartered with those of the County of Kranichfeld, viz Argent a Crane Or (German Kranich = 'crane'). Note that this has metal on metal, impermissible in English heraldry but occasionally met with on the Continent. And why do they quarter Kranichfeld with Reuss? Well the Dukes of Reuss claimed Kranichfeld, though they never possessed it. Why?

At this point I should quote directly from one of my sources, a site on International Civic Arms at www.bng.nl/ngw/indexgb.htm, copyright Ralf Hartemink, because if I spent any more time trying to paraphrase this I'd end up biting my throat out, ripping my clothes off, and barking at my co-workers, who might notice. Might not. Anyway. Ralf begins with a warning.

The history of the area is very complicated. (Oh good, that'll fend off boredom. -- Gritchka) The original County Reuss was divided in many smaller states and in 1807 there were still 5 states which joined the new Rheinish Union (a predecessor of the later German Empire), namely : Reuss-Gera, Reuss-Schleiz (principality), Reuss-Lobenstein (principality), Reuss-Ebersdorf (county) and Reuss-Greiz (principality).
The dynasty ruling Reuss-Gera became extinct in the early 19th century and the territory was ruled jointly by R-Schleiz, R-Lobenstein and R-Ebersdorf. In 1815 both Reuss-Greiz and the four other states combined each got a seat in the new German parliament. Reuss-Greiz became known as Reuss ältere Linie (Reuss older branch), the other four as Reuss jüngere Linie (younger branch). Between 1824 and 1848 the four states in the Reuss-j.L. were further united to a single principality.
In 1908 Heinrich XXVII of Reuss-j.L. became acting ruler in the other principality, as Heinrich XXIV of Reuss-ä.L. became insane. (I know how he feels. -- Gritchka) In 1913 Heinrich XXVII officially became ruler in both states, he abdicated in 1918. In 1919 the two principalities were combined to the new Free State of Reuss.
The Free State existed from 17 April 1919 until it was incorporated into Thuringia on 1 April 1920.

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