Thursday, September 26, 2013

The death of a QVD: Prince Alfred of Prussia

Prince Sigismund of Prussia  (Arturo Beeche Collection)
Prince Alfred of Prussia (Arturo Beeche Collection)

Prince Alfred of Prussia (Arturo Beeche Collection)
@ Copyright Arturo Beeche
Princess Charlotte Agnes at her desk  (Arturo Beeche Collection)

San Miguel de Barranca,  Costa Rica (Arturo Beeche Collection)
the wedding of Prince and Princess Alfred of Prussia
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

Prince Alfred with a portrait of his great-grandmother, Princess Victoria (Kaiserin Friedrich)
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Prince and Princess Alfred at their wedding in Southampton, NY
Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Prince and Princess Sigismund of Prussia soon after their arrival in Costa Rica
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
My friend, Art Beeche, informed me earlier today about the death of Prince Alfred of Prussia, only son of the late Prince Sigismund of Prussia and the late Princess Charlotte Agnes of Saxe-Altenburg.  

According to Art,   Alfred "had been living with people who kept him from all those of us who knew and loved him."

Prince Sigismund was the second of three sons of Prince Henry of Prussia and Princess Irene of Hesse and By Rhine.  He married Princess Charlotte Agnes of Saxe-Altenburg in November 1919.  The couple's first child, Princess Barbara was born in 1920.  She married Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  They had two daughters, Donata and Edwina. 

Sigismund's older brother, Prince Waldemar, was the heir to Hemmelmark, near Eckernförde, the family estate.  This meant that Prince Sigismund would have to earn his own living in post-war Germany. By 1923, he represented a Hamburg "coffee-importing firm" in Central America, according to The Times.   Four years later, Prince and Princess Sigismund and their two young children, and their governess, made the move to Costa Rica.  They sailed on the Teutonia and arrived in the Central American country shortly before Christmas in December 1927.  The New York Times reported that Sigismund planned to "engage in banana and coffee planting  on land" he owned in Costa Rica.

The New York Times also noted that many Germans were "strongly entrenched in coffee planting" in Costa Rica and other Central American countries.   

Prince Sigismund also spent some time as the manager of an importing firm in Guatemala.  In June 1928, the Associated Press reported that Prince Sigismund was "determined to be the master of his own fate."  According to letters sent by the prince to his family at Hemmelmark, the Prince had decided to "raise bees and export honey to the Fatherland."

But within a few years, Prince Sigismund and his family returned to Costa Rica, and settled at San Miguel de Barranca.  In 1943, his named appeared on a "Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals," issued by the Department of State.  The list was an  executive order blocking individuals and firms with German, Italian and Japanese links from doing business in America during the second world war.
 He died at Puntarenas, Costa Rica, in 1978. His widow, Charlotte Agnes, died in 1989.

Prince Waldemar died in 1945 as the result of poor medical treatment. He was a hemophiliac.  He and his wife, Princess Calixta Agnes of Lippe, were childless.  His mother, Princess Irene, adopted Prince Sigismund's daughter, Princess Barbara, who had returned to Germany to live, as her heir.  Irene died in 1953, and Barbara inherited the Hemmelmark estates.  She died in 1994.  The main house was sold some years ago but Barbara's two daughters, Duchesses Donata and Edwina, still have property at Hemmelmark.

Prince Alfred Friedrich Ernst Heinrich Conrad was born on August 17, 1924. His wife, Maritza Farkas, died in 1996.

Prince Alfred died on June 3 at San Jose, Costa Rica.   He was 89 years old.

Prince Sigismund (Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection)

The wedding of Prince Sigismund of Prussia and Princess Charlotte Agnes of Saxe-Altenburg
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection


juan said...

I remember to see Prince Alfred and his mother Princess Charlotte in Spanish magazines when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía visited Costa Rica longtime ago. They greeted very affably Queen Sofia who seemed very pleased to meet them.

Unknown said...

My mom knew him and went to the theatre in Kiel with him. He told her to call him simply "Herr von Preußen". She had a crush on him, but was much younger ;-)