Author Topic: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)  (Read 139063 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2005, 12:56:47 PM »
I was just wondering what you all thought of Dona. I've read conflicting things about her. Most sources state that she was a vacuous, stupid, jealous sort of woman, but if you look on page 95 (paperback) of Charlotte Zeepvat's Queen Victoria's Family, you can read about someone describing her daughter, Viktoria Luise: 'She possessed generous and kindly impulses and was an ardent champion of the distressed . . . following the example of her mother the Empress - one of the kindest hearted women I ever met.'

So Dona was kind??

Page 92 of the said book also mentions how her family 'worshipped her'. Any thoughts?
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Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2005, 02:04:28 PM »
Queen Victoria did not like Dona at all....
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2005, 02:12:08 PM »
Yes, I remember that. Didn't she call Dona a 'poor, insignificant princess'? Vicky didn't like her either.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2005, 03:02:58 PM »
QV called her that in a fit of pique. Dona was her great-niece (granddaughter of QV's half-sister Feodora). She was all for the match (since Ella wasn't going to marry Wilhelm) but then when Dona started acting 'uppity' and nasty towards Vicky, QV's opinion sourced on her. She called her 'insignificant' I believe because of how Dona was forgetting that she came from a poor, humble background (her father, a great friend of Fritz & Vicky, having lost the Schleswig-Holstein duchies) and putting on imperious airs.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2005, 07:08:16 PM »
Maybe she was called insignificant because of her Samsoe ancestry witch caused a problem when she was still considering to be a bride of future Kaiser!From Wilhelm's biography:''Wilhelm was seeking to conceal a good deal about dona's suitability as a bride of a future German Emperor.Was she actually qualified by birth?One of her grandmothers had been  a Hohenlohe-Langenburg princess,witch was considered GOOD ENOUGH;but the other was a mere Danish countess(read Dannenskoild-Samsoe) and not really of a lineage required for a Royal House.It took the old Emperor NINE MONTHS  to overlook the slight inequality of birth while the appropriate certifications were drawn up!Dona was TAKEN to Queen Victoria,WHO APPROVED!Empress Vicky HAD RESERVATIONS about an early marriage and still hoping that her son would see something of world first...''It was the same with Sissy when her Arenberg(as a meditized and not  anymore a rulling House) ancestry was conserned!

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2005, 06:32:29 AM »
Here's what some people said of her:

Vicky 1880:

"She is so sweet and sensible a girl that she must win all hearts."

On her wedding day:

"Sweet Dona looked quite lovely – so sweet and self-possessed not shy and yet so modest and gentle."

Queem Victoria 1880:

"Has a sweet winning smile…She looks thoroughly amiable but rather delicate I should say…[she] has beautiful teeth."

Queen Victoria 1899:

"Very nice and kind and not stiff at all."
Queen Victoria 1881

"You think dear Dona so pretty. We do not; nor do others. But sweet, gentle, graceful and ladylike. "

Marie Mallet:

"Insignificant & boring"

The governess, Alice Topham:

"One of the kindest-hearted women I ever met."

Nicholas II 1897:

"She did her best to be pleasant but looked awful in sumptuous gowns completely lacking in taste; in particular the hats she wore in the evenings were frightful; heard here that the Empress is completely under the influence of her court ladies."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2005, 11:30:59 AM »
Thanks for all the info, guys. Dona, it seemed, was perfectly amenable to her family, but imperious to other people, especially Vicky.
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2005, 09:53:48 AM »
She was an absolute witch toward Vicky. Dona restricted her children from developing any meaningful relationship with Vicky which hurt Vicky greatly. This, among other things, was a wedge that was totally caused by Dona that never was repaired.

Dona also meddled in matters well over her head; she frequently stood between William and important situations to "protect" him from the rigors of his responsibilities.

How did she get the nickname Dona in the first place?

While it seems she was not great person on many levels, especially given the power she had and what she could have done with it, one legacy remains which is quite interesting. Kaiser Wilhelm was the first ever foreign head of state to visit the "Holy land" and he did much to establish German relations in the area. he built a Lutheran Church and hospital in Jerusalem as a haven for the poor and needy. The hospital named for Dona--the Auguste Viktoria Hospital--remains today.
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2005, 12:23:11 PM »
Quote
She was an absolute witch toward Vicky. Dona restricted her children from developing any meaningful relationship with Vicky which hurt Vicky greatly. This, among other things, was a wedge that was totally caused by Dona that never was repaired.

Dona also meddled in matters well over her head; she frequently stood between William and important situations to "protect" him from the rigors of his responsibilities.

How did she get the nickname Dona in the first place?

While it seems she was not great person on many levels, especially given the power she had and what she could have done with it, one legacy remains which is quite interesting. Kaiser Wilhelm was the first ever foreign head of state to visit the "Holy land" and he did much to establish German relations in the area. he built a Lutheran Church and hospital in Jerusalem as a haven for the poor and needy. The hospital named for Dona--the Auguste Viktoria Hospital--remains today.



Yes HerrKaiser, I think that Dona's bad behaviour towards Vicky is the thing that puts her beyond the pale.

She can be forgiven her poor taste, her assumed airs and her, at times vindictive nature, but her nastiness towards Vicky is hard to forgive, especially as you say that it damaged the latter's relationship with her grandchildren.

Of course, in all matters Dona took her cue from her husband, so the assumption must be that he approved of her bad behaviour.......
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2005, 05:01:59 PM »
When Dona's only daughter Viktoria Luise was born in 1892 (?), didn't Dona go out of her way to tell Vicky that Viktoria was not named for her? That's just plain mean. A remember reading about a visit Vicky made to England in the 1880s or 90s and she was writing to someone about how she loved spending time with Beatrice's children because she never got to see her 'Berlin' grandchildren.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2005, 07:53:40 PM »
HerrKaiser, Martyn, Prince_Lieven I agree with you all. Much can be overlooked if one has a basically kindly nature--not dressing fashionably, unflattering hairstyles, etc... I think she not only took her cue from Wilhelm but she aggravated it. Wilhelm's relationship was a real love/hate and Dona seemed to mostly latch onto the latter. I think she was jealous in a way of the hold his mother had over him. Also, Dona fit the way the hidebound Court (esp Bismarck) thought a future Empress should be and it was everything Vicky wasn't. For someone who seems to have some insecurity issues, having her ego stroked must've been powerful. Those around her certainly didn't mind poisoning her against Vicky.

And she did indeed go out of her way to inform Vicky that VL wasn't named after her.  >:(
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2005, 07:04:02 AM »
I wonder if Dona ever noticed that Wilhelm never really lost his devotion to Ella . . . Did she even care? How did she get on with the Hesse cousins, them being German as opposed to English?

By the way, Herr Kaiser, you say she was an absolute 'witch' towards Vicky. I think you're just one letter off! : - )
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline edwardcharles

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2005, 09:03:48 AM »
I have read some of the forums here and I keep reading that Dona treated her mother in law empress vicky quite badly what was the reason for this? was it because the kasier hated his mother so Dona did the same or was their another reason for it? :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by edwardcharles »

Offline tea_rose

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2005, 01:00:32 PM »
 Dona was a very "everything that Wilhelm thinks and does is right" sort of person. She was not well-read or imaginative and basically used Wilhelm as a template for her opinions. Vicky was quite the opposite; intellectual, passionate and not easily led. These qualities made her life in Prussia difficult from the beginning. Wilhelm had emphatic and loudly expressed differences with his mother from adolescence on and Dona followed his lead as ever.

 When Wilhelm and Dona became engaged, Vicky saw that Dona was rather submissive and unintellectual. However, she thought that Dona might be a positive influence who wouldn't egg Wilhelm on (as did his sister Charlotte). Alas, Dona simply echoed his views in a minor key.

 It's not surprising the two did not become friends as they had nothing in common. It was a little more sad that Vicky did not get on with her mother-in-law who was a bit silly and preoccupied with clothes but who was also a liberal.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2005, 01:04:07 PM »
Part of it was that. Also, Dona was simply a spiteful, jealous woman who was extremely contemptuous of Vicky. Dona, herself being the uber-housfrau, thought that Vicky was far too English. She was very elitist, and thought the idea of Moretta marrying Sandro of Battenberg (a match Vicky had championed) was a stupid idea. Queen Victoria, for her part, thought Dona was a 'poor, insignificant little princess.' When Dona's youngest child Viktoria Luise was born, Dona went out of her way to tell Vicky that she was not the Victoria that the baby was named for.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."