Friday, August 27, 2010

Rupprecht's engagement

August 27, 1918

From a New York Times editorial: "The latest victim of Cupid's darts is that war-worn veteran, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, who amid the preoccupation entailed by a series of victorious retreats" is now engaged to Princess Antonia of Luxembourg. Despite the age disparity -- Rupprecht is 49 and his fiancée is 19 -- "the match will no doubt be a happy one." Rupprecht "crownprinces rather better than his distinguished rival Wilhelm of Prussia, and if he has never displayed an inclination toward Wilhelm's habit of stealing clocks and silverware from chateaux where he is quartered, his bride will nevertheless find a well-furnished home."
Rupprecht's throne is "likely to be more secure than Wilhelm's when the German people have leisure to sit down and figure up whether the war was worth what it cost."
Here is "a royal instance of the phenomenon so often seen in humbler cirles -- a gentleman consoling himself with the younger sister when the elder will have none of him."
Ever since, the German Army took "forcible possession of Luxembourg," on August 2, 1914, "German intrigue" has been doing its best to get Antonia's eldest sister, Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide "to accept a German husband and facilitate the inclusion of her realm in the German Empire." The Grand Duchess has "held out," but Princess Antonia, the third of her five sisters, "has apparently been picked out as the sacrifice."
It appears that German royalties were becoming insistent. Germans are beginning to realize that the "good German Sword cannot do all the work at the peace conference, and that it is highly advisable to get up some sort of title to the neighboring countries whose inclusion within the German sphere of influence is still hoped for."
German royals have been selected to be kings of Lithuania and Poland, and "if a good German bridegroom could be admitted to a share of the throne of Luxembourg he might be used as a counterweight to the desires of its people who want the war to restore their independence."
But if "this design is so far unsuccessful, the present match will at any rate mean a closer German connection to the ruling house."

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