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Interview with The Local
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt: 'I'll give up Hollywood and mingle with the people'
Photo: DPA

Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt: 'I'll give up Hollywood and mingle with the people'

Published: 04 Feb 2010 14:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2010 14:12 GMT+01:00

Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, flamboyant German-born LA socialite and husband to actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, last week announced his intention to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California. The Local caught up with His Royal Highness.

The 66-year-old prince, who acquired his title through adoption by Princess Marie-Auguste von Anhalt in 1980, is calling his virgin political campaign “Return to the Good Life.” His platform promises Californians a “sin tax” for the legalisation of marijuana and prostitution, the opening of the Mexican border, lower vehicle registration fees, legalisation of gay marriage, and an end to the Cuban cigar ban.

Why should Californians vote for you?

Why should they vote for anybody? They voted for Arnold. The only difference between me and Arnold is the money. He is filthy rich, and I don’t have that much, but I have lots of rich people behind me. I think I have more political knowledge than Arnold. He has the lowest ratings of any governor in California. He didn’t keep many of his promises.

What are your biggest issues in your ‘Return to the Good Life’ campaign as a liberal independent?

The whole thing started when I got my department of motor vehicle bill and it was €700 for 2010. That’s when I said to myself, ‘I have to jump into politics.’ I want to legalise all the Mexicans and other illegal workers so that the state can tax and insure them. That’s revenue for the state. It’s a messy thing here and it has to stop immediately. I want to overthrow Proposition 8 (forbidding gay marriage) so homosexuals can finally have peace. Though I believe in marriage between a man and a woman, we have a constitution that gives equal rights for everyone. I also want to legalise marijuana. There is already a big industry and it would be huge income for the state – it’s unstoppable, so they should legalise and cash in on it.

Do you smoke marijuana yourself?

No, I smoke Cuban cigars.

You were recently seen out and about with your wife of 23 years, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who prefers to stay out of the public eye – is she ready to become California’s first lady?

My wife is in a wheelchair after having an accident, so she likes to stay home. But she likes the idea. For me she was always the first lady, and if I get elected she gets the title officially.

Do you think Americans are prepared to be governed by royalty?

Why not? It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a name. After 1918 in Germany royalty didn’t exist any longer.

But you enjoy taking on the role of aristocracy?

Of course I do. It’s a colourful picture, but that’s all. There’s nothing behind it.

Some say you bought your title in 1980, is that true?

That’s just all the jealous people talking. I was adopted by Princess Marie-Auguste von Anhalt, daughter-in-law of the last emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II. I was a family friend and played soccer with her son for a long time. But then he died in an accident. The princess was alone, and said she would adopt me.

Do you have dual citizenship?

Yes. If the German government hadn’t allowed me to keep my citizenship there I never would have become a US citizen, because I didn’t want to lose that.

What do you miss most about Germany?

I miss the countryside and the culture. I miss the four seasons, the food, the mountains, and the lakes. I’m a good skier and loved to go skiing in Bavaria.

What was your childhood like when you were still known as Robert Lichtenberg?

I was born in Bad Kreuznach, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. My father was the chief of police in Frankfurt. But my childhood wasn’t very good. There were five children and my grandmother at home and it was after the war – times were hard, there was almost nothing.

What kind of response have you gotten since announcing your candidacy for governor of California?

It’s been a worldwide thing with lots of coverage. I’m already getting donations – even from Europe. People want me to do it. I do crazy stuff sometimes, but they like the idea.

You’ve said that Ronald Reagan inspired you to go into politics. Why is that?

I met him twice in the White House with my wife, and then often in California. For me he’s the best president America has ever had. When I was in the White House I’d only been in America for one month and I was frozen. He cheered me up a little bit, and we talked about Europe and the Berlin Wall. He said I had good political knowledge and should run for office one day.

Do you still maintain that you had a romantic relationship with the late Anna Nicole Smith?

Yes. We talked often on the phone, and once I asked her what she wanted with me. I said, ‘you have a lover, I have no time anyway, and I’m happily married.’ There was a possibility I could have been the father, and that’s when I jumped in. At the end when Larry Birkhead was proven to be the father I was very happy that it wasn’t Howard K. Stern’s because it would be in good hands and not with a criminal.

You mentioned you do crazy things, what is that about?

That’s Hollywood. It’s a crazy place. That’s just how it is. You have to be a little crazy to survive in Hollywood.

Is that the right approach for political survival?

I think it’s a completely different ball game. Arnold never separated that. Going to Sacramento was just a bigger stage for him, and he never changed. But I’m going to change and give up Hollywood - and mingle with the people, not the stars.

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:21 February 4, 2010 by lordwilliams629
This guys a freak, anyone ever hear this dum a..ss talk, this guy sounds every bit as dum as is wife.
17:47 February 4, 2010 by Mr Goodmorning
Even though his title is meaningless in the US and Germany, this guy is a prime example of the utter absurdity of monarchy. That said, I would love to see him elected in California as an example as to how weak that state's almost useless Constitution has become.
18:05 February 4, 2010 by bernie1927
Well, why not! This guy is qualified to be president. He seems as dumb as George W, so there is one qualification. It's really a pity that such a flake is being taken seriously. He is a phony prince. His only accomplishment seems to be that he is married to a bimbo. How dare he compare himself with Arnold. Arnold has a brain! Hello!
18:45 February 4, 2010 by PDXER
He's referred to...deservedly so... in the LA press as Prince Von A**hole***
19:10 February 4, 2010 by Henckel
So much for German princelings. The picture -- which he has used on an election billboard -- makes him look like a German general. Won't that undercut any appeal he might have with voters?
21:26 February 4, 2010 by bernie1927
@Henckel

You are insulting the German army. They look nothing like that.

This uniform is strictly circus or doorman, don't you agree?
08:57 February 5, 2010 by lordkorner
Jesus some of you people are so up tight especially Lordwilliams...the guy is having a laugh,good luck to him...
09:05 February 6, 2010 by ColoSlim
Agreed he is just having some fun. I agree with his statements about Hollywood. However, his liberal statements about legalizing everything is better suited for Nevada. CA is too important to the rest of the USA to be handled by this whimsical wannabe. I bet there are enough crazy people as well as anarchist who would like to see him elected.
15:50 February 6, 2010 by UtahSkiier
He's more qualified than the current President of the United States! Why couldn't he be Governor????
22:54 February 6, 2010 by wenddiver
I could see why he would want to open the border, he dresses like a Mexican General.
15:21 December 30, 2010 by GermanyBert
I was in Bad Kreuznach a few times and never saw this guy.
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