Author Topic: The Saxe-Meiningen family  (Read 142707 times)

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Offline jfkhaos

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The Saxe-Meiningen family
« on: August 19, 2004, 11:46:32 AM »

I haven't found too much on Charlotte other than quick references in biographies or the article online.  Does anyone have any additional information on Charlotte, her husband Bernhard, their home(s), etc?

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 06:37:24 AM by Svetabel »

elisa_1872

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 12:56:19 PM »
Hi Jfkhaos, here is some information gathered from the book on Queen Victoria's grandchildren, by L. Salway for you on the Princess Charlotte.

She was born in 1860, christened Viktoria Elisabeth Auguste Charlotte. She was quite close to her brother Wilhelm, and her grandmother the Empress Auguste, less so with than with her parents, so says the book.

After her marrying the Prince Bernhard, their daughter Feodora was born in 1879 - "The arrival of her own first grandchild gave "Vicky" little pleasure, for it came only fifteen days after the death.. of her youngest son Waldemar".

She spent much time visiting relations in Europe, and visited Coburg in particular quite often, to her uncle, the Prince Alfred now Duke. She was sometimes named "Cousin Charly" by her cousin Marie, daughter of Alfred. Charlotte played a great part in Marie's life, in the suggestion of her marrying Ferdinand of Roumania.

Prince Bernhard became Duke of Saxe-Meiningen but this reign only lasted four years, he abdicated in 1918. Charlotte died one year later.


Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2004, 12:33:57 AM »
Princess Charlotte of Prussia, was born on 24 July 1860 in the Neues Palais in Potsdam. Her birth was much easier on her mother, Victoria, than that of her older brother William which almost cost her mother her life. While her parents were deeply in love, there was huge tension within the family over the raising of the children, a conflict the young Crown Princess (only about 18-19) didn’t feel independent enough to withstand. She was young, separated from her family, still basically a newlywed (2 children in roughly the first 2 years of marriage), with a disabled child, was rather tactless and regarded with deep suspicion within the Court for her liberal ideas (which she didn’t hesitate to express). She also didn’t get on well with her mother-in-law who had a rather cold personality and provided no helpful advice to her (esp as she herself was disliked within the Court and unhappily married). She couldn’t even please with the names—QV wanted every granddaughter to have ‘Victoria’ in her name and ‘Albert’ for the boys (with some ‘Victors’ and ‘Albertas’ thrown in). Thus this  first daughter of Vicky & Fritz was christened Viktoria Elisabeth Auguste Charlotte, and would be called Charlotte (also nicknamed ‘Charly’ and ‘Ditta’). Charlotte served to honor that Prussian princess who became Empress Alexandra of Russia. Disregarding both the fact of the child's first name and the potential confusion of having two  princesses being called by "Viktoria", QV wrote, "I do hope one of your daughters, if you have any more, will be called Victoria, so that there may be 4 generations of Victorias". Charly would come to share the special place, along with William, as the only grandchildren Albert would live to see during a visit by V&A..

"Charly" was a huge disappointment to her mother. Brilliant as she herself was, Vicky had trouble undertanding how her own daughter didn’t follow in her footsteps. Instead, she grew increasingly critical of this  nervous, agitated child, who showed signs of problems (which would continue into adulthood and be diagnosed in modern times as porphyria) when she was little more than an infant. Charly not only bit her fingernails, she also sucked and chewed on her clothing. Adding to her criticism, Vicky also noted that not only did Charly share the  Hohenzollern looks, she was neither graceful nor "well-made." Long of body and short of limb, Charly looked, according to Vicky,  very "top heavy" when standing, but gave the illusion of being tall when seated. The corsets and styles of the time only emphasized Charly's hefty arms, large breasts and over-long neck though the fashions of long and full skirts  at least had the benefit of hiding  her extremely short legs. Her letters to her mother were full of criticisms of her behavior and looks. Charly began to develop a willful nature which was encouraged by her grandparents William & Augusta who spoiled both her and William. With her grandparents encouraged her every whim which set her against her parents, Charly soon began her long career as a trouble-maker supreme.

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2004, 12:34:08 AM »
Anxious to escape from her parents’ house, Charly basically married the first prince to come along, her brother’s friend Bernard of Saxe-Meiningen in 1879 and was a mother the next year. Charly had no liking at all for pregnancy and the crimp in caused in her newfound freedom (not to mention her figure). She declared there would be no more children and there weren’t. For all the attention she paid her daughter, Feodore, she may as well have had no children.. As soon as she recovered from Feo's birth Charly went back to what she loved best the Berlin social whirl with all its opportunities for gossip and mischief. She developed an extreme talent for this by pretending to be a friend to someone, gaining their confidence, then using the information against them. She would finally get ‘booted’ from Berlin by her fed-up brother after spreading gossip about his family. She then encamped to Romania (where the King was a Hohenzollern by birth) and contented herself with causing trouble for the young Crown Princess, her cousin Marie. Marie had been enthralled by Charly as a child, recalling in her memoirs her enchanting voice and how charming she could seem. She described her as almost ‘cat-like’ and feline (though ‘catty’ would’ve been more apprapos). For years, this game worked well for her and she stayed on the winning side—siding with her grandfather and brother against her parents. Even her mother’s tragic bereavement didnt’ caused her to ease up, with her final betrayal coming when she was told by her mother of her terminal spinal cancer & she promised to keep the secret which she quickly broke when she was back in Berlin, for no reason it seems, except either spite or because it was too ‘juicy’ a secret to keep. Her relationship with her daughter was no better. Feo had many falling-outs with her mother over the years. At once point, her  mother basically refused to allow her to step into the house or have her name mentioned. This drew the concern of not only Vicky, but of Henry & Irene who allowed Feo to take refuge at Hemmelmark. Feo eventually married Henry of Reuss in 1898 but would have no children and commit suicide after WW2 and a lifetime of sadness (though she did love her husband) marked by recurring mental & physical ills (also perhaps caused by porphyria). Unable to cope with the loss of her power and position after the overthrow of the Hohenzollerns in 1918, Charly died in 1919 at the age of fifty-nine at Baden-Baden.
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Offline princessalice

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2004, 04:43:08 PM »
charlotte and probably her little daughter, as well as they think Vicky, suffered from the other family disease, prophryia...i know i have horrible mispelled that....it was a herditary illness, i think King George III, the one they called "mad", had it, too, hence the bizarre behavior.  

charlotte's daughter was in the care of her mother a lot, i think....it was kind of a sad situation...
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2004, 04:53:06 PM »
John Rohl's magnificent book, PURPLE SECRET, catalogues the porphyria suffered by Vicky and her daughter and granddaughter.  I canot recommend this book highly enough.

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Marquis Green

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2004, 09:51:11 AM »
I have always found it intriging that if Princess Feodora and Henry of Reuss had conceived a child shortly after marriage, they could have provided QV with her first great-great-grandchild in the span of her lifetime. Feodora and Henry were married in 1898, the old Queen-Empress would be around for another 3 years. Charlotte Hohenzollern has more character traits of her grandmother, the Empress Augusta, than of her mother. She didn't have Vicky's smarts nor Queen Victoria's caring, maternal nature.

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2004, 09:42:12 AM »
Quote
I have always found it intriging that if Princess Feodora and Henry of Reuss had conceived a child shortly after marriage, they could have provided QV with her first great-great-grandchild in the span of her lifetime. Feodora and Henry were married in 1898, the old Queen-Empress would be around for another 3 years. Charlotte Hohenzollern has more character traits of her grandmother, the Empress Augusta, than of her mother. She didn't have Vicky's smarts nor Queen Victoria's caring, maternal nature.


Indeed...instead the old Queen was dead by four years by the time her first great-great-grandchild was born.

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Marquis Green

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2004, 01:08:07 PM »
Was her first g-g grand Alice of Battenburg's daughter Margarita of Greece? She was born in 1906. Or was it a descendant of Vicky's? Feodora and Henry of Reuss never had children.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2004, 10:24:58 AM »
Quote
Was her first g-g grand Alice of Battenburg's daughter Margarita of Greece? She was born in 1906. Or was it a descendant of Vicky's? Feodora and Henry of Reuss never had children.


She was actually born in 1905 I think. She was indeed the first g-g-grandchild. She was followed the next year by her sister Theodora and Prince Wilhelm of Prussia.
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Offline jfkhaos

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2004, 11:08:35 AM »
Is anyone able to locate any additional pictures of Charlotte and Feodora with their husbands?  I am also interested in seeing where Charlotte lived, and where she is buried, but I am having a difficult time locating this information.....grandduchessella, you seem to be able to find so many things.....I hope you can find something like what I have requested, and, as always, thanks in advance! ;D

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2004, 11:30:38 AM »
Quote
Is anyone able to locate any additional pictures of Charlotte and Feodora with their husbands?  I am also interested in seeing where Charlotte lived, and where she is buried, but I am having a difficult time locating this information.....grandduchessella, you seem to be able to find so many things.....I hope you can find something like what I have requested, and, as always, thanks in advance! ;D


Charlotte and her husband are buried in the gardens of Schloß Altenstein, Thüringen.  I have been to their grave several times.

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2004, 11:35:57 PM »
Charlotte & Bernard at engagement (the photo on one of the above posts is probably the most well-known of them, I don't think they spent much time together!)


« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 06:38:30 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline MarquisAnthony

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2004, 11:13:10 AM »
Quote

She was actually born in 1905 I think. She was indeed the first g-g-grandchild. She was followed the next year by her sister Theodora and Prince Wilhelm of Prussia.


Thanks for the info grandduchessella. I was curious as to who was first.
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Offline jfkhaos

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Re: The Saxe-Meiningen family
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2004, 01:22:03 PM »
I read that Charlotte practically threw her daughter out of the house and refused to have anything to do with her.  I know (at least I think I do  ;))that Feodora committed suicide.

Does anyone have any pictures of Charlotte in old age, shortly before she died?  She has always looked more like her mother's side than her father's.

Thanks in advance!