Friday, January 20, 2012

Prince Eitel Friedrich - the Kaiser's favorite

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January 20, 1912

Kaiser Wilhelm II is making most of the opportunity to draw attention to the "model conduct of his favorite son," Prince Eitel Friedrich,  especially after the "late indiscretions" of Crown Prince Wilhelm.

Prince Eitel Friedrich is married to Duchess Sophie-Charlotte of Oldenburg,  who is, according to the Los Angeles Times, "the best looking and richest" of the Kaiser's daughters-in-law.   Her husband is seen as the "fat boy" of the Imperial family, but remains the "idol of the German people." But as he matured, he "lost his looks," is now rather short, "enormously stout, and of rather insignificant features."

Princess Eitel Friedrich is four years older than her husband.  She is the daughter of the Grand Duke of Oldenburg and his first wife, from whom she "inherited her fat purse."  She met her future husband at the wedding of the Crown Prince Wilhelm and Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg.   They often met during that summer and were married on February 27, 1906.

Prince Eitel Friedrich was not the Duchess' first love.  When she was in her late teens, she fell in love with "her father's adjutant, a handsome and dashing young soldier."  The romance faded quickly after Sophie Charlotte's father discovered what was happening, and the young soldier was sent to America "for his health."

He returned to Oldenburg, "entirely recovered" not long afterward, and he and the Princess and her family have remained good friends.

Princess Eitel Friedrich made a great impression when she and her husband traveled to the Holy Land last year.  In Jerusalem, at a "brilliant gathering representing every race and religion," lemonade and cigarettes were passed around.  Princess Eitel Friedrich accepted one of the cigarettes and lighted it.  A woman smoking did not "astonish her Mohammed hosts," but they were surprised that a "western Christian woman would have adopted their customs."

The princess' action helped to "promote a good feeling among the people whom they traveled."

Because she does not like "ordinary social amusements,"  Princess Eitel Friedrich does not do as much as the Crown Princess.   She prefers the "country life" and "'pottering' about her garden.  She also shares several interests with her "august" in-laws.   Like Kaiser Wilhelm,  Sophie Charlotte enjoys music, and like Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, she "takes a keenest interest in all hospital work," and she tries to visit a charitable institution every day.

The couple, much to their regret, do not have any children, but the Princess is a great favorite of her nephews, the children of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

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