Carl, Duke of Württemberg will be next Monday, August 1st, 80 years old. In an interview with SZ editor Barbara Baur the head of the House Württemberg has spoken about his health, politics and his birthday party.
His Royal Highness, Your Highness or Duke, which salutation for you the right one?
There are many. His Royal Highness is formally correct, but it is a bit stiff. In a conversation, as just with you, then I like to use my favorite, Duke Carl. You can call me that.
Duke Carl, how are you?
I’m all right. Since I was six months in the hospital two years ago, since that I am groggy. I have a muscle weakness, thats why my eye closes again. I also can’t stand to long The head is still intact, but the body does not working as I want .
Why you have decided, at least to celebrate with a party?
We were thinking about what you can do. On Sunday there will be a reception, but otherwise the family is paramount. It has become the custom among us that one makes a larger reception at round birthdays and invites friends from the country and companions. I can not wait to see them.
How is it to be always a public person?
Either one is or either one is not. Although you can not do everything as a public figure. This is perhaps the difficult part. Otherwise, it is the same as any other human being, no matter whether public or publicly. The house Wurttemberg has a long history. Our family has existed for 900 years. This is our heritage. It is important that you feel comfortable. There are just some trappings by the family that gave this country its name and has shaped it.
Will the tradition that the head of the house moves from Friedrichshafen Altshausen continued into the next generation?
With the death of King William 1921 my grandfather was head of the house, he lived in Altshausen. My father remained long in Stuttgart, where the court chamber was until he was expelled in 1933 by the Nazis from Stuttgart. At that time, he came to Altshausen. Later, our administration, which was scattered, brought here. So it has become a tradition that the head of the house lives in Württemberg Altshausen and heritage in Friedrichshafen. My son Friedrich has already said that he wants to move even after Altshausen when I am no longer. My grandson Wilhelm, he is now 22, can then continue in Friedrichshafen.
You are considered very interesting in politics. What do you think of the haggling to the Office of the President, since Joachim Gauck has announced its withdrawal?
It’s a bit unworthy, that you want to use the occasion to deport someone. There is too important an office. The parties should first be internally agree on a candidate, so that it can be all the parties meet.
After the incidents in Nice, Turkey and Würzburg the world seems to be falling apart. What Why is that do you think?
Yes, the world is falling apart. Before there were the attacks in Paris and Belgium. This hatred that some people have on each other is beyond me. There is something horrible to kill people who are happy, as in Nice. There is no protection. And how this can continue in the long term? It is a difficult path, no way we can sacrifice our values. Especially in relation to Turkey, the policy does not know what she wants. On the one hand we need Turkey. On the other hand it seems that what has happened after the coup to have been prepared well. Otherwise it would not have been possible, as quickly arrest so many people. One could assume almost that it was co-organized from above.
What you think about your life’s work, on which one you would like to look back?
I have had a good life and was able to achieve much more for the country that bears our name. Fortunately moments for me when I see that a parents’ association for children with cancer, which I co-founded, continues to grow. That pleases me very much. This inner joy is more than praise from the outside. Such things I have done from inner conviction, but I find, that I don’t have to talk about it to much.
If you could go back in time again 40 years ago, is there something, what you would do differently?
That is in every aspect of life, which is the most normal thing in the world. But I can think of no certain points. Many decisions have to see out of time. Undo does not work. But for the future I can ask myself how I can fix it better.
For your eighties birthday , you certainly get a lot of congratulations. What do you want for your birthday?
That the Lord God gives me a couple of years, which I can spend on my family and in this country here. Better Health is one of them, I would hope.
What do you wish the state of Baden-Württemberg, whose namesake you are indeed?
My wish for The Land Baden-Württemberg is that it may live in peace. The fact that we get no such problems as in Nice or in Würzburg. That refugees be integrated, so that they can live with us here. Therefore I finance a half social worker post for refugees in Altshausen. The Landratsamt Ravensburg had provided for more than 100 refugees a points quota of 0.7 for a social worker, but that seemed to be too little. Now there are two social workers who share the work. For me is the social peace in the municipality Altshausen important and I wanted to make my contribution for this place, so that integration can succeed.
Can you actually laugh about Badener- and Schwaben jokes?
Yes, I can always. People say me again and again that I can’t talk Schwäbisch. But my mother had just come from Austria, and you can hear that on me – it is indeed native language. The Badeners I have an excellent relationship. We live in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It makes no sense, all here to do differently there. That is why I recently really happy about a meeting on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Friends of the militias, civil militia and City Garden in Baden-Württemberg. The numerous militias are traditionally united in a part of Württemberg-Hohenzollern Association and a federation Baden. But the meeting has shown that the differences even in the traditional clubs are over. It was nice that the Badnerlied and Württemberg anthem was sung.