Author Topic: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I  (Read 242506 times)

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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #345 on: October 24, 2007, 09:21:37 AM »
we feel today about what she did with her mother's journals, it is pretty certain that Queen Victoria would have approved. 


How can this be known? It seems counter intuitive. QV was in mourning and suffered depression, did she not? That could explain why she may have written things down that she knew were no-nos. But, that is much conjecture. I rather think QV knew what she was writing and would have stood behind it for all time. I think that Beatrice took a next-generation approach, as happens today, and decided to construct a historical view that worked for the times and situtaion.
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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #346 on: October 24, 2007, 10:32:42 AM »
Hmmm...Even though she did wrote to many people and not just to her mother and daughter... ???

Whats that got to do with anything?

Herrkaiser - we will never know weather QV would have approved or not. What we do know is that Beatrice was completeing her mothers wishes and that's good enough.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #347 on: October 24, 2007, 09:10:24 PM »
No ! We are taking about Vicky and her letters...which should included a lot more than just those to her mother & daughter. It would be a joy if more of her corresponces surfaced.  :)

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #348 on: October 27, 2007, 05:23:31 AM »
I've just been reading the interesting biography of Lord Esher by James Lees-Milne, in which he lists the destruction of a good many letters of Queen Victoria's by King Edward - so it was not just Beatrice who was responsible for this.  In particular, he burnt letters about private family business, including letters relating to Vicky's marriage, letters to Disraeli (not in fact his to burn, since they belonged to Lord Rothschild), letters about the Lady Flora Hastings affair (where Queen Victoria had behaved very shabbily) and correspondence with Lord Granville (who reported on the doings of Lord Palmerston, whom neither Victoria nor Albert trusted, and who did not confide in them - but it wasn't correct for them to engage in this sort of correspondence).  Beatrice destroyed Queen Victoria's letters to Prince Alfred and Princess Alice, who had died before Queen Victoria (there is no mention of her letters to Prince Leopold).  Presumably her letters to Vicky survived because they were sent to her after Queen Victoria's death and she chose to keep them.  In all this destruction, discretion was clearly the aim and the interest of posterity a very long way behind.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #349 on: October 28, 2007, 10:14:02 PM »
I don't think Beatrice dared to touch Vicky's letters since she knew that she wanted to use them to vindicate her name.  ???

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #350 on: October 29, 2007, 10:02:09 AM »
In all this destruction, discretion was clearly the aim and the interest of posterity a very long way behind.


As so goes much of historical documentation. Even the small "tweaks" of the truth by destroying evidence or changing it to save some personal indiscretion can, over time, seemingly create a signficantly different view of a person, situation, or era.
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Offline eejm

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #351 on: November 25, 2007, 06:49:21 PM »

I thought all of Vicky's correspondence was sent to Britain with Edward VII via Ponsonby after Vicky's last visit with him?  This was to get it away from Wilhelm II...or was it just the correspondence from QV?  

I think it's a shame that Vicky's tenure as Empress was so short.  She and Fritz may have helped avoid a lot of the conflict Germany had with the rest of the world in the 20th century if they were able to rule a bit longer, possibly mend some fences with their son.  
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:11:53 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #352 on: November 26, 2007, 02:01:43 AM »

Tdora what a honour for you to share your birthday with Vicky!! During the second world war, after Mossy had moved out of the castle I believe, Friedrichshof was noted by Anthony Blunt (later to be busted as a KGB spy) to be in a mess with Vicky personal papers lying around for all to see including letters to and from her mother! Thankfully George VI's librarian was given permission to visit the castle and rescue the precious papers, I wonder if Queen Mary somewhere had a hand in this.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:12:23 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline Tdora1

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #353 on: November 26, 2007, 08:50:02 AM »
Eddieboy - thank you!  Yes, the Anthony Blunt connection was a rapidly-organised dash during the end days of the war to Friedrichshof to retrieve documents. The accepted story is that the endeavour was to retrieve Vicky's papers. But even if any were left behind, why the urgency at such a difficult time?  The theory I have: (that was not pointed out in the source I read probably because they didn't know anything about Vicky's descendants) - the place was bequeathed to Mossy; one or some of her son(s) (the Hesse-Kassel) were heavily involved with the Nazis. The Dukes of Kent and Windsor were known to have had dubious continental family contacts leading up to WW2 regarding the absolute avoidance of war (which some argue were tantamount to treason in intent if not in execution) and I wonder if THAT was the real motivation behind scampering and rummaging for who-knows-what was lying around..?
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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #354 on: November 26, 2007, 12:49:24 PM »
You're welcome honey - your posts are always a pleasure to read

The accepted story is that the endeavour was to retrieve Vicky's papers. But even if any were left behind, why the urgency at such a difficult time? 

Several reasons for this. The castle was occupied at this time by the army who where no doubt doing a lot of snooping about (they discovered and helped themselves to the Hesse jewels hidden in the cellar). Vickys letters to and from her mother where literally lying about for anyone to see and pocket which is why permission was given to remove archive material, sooner rather than later. I find it quite incredible that Vickys personal papers where lying around for all to see. I suppose with war on Vickys family had more pressing concerns...

Sad to think of the castle in such a mess when Vicky loved it and always kept it in "apple pie order"! Would have been fascinating to explore though!!

I see your point Tdora but I do think this was more for historical importance which is why I wonder if Queen Mary had a hand in it. Also Blunt was keenly interested in The Royal Collection and was Surveyor of the King's Pictures....

Hope that helps!
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #355 on: November 26, 2007, 02:50:24 PM »


I also think it is unfair to suggest that "Germany" underappreciated Vicky. her role as crown princess did not afford her great exposure and the difficulties she experienced with the ruling class did not reflect that of the general population. Fritz, too, had problems with the royal hierarchy, but was ever so beloved by the population of common folk. Vicky did not have any opportunity to 'show her stuff'. Their reign was not only too short, it was utterly and completely insiginficant and irrelevant. 99 days as the wife of a dying man hardly allows anyone to create an image, role, or legacy amongst the nation of subjects.

When leaders/celebrities lives/roles are cut short, all that history tends to have is the most recent highlight and in Vicky's case, it is a mourning widow instead of what could have been. That is not the fault of the German people, rather cruel fate.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:12:50 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #356 on: November 26, 2007, 08:22:01 PM »
Indeed ! Vicjy was victim to the propaganda machine that Bismark used to blacken her name. The "real" people did not have the opportunity to know the real Vicky and her hopes & ideals for a united Germany. It was only now that documents and serious research is being done on this misunderstood and obsure royal. I think John Rohl's books on Willy also created interests on Vicky herself.  :o

Offline Laura_

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #357 on: November 27, 2007, 10:09:39 AM »

Kaiserin Friedrich was a great lady  :)






« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:14:04 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Tdora1

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #358 on: November 28, 2007, 04:41:27 AM »
Recalling that Vicky once wrote of her daughter Charlotte (re the latter's post-pubertal figure) that she inter alia "has immense upper arms" I can't help noticing in Laura's posted photo above that Vicky seems to fill the sleeve of her dress quite amply! She was often frustrated by her shortness and tendency to gain weight, and complained - albeit amusedly and with quite charming self-deprecation - that she became quite matronly about the figure at such a young age. Her figure did appear to vary over the years though, especially when her child-bearing days ended, and after Friedrich died she became quite gaunt-looking for a while.                                                                                          Vicky was as quick to acknowledge and admire elegant figures of the women she would meet as she was to criticise the looks of not only herself but her children too! (she puts me in mind of the hilarious country song by Patsy Cline  - duetting with a male singer whose name escapes me - titled "You're The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly") - not that she ever would criticise her beloved Fritz, its just the unusual frankness of a parent that is rather shocking to modern views on child-rearing and the importance of self-esteem blah blah.                                                                 As a 5'1" titch myself who was a fat kid and still struggles to keep it under 120lbs, I identify with Vicky on this one - as with many other issues, battles and interests she had throughout her eventful life. Aye, she had her faults as do we all but to me she was a true one-off especially among her royal female contemporariees and I'm especially grateful for Hanna Pakula's excellent biog "An Uncommon Woman" as well as all the interesting info and shared enthusiams here at the AP.
Acts of injustice done
Between the setting and the rising sun
In history lie like bones, each one.

W.H. Auden The Ascent of F6

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part I
« Reply #359 on: November 28, 2007, 01:07:19 PM »

I was wondering last night, exactly what papers where rescued from Friedrichshof during the war? We know there where letters to and from QV and Vicky but why where these not amongst the letters rescued by Ponsoby a good 40 or so years earlier?? The only reference I have seen is that it was "archive material" Interesting to speculate...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:15:26 AM by Svetabel »
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