The sky over Lake Constance brightens and becomes bluer and bluer as more mourners arrive.

The yellow-red-yellow flag of the former ruling house of Baden flies at Salem Castle.

The entrances to the prelature are decorated with mourning ribbons, and mourning flags are even waving on the lined-up tractors of the margravial forestry operations.

Noble families from all over Europe are waiting in the cafés for the funeral service for Maximilian Margrave of Baden to begin.

Topics are the online registration for the funeral service, which is not felt to be quite befitting, the temperatures in Münster, the quality of the cappuccino and the value of various villas throughout Europe.

Ruediger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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Maximilian Margrave of Baden died on December 29 at the age of 89.

The roots of the family go back to the Zähringer family.

The Margrave was the head of his house until his death.

He was born in Salem on July 3, 1933 to Berthold von Baden and Theodora, Princess of Greece and Denmark.

The grandfather of the deceased, Max von Baden, was the last Chancellor of the German Empire.

Maximilian's mother was also Prince Philip's sister.

Because of these family relationships, there has long been speculation as to whether the British King Charles III.

would travel to Lake Constance.

In the end he had the Monegasque Prince Albert represent him at the funeral service in the Salem Minster;

Prince Edward was represented by Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Europe's high nobility travel to Lake Constance for a funeral service

Mourners include the King of Belgium, Prince Hassan of Jordan and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg.

The highest political representative is the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann.

The closest aristocratic mourners meet before the service for prayer and lunch in the former prelature. Most then choose the short route via the convent building to the church, well shielded from the public.

At around 1:35 p.m., the Belgian king entered the square in front of the church for a few minutes, and at 1:55 p.m. Prince Albert stepped into the nave.

The acolytes, the Protestant and Catholic pastors gather in front of the portal, and the vigilante groups from the region stand in line.

In her funeral sermon, the Baden state bishop Heike Springhart recalled that the Grand Duke of Baden was also the state bishop of the Protestant state church in Baden until 1918.

"Barely 80 meters separate the place where Margrave Max saw the light of day here in Salem Castle almost 90 years ago and the place where he peacefully breathed his last at the side of his dear wife," she says.

Salem, the castle, the Linzgau – Max was “deeply rooted” in the region around Lake Constance.

"After the war he was brought to Gordonstoun in Scotland in a converted Lancaster bomber - there Kurt Hahn, who had fled there from the Third Reich, taught him about Salem's educational goals and the spiritual legacy of his grandfather, Prince Max."

He did not avoid political conflicts of interest

Prince Max and Kurt Hahn would have honored the good Samaritan as the epitome of a Christian attitude.

This resulted in the pedagogical program and educational goals of the Salem boarding school.

"What is to be done here and now?

What is important?

Who is my neighbour?” These were the questions that Max had always asked in his almost 90-year life.

However, Max Margrave of Baden did not avoid controversy, he criticized the school when he had the impression that the educational goals were being watered down.

He also did not avoid political conflicts of interest.

In the 1990s, the Margrave's businesses were in trouble: several companies and valuable family property had to be sold.

The family was also unable to save Kirchberg Castle and the New Castle in Baden-Baden, the late Gothic parts of which date from the 14th century.

The castle in Baden-Baden has not been renovated to this day and its Kuwaiti owner has not put it to good use.

In 2006 there was a discussion about the legacy of the former Baden dynasty: the state government wanted to purchase manuscripts from Bernhard Prince of Baden, Maximilian's son, for a three-digit million sum.

It turned out that the cultural property was already owned by the country.

Finally, the state and the House of Baden agreed on a settlement: the manuscripts now formally became the property of the state, and Salem Castle, whose renovation the family did not want to pay for privately, became part of the state palace administration.

The Margrave and his family received rights of use for a wing of the castle.

The state paid 60 million euros for the castle and also granted the family the right to use the representative rooms.

After the sermon in the Münster, the mourners come together on Friday afternoon for a small celebration in the Zehnscheuer.