Princess Victoria also referred to as Victoria, Princess Royal was the German Empress and the Queen of Prussia. She was married to the German Emperor Frederick III. Princess Victoria was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert.
She was also the mother of Wilhelm II, the German Emperor. She was educated by her father and grew up with a very politically liberal attitude. She was betrothed at the age of sixteen to Prince Frederick of Prussia. She supported the views of her husband to help become Germany a constitutional monarchy modeled on the United States.
Princess Victoria was criticised for her British origin and her liberal attitude. Victoria was also the Empress and Queen of Prussia, though only for a few months. Frederick III acted as the emperor of United Germany for only 99 days, succumbing to laryngeal cancer.
He was succeeded by their son William II, who had much more conservative views than his parents. Victoria was known as Empress Frederick after the death of her husband.
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Early Life of Victoria Princess Royal
Princess Victoria was born on November 21, 1840, at Buckingham Palace, London and was called Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. She was named after her mother Queen Victoria. Her father was Prince Edward of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
As she was a daughter of the sovereign, Victoria was automatically awarded the title Her Royal Highness and was Princess Victoria. On January 19, 1841, the queen created Victoria Princess Royal, thus conferring on her an honorary title, as she was the eldest child. She was the presumed heir to the throne of the United Kingdom until the birth of her younger brother.
The royal couple wanted to give Princess Victoria as complete an education as possible. This is because the Queen did not have the proper formal education to take up the government affairs, while Prince Albert had a much better education.
Biography of Victoria Princess Royal
Victoria was precocious and intelligent and learned French at the age of eighteen months and started studying German at the age of four. She started having classes in arithmetic, geography, and history, and her father started teaching her philosophy and politics. She had an obstinate character, but she always had a hunger for knowledge.
She met her future husband in 1851 when the bond between the two allied nations grew stronger. Prince Frederick was not only impressed with Victoria but also impressed with the liberal impressions in the English royalty.
The Prince made another trip to visit Victoria in 1855, dedicated to meet Princess Royal again and make her a suitable consort for him. The announcement of the engagement between the couple created mixed opinions among the people of both countries.
Victoria Princess Royal as the Princess of Prussia
It was a tough situation for Princess Victoria to act as the proper connection between England and Germany. Queen Victoria had strong demands and wanted to sync the rule of Germany to that of England. But the Berlin court was Russophilic and Anglophobic.
many among the royalties of Berlin had expected the prince to marry a duchess from Germany. Thus, any attempts made by Victoria was never fruitful. The Prussian court would not even allow her to change the style of gardening.
Victoria was responsible for tedious official duties in Berlin. She had to attend theatrical performances and formal dinners and be present even at rigorous schedules. Also, they were not given due importance in the royal palace.
Other than that, she had a difficult first childbirth and the delivery was extremely complicated. The baby, who was the future German Emperor William II, had serious problems due to this difficult delivery.
Also the death of her father, Prince Consort Albert was a serious loss for her. The situation was also followed by a turmoil in German politics. Following this, the princess got increasingly isolated from the Prussian court.
Crown Princess of Germany
Frederick and Victoria became the German Crown Prince and German Crown Princess with the style Imperial and Royal Highness. She had difficulty managing her children. The eldest child had a difficult childbirth and had physical shortcomings. One of her sons died at an immature age of 11. Her daughter, Charlotte, had an irritable character.
Also, her maternal projects of finding proper suitors were hampered by the Prussians. The conflict between Frederick and his son resulted in the Emperor replacing the Crown Prince with Prince William at the official ceremonies and major events.
The health of William I declined rapidly and indicated that succession was close, but the Crown Prince was ill as well. The troubles had thus continued to this point. The health of the Crown Prince did not improve, and he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his larynx, but he refused to have it removed.
The first German Emperor finally died on March 9, 1888, and was succeeded by Frederick III. Frederick appointed Victoria as the Lady of the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. But when they returned to Berlin, they realized that they were shadows ready to be replaced by William.
Final Years of Victoria Princess Royal
Princess Victoria dedicated her final years to painting and visit the artists’ colony of Kronberg. She used to take walks in the morning in her final days and spend long hours reading or writing.
The life of Princess Victoria, the Empress Dowager before her death, was filled with lifelong difficulties and prejudices. She had to face staunch opposition from the entire Prussian court and most of them did not have a liberal approach.