Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland (1840–1901)

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Victoria, Prussian Crown Princess, 1867, painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Coat of arms of Victoria, the Princess Royal

Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland VA , from 1888 Empress Friedrich (born November 21, 1840 in Buckingham Palace , London , †  August 5, 1901 in Schloss Friedrichshof , Kronberg im Taunus ), was the first child of Albert von Sachsen -Coburg and Gotha and Queen Victoria of Great Britain a British princess from the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha . As the wife of Frederick III. she was Queen of Prussia and German Empress .

The British Princess Royal was raised in a politically liberal attitude by her father and carefully prepared for the role of a Prussian princess after her engagement. Similar to her husband Friedrich III. Victoria was of the opinion that Prussia or the German Empire must develop into a constitutional monarchy based on the British model. This political attitude and her British ancestry isolated her for a long time at the Prussian court , where Otto von Bismarck was one of her staunch political opponents. Friedrich III. and Victoria ultimately only had the opportunity to influence the politics of the German Empire for a few weeks: Friedrich III. died of throat cancer in 1888, just 99 days after his accession to the throne . He was succeeded by their son Wilhelm II on the German imperial throne, who represented a much more conservative policy than his parents. Victoria took the name Kaiserin Friedrich after the death of her husband . She spent the last decade of her life far from the Prussian court in Kronberg im Taunus.

The correspondence between Victoria and her parents has been preserved almost completely: 3777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter and around 4000 letters from the daughter to her mother have been preserved and cataloged. These give a detailed insight into the way of life at the Prussian court between 1858 and 1900.

Princess Royal


Victoria as a toddler, 1842 (painting by Winterhalter)

Princess Victoria was the first child of Britain's Queen Victoria and her German husband Albert . Both were determined to give their first daughter Victoria and the children who followed them the fullest possible upbringing. Queen Victoria herself, who succeeded her uncle William IV on the British throne at the age of 18 , had not been adequately prepared for her task. Prince Albert, the second son of Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , whose duchy covered almost 2,000 square kilometers and 140,000 inhabitants, had received a far more extensive education , not least thanks to his uncle King Leopold of Belgium .

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the five oldest children - Princess Victoria is on the right edge of the picture. Painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1846

Prince Albert set out in a detailed memorandum signed by Queen Victoria the duties and responsibilities of all persons involved in any way with the upbringing of the royal children. A year and a half later, this memorandum was followed by another 48-page memorandum in which Baron Christian Friedrich von Stockmar , the confidante of the royal couple, wrote down in detail the educational principles for the royal children. Both parents, however, had little knowledge of the normal course of child development. Queen Victoria, for example, thought it was poorly educated when her one-year-old daughter was still sucking on bracelets. In the opinion of Hanna Pakula, the biographer of Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha, the first two tutors of Princess Victoria in particular were very lucky. The widowed Lady Littleton , who was experienced in dealing with children, headed the nursery from Princess Victoria's second year, in which the children of the royal couple each spent their first years of life. She was diplomatically skilled enough to mitigate the sometimes unrealistic demands that parents placed on their children. Princess Victoria's second governess Sarah Anne Hildyard was a dedicated and skilled teacher who developed a close relationship with her student. From the age of 18 months, Victoria was taught French by Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and also in German before she was four . For the six-year-old princess, lessons in subjects such as arithmetic, geography and history, which were only interrupted by three hours of play, began at 8:20 in the morning and ended at 6:00 in the evening. In contrast to her brother Edward , who as heir to the throne was subject to an even more rigorous educational program, the precocious Victoria was extremely eager to learn, but also quick-tempered and stubborn.

Both Albert von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha and Queen Victoria wanted to keep their children away from court life for as long as possible. That is why the couple bought Osborne House on the Isle of Wight , which was converted into a Neapolitan villa based on Prince Albert's designs . On the large site, Prince Albert had a Swiss chalet built for the children some distance from the main house , which included a small kitchen and a carpenter's workshop. The children should learn practical skills there. Prince Albert played a large and direct role in the upbringing of his children: he took a large part in their teaching progress, sometimes also taught them himself and spent a lot of time with his children to play with them.

The first meeting between Princess Victoria and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm

Victoria and her sister Alice in Osborne, 1855

The Prussian heir to the throne, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, and his wife, Princess Augusta , were among the members of European royal houses with whom Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were friends. Queen Victoria had been in constant correspondence with the politically liberal Princess Augusta since 1846. Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, who, in contrast to his wife, was more firmly attached to Prussian conservatism, found asylum at the British court for three months during the revolutionary year of 1848 . When the first world exhibition took place in London in 1851 , Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and Princess Augusta and their two children were therefore among the guests invited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This visit was also the first time that Princess Victoria and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm met. Despite the large age difference - Princess Victoria was eleven at the time of the visit, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was 19 - the two got along well. The young princess had been given the task of showing the prince through the exhibition - she answered his hesitant English in fluent German. Years later, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm emphasized how much he was impressed by the mixture of childishness, intellectual curiosity and natural dignity that she had shown during the tour. In Prince Albert, the presumptive heir to the throne found an interlocutor who shared and strengthened his liberal political views. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, who spent a total of four weeks in England, was also impressed by the way the British royal family interacted. Unlike his parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were very fond of each other and led a family life that was far removed from the severity and formality of the Prussian court. After the prince returned to Germany, Princess Victoria and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm began to write to each other regularly. In a letter to her uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium, Queen Victoria expressed the hope that this encounter would lead to a closer bond in the medium term.

The engagement to Prince Friedrich Wilhelm

Four years after the London World's Fair, Prince Frederick William traveled to Scotland to visit the British royal family in their Balmoral Castle and to clarify whether Princess Victoria would be a suitable spouse for him. Like Princess Victoria, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was unusually well educated. As the first Prussian heir to the throne, he had studied and heard lectures by Ernst Moritz Arndt and Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann , among others . In keeping with the tradition of the Prussian royal family, he has been working in the Prussian army since graduating . His trip to Great Britain not only found support in Prussian court circles, on the contrary, many at court considered a marital relationship with the Russian Tsarist house to be politically more desirable. King Friedrich Wilhelm IV was reluctant to give his consent to a possible marriage between his nephew and the British princess and initially kept his consent secret from his own Anglophobic wife.

Princess Victoria in 1857, painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha was almost 15 years old at the time of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm's second visit. Although she was taller than her mother, with a length of 157 centimeters she was still relatively short and hardly corresponded to the ideal of beauty of her time. Queen Victoria was therefore concerned that Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, who is considered stately, would not find Princess Victoria sufficiently attractive. Even during the first dinner together, however, it was clear to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert that the two still liked each other, and on the third day of his stay, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm asked them for permission to hold their daughter's hand to be allowed. The consent of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was tied to the condition, among other things, that the wedding should not take place before Victoria was 17 years old.

The engagement between Princess Victoria and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, which was only announced on May 17, 1856, met with a lot of criticism from the British public: This still weighed on Prussia for its neutral stance during the Crimean War . In an article criticizing the British newspaper Times , the House of Hohenzollern as a paltry dynasty that pursuing a fickle and untrustworthy foreign policy and their survival is dependent on Russia. The article also criticized the fact that the Prussian royal family had not kept the assurances they had given the people during the revolution in 1848. In Germany, the response to the engagement was more divided. Liberal circles welcomed the connection with the British royal family, while most members of the Prussian royal house and the politically conservative circles rejected the planned connection.

Preparing for the role of a Prussian princess

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was one of the liberals of the pre-March period and was a supporter of the so-called Coburg Plan . During the involuntary stay of the Prussian heir to the throne, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, in London in 1848, Prince Albert tried to convince him of his vision of a Germany united under the rule of a liberal Prussia. According to Prince Albert, this goal could only be achieved if Prussia, like the United Kingdom, developed into a constitutional monarchy . Prince Albert used the almost two years between engagement and wedding to educate his daughter in this regard. He taught her personally in politics and modern European history and had his daughter write essays about events in Prussia. In his political instructions, however, Prince Albert overestimated the strength of the liberal movement in Prussia, whose supporters were essentially limited to a small middle class and few intellectuals compared to Great Britain. However, it became increasingly clear to all those involved what a difficult role the young Princess Victoria would have to play at the Prussian court, which was largely critical of Great Britain. Feodora zu Leiningen , the German half-sister of Queen Victoria, described the Prussian court in a letter to the royal couple as a hotbed of envy, jealousy, intrigue and malicious rascals.

Albert von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha carefully prepared his daughter for her future responsibilities.

The British Parliament approved Queen Victoria to pay her daughter £ 40,000 as a dowry (£ 4,131,487 in today's purchasing power) and set the princess's annual allowance at £ 8,000. King Friedrich Wilhelm IV granted his nephew an annual income of 9,000 thalers. The prince's income was thus insufficient to cover the costs of a household in keeping with his class, and Princess Victoria would have to bear part of the household costs from her property in the future. The young couple's future court was chosen by the Prussian queen and the future mother-in-law, Princess Auguste . The two women mostly opted for people who had already been in court service for a long time and were therefore significantly older than the princely couple. Prince Albert's request to grant his daughter at least two British ladies-in-waiting was not granted. As a compromise, Countess Walburga von Hohenthal and Marie zu Lynar were elected two ladies-in-waiting who at least corresponded to Princess Victoria in terms of age. After all, Prince Albert Ernst von Stockmar , the son of his long-time advisor Christian Friedrich von Stockmar , was able to assert himself as the princess' personal secretary. Prince Albert, who was convinced that the Prussian court would see the marriage of a British princess as an enrichment and honor, also insisted that Princess Victoria retain the title of Princess Royal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland . At the Prussian court, which was predominantly anti-British and pro-Russian, this step only caused anger.

The wedding location gave rise to further differences of opinion. For the Prussian royal family, it was a matter of course that a prince, who was second in line to the throne, married in Berlin. Ultimately, however, Queen Victoria prevailed, as the ruling monarch claimed to have married her eldest daughter in her country. The couple finally entered the altar in the chapel of St James's Palace in London on January 25, 1858 .

Prussian princess

The first years of marriage in Berlin

When Victoria moved from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Berlin, extensive correspondence began between her and her parents. She exchanged letters with her father every week, often containing comments on political events. Her mother expected detailed reports on everything that happened in her daughter's life every day. The majority of these letters, which were mostly delivered by private couriers, have been preserved and represent a detailed document of life at the Prussian court. The letters also show that Queen Victoria first tried to control every detail in her daughter's life, and that she demanded of her to be loyal to her birthplace and her new homeland at the same time - a requirement that the princess tried to meet, but inevitably failed to meet. Even relatively minor events confronted the princess with insoluble conflicts. The death of a distant relative of both royal families, for example, was mourned for a month at the British court, but only for a week at the Prussian court. Princess Victoria kept to the usual mourning period at the Prussian court, for which Queen Victoria sharply rebuked her and pointed out that she was obliged both as her daughter and as Princess Royal to observe the usual mourning period at the British court. Baron Stockmar became increasingly concerned about the impact of Queen Victoria's ongoing allegations on Princess Victoria's mental equilibrium. Ultimately, through Prince Albert, he achieved that Queen Victoria was somewhat more moderate in her demands on her daughter. The rejection that Princess Victoria received from the pro-Russian parliamentary group at the Prussian court, however, could not mitigate Baron Stockmar.

The New Palais, the summer residence in Potsdam

“I wish you had heard everything my relatives said when they visited me. I wish you had stood behind a screen and had heard their meaningless remarks and saw how they react to everything I do or wear with rolling eyes and shrugging ... "

wrote Princess Victoria to her mother. The seventeen year old had extensive representative tasks to perform. Almost every evening she was required to appear at formal dinners, visits to the theater, and subsequent receptions. If members of other European royal houses, such as the closely related Romanovs , were guests in Berlin or Potsdam, the princess's representative duties expanded. Sometimes she had to greet guests of the royal family at the train station at 7 a.m. and be present at receptions at midnight. The young couple's place of residence was initially the old wing of the Berlin City Palace, which was in a poor state of construction and did not even have a bathtub. In November 1858 the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin became her city and the New Palace in Potsdam her summer residence.

The Kronprinzenpalais - the new home of the Princess Royal

On January 27, 1859, a good year after the wedding, the first son of the royal couple was born. The hesitant action of the attending court physicians, who did not dare to give the gynecological examination of the princess, who was dressed in a flannel skirt, the breech position of the child, as well as the delayed briefing of the birth specialist due to the thoughtlessness of a servant, ensured a dramatic and protracted birth process, during which the survival of Mother and child seemed questionable at times. The toddler's left arm should prove to be stunted - pulling too hard on the left arm damaged the nerve plexus that innervates the left arm (arm plexus paralysis ), and thus permanent innervation damage to the muscles of the left arm. It lagged so far in its later growth that it remained about six inches shorter than the right arm. It is also very likely that the future Kaiser Wilhelm II was undersupplied with oxygen for a period of eight to ten minutes during birth and suffered from the neurobiological consequences. The attending physicians had initially promised that the injured arm would improve quickly, so that the prince couple refrained from informing the young prince's British grandparents about his disability during the first four months. However, it became increasingly clear that the damage to the left arm was permanent. The birth of the second child - Charlotte - on July 24, 1860, however, was much less complicated.

Crown Princess Victoria

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV died on January 2, 1861. His successor was his brother Wilhelm I. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was thus Prussian Crown Prince. The position of the Crown Prince couple was by no means any easier: Wilhelm I refused to increase his son's income, so that Crown Princess Victoria had to contribute to the housekeeping from her British dowry. In a letter to Princess Victoria's secretary Baron Stockmar, her father Prince Albert commented:

Prince Albert's grieving children. Crown Princess Victoria is on the right edge of the picture. Photo by W. & D. Downey , 1862
Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm with his eldest son Wilhelm at Balmoral Castle , 1863

“It is obvious to me that a certain person is against financial independence for the princess ... She does not receive a penny from Prussia, which is already shabby enough, and has to bring in her dowry, which she is not obliged to do. If something is denied to the poor Crown Prince because he has a "rich wife", then it is only aimed at her impoverishment. "

Members of the Prussian court were now also expected to first obtain the king's permission before going abroad - according to court gossip, a measure to prevent the Crown Princess from traveling too often to the more politically liberal United Kingdom. A long letter in which Prince Albert admonished Wilhelm I, without being asked, to be faithful to the Prussian constitution and thus to be a role model for the other German states, only caused anger among Wilhelm I and at the same time turned it against the Crown Prince couple, of whom he knew that it shared Prince Albert's political views.

Prince Albert died of typhus on December 14, 1861, at the age of 42. The first major crisis during the reign of Wilhelm I therefore hit the Crown Prince couple in a phase in which both were still grieving intensely for their father and father-in-law: In the so-called Prussian constitutional conflict, the House of Representatives refused to give King Wilhelm I funds to reorganize the the Prussian Army and the Landwehr considered urgently necessary. Wilhelm I therefore dissolved the House of Representatives on March 11, 1862 and also considered his abdication. Crown Princess Victoria urged her husband to accept his father's offer of abdication:

“When the king sees that he cannot take the necessary steps to restore order and trust in the country without acting against his conscience, I find it wise and honest to leave it to others who can take on these duties without their conscience to charge. I see no way out and I think you have to make this sacrifice to the country ... "

Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, on the other hand, tried to persuade his father to give in to the House of Representatives - a monarch who abdicated because of a parliamentary decision would set a previously unique precedent and make the rule of the subsequent monarchs much more difficult. His refusal to accept his father's abdication in his favor also reflected his understanding of having to fulfill his duties as a son and member of the House of Hohenzollern. On September 22nd, Wilhelm I appointed Otto von Bismarck as the new Prime Minister. Bismarck was ready to take office without having a majority in the Reichstag or an approved budget, which, from Wilhelm I's point of view, represented the best solution in this crisis situation. The appointment of the East Elbe Junker, known to be arch-conservative , met with rejection from Queen Augusta and the Crown Prince couple. Otto von Bismarck was to hold the office of Prime Minister for the next few decades and contributed significantly to the political isolation of the Crown Prince couple.

Increasing political isolation of the Crown Prince couple

In the weeks and months after Bismarck's appointment as Prussian Prime Minister, every event and every act made the Crown Prince couple a target of criticism.

Alexandra of Denmark - Crown Princess Victoria was accused of being instrumental in her marriage to the Prince of Wales , painting by Winterhalter

When it set out on a trip to Italy at the beginning of October 1862, using, among other things, Queen Victoria's yacht, liberal circles saw themselves abandoned by the Crown Prince couple in the still smoldering Prussian constitutional conflict, while conservatives criticized the two for the fact that the two were during a serious political crisis in the Mediterranean stayed on a British ship escorted by the Royal Navy .
The planned marriage between Princess Victoria's eldest brother Edward and Princess Alexandra of Denmark , daughter of the Danish King Christian IX. , also weakened Princess Victoria's position at the Prussian court and in the public image considerably. She was accused of promoting an alliance between Denmark and Great Britain with this connection, which was not in Prussian interests. The open conflict between Wilhelm I and the crown prince couple came about because of Bismarck's press order on June 1, 1863, which authorized the administrative authorities to forbid the publication of newspapers and magazines because of the “general view of the paper”. During a trip to Danzig, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm publicly criticized these far-reaching restrictions on the freedom of the press with few and very reserved words. The reaction to this was violent: King Wilhelm I accused his son of disobedience and threatened to release him from his functions within the Prussian army and expel him from the Privy Council . The reactionary younger brother of Wilhelm I, Prince Carl of Prussia , and General Manteuffel even spoke out in favor of bringing the Crown Prince to court martial. Many suspected the Crown Princess as the motivation for the behavior of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm.

In Great Britain the behavior of the Crown Prince couple met with approval. The Times highlighted in an article the role of the Crown Princess in supporting the Crown Prince, and went on to say:

"It is not easy to imagine a more difficult role than that of the Crown Prince couple, who, without a single adviser, stand between a stubborn monarch, a wanton cabinet and an indignant population."

The Times alluded to an exchange of letters between the Crown Prince and the Prussian king in which the latter had taken a different political line than his father. It was unclear through whom the information about the differences of opinion between father and son had reached the press. Crown Princess Victoria was suspected and in a letter to her mother she wrote that there had been a real inquisition at the Prussian court about it. Under the pressure of the suspicions, Ernst von Stockmar gave up his office as private secretary to the Crown Princess.

The German-Danish War in 1864

Otto von Bismarck's long-term goal was to end the German Confederation and to curtail Austria's influence in Germany in favor of Prussia. The first armed conflict on the way there was the German-Danish War for Schleswig and Holstein in 1864, in which Austria, however, was still an alliance partner on Prussia's side. In the Treaty of Vienna , which ended this conflict on October 30, 1864, Denmark had to cede the two duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to Austria and Prussia. The peace treaty, which provided for a joint Prussian and Austrian administration for the conquered duchies, contained sufficient material for conflict for more far-reaching disputes with Austria.

Crown Princess Victoria, around 1875, painting by Heinrich von Angeli .

Great Britain had not been prepared to enter into a military conflict with Austria and Prussia on behalf of Denmark, but had always represented the position of this small country diplomatically. While Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm served at the front under Field Marshal von Wrangel , distinguished herself in the storming of the Düppeler Schanzen and finally received supreme command of the Second Army Corps, Crown Princess Victoria was suspected of being unhappy with the Prussian successes. To her husband at the front, she wrote that she had hoped that the people's admiration for his military successes would spread to her and that they would stop regretting that she was the Crown Princess:

“You criticize me here for being too English and at home for being too Prussian. It seems that I can't do anything right. "

As a young girl, Crown Princess Victoria had met Florence Nightingale , who had significantly improved the medical care of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Now pregnant for the fourth time, she now also began to get involved in better medical care for wounded soldiers. On the occasion of Wilhelm I's birthday, the Crown Prince couple set up an aid fund for the families of fallen or seriously injured soldiers.

The battle of Königgrätz, the North German Confederation and the indemnity bill

The victory over Denmark only resulted in a brief peace: The Gastein Treaty of August 14, 1865 initially dissolved the joint Prussian-Austrian administration of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, but could not do justice to the different interests of the two countries. After Prussia invaded Holstein, which was administered by Austria, on June 9, 1866, Austria applied to Frankfurt for the mobilization of the non-Prussian army , which was granted on June 14. Prussia reacted to this by invading Saxony , Hanover and Kurhessen . The decisive battle took place at Königgrätz , which ultimately forced Austria to surrender and in which the crown prince played a decisive role. In the peace treaty of August 23rd in Prague, Austria left the German Confederation. Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Kurhessen, Nassau and Frankfurt were annexed by Prussia.

The crown prince's military success was contrasted by a family tragedy. Sigismund, the fourth child of the Crown Prince couple, had died of meningitis just before the battle at the age of 21 months . The Crown Princess reacted to this with deep sadness, for which she found neither her parents-in-law nor her mother understanding. Queen Augusta soon asked her daughter-in-law to resume her representative duties, and Queen Victoria admonished her that the loss of a young child was nothing compared to that of a husband.

Battle of Königgrätz, painting by Georg Bleibtreu , 1869

The two great military successes that Prussia had achieved in the four years since Otto von Bismarck took office with the victory in the German-Danish war and in the so-called German War , cemented his position as Prime Minister. The indemnity bill , which he submitted to the House of Representatives shortly after the victory of Königgrätz and with which the government asked for subsequent approval of the expenditure made during the constitutionless period, divided the liberals who had been in opposition to Bismarck. It also made it clear that Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm represented a much more moderate liberalism than his wife: Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm welcomed the North German Confederation , in which, after the victory over Austria, a number of small northern German states had come together to form a federal state under the rule of Prussia he saw as the first step towards the unification of Germany. The constitution of this federal state, however, was not passed by a national assembly, but was based on monarchical sovereignty and granted the Prussian king and the Federal Chancellor Otto von Bismarck far-reaching rights. The Reichstag was elected democratically, but it did not have the powers of a parliament. Crown Princess Victoria saw the North German Confederation more than her husband saw a forced expansion of the existing Prussian system, which she was critical of. Hopefully this condition was only temporary, she wrote to her mother:

"Of course, all true patriots regard the present situation as purely provisional and hope for better laws in the future - in which I believe they will not be disappointed either."

The war with France

In the years up to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870/71 , Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm represented the Prussian court several times on trips abroad. Crown Princess Victoria did not accompany him at all. This was partly due to the fact that accompanying the princess would have resulted in further representation costs that would have burdened the income of the Crown Prince couple too much, partly because the Crown Princess did not want to leave her children alone for too long. In 1866, before Sigismund's death, Victoria was born. Another son followed in 1868, whom the Crown Prince couple named Waldemar, Sophie was born in 1870 and Margarethe was to follow as the last child in 1872 . While the older children Wilhelm , Charlotte and Heinrich were still being fed by wet nurses , the Crown Princess, beginning with Sigmund, breast-fed all of her children herself, which was met with violent rejection by both her mother and mother-in-law. As before, the position of the Crown Princess at the Prussian court was difficult and her relationship with her mother-in-law was strained. The latter was also expressed in trivial matters from today's perspective. Queen Augusta's outrage that her daughter-in-law was using carriages pulled by only two horses instead of the usual four-in-hand tension made it necessary for Queen Victoria to intervene with the Prussian king on behalf of her daughter.

Otto von Bismarck

In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, the crown prince's military successes were repeated. Two of the five decisive battles of this war, the battle of Weißenburg and that of Wörth , were won by the 3rd Army led by him. At Sedan , his unit again played the decisive role in the battle. When the bombardment of the encircled city of Paris by the troops he led was delayed, this was the occasion for Otto von Bismarck to intrigue again against the Crown Princess and Queen, who were both his political opponents. At a dinner he voiced the opinion that the Crown Prince was only delaying the bombardment because his wife and Francophile mother were against it. This view was shortly afterwards reflected in the press. The Crown Princess’s commitment to caring for wounded soldiers was less well received. She traveled to Homburg in order to set up a model hospital there at her own expense and then visited hospitals in Wiesbaden , Biberach , Bingen , Bingerbrück , Rüdesheim and Mainz . Traditionally, however, such social tasks fell to the queen. Wilhelm I finally found that she had to abstain from "great charity" and ordered her back to Berlin to represent the royal family there.

France surrendered in January 1871. On January 18, 1871, the victorious princes of the North German Confederation and their South German allies proclaimed King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German Emperor . Friedrich and Viktoria were thus Crown Prince and Crown Princess of the German Empire .

The children

Her son Wilhelm marched for the first time in the victory parades in Berlin, which celebrated the victory over France . Since his birth, attempts had been made to strengthen his stunted arm using a number of methods, some of which are bizarre from today's perspective. Among other things, the one-year-old Prince Wilhelm received so-called “animal baths”, in which the arm was stuck into the still warm carcass of a freshly slaughtered hare for half an hour in order to strengthen it. This was followed by electroshock therapies and the use of head and arm stretchers, as the shortened arm muscles increasingly meant that Prince Wilhelm kept his head crooked. Vicky insisted he be a good rider. The thought that he would not be able to ride as heir to the throne was unbearable to her. Riding lessons began when Wilhelm was eight years old. Again and again, the crying child was put on the horse and forced to do the exercises. Wilhelm kept falling to the ground and despite his tears was put back on his horse. He later wrote that he found these riding lessons to be torture from his mother.

Sigmund Freud came to the conclusion that Crown Princess Victoria had withdrawn her affection for her son because of his infirmity and that this was the reason for his later behavior towards her. Crown Princess Victoria's diary entries and letters at least suggest that she found the handicap for which she blamed herself to be flawed. In 1860, on the occasion of a visit from her parents, she wrote:

Crown Princess Victoria
Princess Charlotte, here in 1883, proved to be a particularly difficult child

"He's really a smart little guy for his age - if it weren't for the unfortunate arm - I'd be so proud of him."

Wolfgang J. Mommsen , on the other hand, attributes maternal feelings towards her firstborn son to her, but notes a lack of attention. She measured her sons against the ideal of their father, who died in 1861, and they inevitably had to lag behind. She also tried to get as close as possible to her father in her upbringing methods. The Crown Prince couple had owned the Bornstedt Crown Estate since 1863 , on which the children should grow up in a way similar to how Crown Princess Victoria once did in Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. As Crown Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha only had limited influence on the upbringing of her children. According to the Prussian tradition, all of her sons received a military education at a very early age. In a letter to her mother she complained:

“I tremble at the thought of how my growing boys will eventually develop. The conditions here and a Prussian court seem to have been created to nourish the weaknesses that so often offend me in my Willy [...] Our children are generally regretted for the great mishap, me with my 'unhappy English ideas and un-Prussian ' attitudes to have to mother. People think they can't make good guesses […]. I just want my children to grow up like my Fritz, my father, like you and as dissimilar as possible to the rest of the royal Prussian family. "

When choosing the tutor for Princes Wilhelm and Heinrich , however, the crown prince couple showed little empathy. The intellectually gifted but strict Calvinist philologist Georg Ernst Hinzpeter gave the princes a puritanical and harsh upbringing that lacked praise and encouragement. Even the visit to a middle-class high school in Kassel, which the Crown Prince couple was able to enforce against the resistance of the Prussian court, and later studies in Bonn did not ensure that Prince Wilhelm developed into the cosmopolitan and comprehensively educated personality with liberal views as it did His parents' goal was. Prince Heinrich showed little intellectual inclination and began a career in the navy at the age of 16. Waldemar, the third surviving son, died of diphtheria in 1879 .

Of the daughters, it was mainly Charlotte who worried her parents. Retarded in growth and slow to learn, she was prone to fits of rage as a small child and proved to be disease-prone, moody and capricious as an adolescent. Medical historians today assume that Princess Charlotte suffered from a severe form of porphyria . This hereditary metabolic disorder, which is often associated with gastrointestinal diseases, headaches, nerve paralysis and, in extreme cases, psychoses , was already mentioned by Georg III. , one of the ancestors of the princess. Because of the recurring neuralgia, severe headaches, and skin rashes that Crown Princess Victoria suffered from throughout her life, which were sometimes so painful that she resorted to morphine, it is likely that she too was affected by a milder form of the disease.

Waiting for the throne

Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm - meanwhile General Field Marshal - received no further Prussian command despite the military successes he had achieved. Kaiser Wilhelm I kept his son away from all affairs of state because he found:

"That his principles of government are those of the English government, and not just parliamentary legislation, as the Prussian and German parliaments are based on."

Wilhelm I at his desk in his Berlin palace , ca.1880
Baptism in my house , oil painting by Anton von Werner 1880
Crown Princess Victoria in Renaissance clothing, 1874, painting by Heinrich von Angeli
Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, 1874, painting by Heinrich von Angeli

The Crown Prince was instead appointed curator of the royal museums - a job that his wife may have received more enthusiasm for. Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha had continued her education at the suggestion of her father from the beginning of the marriage. She read Goethe , Lessing , Heine and John Stuart Mill . Gustav Freytag was one of the couple's acquaintances, and the writer Gustav von Putlitz was temporarily their court marshal . Despite her mother's indignation, she studied Darwin's theory of evolution and discussed it with the British geologist Lyell . The Crown Princess, considered by contemporaries to be progressive and cultured, also read the writings of Karl Marx in order to understand the goals of the socialists, and socialized with her husband in Countess Schleinitz's liberal salon , which was considered to be the “meeting place of the numerous Bismarck frond”. Richard Wagner's pamphlet “On the Influence of the Jews on Music” called her crazy in a letter to her mother - she had never read anything so “ violent, conceited and unjust ”. Far more than at the court of their in-laws, liberals such as Reichstag Vice-President Baron von Stauffenberg and commoners were among the guests and acquaintances of the Crown Prince couple, including the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz , the pathologist Rudolf Virchow , the philosopher Eduard Zeller and the historian Hans Delbrück .

The Crown Princess was a talented hobby painter and took lessons from Heinrich von Angeli and Anton von Werner . A stay in Venice in 1875 and the sponsorship of Victoria for the son of the Werner family in 1879 testify to an almost friendly relationship with the Werner couple .

In the fall of 1878, Crown Princess Victoria's sister and close confidante Alice von Hessen-Darmstadt and her little daughter died of diphtheria . A few weeks later, Waldemar, the third living son of the Crown Prince couple, also succumbed to this disease. For both the Crown Princess and the Crown Prince, the deaths triggered a prolonged state of shock and depression. Waldemar's death came at a time when it became clear that Victoria and her eldest son Wilhelm had become increasingly estranged, Prince Heinrich was beginning his service in the Navy and the meanwhile married Princess Charlotte was expecting her first child. Although Wilhelm I's advanced age made it increasingly likely that Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm would soon succeed him on the throne, the Crown Prince couple still had no influence on the politics of the empire. Otto von Bismarck made their impotence clear to them by refusing the court's approval of Prince Wilhelm's connection with Princess Auguste Viktoria for months and exchanging liberal court members for ultra-conservative forces at the court of the Crown Prince couple. The loss of the court marshal and private secretary Karl von Normann , who had served the crown prince for 20 years, was particularly bitter for the crown prince couple. Often the Crown Prince couple could only show their political convictions through symbolic gestures. During the anti-Semitic riots at the beginning of the 1880s, the Crown Prince couple demonstratively attended a concert in a Wiesbaden synagogue and the Crown Prince took part in a Jewish service in Berlin.

Between Crown Princess Victoria and Otto von Bismarck, what was probably the biggest argument about the marriage plans for Princess Viktoria . The dispute went down in history as the Battenberg affair . Alexander von Battenberg was the second eldest son from the morganatic marriage of Alexander von Hessen-Darmstadt with Julia Hauke . When a candidate for the Bulgarian throne was sought, he was installed as Prince of Bulgaria at the suggestion of his uncle, Tsar Alexander II . Alexander II expected his nephew to adopt a decidedly pro-Russian policy. When he did not meet this expectation, Prince Alexander was forced to abdicate by the Tsar in 1886. Princess Victoria had been in love with the handsome Prince Alexander since the early 1880s; Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Victoria both considered a connection with this princely house to be desirable. Otto von Bismarck, on the other hand, saw this planned connection as a threat to his pro-Russian policy and ultimately enforced a ban on the connection with Wilhelm I. The dispute with the Crown Prince couple over the marriage of Princess Viktoria ultimately led to Wilhelm I passing over his son and heir to the throne and entrusting his grandson Wilhelm to represent the Prussian court on state trips. Grandfather and grandson were closely related; the two often dined together in the private rooms of the emperor and politically the grandson was very close to his grandfather. Like his father, Prince Wilhelm had initially attended Bonn University, but dropped out after four semesters to continue his military training. Like Prince Wilhelm, Princess Charlotte and Prince Heinrich had largely turned away from their parents and turned to their grandparents. The hope of Crown Princess Victoria that Prince Wilhelm would convert to a politically liberal stance by marrying Princess Auguste Victoria was also deceptive: The princess took a completely different political stance than her origin from the Augustenburg family, which is considered to be liberal, suggested.

Commitment to women's education

Crown Princess Victoria worked hard to improve educational opportunities for girls and young women. Since 1866 she had the patronage of by Wilhelm Adolf Lette founded Lette stopped, stood up for a better education of women. In 1877 she initiated the establishment of the Lyceum "Victoria School for Girls", which was under British management and in which schoolgirls received physical education for the first time in Prussia. In the “Victoria House for Nursing” nurses were trained based on the British model.

In order to promote women's education in Germany, she also worked with Helene Lange , whose projects Victoria repeatedly supported both ideally and financially.

German Empress

Empress for 99 days

The state of health of the now 90-year-old Emperor Wilhelm I had meanwhile deteriorated so much that an imminent change of the throne seemed likely. However, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm fell seriously ill himself in the same year. The doctors found nodules on the left vocal cord of the increasingly hoarse Crown Prince that were diagnosed as cancer. However, the tissue sample taken by the English laryngologist Morell Mackenzie, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, did not indicate any cancer. The Crown Prince couple traveled to England, where Morell Mackenzie continued his treatment with the approval of the German medical college. In their luggage the Crown Prince couple had three large boxes with their private papers, which were deposited in Windsor Castle with the consent of Queen Victoria . In view of the precarious health of both Wilhelm I and the Crown Prince, this was a precaution that the Crown Prince couple deemed necessary. Otto von Bismarck still tried to undermine the position and influence of the Crown Princess. As one of the last intrigues, the court marshal Hugo Fürst von Radolin , appointed by Bismarck, tried to impose a relationship with Götz von Seckendorff on the Crown Princess.

Morell Mackenzie's treatment initially worked. The crown prince couple traveled to Italy for a cure in September 1887, while there was indignation in Berlin that the crown prince couple did not return to the capital despite the steadily deteriorating state of health of the emperor. At the beginning of November 1887, the Crown Prince's voice failed completely. The medical college summoned to San Remo found a new tumor with a malignant character and recommended a removal of the larynx, which the Crown Prince did not have. Crown Princess Victoria supported her husband in this decision, which led to a heated argument between her and Prince Wilhelm, who suddenly appeared in San Remo.

The death of the Emperor and Crown Prince dragged on for months. When the news of the death of Wilhelm I arrived in San Remo on March 9, the cancer of the larynx was in the now Emperor Friedrich III. so advanced that he could no longer speak. As one of the first official acts, Emperor Friedrich III. awarded his wife the Order of the Black Eagle , the highest Prussian order. The imperial couple returned to Berlin. From Berlin, Empress Victoria wrote to her mother:

"I think we are generally only seen as flitting shadows that will soon be replaced in reality by Wilhelm's figure."

Friedrich III. limited his political measures to a few, sometimes only symbolic acts. It issued an amnesty for political prisoners and released the reactionary Interior Minister Robert Viktor von Puttkamer . Justice Minister Heinrich von Friedberg , who had advised the Crown Prince couple over the past 25 years, was awarded the Order of the Black Eagle , as did Eduard von Simson . Empress Victoria tried to use her newfound freedom of choice to promote the marriage between Alexander von Battenberg and her daughter Viktoria again; however, she ultimately had to refrain from it after even her own mother advised against it.

Crown estate Bornstedt - the empress widow preferred to attend Friedrich's funeral service here than his burial in the Friedenskirche

Empress Friedrich - The widow

Emperor Friedrich III. died on June 15, 1888 around 11 a.m. The first acts his son took indicated that the Crown Prince couple had rightly brought their private papers to Windsor. The night before his father's death, Crown Prince Wilhelm had the New Palace surrounded by guard hussars, infantrymen and ulans, and immediately after his father's death, the now Kaiser Wilhelm II had it occupied by soldiers. All rooms of the previous imperial couple were searched to find their correspondence. Due to the precautionary measures taken beforehand, however, the seekers found nothing - years later Wilhelm II claimed that he had been looking for state papers. Many historians are more inclined to believe that he wanted to confiscate his parents' letters, which threatened his reputation. The funeral for Emperor Friedrich III. took place in Potsdam largely closed to the public. Empress Friedrich, as Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha called herself from then on in memory of her husband, did not attend the burial of the coffin in the Friedenskirche , but attended the funeral service at the Bornstedt Crown Estate .

"The police state is flourishing," said Empress Friedrich, commenting on the measures that the state authorities took against the people who belonged to the inner circle of Friedrich III. and belonged to his wife. The House of Franz von Roggenbach was searched, questioned the widow of Empress Frederick longtime private secretary Ernst von Stockmar. Friedrich Heinrich Geffcken , who had an excerpt from Kaiser Friedrich's war diary and who published extracts of it so that Kaiser Friedrich could get justice with regard to his role in the establishment of the empire, was charged with the publication of state secrets. The still of Friedrich III. excellent Heinrich Friedberg was dismissed from his office as Minister of Justice. On Friedberg's advice, however, Empress Friedrich ordered the papers sent to Windsor back to prove that they were all private papers and that no government papers were among them, as her son claimed. Nevertheless, she gave part of it to the Hohenzollern house archive.

The widowed Empress Victoria, drawing by Norbert Schrödl

Kaiser Wilhelm II claimed the representative New Palace, the former residence of the imperial couple, for his family. After a long search, Empress Friedrich found a piece of land in Kronberg im Taunus on which she had her widow's residence, Schloss Friedrichshof, built. She benefited from the fact that shortly before she had inherited the Duchess of Galliera (1811–1888) in the amount of five million francs, which she spent on the construction and expansion of the castle. She spent most of the year at Friedrichshof, the rest of the time she traveled. Their political views remained liberal, which kept the tense relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Friedrichshof Palace - the widow's seat of Empress Friedrich
Wilhelm II, Empress Friedrich's eldest son around 1890
1900 - The family visits their widow's residence

"Empress Friedrich is a continued embarrassment for Kaiser Wilhelm because, to his regret, she refuses to live abroad, but is obviously in the process of building her own court around her."

held Henry VII. Reuss , the German ambassador to Austria, firmly. Unlike the three oldest children, the three younger daughters Viktoria, Sophie and Margarete stuck to their mother. Sophie was the first of them to get married. In October 1889 she became the wife of the Greek heir to the throne, Constantine . Princess Viktoria, whose planned marriage to Alexander von Battenberg had failed due to the resistance of Bismarck, finally married Prince Adolf zu Schaumburg-Lippe in 1890 . In the same year, Empress Friedrich's mother-in-law, Empress Augusta, died. A large part of her not inconsiderable fortune went to Kaiser Wilhelm II and his brother Heinrich. Empress Friedrich and her daughters, on the other hand, were not favored by their will. Empress Augusta had held the role of President of the Red Cross Society and the Patriotic Women's Association until the end of her life , and Empress Friedrich had hoped that she could succeed her mother-in-law in these offices - after all, she was active in social issues and health care involved. To the bitterness of Empress Friedrich, the offices were passed on to her daughter-in-law. In 1893 she also left her youngest daughter Margarete to marry Friedrich Karl von Hessen . Empress Friedrich felt old now and complained that she was so completely cut off from public life that she felt buried. Her son's policy was met with violent rejection. When he entered the motto Suprema lex regis voluntas in the Golden Book of the city of Munich - the king's will is the highest law , she wrote in a letter to her mother

“The tsar, an infallible Pope, the Bourbons and our poor Charles I could have uttered such a sentence, but a constitutional monarch in the 19th century! […] My God, to think that Fritz's son and dear papa grandson are heading in such a direction and misunderstanding the principles with which alone it is possible to govern today. "

As before, she devoted herself to painting. She kept in touch with the Kronberg painters' colony and exchanged information regularly , especially with Norbert Schrödl . An integral part of her daily routine at Friedrichshof Palace was the morning ride, reading in the library and doing correspondence - she still wrote regularly to her mother. Towards the end of 1898, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which increasingly confined her to bed in the years to come. Empress Friedrich died in August 1901 at Friedrichshof Palace - just a few months after her mother. She was buried next to her husband in the mausoleum of the Friedenskirche in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam . She bequeathed Friedrichshof Palace and its art collection to her daughter Margarete, which means that it became the property of the House of Hesse and is now part of the Hessian House Foundation , which has its administrative headquarters here. The house itself is run as a five-star hotel.


Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha had eight children together with her husband:

Film adaptations and representations in literature

As a film character, Victoria has appeared in numerous film and television productions since her death. Probably the most notable portrait can be found in the BBC series Edward the Seventh (1975) with Felicity Kendal as Vicky. There u. a. the close, strong relationship with the German father Albert, but also her tragic fate in Prussia and the last months of her life. Other portraits there with Gemma Jones in the BBC series " Fall of Eagles " (1974) and in Germany with Ruth Hellberg in the film Bismarck (1940) and in the television trilogy Bismarck of the (1990) Bayerischer Rundfunk by Tom Toelle .


As early as 1883 a street in Flensburg was named after her, Viktoriastraße on the edge of the city ​​center . Another street named after her is Viktoriastraße in Düren .

In 1888 the foundation stone was laid for the Kaiser- und Kaiserin-Friedrich Children's Hospital on Reinickendorfer Strasse in Berlin-Wedding , which still exists today as a building complex. In 1903 the Kaiserin Friedrich Foundation for medical training was established, which in 1904 commissioned the Kaiserin Friedrich House for medical training at the Charité in Berlin and was inaugurated two years later by Kaiser Wilhelm II .

Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha is the namesake of the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium (KFG) in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe . The city park in Kronberg im Taunus today bears the name Viktoria-Park , after which the Viktoria-Schule (elementary school in the Kronberg district of Schönberg ) and the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Krankenhaus (today senior citizens' housing complex of the DRK Kaiserin-Friedrich-Haus ) in Kronberg were named . Two other schools that bear her name are the Viktoriaschule in Aachen and the Viktoriaschule in Gdańsk , whose name is remembered as a place of remembrance for the imprisonment of thousands of Poles.


  • Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland, Princess Royal, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Saxony (until 1858)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Prussia (1858–1861)
  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Prussia (1861–1871)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of the German Empire and Prussia (1871–1888)
  • Her Majesty Empress Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia (from 1888)


  • Frederick Ponsonby (Ed.): Letters from Empress Friedrich. Knaur, Berlin 1936.


  • Sabine Bauer: Empress Victoria. The forgotten German Empress. Fuck Verlag, Koblenz 2014, ISBN 978-3-9815018-1-0 .
  • Franz Herre : Empress Friedrich. Victoria, an Englishwoman in Germany. Hohenheim Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-89850-142-6 .
  • Karin Feuerstein-Praßer: The German Empresses. 1871-1918. Piper Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-492-23641-3 .
  • Friedrich Ludwig Müller: Vicky. From the life of Victoria of Prussia - Empress for 99 days. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-936942-64-1 .
  • Hildegard Reinhardt. Signed Victoria, Britain's Princess Royal, Prussia's Crown Princess and Germany's Empress as a successful artist. In: Lideke Peese Binhorst, Dick Verroen (ed.): To trauell into forreine countries, Tekeningen van Victoria, Princess Royal, Crown Princess Friedrich Wilhelm von Prussia 1858–1863. Doorn Castle 2001.
  • Hannah Pakula: To Uncommon Woman. The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm. Phoenix, London 1997. ISBN 1-84212-623-7 . In German translation: Hannah Pakula: Victoria. Daughter of Queen Victoria, wife of the Prussian Crown Prince, mother Wilhelm II. Marion von Schröder-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-547-77360-1 .
  • Wilfried Rogasch (Ed.): Victoria & Albert, Vicky & The Kaiser. A chapter in German-English family history. Hatje Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit 1997, ISBN 3-86102-091-2 .
  • Patricia Kollander: Frederick III. Germany's Liberal Emperor. Greenwood Press, Westport 1995, ISBN 0-313-29483-6 .
  • Andrew Sinclair: Victoria. Empress for 99 days. Gustav Lübbe Verlag, Bergisch Gladbach 1987, ISBN 3-404-61086-5 .
  • Robert K. Massie: Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War . 1991.
  • Katja Behling, Anke Manigold: The painting women. Intrepid artists around 1900 . Elisabeth Sandmann, Munich 2009, p. 86 f.
  • Barbara Beck: Wilhelm II and his siblings . Pustet, Regensburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-7917-2750-9 .
  • G. H – h .: Also an industrial exhibition . In: The Gazebo . Issue 19, 1867, pp. 300–302 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).

Web links

Commons : Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. Pakula 1997, pp. 11-13.
  3. Pakula 1997, p. 21.
  4. Pakula 1997, pp. 16-21 and Sinclair, p. 26.
  5. Herre, p. 25.
  6. Pakula 1997, pp. 20, 22 and Herre, pp. 25 ff.
  7. ^ Sinclair, p. 22.
  8. Pakula 1997, p. 30.
  9. Sinclair, p. 35 f. and Herre, p. 32 f.
  10. Pakula 1997, p. 31.
  11. Kollander, p. 5.
  12. Pakula 1997, p. 43.
  13. Pakula 1997, p. 50.
  14. Kurt Tetzeli von Rosador and Arndt Mersmann (eds.): Queen Victoria - A biographical reading book from her letters and diaries. Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-12846-1 , pp. 103-106.
  15. Pakula 1997, p. 52.
  16. Herre, p. 41.
  17. Pakula 1997, pp. 26, 27 and Kollander, p. 6.
  18. Kollander, pp. 7, 8
  19. Pakula 1997, p. 90.
  20. Herre, p. 42.
  21. Pakula 1997, pp. 58-61.
  22. Pakula 1997, p. 61.
  23. Pakula 1997, p. 96 and Kollander, p. 9.
  24. Sinclair, pp. 51 f., 58
  25. Pakula 1997, p. 96 ff.
  26. Pakula 1997, p. 96.
  27. Pakula 1997, p. 113 f.
  28. Pakula 1997, p. 133 f.
  29. Pakula 1997, p. 99 and p. 130.
  30. Herre, p. 54 and p. 61 f.
  31. Pakula 1997, pp. 115-118.
  32. ^ John CG Röhl , Kaiser, Hof und Staat - Wilhelm II. And German politics . 3. Edition. Munich 1988, p. 33.
  33. ^ Wilhelm Ober: Obstetrical Events That Shaped Western European History. In: The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. Volume 65, 1992, pp. 208-209.
  34. Pakula 1997, p. 132.
  35. Pakula 1997, p. 149.
  36. Pakula 1997, p. 148.
  37. Pakula 1997, p. 147 and Herre, p. 74 f.
  38. Herre, p. 83.
  39. Herre, p. 92.
  40. Pakula 1997, p. 168 f., Herre, p. 92 and Sinclair p. 107 f. A detailed analysis of this crisis can be found in Kollander, pp. 25–45.
  41. Pakula 1997, p. 169 and Kollander, p. 35.
  42. Sinclair, p. 110 and Pakula 1997, p. 181.
  43. ^ Sinclair, pp. 97 and 101.
  44. Ernst Engelberg : Bismarck - Urpreuße and founder of the empire. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88680-121-7 , p. 532.
  45. Sinclair, pp. 120-127 and Pakula 1997, pp. 188-191, Kollander pp. 38-42.
  46. This was also the view of some historians; see for example Ernst Engelberg: Bismarck - Urpreuße and Reichsgründer. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88680-121-7 , p. 532 and Kollander, p. 42.
  47. Pakula 1997, p. 191.
  48. Herre, p. 106 f.
  49. Ernst Engelberg: Bismarck - Urpreuße and founder of the empire. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88680-121-7 , p. 553 f.
  50. ^ Sinclair, p. 138.
  51. Sinclair, pp. 139 f.
  52. Pakula 1997, p. 218.
  53. Pakula 1997, p. 219.
  54. Pakula 1997, pp. 248-251.
  55. Ernst Engelberg: Bismarck - Urpreuße and founder of the empire. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88680-121-7 , pp. 623-636.
  56. Herre, p. 153.
  57. Pakula 1997, p. 260 and Herre, p. 154. The different political views of Crown Princess and Crown Prince are very detailed in Kollander, pp. 16–17, 79–88.
  58. Herre, p. 161.
  59. Pakula 1997, p. 274.
  60. Pakula 1997, pp. 220-221.
  61. Pakula 1997, p. 271.
  62. Herre, p. 173 f.
  63. Herre, p. 184.
  64. Pakula 1997, p. 123 and Herre, p. 65.
  65. ^ John CG Röhl: Kaiser, Hof und Staat - Wilhelm II. And German politics . 3. Edition. Munich 1988, p. 34.
  66. a b Massie 1991, p. 28
  67. ^ John CG Röhl: Kaiser, Hof und Staat - Wilhelm II. And German politics . 3. Edition. Munich 1988, p. 34.
  68. Feuerstein-Praßer, p. 138.
  69. Wolfgang J. Mommsen: Was the emperor to blame for everything - Wilhelm II and the Prussian-German power elites. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-548-36765-8 , p. 14.
  70. ^ Herre, pp. 157, 158, letter to Queen Victoria
  71. Pakula 1997, p. 391.
  72. Wolfgang J. Mommsen: Was the emperor to blame for everything - Wilhelm II and the Prussian-German power elites. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-548-36765-8 , pp. 14, 15; Pakula 1997, pp. 353-361.
  73. Pakula 1997, pp. 406-407.
  74. ^ John CG Röhl, Martin Warren, David Hunt: Purple Secret. Bantam Press, London 1999, ISBN 0-552-14550-5 . The book dedicates one chapter each to the health stories of Victoria von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha, her daughter Charlotte and her granddaughter Feodora
  75. Herre, p. 202.
  76. ^ Information from the DGDB on the painting
  77. Pakula 1997, p. 98.
  78. Herre, p. 128.
  79. ^ Siegfried von Kardorff : Wilhelm von Kardorff. A national parliamentarian in the age of Bismarck and Wilhelm II. Berlin 1936, p. 112.
  80. Pakula 1997, p. 428.
  81. Herre, p. 211.
  82. Herre, p. 204.
  83. Pakula 1997, p. 345.
  84. Dominik Bartmann (Ed.): Anton von Werner. Story in pictures. Hirmer, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-7774-6140-7 (exhibition catalog), on the trip to Italy p. 127, on the baptism p. 140 f.
  85. Sinclair, p. 264 f.
  86. Pakula 1997, p. 399 f.
  87. Herre, p. 212 and Pakula 1997, p. 422 f.
  88. Pakula 1997, p. 429.
  89. Pakula 1997, pp. 443-451.
  90. Herre, p. 233.
  91. Herre, p. 192 f.
  92. Helene Lange: Memoirs . Herbig, Berlin 1925, chap. 15,
  93. ^ Herre, p. 243 and Sinclair, p. 285.
  94. Pakula 1997, p. 480.
  95. Herre, p. 245 and Pakula 1997, p. 481.
  96. Pakula 1997, p. 489 and Herre, p. 239.
  97. Herre, p. 251.
  98. Pakula 1997, p. 494.
  99. ^ Sinclair, p. 307.
  100. Pakula 1997, p. 514 f.
  101. Pakula 1997, pp. 520-537.
  102. Pakula 1997, p. 542 and Herre, p. 280.
  103. Herre, p. 287 and Sinclair, p. 330 f.
  104. Pakula 1997, p. 556.
  105. ^ John CG Röhl: Kaiser, Hof und Staat - Wilhelm II. And German politics . 3. Edition. Munich 1988, p. 83, as well as the diary of the Baroness Spitzemberg of September 7, 1909 (edited by Rudolf Vierhaus , Göttingen 1960, p. 512)
  106. Pakula 1997, p. 569.
  107. Herre, p. 302.
  108. Herre, p. 306 f. and p. 308. The quotation can be found on p. 308.
  109. Herre, p. 296.
  110. Preview
predecessor Office Successor
Augusta German Empress and Queen of Prussia
March 9–15. June 1888
Auguste Viktoria
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on February 3, 2008 in this version .