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Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen is the cadet branch of the senior Swabian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty (less known however than the Franconian branch which became Burgraves of Nuremberg and later ruled Brandenburg, Prussia and ultimately Germany in the centuries to 1918); the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen ruled over a small principality in southwest Germany. Unlike the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg, the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens and their cousins of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (the seniormost branch of the House of Hohenzollern) remained Catholic.

In 1849, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen were annexed by Prussia. The annexation of their state did not, however, mean the end of the importance of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The last Prince, Karl Anton, served as Minister-President of Prussia from 1858 to 1861. Karl Anton's second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen became prince (1866-1881) and then king (1881-1914) of Romania, and the house remained on the throne until the end of the monarchy in 1947. French opposition to the candidacy of Carol's elder brother Prince Leopold for the throne of Spain triggered the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), which led to the founding (January 1871) of the German Empire.

Counts of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 1576-1623

Princes (Fürsten) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 1623-1849 Princes (Fürsten) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern after the annexation of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Princes of Romania, 1866-1881 Kings of Romania, 1881-1947 (Princes to 1881)

See also: Sigmaringen