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Karl William, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst.

Karl William, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst (b. Zerbst, 16 October 1652 – d. Zerbst, 3 November 1718), was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst.

He was the third (but eldest surviving) son of John VI, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, and Sophie Auguste, daughter of Frederick III, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. His two older brothers died before his birth.


Karl William succeeded his father in Anhalt-Zerbst in 1667 at the age of fifteen years. During his minority, which lasted until 1674, his mother, the Dowager Princess Sophie Auguste, acted as regent.

He ordered the building of Schloss Zerbst (which was made his official residence) and the St. Trinitatis Church of Zerbst, which were both inaugurated in 1696. Also, he lived many years in Jever.

Marriage and Issue

In Halle on 18 June 1676 Karl William married Sophie (b. Halle, 23 June 1654 – d. Zerbst, 31 March 1724), daughter of August, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels. They had three children :

  1. John Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst (b. Zerbst, 29 July 1677 – d. Zerbst, 7 November 1742).
  2. Karl Frederick (b. Zerbst, 2 July 1678 – d. Zerbst, 1 September 1693).
  3. Magdalene Auguste (b. Zerbst, 23 October 1679 – d. Altenburg, 11 October 1740), married on 17 June 1696 to Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg; she was the grandmother of King George III of Great Britain.
Preceded by
John VI
Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst
1667 – 1718
Succeeded by
John Augustus
Preceded by
Anthony Günther
Prince of Anhalt-Mühlingen
1714 – 1718


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