The situation in Germany is made more complicated (worse) because a
divorced spouse of someone with a "title" may then marry again or adopt
and tramsit it further. Many have done exactly that and some several
times. It beomes like a Pyramid game with the name becoming ever more
I read of one case of a woman who used the "princess of" who had
married a fake who in turn had been adopted by a fake who in turn had
been adopted by another fake etc. I think it went back over 6
transactions to find the real one (the culprit)
Uwe is right about Anhalt (only one real prince Eduard who married
morganatically) and Sayn-Wittgenstein but almost as bad are the number
of von Sachsen and its various branches. Even some extinct branches
have "users" of the name. Like Schwarzburg. The last Prince, who was
openly gay, "adopted" an adult called Peter Fuhrman who uses the name
Fuerst von Schwarzburg. These are just a few examples.
Perhaps the Austrians were right in abolishing all titles as there
adoption and marriage for name is hardly known.
Post by Uwe
In german law there is a possibility for wifes transmitting their name
to the husband.
However, the "title" Fuerst von Sayn-Wittgenstein (as opposed to the
form "zu Sayn-Wittgenstein"!, both will translate as "of S-W") is
entirely wothless to a well informed german, because there is only one
descendent (Fuerstin Elisbeth, b. 1927) with that name. Everybody else
with that name is just adopted or has gained that name by marriage.
The titles Fuerst von Sayn-Wittgenstein and Prinz von Anhalt are the
most notorious for being sold to non-nobles.