Prince William, Polish?
Historian Jerzy Łapo from the Museum of Folk Culture in Węgorzewo in Masuria, northern Poland, claims that Prince William, who was made the Duke of Cambridge after his wedding a few days ago, has roots in a family which lived in Masuria for centuries.
Having studied the family tree of the Lehndorff family, who thought of themselves as Prussian and who are related to the British royal family, historian Dr. Łapo has established that Maria Eleonora von Lehndorff, born 1723 in Steinort (Sztynort), near Węgorzewo, was among the ancestors of Prince William.
Her grandson, the King of Denmark Christian IX, was the Prince William’s great, great grandfather.
The collection at the museum in Węgorzewo includes a 17th-century tombstone with the likeness of Meinhard von Lehndorff, a local dignitary who served in the army of the Polish King Sigismund the Third Vasa. He was Prince William’s grandfather with the preceding word ‘great’ repeated as many as nine times.
According to Dr. Łapo, Meinhard von Lehndorff’s face had a resemblance to the new Duke of Cambridge.
The Sztynort Palace, which was the family’s property until the end of World War Two, is now owned by the Polish-German Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Sites. There are plans to bring the palace to its former splendour.
The management of the Museum of Folk Culture in Węgorzewo hopes to bring the history of the Lehndorff family to the attention of the newly-weds and boost tourism to the region.
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