Prince-Elector of Saxony
Kurfürst von Sachsen
Blason Jean-Georges IV de Saxe
Coat of Arms of the House Wettin
Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Porträt des Kurfürsten Johann Friedrich des Großmütigen von Sachsen (Statens Museum for Kunst)
John Frederick
since 1532

Style: His Serene Higness
Heir apparent: John Frederick
First monarch: Rudolf I
Formation: 10 January 1356
Residence: Wettin Castle
  • Prince-Elector of Saxony
  • Duke of Anhalt
  • Margrave of Meissen
  • Landgrave of Thuringia
  • Archmarshal of the Holy Roman Empire
Reigning house: Wettin

The Prince-Elector of Saxony (GermanKurfürst von Sachsen) is the hereditary head of state and head of government of the Electorate of Saxony.

Title and Style

The official title of the current Prince-Elector of Saxony is:

His Serene Highness, John Frederick von Wettin, Prince-Elector of Saxony, Duke of Anhalt, Margrave of Meissen, Langrave of Hesse, Landgrave of Thuringia, Protector of Brunswick-Göttingen, and Archmarshal of the Holy Roman Empire

His formal style is "His Serene Higness," while his form of personal address is "Your Highness." The use of the formal style is uncommon in the court of John Frederick but his personal style is mandated by law.


The Golden Bull of 1356 established the Electorate of Saxony, from the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg. The Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg were all from the House of Ascania, and they were the ones given electoral dignity in 1356 (specifically Rudolf I).

The electoral Ascanian line went extinct in 1422. Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund bestowed the electoral dignity upon the margrave of Meissen and landgrave of Thuringia, Frederick I. This created some conflict with the Anhalt branch of the Ascanian line, but that line would also go extinct and be granted to Saxony under Frederick III.

After the death of Frederick II in 1464, a conflict arose between his two sons, Ernest and Albert. Ernest, the elder, had the de jure claim to the electorate but, to avoid a pending conflict, ceded half of his territories to his younger brother in the Treaty of Leipzig. This rift was closed when Frederick III reclaimed the Albertine lands from Albert's son, George, in 1517.


Prince-Electors of Saxony
Ascanian Dynasty
# Image Name Began Ended Notes
1 Rudolf-I-von-Sachsen Rudolf I 1356 1356 Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg from 1298
2 Rudolf-II-von-Sachsen Rudolf II 1356 1370 Son of Rudolf I
3 WenzelISachsenWittenberg Wenceslaus 1370 1388 Brother of Rudolf II
4 RudolfIIISachsenWittenberg Rudolf III 1388 1419 Son of Wenceslaus
5 AlbrechtIIISachsenWittenberg Albert 1419 1422 Brother of Rudolf III
Wettin Dynasty
# Image Name Began Ended Notes
6 Saxonia Museum fuer saechsische Vaterlandskunde III 10 Frederick I 1423 1428 "the Warlike"
7 Saxonia Museum für saechsische Vaterlandskunde I 23 Frederick II 1428 1464 "the Gentle;" son of Frederick I
8 Saxonia Museum für saechsische Vaterlandskunde I 55 Ernest 1464 1486 Son of Frederick II
9 Frederick III, by Lucas Cranach Frederick III 1486 1526

"the Wise;" son of Ernest

Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick IV from 1520-1526

10 Lucas Cranach the Elder - Portrait of Johann the Steadfast 1509 John 1526 1532

"the Steadfast;" brother of Frederick III

Holy Roman Emperor from 1526-1532

11 Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Porträt des Kurfürsten Johann Friedrich des Großmütigen von Sachsen (Statens Museum for Kunst) John Frederick 1532 Present

Son of John

Duke of Hesse from 1527

12 Ernest II Heir; son of John Frederick