Edward VII, grief, Kaiser Friedrich III of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, The Duke of Clarence
|Within seven months of the death of his mother, King Edward VII suffered the death of his sister, Victoria, Princess Royal, The Empress Frederick of Germany, eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Victoria was born on 21 November 1840. She married Friedrich-Wilhelm of Prussia in 1858, a love match but also a dynastic alliance in the hope of helping liberalize Prussia. However, her father-in-law (Kaiser Wilhelm I) lived to be 90 and her husband was already terminally ill with throat cancer when he finally became Kaiser Friedrich III in March of 1888. Kaiser Friedrich III reigned for just 3 months and was succeeded by his eldest son Wilhelm II, a militaristic ruler in the mold of his grandfather. Victoria, who now styled her self The Empress Frederick, and her son did not get along, and she was marginalized for the rest of her life, finally dying in 1901, a few months after Queen Victoria.|
|In the summer of 1900 Edward VII, then still Prince of Wales, spent much of the summer in Berlin with his sister, the Empress Frederick, as her health began to deteriorate. Edward VII had regular visits at the spa at Bad Homburg. He would not see his sister once again until February of 1901, a month after his succession to the throne. When he came to see his sister, it was not known how much longer she had to live. Edward brought with him his private secretary, Sir Frederick Ponsonby, and a couple of English doctors to help treat his sister.|
|Vicky did not have a great relationship with German doctors. She felt that they were partly responsible for the difficult delivery of her son, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, and they mismanaged and treated her husbands (Kaiser Friedrich III) throat cancer. Indeed the Empress Frederick was kept in such pain because the German doctors gave her so little morphine for her pain. The English doctors were able to giver more pain relief much to the resentments of the German physicians in attendance.|
|When Kaiser Friedrich III died in 1888 his son, the new Kaiser Wilhelm II, surrounded the palace with his troops in order to secure any of his father’s documents and other writings and letters. It seemed history would repeat itself when the Empresses Frederick died. This was the main reason Sir Frederick Ponsonby was there. The letters and documents of the Empress Frederick were smuggled out of Germany in Ponsonby’s luggage and kept in his own private estates instead of the archives at Windsor in an attempt to out manouver the Kaiser.|
|The Empress Frederick died in Friedrichshof on 5 August 1901 ending a long illness that began in late 1898 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer that would eventually metastasize to her spine. She was buried next to her husband in the royal mausoleum of the Friedenskirche at Potsdam on 13 August 1901.|
|Edward VII and Vicky had been close all their lives. Altogether their parents had differing views of each child, Vicky was Prince Albert’s favorite child, while Bertie (Albert-Edward) was a great disappointment to his mother, this did not seem to affect their relationship.|
|This concludes the King’s year of grief…the loss of a nephew in 1899 then between July 30, 1900 to August 5, 1901 the King lost his brother, mother and sister. If we expand the time back ten years or so, the King lost his eldest son (Prince Albert-Victor, Duke of Clarence) in 1892 and another nephew, Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein in October of 1900. That is a lot of grief and loss for one person in that span of time.