October 24, 1917
German Emperor Wilhelm II, who is facing mutiny from his soldiers and sailors and his subjects, is now about to face a lawsuit brought on by members of his own family.
The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today that Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia has brought a suit against the Kaiser. The 22-year-old Prince, whose mother, Princess Luise Sophie is the younger sister of the Empress, has hired as one of his lawyers, Dr. Heine, a Socialist, who is one "of the most savage political critics" of the Emperor.
No one believes that Prince Friedrich Leopold will win, but his suit has "created considerable sensation throughout the German empire." This may be the first time in the history of the Prussian royal family that a prince of the royal house has "invoked the intervention of the courts against the head of the house," the sovereign, and has "questioned the prerogative" governing members of the dynasty with "a rod of iron."
Prince Friedrich Leopold suffers from "an affection of the heart," and due to the "general delicacy of health," has been unable to take his place at the front, with his regiment, the First Prussian fleet guards. Prince Friedrich Leopold has remained at university in Munich, continuing his studies, and "devoting a good deal of attention to art."
Wilhelm II apparently believes the malicious gossip about the Prince. Friedrich Leopold was rumored to be "unduly extravagant and spending too much money. Without contacting or consulting with the young prince's parents, Wilhelm II ordered Friedrich Leopold to be placed under a "curatel." which deprived him of "paying out any money" or contracting any obligations.
In other words, Wilhelm II took control of his nephew's private resources.
Prince Friedrich Leopold's father, also named Prince Friedrich Leopold, was furious when he learned what the Kaiser had one. The only brother of the Duchess of Connaught, Prince Friedrich Leopold has denied that his son has been extravagant. He has resented the influence of the Kaiser in his private family life.
The senior Friedrich Leopold has the full support of his wife, both of whom believe that Wilhelm has no business in deciding how young Friedrich Leopold should spend his money.
Luise Sophie has never forgiven the Kaiser for his actions last summer when she learned that her aviator son, Prince Friedrich Karl, was mortally wounded "within the English lines in France." English and German authorities had made arrangements for the princess to visit her dying son, but Wilhelm stepped in and forbade from going to France.
Prince Friedrich Karl was made aware of his uncle's "brutal action," and
died execrating him."
Wilhelm II's response to the lawsuit states that as sovereign and head of the house he has "absolute authority and entire control over all its members," whether they are young or older. He states that he has the "same control over them" just as "judicially appointed guardians have control over minors" or the mentally ill in care."