Ernst August Prince of Hanover had been fighting with his son for years about Marienburg. Then sold his receivables to a company. Will the Guelph soap come to an end with the verdict?

Clarity is in sight in the dispute over the Marienburg Castle near Hanover: The Hanover Regional Court announced its decision in the legal dispute between EAH BetriebsgmbH and Ernst August Hereditary Prince of Hanover today.

The head of the Guelphs, Ernst August Prince of Hanover, had previously reclaimed Marienburg from his son Ernst August Hereditary Prince of Hanover. Shortly before the hearing, the husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco withdrew the lawsuit, he had sold his claims to the Salzburg EAH BetriebsgmbH. Their lawsuit has now been heard.

In addition to the castle, the 68-year-old Welf prince also demanded the return of the Calenberg estate in the Pattensen-Schulenburg community and the Herrenhausen princely house in Hanover. He based his claim on the revocation of a donation as a result of “gross ingratitude”, unjust enrichment and the loss of the business basis. His son Ernst August Hereditary Prince of Hanover, on the other hand, said that the course of the negotiations had shown “that the complaint had no legal basis”. He looks forward to the verdict with optimism.

Far more than a family quarrel

According to the regional court, a decision in civil proceedings is announced by reading out the judgment or the operative part of a decision in open court. The litigants or proxies do not have to appear, the decision will be sent to them in writing.

The presiding judge of the competent civil chamber, Stefan Heuer, expressed legal concerns about the assignment at the hearing in March: “As of today, we would dismiss the lawsuit,” he emphasized. There was also “no gross ingratitude”. In his legal assessment, he also stated that the 38-year-old son of the Welf chief was allowed to sell land on the Calenberg estate – especially since the sales were “economically advantageous”. Damage to the assets of the House of Hanover was not ascertainable.

The dispute is far more than a family quarrel – it is about the future of Marienburg Castle. In 2019, the family hit the headlines because Ernst August junior wanted to sell the dilapidated castle to the public sector for one euro – against his father’s will. But after the 68-year-old’s objection, the deal negotiated with the Lower Saxony state government fell through. Castle and inventory came into a foundation.

Ernst August junior emphasized that the foundation solution found with the state was “legally secure”: “The foundation itself can continue to concentrate with all its strength on ensuring the long-term preservation of Marienburg as a central cultural monument in Lower Saxony, which remains open to everyone.”