Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Crown Prince goes a woo-ing




March 4, 1905

All of Germany is "watching with intense interest" in the courtship of Crown Prince Wilhelm.  According to the Chicago Daily Tribune,  the prospective marriage of the heir to the German throne is far more interesting than the "revolution in Russia" or the quarrel between the agrarians and the socialists."   There is more "absorbing interest" in the "lovemaking" of the Crown Prince and the "fair Duchess Cecilia."

The Crown Prince, who will one day be the German Emperor, "makes love in an open manner."  His marriage will not be a political or dynastic arrangement.  He has "chosen a girl for his wife who is of his own people."  Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin is German and "has always lived in Germany."

Crown Prince Wilhelm "writes a love letter every day" to his betrothed.  The letters are sent by "smart orderly rides" by train or automobile, and are delivered to "the young girl who some day will be the empress."   The messenger waits for the reply, and then delivers the response to the crown prince.

These letters are sent even if the Crown Prince and the Duchess are in the same city.  A daily love letter is sent and delivered.  If the Duchess is at the same palace, the letter is "written and slipped into the hand of the happy girl," only a few minutes before she meets her beloved in the palace's drawing room.

He keeps his love letters in a big "japanned dispatch box," and each week's letters are kept separately "with colored ribbons."

Everyone in Germany "know of the daily exchange of love letters," and they are proud of the Crown Prince's "lovemaking."

Crown Prince Wilhelm is just out of college.  He is not a "frivolous youth," but he does enjoy sports.   In spite of his "youthfulness," all of Germany knows "he became a man" on the day of his engagement to Duchess Cecilia, sister of the reigning Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.   

A  court official recently said: "His Royal Highness looks even younger, but behaves ten years older than before he was engaged."   

Crown Prince Wilhelm is not afraid to walk "the streets of Berlin alone/"  He rides the streetcars alone, too.  He does not have an "enemy in the city."    Berliners are delighted that the prince has chosen a German bride and that he "loves her in the German way."

He makes no pretense about his lovemaking.  A few weeks ago, Crown Prince Wilhelm went to a local jewelry store and purchased a pearl necklace for his bride.  Word traveled fast, and within an hour, "half of Berlin knew what the Duchess Cecilia was to receive on her birthday." 

Wilhelm also bought for his "sweetheart a little gold ring with two plain hearts engraved on its surface," similar to what "humbler" men by for their fiancées.

Wilhelm and Duchess Cecilie are getting to know each other at country palaces where "they are free of court constraints and palace life."  Dress is more casual.  They go for long walks. "take long rides, shoot, play tennis, fish and have picnic with their intimate friends."

The Crown Prince is enjoying the courtship, and does not "conceal his enjoyment."  He knows that the day will come when he, too, "must take up the burden of ruling an empire."

He may not be "as versatile as his father," Kaiser Wilhelm II.  But he is said to a "steady, clear headed youth," living only in the shadow of the "empire's burden".  He is in love, and he is delighted to share his love for Cecilie with his future subjects.

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