Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Princess Victoria, Princess Royal
German Empress Friedrich (née Her Royal Highness The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal) (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise), (21 November 1840 – 5 August 1901) was Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia. She was a daughter of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Queen Victoria and later married into the Prussian Royal House, Hohenzollern. She was the consort of German Emperor Friedrich III, and mother of the Emperor-King Wilhelm II of Germany. She also held the title of Princess Royal.
Princess Victoria was born on November 21, 1840 at Buckingham Palace, London. Her mother was the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, the only daughter of King George III's fourth eldest son, HRH Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. Her father was HRH Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
As a daughter of the sovereign, Victoria was a British princess with the style Her Royal Highness. In 1841, the Queen created Victoria, the title of Princess Royal, a title sometimes conferred on the eldest daughter of the sovereign. Victoria was then styled HRH The Princess Royal. To her family she was known simply as Vicky. Until the birth of her brother, The Prince Albert Edward, Victoria was also the heiress presumptive to the throne.
The education of Victoria was closely supervised by her parents. She was precocious and intelligent, unlike her brother Albert Edward. She was taught to read and write before the age of five by her governess Lady Lyttelton and to speak French by her French nursery maid. The Princess Royal learned French and German from various governesses and science, literature, Latin, and history by Sara Ann Hildyard. Prince Albert tutored her in politics and philosophy.
In 1851, Victoria met her future husband, His Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (18 October 1831-15 June 1888), when he and his parents were invited to London by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to attend the opening of the Great Exhibition. At the time, Friedrich, the son of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar , was third in line to the Prussian throne. The couple were engaged in 1855 when Friedrich, was on a visit to Balmoral.
The Prussian Court and Buckingham Palace publicly announced the engagement on 19 May 1857. The couple were married, at Queen Victoria's insistence, at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, on 25 January 1858. The marriage was both a love match and a dynastic alliance. The Queen and Prince Albert hoped that Victoria's marriage to the future king of Prussia would cement close ties between London and Berlin, and possibly lead to the emergence of a unified and liberal Germany.
Victoria and Friedrich had eight children:
|Prince Wilhelm, later Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia||27 January 1859||4 June 1941||married 1st Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein (22 October 1858-11 April 1921) and had issue;|
2nd Princess Hermine Reuss zu Greiz (17 December 1887-7 August 1947
|Princess Charlotte||24 July 1860||1 October 1919)||married Bernhard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (1 April 1851- 16 January 1928).|
|Prince Heinrich||14 August 1862||20 April 1929||married Princess Irene of Hesse and the Rhine (11 July 1866-11 November 1953); and had issue.|
|Prince Sigismund||15 September 1864||18 June 1866|
|Princess Viktoria||12 April 1866||13 November 1929||married 1st 19 November 1890 Prince Adolf zu Schaumburg-Lippe (20 July 1859-9 July 1916);|
2nd Alexander Zoubkov (25 September 1901-28 January 1936).
|Prince Waldemar||10 February 1868||27 March 1879|
|Princess Sophie||(14 June 1870||13 January 1932)||married King Constantine I of the Hellenes (2 August 1868-11 January 1923)|
|Princess Margarete||22 April 1872||22 January 1954||married Friedrich Karl, Landgrave of Hesse (1 May 1868-28 May 1940)|
Crown Princess of Prussia
In January 1861, on the death of his childless uncle Frederick William IV of Prussia and the accession of his father as King Wilhelm I, Prince Friedrich became Crown Prince of Prussia. The new Crown Prince and Crown Princess, however, were politically isolated; their liberal and Anglophile views clashed with the authoritarian rule of the Prussian minister-president, Otto von Bismarck.
During the three Wars of German Unification--the 1864 Prussian-Danish War, the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, and the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War -- Victoria and Friedrich strongly identified with the cause of Prussia and the North German Confederation. Their sympathies created a rift among Queen Victoria's extended family, since Victoria's younger brother, the Prince of Wales, was married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the elder daughter of Christian IX of Denmark, who was also reigning duke of the disputed territories of Schleswig and Holstein. At Versailles on 18 January 1871, the victorious princes of the North German Confederation proclaimed a German Empire with King Wilhelm I of Prussia as the hereditary German Emperor (Deutscher Kaiser) with the style Imperial and Royal Majesty (Kaiserliche und Königliche Majestät); Fritz and Vicky became Crown Prince and Crown Princess of the German Empire with the style Imperial and Royal Highness (Kaiserliche und Königliche Hoheit).
On the death of his father on 9 March 1888, the Crown Prince ascended the throne as the Emperor Friedrich III and Victoria adopted the title and style of the Empress Friedrich. Friedrich III, however, was terminally ill with throat cancer and died after reigning 88 days.
The widowed Victoria lived in retirement at Friedrichshof, a country house she built near Kronberg. Politically, she remained a liberal and because of this, her already strained relationship with Emperor Wilhelm II deteriorated. In Berlin, Victoria established schools for the higher education of girls and for nurses' training. She patronized the arts and learning, becoming one of the organizers of the 1872 Industrial Art Exhibition.
Throughout her married life and widowhood, Victoria kept in close touch with other members of the British Royal Family, particularly her eldest brother, the future Edward VII. She maintained a regular correspondence with her mother. According to the Royal Encyclopaedia, some 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter have been catalogued, as well as more than 4,000 from daughter to mother.
Victoria died of cancer of the spine at Friedrichshof in August 1901. She was interred next to her husband at the royal mausoleum of Friedenskirche at Potsdam on 13 August.
Titles from birth to death
- Her Royal Highness The Princess Victoria
- Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal
- Her Royal Highness Princess Friedrich of Prussia
- Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Friedrich of Prussia
- Her Imperial and Royal Highness Crown Princess Friedrich of The German Empire and Prussia
- Her Imperial Majesty The German Empress
- Her Imperial Majesty German Empress Friedrich
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