Thursday, January 12, 2012

Max Egon & Irma, Prince and Princess zu Fürstenberg


Both postcards: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection.
The first postcard was postmarked April 30, 1900. The second postcard was postmarked sixteen years later on September 12.

Prince Maximilian Egon II succeeded his father, Maximilian Egon II,  in 1873.  He was born in 1863 and died in 1941.  He married Countess Irma von Schönborn-Buchheim in 1889.

Prince Max Egon moved in Kaiser Wilhelm II's inner circle, and his star rose after Count Philipp zu Eulenberg, Wilhelm II's closet friend, "fell from grace," after he was charged with homosexuality in 1906.

In his two volumed biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Lamar Cecil writes that after "Eulenberg's star had begun to set, another person emerged who would become Wilhelm's closest friend, although not one so inseparable as Eulenberg once had been."

Prince Max Egon was an "Austro-German bon vivant of great wealth, superficial charm and limited intellgence.  Wilhelm was a frequent visitor to the prince's home, Schloss Donaueschingen in Baden, "where he had encouraged the prince to renovate in an ornate Louise Quinze style." 

The prince had no political ambitions, but was Eulenberg's equal in devising ways in which to please the Kaiser."  Wilhelm, for one, enjoyed "the prince's crude badinage and his propensity for gossip."  The friendship eventually waned because Empress Auguste Viktoria "disapproved" of the Prince.

After Kaiser Wilhelm went into exile in the Netherlands, at Doorn,  "his dendrological projects were partly financed" by Prince Max Egon who would send specimen trees or money "to be used for plantings."  Max Egon would also visit Wilhelm II at Doorn, and by the mid-1930s, he had become a committed Nazi.

The current Prince of Fürstenberg is Max Egon's, great-grandson, Heinrich.

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