Friday, June 3, 2011

Duchess Cecilie has arrived in Berlin

Embed from Getty Images 

 June 4, 1905

Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin arrived today in Berlin in advance of her wedding to Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany.  She was greeted by "hundreds of thousands of her future subjects," who cheered and shouted "Hoch," when she smiled. 

It is "the since belief that she is not only the betrothed wife of the Crown Prince, but also his sweetheart," states the New York Times.    Berlin's Burgomeister, in his remarks, said "the people of the city hoped her life would be rose strewn as was the pavement over which she drove."

Following tradition, Crown Prince Wilhelm "led his company of Foot Guards over the procession of the route an hour before the Duchess entered the city."  He, too, "was splendidly received."  The Crown Prince acknowledged the cheering "by constantly saluting with his sword."

Duchess Cecilie arrived in Berlin at noon. She was accompanied by her mother, Grand Duchess Anastasia, her brother, Grand Duke Franz Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and his wife, Alexandra, and "a numerous following."  They were greeted by the Emperor and Empress and the Crown Prince, his five brothers, and his little sister, Princess Viktoria Luise.  After leaving the railroad station, the entire party traveled to Schloss Bellevue for a late breakfast.

In the late afternoon, the imperial procession began at Bellevue and wended its way through the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate.    The young Duchess was dressed in "an evening dress of pink silk muslin cut decollete and trimmed with lace."   She wore a diamond tiara in her hair. She rode in a gilded carriage, completed in 1793, and first used when the future Queen Luise of Prussia, then seventeen, "made her state entry into the city."

As the procession made its way through the Tiergarten, "fifty little girls threw fresh roses under the horses' feet" as the Duchess "went on her way down the avenue."

The procession ended at 5:45 p.m., when the carriages arrived at the palace.  Awaiting the arrival of the Empress and Duchess Cecilie, were the Emperor, Crown Prince Wilhelm, Prince Henry of Prussia and other members of the imperial family.

The families and their retinues went into the Room of the Electors, where the Duchess and the Crown Prince signed their marriage contract.  Afterward, the two families had dinner together.

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