Politics & Society

Charles Edward Duke of Saxe-Coburg

1884 Claremont House, Esher (UK) – 1954 Coburg (Germany)
Countries: UK, Germany

Carl Eduard has a German nationalist outlook despite being the grandchild of Queen Victoria. The automobile enthusiast and keen hunter rules his duchy with a firm hand until his forced abdication. As President of the German Red Cross, Charles Edward Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha visits Japan during his two world trips from 1933, where he is received by the emperor. The Nazis secretly regard the Japanese as an inferior race.

The duke supports Hitler from the outset. The Nazis protect the aristocrat who is loyal to the party as they see him as a global figurehead of a cultured and international Germany. In 1933, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society appoints him to its Senate, owing to his good contacts in the Nazi leadership. At Harnack House, he plays the role of the sophisticated host and invites the Nazi leadership squad to dinner parties where guests include Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.

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