Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Prussian family feud

January 12, 1896

The quarrel between Emperor Wilhelm II and his cousin, Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia, is remains the "absorbing topic of discussion" in Berlin society, reports the New York Times.

The issue at hand is Prince Friedrich Leopold's "harsh treatment" of his wife, Princess Luise Sophie, a younger sister of Empress Auguste Viktoria, after her recent accident "in breaking through the ice while skating" near their home Schloss Glieneke.

Prince Friedrich Leopold remains under arrest and is confined to a room at the schloss.  His military career remains on hold, and was recently rebuked by the Emperor for "mistakes which he made in the military manoeuvres around Bornstedt."

Princess Luise Sophie nearly drowned when she fell through the ice.   Empress Auguste Viktoria called at Schloss Glieneke to inquire about her sister's condition, but Princess Luise Sophie would not receive her.   The Empress refused to leave, and also sent for her husband. who rode over from the Neues Palace to Glieneke.

A "furious quarrel" ensued between Wilhelm and Prince Friedrich Leopold, "who fiercely resented the Emperor's interference in his private family affairs."

The prince has been confined in the castle's fortress for two weeks. Guards with loaded rifles have been placed at every entrance."  All lights have been ordered to be "extinguished" at 8 p.m.

"Socialistic malice" is to blame for the "very worst rumors concerning the quarrel.  One socialist organ claims that when the princess was rescued from the icy waters, she was not wearing any skates.  Her lady-in-waiting Baroness Colmar also did not have on skates, according to this paper, which declared that Princess Luise Sophie's fall was not an accident, but an attempt of commit suicide because of the constant "brutal treatment" from her husband.

It is also understood that Prince Friedrich Leopold will resign from the German army, and live in privacy.

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