In 1855, Princess Marianne bought Schloss Reinhartshausen. She had left her cheating husband in 1845 and they were officially divorced in 1849. By then, Marianne had started a relationship with Johannes van Rossum, who was her former coachman. Shortly after her divorce, she gave birth to her child by Johannes, a son named Johannes Willem. This caused a major scandal, and she was never allowed back to court. They settled into Schloss Reinhartshausen and the boy was sent away for schooling. During a visit to his parents in 1861, he died of scarlet fever. He was just 12 years old.
Marianne donated money to have a church built in Johannes’s name, and he was buried there. Marianne and the elder Johannes continued to live in Reinhartshausen, exiled from the royal courts of Europe. The elder Johannes died in 1873, followed by Marianne herself in 1883. They had wished to be buried with their son, but this was not allowed as they were not married. Marianne and her lover were buried in the cemetery in Erbach, though only Marianne’s name appears.
Schloss Reinhartshausen passed to Marianne’s eldest son after her death and it remained in his descendants’ hands until 1987 when it was sold to an entrepreneur. For several years, it was a five-star hotel but it is currently a conference centre and as such, it is not open to the public. You can walk around in the gardens, where you can find a statue of Marianne’s father, King William I. Next to the hotel is a winery, where you can buy special Princess Marianne wine, though unfortunately, it was closed when we visited.