His Serene Highness Dr Donatus, Prince of Hohenzollern is a specialist author in the fields of epistemology, and historical and systematic theology. His books and articles have been published mostly under the nom de plume Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen, including his discussion of the relationship between knowledge and belief as “Coordinate Magisteria” (2008, with an introduction by his mentor, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the Archbishop of Cologne); Amazon, and “Hitler and the Enlightenment, The Absence of Religion as the Causal Factor in the Success of National Socialism”, Amazon.

The latest analysis he wrote for the Royal College of Music in London: “The Formation of the Invisible – On the Secret of Music in Terms of Epistemology” (2017, Amazon / the English-language version was published privately and is available from the publishing house in Frankfurt, His works have been translated into English. A collection of his articles has been published by De Gruyter.

The Prince, who has dual British-German citizenship, was married to the businesswoman Dr Viola Hallman, née Flachmeier, the heiress and Chairwoman of the Theis steel business. Together, the couple lived in Aldenghoor Castle in the Netherlands, Killochan Castle in Scotland (
(, and on their properties in Singapur, New Zealand and England. Her Serene Highness Viola, Princess von Hohenzollern did not survive the corporate insolvency triggered by the steel crisis of 2008. Instead of honouring the 100-year tradition of the company with a study on its history as a centenary festschrift, her husband had to deliver the eulogy at her funeral. He used this minor literary form to portray the life of the woman the media liked to call the “Steel Princess”. The eulogy has been archived at the British Library in London and published seven years later.

The Prince of Hohenzollern renounced his inheritance rights in numerous countries in favour of his deceased wife’s daughter from her first marriage, Olivia Hallman, who was working as a top model in New York (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar etc.). This renunciation was reported on in the international press (e.g. for Scotland in the Herald of Scotland).

Prince Donatus supports the community and contributes to colleges and musical life in England. He is Ambassador of the elite Purcell School for Young Musicians (, Patron of Arts4Dementia (Arts4Dementia), Vice-President of the Kensington and Chelsea Music Society (, member of the Board of International Governors of The London Philharmonic Orchestra (, Chairman of the Friends of the English Chamber Orchestra (ECO) (English Chamber Orchestra), Patron of the London International Festival of Early Music (LIFEM) (, Founding Patron of the Royal College of Music Prince Consort Orchestra, ‘Creative Benefactor’ of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)(2022), ‘Platinum Sponsor’ of the Tilford Bach Society CIO ( and supporter of the Godalming Conservatoire Concerts in Godalming ( With several scholarships, the Prince is ‘Leadership Supporter’ of the Royal College of Music in London RCM (2017-2023) ( As a member of The Worshipful Company of Musicians HSH is a Freeman of the City of London.


The Prince, born in 1961, first studied Theology and Philosophy at the Sankt Georgen Jesuit University and then Catholic Theology, Modern History, and Clerical, Theological and Legal History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. His academic teachers were the church historian Klaus Wittstadt (1936-2003), the legal historian and founder of the research into the Oberhof courts, Adalbert Erler (1904-1992), and the theologian and Melanchthon Prize winner, Siegfried Wiedenhofer (1941-2016), who was a student and academic assistant of Pope Benedict XVI.
After gaining his Magister title in Theology and Jurisprudence (1986), Prince Donatus completed his studies by gaining a Dr. phil. in Theology with highest distinction (summa cum laude) and university award (1990, full text Part1 and Part2, reviews: Literaturmarkt here, Theologische Revue here, Forschungen zur Brandenburgischen und Preußischen Geschichte here, Jahrbuch des Kölnischen Geschichtsvereins here).
The publication was supported by the universities in Frankfurt a.M. and Münster i.W., the cities of Bonn and Münster, the Archdiocese of Cologne, the Diocese of Würzburg and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The Prince is a member of the German Association of Historians (Verband der Historiker Deutschlands).

Career as a Publisher

As a postgraduate student in 1987, Donatus von Hohenzollern already set up a publishing house: the Verlag der Deutschen Hochschulschriften DHS (German Academic Studies) published several thousand dissertations and habilitation theses within its first few years. This academic publishing house then gave rise to numerous other companies, including the book publishers Fouqué Publishers Inc. on the Fifth Avenue in New York, The London House of Literature Limited in London, and the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe Holding Aktiengesellschaft with subsidiaries, branches or representatives in Frankfurt a.M., Munich, London and New York.

The first Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe AG was, until her death in 2010 at the age of 103, the prize-winning author (Ilse Pohl). The Prince took the letters and diaries left by his dear friend and offered them to the State Archive in Darmstadt as a literary estate. The archive classified the estate as an “important inventory” and accepted the gift (with the Prince’s introduction “Creating literature in the face of one’s own death”).
Her successor on the Supervisory Board was the author Barbara von Braun-Lacoste (Ludwig II., Ein Leben zwischen Krone und Dornen", Briefroman, u.a. [Ludwig II., A Life Between Crown and Thorns], an epistolary novel), who fled a German prison camp as a child, together with a French PoW, and later wrote a moving book about her experiences: (Das Windhaus).
The most recent Chairman of the Supervisory Board was the British writer Michael Lord Montagu Douglas Scott (Michael Montagu's Memoirs).
As Chairman of the Board of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe publishers, Donatus von Hohenzollern oversaw some 5,000 book and media publications before he retired to lead a private life in 2003. The Frankfurter Verlagshaus has archived and exhibited the letters and manuscripts of the authors he corresponded with, including Michael Ende, Martin Walser, Uwe Johnson and Max Frisch.

Patronages and Civic Engagement

In 1999, Hohenzollern set up the Frankfurter Cornelia Goethe Academy in the Frankfurter Großen Hirschgraben (next to the Goethe Haus) with the first distance learning course, “Literary Writing” in German language. The course gained statutory certification and was the first training course in literary writing to be recognised as vocational training by the German Federal Employment Agency. It was taken by over 1,000 authors ( The Academy’s guidelines were drafted with a particular focus on shupporting blind and visually impaired writers.
On its Board of Trustees, the Cornelia Goethe Academy brings together leading representatives from business, science, art and culture. Donatus von Hohenzollern is President of the Board of Trustees (see

In the same street as the Goethe House and the Cornelia Goethe Academy, the Prince also founded the Frankfurt Goethe Society (Brentano-Gesellschaft Frankfurt/M. mbH), which publishes a new volume of the “Frankfurter Bibliothek” (“Frankfurt Library”) every year as a Year Book of new poetry — the largest collection poetry in the history of the German book trade, with 60,000 poems from contemporary poets (

As a retired publisher, His Serene Highness continues to work for the benefit of novice writers. In a position paper in 2007, he formulated a statement on the discrimination committed by the associations and unions of established authors seeking to obstruct the possible success of new, upcoming authors.

Prince Donatus is involved with the following charities in the United Kingdom.

The Purcell School for Young Musicians in Watford (Ambassador),

Arts4Dementia (Patron)

The London International Festival of Early Music (Patron)

International Hastings Piano Competition: Prince Consort Orchestra (Patron)

English Chamber Orchestra (Chairman of the Friends of the ECO)

Kensington and Chelsea Music Society (Vice-President)

London Philharmonic Orchestra (Member of the Board of International Governors)

Royal College of Music in London ('Principal Supporter')

Tilford Bach Society ('Major Supporter')

Conservatoire Concerts Godalming (Supporter)