King Charles’s first cousin Maximilian, Margrave of Baden dies aged 89

King Charles's first cousin Maximilian, Margrave of Baden has passed away at age 89 in his castle in Germany.

The aristocrat was the nephew of Prince Philip, and the son of his sister Theodora of Greece and Denmark, and had been the head of the House of Baden since 1963.

He passed away in the early hours of Thursday (December 29) at his home of Schloss Salem near Lake Constance in Germany, the House of Baden have announced.

The statement from the Badens reads: "Max Margrave of Baden died in the early morning hours of December 29, 2022 in Salem Castle.

"Since 1963, Max Margrave of Baden was head of the house at the head of the formerly ruling Grand Ducal Baden Princely House, which from 1112 to 1918 provided the sovereigns in the Baden part of today's federal state of Baden-Württemberg.

"His successor as head of the House of Baden is Bernhard Margrave of Baden, the previous hereditary prince."

The late royal married Valerie Isabella Habsburg-Lothringen, the Archducess of Austria, in 1966. The couple, who shared for children together, remained married until Max's death.

Max was not present at the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II, with the Baden family being represented by the Archduchess. Their son, and heir, Bernhard was also attended the solemn occasion, along with his wife Stephanie.

Prior to his marriage, Max was briefly engaged to his first cousin, Princess Beatrix of Hohenlohe-Langenburg sometime in the 1960s.

He became the head of the House of Baden following his father's death in 1963, when he inherited both the title and the family's vast estates, including Schloss Salem, along with three other castles, Baden-Baden, Zwingenberg, and Eberstein.

The death of his cousin comes are the end of a rather mixed year for the King, who lost his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, in September.

Following this the British Royal family have kept up the Christmas tradition of spending the festive season at Sandringham in Norfolk, although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were absent from the festivities.

The Christmas period also saw Charles make his first Christmas address as King. He used the broadcast to sympathise with families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and to pay tribute to his "beloved mother".

The festive message was recorded at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a religious building which has a strong association with the late Queen. St George’s Chapel is where the late Queen did her 1999 festive address, and also where she was laid to rest alongside Prince Philip in September.

For his own speech, Charles followed his mother’s well-established template, a personal reflection on the year, touching on current issues and with a Christian framework.

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