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King Charles' First Cousin Max, Margrave of Baden, Dies at 89: Always Had 'Open Ear for People in Need'

People 12/30/2022 Janine Henni

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King Charles III's first cousin, Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, has died. He was 89.

On Thursday, the House of Baden announced that Margrave Maximilian Andreas Markgraf von Baden, who went by Max, died at Salem Castle in Germany. Max's mother was Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, the elder sister of Prince Philip, making him first cousins with King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

"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," the statement said.

Max was born in 1933 to Margrave Berthold and Princess Theodora, and raised as hereditary prince of the Lake Constance region. He attended the Gordonstoun School in Scotland like Prince Philip and King Charles, and married Archduchess Valerie of Austria in 1966. The couple went on to welcome four children, including a son named Bernhard, who succeeds his father as the head of the House of Baden.

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Max became margrave — which Debrett's defines as the German rank of count — upon his father's death, and was instrumental in the revitalization of Lake Constance land which led to the flourishing Markgraf von Baden winery.

In 1982, he founded GermanAid-Baden, a nonprofit dedicated to helping refugees, according to the House of Baden. Max was also dedicated to historical preservation, overseeing the extensive renovation of Salem Castle and cathedral. After actively serving in the Bundeswehr, the Germany army, he stayed on a reserve officer until 1990, earning the rank of colonel.

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"Margrave Max always felt a great responsibility for the common good and was involved in many functions in the state of Baden-Württemberg," the House of Baden said in the statement announcing his death. "He was a member of over 60 clubs and associations. The Margrave was a member of the Synod of the Baden State Church for several legislative periods. The Red Cross was particularly close to his heart."

"He always had an open ear for people in need, for people who asked him for help," it added.

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Two funerals will be held for the late margrave — one open to the public, and another private service. Donations in Max's honor can be made to GermanAid Baden.

King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla have yet to comment. According to Hello!, Max's wife Valerie and son Bernhard attended Queen Elizabeth's funeral in September.

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