Author Topic: Princess Victoria of Schaumburg-Lippe (Moretta), 2nd daughter of Kaiser Friedrich III  (Read 195163 times)

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Offline jfkhaos

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With the topic on Mossy, I thought maybe there should a topic on Moretta.  I know that she was in love with Alexander of Battenberg (Sandro) but was not allowed to marry him.  She eventually settled on a Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, and when he died, she married Alexander Zubkov.  Any pictures?  Any additional information someone can provide? Thanks!

Offline grandduchessella

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I know that the Kaiser all but disowned her upon her 2nd marriage. When AZ had basically run through her entire fortune and reduced her to penury, there was an auction conducted of the Schaumburg-Lippe palace contents. Some of the items she no longer had claim to as she'd remarried but among the items auctioned were several items belong to Moretta that she'd inherited from her mother. Among them were 2 silver and china sets given to her parents for their 25th wedding anniversary and a silver bust of Frederick III. Perhaps due to the burgeoning depression and devaluation of the mark (as well as the glut of royal items post-revolutions) many of the items went for cents on the dollar (or mark as it were).
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Offline jfkhaos

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Jim1026

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With the topic on Mossy, I thought maybe there should a topic on Moretta.  I know that she was in love with Alexander of Battenberg (Sandro) but was not allowed to marry him.  She eventually settled on a Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, and when he died, she married Alexander Zubkov.  Any pictures?  Any additional information someone can provide? Thanks!


I know from an article in the London Times concerning her funeral that the only members of her family to attend her funeral at Burg Kronberg were Margaret and Henry's wife Irene.  The ex Kaiser sent a wreath but former Queen Sophie ignored the event totally.  She was buried with the Hesse Kassel family at Burg Kronberg.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Where did the nickname Moretta come from?

Also, any information on the whereabouts of the silver bust of Frederick mentioned in the auction inventory?

Lastly, was Sandro Battenburg the only "Sandro" in Europe royal families? Seems there was a dashing Sandro amongst the courts who was rumored to have been more interested in men than women. Could this have been the reason for not marrying him?
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Offline jfkhaos

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Sandro was interested in Moretta and she much more in him...but Kaiser Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II would not hear of it.  Frederick III added a codicil which requested Wilhelm II not to stand in the way of the marriage but it was not to be.  Sandro Battenberg married Johanna von Loisinger (sp?) and faded into obscurity dying relatively early I believe.

Empress Frederick was gung-ho for the marriage and it appears she brought her husband around to her way of thinking, but Queen Victoria was all for it early on but then had to send subtle hints to slow down and let it alone for the present.  

The Hohenzollerns (not all of them, but Wilhelm I, Frederick III (to an extent; he tried to have the title His Royal Highness denied to Liko husband of Beatrice) and Wilhelm II especially so) looked down upon the Battenbergs.

Offline Angie_H

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Moretta & her sister Sophie

All 4 sisters

Offline grandduchessella

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Moretta was christened  Friederike Wilhelmine Amalie Viktoria . This somewhat mollified QV as she’d been miffed that Charlotte (whose first name was Victoria) wasn’t called by that but this 2nd daughter would be. Tragedy soon struck when a couple months after her birth, her brother Sigismund died of meningitis. These seemed to usher in the misfortune which would cloud Moretta’s life. Her mother practically had a nervous breakdown by this death coming as it did when she was beginning to become estranged from her older children. Thus, Vicky clung to Moretta and , combined with the fact that she had more control over her children at this point, became greatly attached to her. She had been denied a good deal of input into the raising of her elder three children and being barely out of her teens had lacked the fortitude to demand it.  Moretta’s birth had been early and arduous and was exacerbated by the fact that Fritz had to go fight in the Austrian War leaving Vicky alone. When Moretta was 14, her younger brother Waldemar died of diptheria and Vicky clung even harder to Moretta and her younger sisters, Sophie and Mossy. I think Vicky once referred to the 3 as being like a 3-leaf clover for her.  Moretta did resemble her eldest brother in one way—both were cursed with impetuousness and strong emotions which sometimes overwhelmed their common sense. This was to bear bitter fruit in her love affair with Alexander of Battenberg. She fell in love with him and desired to marry him and in this had the full support of her mother and grandmother, the reluctant support of her father and the adamant opposition of the Hohenzollerns, especially her brother and grandfather and also of Chancellor Bismarck. Bismarck’s concern was that the match would anger the Russians who were displeased with Sandro’s rule in Bulgaria (and would eventually achieve his overthrow). This stalemate went on for years. When it seemed that permission may finally be granted when her father became Emperor, it was too late.  Sandro had already fallen in love with the opera singer Johanna Loisinger whom he would marry in 1889 and have 2 children with before his early death. Even when it had become obvious that Sandro had ‘moved on’, Moretta clung to her hopes and in this, unfortunately, Vicky supported her. The result would be pain and bitterness at how so many years had been lost in futile hope.. Moretta was now plunged into deep depression, so much so that her mother worried for her health—both physical and mental. Moretta apparently even talked of suicide. She lost a great deal of weight and bemoaned that she was ugly and no one would ever want to marry her and that she’d lost her one chance at happiness. All of this went on with the backdrop of her beloved father’s illness and death and her mother’s grief. In 1889, Moretta went to spend the summer with Queen Victoria and regained a bit of her spirits and health. Vicky now turned towards finding her a husband as Moretta’s sister Sophie had recently married and this weighed on Moretta as well since Sophie was younger and Moretta bout 23 yrs old (rather long-in-the-tooth for the times and her position). Despite her bewailing of her own looks, Moretta was not unattractive—she had thick dark blonde hair, a long nose and oval face. She was also blessed with eyes that gave her appearance what  a biographer described as a ‘wild, half-Tartar’ look. They were widely-spaced, almond shaped and either blue or gray (not sure which but would imagine blue). They were probably her best feature. She had a trim, athletic figure (unlike her sister Charlotte whom Vicky described as being oddly proportioned) despite her thinking herself too thick. Thus, with her connections, Vicky didn’t imagine it would be hard to find a husband for her daughter and she and QV began the search through the royal houses. Prince Carl of Sweden was considered and so was a Romanov Grand Duke (Boris?) but no one ‘stepped up’. This left Moretta embarrassed and rejected and crying that everyone married except her ‘stupid self’. She feared that ‘bitter disappointment’ would be her lot in life. Vicky expressed her concerns to Moretta’s sister Sophie in letters. Some princes may have feared ‘taking on’ a princess whom seemed rather obsessive and even somewhat unstable.  Eventually a prince was found—Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe. This prince was 7 years older than Moretta, rather plain (esp in comparison with Sandro), rather socially awkward, not very bright (much to Vicky’s despair) but he was kindly, led a peaceful life (he preferred the military rather than any ‘politicking’), was willing (and suitable) to marry, and, perhaps most importantly, Willy would grant approval. Thus Vicky’s objections were put aside for the sake of her daughter and, the 2 were married in Nov 1890. It seemed that Moretta might finally achieve the peace and happiness she craved. She had always wanted 2 things out of life: to be married and to have children. Now that one was achieved, it seemed the other would follow. This was not to be, however, as Vicky would soon report to Sophie that Moretta had suffered an early miscarriage while on her honeymoon (which took them to Egypt among other places) and there would be no more pregnancies in the years to come.  Life continued in a relatively quiet pattern for many years—if it wasn’t what Moretta had dreamed of as a child, it wasn’t miserable. She had a comfortable life with a fair amount of freedom and a husband who was devoted to her. When Vicky was diagnosed with cancer, Moretta and Mossy became her primary caregivers and had to witness their beloved mother’s agony. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Moretta attended and reported back to Vicky on the details of her ‘beloved Mama’s’ funeral. Vicky herself would die just 7 months later and Moretta would again be outraged over Wilhelm’s behavior. Life again settled down until the horror of WW1. Adolf, while not her great love, had provided her a measure of happiness, and she grieved his loss in July 1916 (not in combat). After the German Revolution, Moretta was allowed to live in Germany though the landscape had altered completely. Moretta didn’t seem to realize quite how much. The Prince of Wales (her first cousin once removed) saw her after the war while stationed in Germany with the war staff. He was taken aback when she commented on how they (the extended network of cousins) would all be able to get back to normal again. He reported to his father that she didn’t seem to understand the bitterness England felt towards Germany. In the mid-1920s, feeling lonely and rather isolated, Moretta met the man who would provide the final sad chapter in her life. Alexander Zubkov, 35 years her junior, passed himself off as a noble Russian emigre, but was in fact, a penniless con-man. Since, for once, she had complete autonomy over her own life and decisions, she married him (despite her own and Adolf’s family’s objections) in Nov 1927 when she was 61. This cost her her benefits as Adolf’s widow and she was forced to move out of her home (palace). This marriage caused Moretta to become the object of scorn and ridicule throughout Europe. The tabloid press gleefully reported on the marriage and Zubkov delighted in the money he could make by staging photo-ops and granting interviews as the ‘Kaiser’s brother-in-law’. There seemed to be no level to which he woudn’t stoop and eventually even Moretta’s eyes were opened to his behavior. At this point though, he’d run through all her money (spending good bits on failed ‘business ventures’, other women and possibly drugs) and she forced to undergo a public auction of most of her possessions to pay creditors. Among the items were many left to her by her parents, including some of the presents from their 25th wedding anniversary. Because of the devaluation of the mark, she would received very little money from this sale but realize much in sorrow. Penniless, estranged from most of her relations, when she did leave him, she was forced to reside in a small apartment. Far from realizing the hoped-for comfort of a companion in her later years, she received nothing but disillusionment and humiliation on a scale larger than her ill-fated romance of 40 years prior. Moretta would file for divorce in 1929 but before the matter could be heard in court (even more public embarassment), Moretta died in Nov 1929 at age 63. As for Zubkov, he ended his days a penniless exile (having been given the boot out of Germany under a law expelling Russian exiles) in Luxemburg at age 35. A rather sleazy book would be written on the marriage, The Great Hohenzollern Scandal and Moretta would publish her own, watered-down memoirs, My Memoirs.



« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline PrinceEddy1864

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I always thought it was Friederikke Amelie Wilhelmine Viktoria. Am I incorrect?
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Whew. Grandduchess, what a bio on poor poor Moretta. It is more tragic than the Romanov story! From regal princess to scorned pauper. Did she at least get a decent funeral and burial? Such a story is ripe for a movie script.
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Offline HerrKaiser

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By the by, the photo above of the four girls appears to have been taken at a studio in England. What does "to the Queen" refer to? Was it usual that the German royal family would be in photo sessions in other countries?
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Offline grandduchessella

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By the by, the photo above of the four girls appears to have been taken at a studio in England. What does "to the Queen" refer to? Was it usual that the German royal family would be in photo sessions in other countries?


'To the Queen' refers to the fact that they were one of the favored photographers of the royal family--I think it's a Royal Warrant (?) Stores and sellers still use them today. There were often foreign royals photographed in England but in this case, the 4 girls were granddaughters of Queen Victoria and she probably had them photographed or Vicky did on a visit.

PrinceEddy: I double-checked and the source says Friederike Wilhelmine Amalie Viktoria

HerrKaiser: I believe she had a decent funeral (not highly attended though) that some of her siblings paid for and she was laid to rest near her parents I believe. Mossy and Irene were there--I think Henry had already died. I'm not sure if Wilhelm even sent flowers--I'll have to go back and check. There still hadn't been much contact with the British royals--some letters back and forth I think, but a representative (maybe the Ambassador?) was sent to the funeral.

At one point Adolf was briefly Regent of Lippe which he assumed by force (not sure exactly what that means--I don't think he went in with an Army) with the support Emperor Wilhelm . He was eventually forced to surrender the regency after a ruling by a tribunal of Arbitration presided over by King Albert of Saxony. I know that EF in her letters to Sophie goes over this a bit, I'll have to go see.

On a side note, the Lippes had some odd occurences. One being a cousin of Adolf's, Adolf II Bernhard of Schaumburg-Lippe, who renounced his throne on 16 November 1918. He and his wife Ellen were killed in Zompango, Mexico when their airplane crashed into the side of a volcano. (not the usual way to go for royals)

This may be Adolf's niece, was the Hermine of Reuss who married Kaiser Wilhelm. Her mother was Ida Mathilde Adelheid of Schaumburg-Lippe.

Another of Ida's daughters married Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach who was a sadist. It's rumored she committed suicide, other reports that she died in childbirth. He abdicated in Nov 1918 as was called the Most Unpopular Prince in Germany.

Friedrich of Schaumburg-Lippe married Princess Louise of Denmark (eldest daughter of Crown Prince Frederick and niece to MF and Queen Alexandra). She reportedly died of a cerebral inflammation but other stories say that she drowned herself in a lake due to her unhappiness in her marriage and adopted country.

There are assorted deaths by accident (falling off horses, dying by carbon monoxide poisoning) and wartime casualties (WW1 and WW2). It seems that poor Moretta married into a rather jinxed family.  :(
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline Angie_H

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Victoria by Heinrich von Angeli

Jim1026

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Have any of our posters seen the burial place or have pictures of the Hessian burial ground at Burg Kronberg?
Pr. Friedrich Karl of Hesse Kassel, Pss. Margreit , Pss. Victoria (Mossy) and members of Pr. Friedrich Karl's family have been buried there.  I read somewhere that
they are buried in a garden at the Burg (not to be confused with Empress Friedrich's schloss).  I have seen various aerial shot of the Burg and cannot make out any thing which would resemble a burial ground. :P

Offline Iskenderbey

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Hello.
I was reading an article on Victoria, and I was amazed by a picture the had posted that reminded me very much so of her niece, Helen of Greece, Queen Mother of Romania.  I might be wrong, but it was a crazy resemblance! Anyone agree.
Here is the site. Maybe someone has other pictures of Moretta that we can compared? regards!


Here is the site
http://www.geocities.com/jesusib/Moretta.html