Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia - dead at 65

September 14, 1931

Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia, a cousin of former Kaiser Wilhelm II, died today at Flatow, Germany, reports the Associated Press.  He was 65 years old.

Since the end of the War, he lived for most of the time in Switzerland.   Prince Friedrich Leopold was once known as "Europe's greatest spendthrift, 'the King of the Dudes,'' and his fortune, as late as 1926, was estimated between $60,000,000 and $75,000,000.   While living in Switzerland, the prince was "rapidly contracting debts," and his estate in Germany was the subject of litigation.

In 1926,  it was reported that while Reichstag's judiciary committee was stating that "America was subscribing millions of dollars for the relief of starving Germans,"  Prince Friedrich Leopold was feeding "sweetbreads cooked in cream to his favorite lapdog," and he gave only the "choicest meat to his pack of eighty hounds."

It was said that he drank several bottles of champagne each night, and there were reports of excessive and mean behavior.  It was alleged that he would have a servant "crawl about a room on hands and knees, barking in imitation of a dog and -- to make the thing quiet realistic -- eating out of saucer."

He was married to the late Empress Auguste Viktoria's younger sister, Princess Luise Sophie,  whom he " was accused of having beaten with a riding whip for remonstrating with him for his attention to actresses and others."

Wilhelm II punished him on several occasions, and eventually "tore the decorations off his uniform," and dismissed him from the German army.    Afterward,  Friedrich Leopold's relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II was "strained."

In 1928, Prince Friedrich Leopold won a "complete victory" over the the Prussian government regarding his "exclusive right" to his properties.  But last February, he put up for auction the "furniture and historical contents" from his home, Schloss Glienicke, near Potsdam, in order to pay his debts.

Wilhelm II, now living in the Netherlands, protested against the sale, but was unable to prevent it.

Prince Joachim Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Leopold of Prussia was born at Berlin on November 16, 1865, the fifth child of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Princess Maria-Anna of Anhalt-Dessau,  He married Princess Luise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein at Berlin on June 24, 1889.

The couple had four children:  Princess Viktoria Margarete (1890-1923), who married Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss in 1913 (divorced in 1922), Prince Friedrich Sigismund (1891-1927),  Prince Friedrich Karl (1893-1917) and Prince Friedrich Leopold (1895).

Prince Friedrich Leopold is survived by his wife, Princess Luise  Sophie, their youngest son, Prince Friedrich Leopold and four grandchildren: Princess Marie Luise and Prince Heinrich II Reuss,  Princess Marie Princess Luise of Prussia and Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia (children of Friedrich Sigismund and Princess Marie Luise of Schaumburg-Lippe.   He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, including  Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Lady Patricia Ramsay, the younger children of the Prince's older sister,  Princess Luise Margarete (1860-1917), who married the Duke of Connaught in 1879.

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