Family news

Fürstliche Familie

The revitalization of the castle and palace of Sayn and the development of the property for tourism are the focus of the efforts of Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela, born Countess of Schönborn-Wiesentheid. Together they are committed to the preservation of the Middle Rhine region, its cultural treasures and natural beauty, as well as the rich cultural park of Sayn. Prince Alexander has been President of the  Deutschen Burgenvereinigung for more than 25 years and has been since 2013 the  the Honorary President and Chairman of that Foundation. He is also vice president of Europa Nostra. He was for a long time chairman of Europa Nostra Germany, as well as deputy chairman of the Association of Castles and Gardens in Germany. Princess Gabriela was a member of the town council for several years.

Today, she is the patron of the Katharina-Kasper-Foundation and the Lichtzeichen association as well as a member of the board of trustees at “Special Olympics Rheinland-Pfalz” and the Christoph Metzelder Foundation. Because of her garden of butterflies she was nominated ambassador of the UN Decade of Biological Diversity. In 2004, just a few years after the death of their daughter Filippa, the prince’s couple founded the Filippas Engel Foundation, which has since then become one of the great european prizes for the extraordinary commitment of young people.

For their respective achievements in the cultural, social or ecological sphere, both Princess Gabriela (in 2016) and Prince Alexander (in 2004) were awarded the Federal Service Cross and the Order of Merit of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The princes have seven children: Prince Heinrich (married to Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta, their children are Ludovico and Eleonora), Princess Alexandra (married to Count Stefano Hunyady, with whom she has two children, Elisabetta and Laszlo. From her first marriage with Prince Carl Eugen zu Oettingen-Wallerstein she has two children, Helena and Johannes), Prince Casimir (he has a son Alexander with his ex-wife, and two sons, Salentin and Georg, with his present wife Alana Camille Bunte), Princess Filippa (married to Vittorio Mazzetti d’Albertis in June 2001. She passed away in an accident at the end of September 2001), Prince Ludwig (married to Philippa Spannocchi. They have a son Vinzenz and a daughter Ladislaja), Princess Sofia (married to Archia Akhavan-Kharazian and have a daughter Filippa) and Prince Christian Peter.

Hereditary Prince Heinrich

Prince Heinrich, eldest son of Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, is since 2003 married to Donna Priscilla, daughter of Marchese Nicolo and Marchesa Giulia Incisa della Rocchetta of Bolgheri in Tuscany, where the famous Sassicaia wine is made.

Prince Heinrich and Princess Priscilla on 21. June 2003 in Bolgheri

She studied art history at UCL, London (BA and MA). Her great-grandmother Princess Antoinette Chigi Albani della Rovere was the daughter of Ludwig and Leonilla zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. The couple lives with their two children Ludovico and Eleonora in Milan, where Prince Heinrich runs a small financial firm. His sister Filippa had introduced the couple shortly before her death in 2001.

Princess Alexandra

Princess Alexandra married Count Etienne Henri (Stefano) Hunyady de Kéthely on 9. July 2005 in Castagneto Carducci (civil) and on 7. October 2006 in the chapel of Sayn Palace (religious ceremony). Count Stefano, a renowned photographer, is a first cousin of Princess Priscilla. His latest book “Luxury Houses Tuscany” appeared in March 2007 at teNeues Publishers.

Count Stefano Hunyady de Kéthely and Princess Alexandra

On March 30, 2007 a daughter Elisabetta was born, followed by a son Laszlo on 1. February 2009. The couple resides on the family estate in Bolgheri, Tuscany. The children Helena and Johannes came from Princess Alexandra´s first marriage to Hereditary Prince Carl Eugen zu Oettingen-Wallerstein.

Prince Casimir

Prince Casimir (1976), the second son of the serene family, co-owns a financial institution that develops and manages agricultural projects in North and South America. His wife Alana Camille Bunte (1990) was born in the United States as the daughter of an American father and a mother from Colombia. She studied art and design at the University of the Arts in London, Central Saint Martins. For several years she has been working as a top model for fashion brands and magazines all over the world. A son Johann Friedrich Salentin was born in Koblenz on 27 April 2020, followed by a second son Georg Ludwig Stanislaus on 7 April 2023.

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Prince Casimir and Alana Bunte

A son, Alexander Kyril, who resides in the UK, exists from a previous civil partnership.

Prince Alexander at the wedding of his aunt Sofia

Princess Filippa

Princess Filippa was born on 23.7.1980 in Koblenz. She attended Primary School in Sayn and passed her Abitur 1999 at the Schönstätter Marienschule in Vallendar. Following school she studied for two years communication, photography and Italian at the Academy of Arts “Lorenzo di Medici“ in Florence. Her hobbies were photography, art, languages and the Italian kitchen. She loved the nature and had pleasure in scuba-diving, hunting and fishing.

Princess Filippa and Count Vittorio Mazzetti d’Albertis
on the terrace of  Sayn Palace

On June 10th 2001 Princess Filippa married at Sayn Abbey Count Vittorio Mazzetti d’Albertis, born August 24th 1965. His family lives in Tuscany and Rome. Count Vittorio, dottore in agricultural management, works for a Florentine winehouse. Straight after their honeymoon Princess Filippa started work with the renowned Italian photographer Roberto Sisini. Her first foreign assignment took her to Cornwall in south-west England. On Sunday, September 30th, returning to London a tragic accident occurred near the south-western English city of Bristol, at which the team’s campervan, for unknown reasons, was involved in a collision with council trucks unloading equipment on the hard shoulder of the M5. Both, Princess Filippa and Roberto Sisini, died instantly, whilst the driver and the two other occupants survived. On October 7th 2001 Princess Filippa was buried in Montegemoli, Province Pisa, Italy. Notes from Filippa’s diary have been published by DBV – Don Bosco Verlag, Munich.

Vittorio and Filippa

Prince Ludwig (Louis)

On 20. May 2011 Prince Ludwig (Louis) zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn married Countess Philippa Spannocchi from Sprinzenstein in Upper Austria in a civil ceremony in Sayn Palace. Philippa is a daughter of Count Hieronymus and Countess Verena Spannocchi, born Countess von Schönborn-Buchheim.

The wedding of Prince Louis and Countess Philippa in the sommer of 2011

The church ceremony followed on 20. August 2011 and was celebrated at the bride’s home, Sprinzenstein Castle. Prince Ludwig works in Vienna as a renowned hunting outfitter. Princess Philippa studied culture and business in Passau. Their first son was born on 20. November 2012 in Salzburg and baptized on 16. March 2013 in Sayn in the name Vinzenz Alexander Hieronymus Felix Maria. A daughter Maria Ladislaja Verena Gabriela Antonia followed on 13. February 2015.

Prince Louis and Princess Philippa with Prince Vinzenz Alexander
on the day of his baptism in Sayn

Princess Sofia

Before and after graduating in Arts (BA) at Goldsmith College, London University, Princess Sofia collected business experience in a number of well known galleries and museums in Germany and the US. Today she works as Senior Specialist and Director with the Design Department at the auction house Phillips in London. On August 8, 2020, Sofia marries her longtime friend Archia Akhavan-Kharazian in St. Lorenz near Mondsee/Austria. Their daughter Filippa was born in September 2021. Archie, who holds a master’s degree in Political Economy from King’s College London, currently works at a data analytics startup in the English capital. Archie was born in London to an Iranian father and a Spanish mother.

Princess Sofia and her husband Archia Akhavan-Kharazian


Prince Peter

At the beginning of 2011, Prince Peter graduated from high school in the Aloisius College in Bonn. In a gap year he completed various internships and language courses in South America, India and China before starting his studies in business administration at IE Univerity, Segovia and Madrid in autumn 2012. After successfully completing (B.A.) in 2015, Peter worked in Asset Management and Retail in London. He has been back in Asia since the end of 2016, where he is working on building the restaurant chain „Schmatz“ with German food and beer in Tokyo and expanding it into Asia. Peter covers a wide range of topics from partnerships to real estate.

Prince Peter in Varanasi, India