Petropoulos Jonathan - Royals and the Reich The princes Von Hessen in Nazi Germany

Author : Petropoulos Jonathan
Title : Royals and the Reich The princes Von Hessen in Nazi Germany
Year : 2006

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Introduction. Two vignettes reflect many of the themes treated in this book. The first is set on 15 December 1930. Prince Christoph von Hessen, from the illustrious dynasty that ruled the area surrounding Kassel in central Germany until 1866, is to wed Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark. Their families have gathered north of Frankfurt at Kronberg - and more specifically, at Schloss Friedrichshof. This castle, which was one of many belonging to the Hessens, had been built in the 1890s by Christoph’s grandmother (the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) as a monument to her recently deceased husband, German emperor Friedrich III. Friedrichshof has been closed for most of the previous decade, its sumptuous furniture and precious artworks covered with white sheets and the world-renowned porcelain collection locked away, as the family suffered the tribulations of the crisis-ridden Weimar Republic. But this is a glorious day for the Hessens and their relatives - or at least those who are able to attend (Christoph’s uncle, ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II, for example, is stranded in exile in Holland, unable to return to Germany). Christoph’s older brother, Prince Philipp, who recently married Princess Mafalda, a daughter of the king of Italy, has traveled up from Rome. Most of Princess Sophia’s family members have also made the trip, including her father, Prince Andrea, and her nine-year-old brother, Philip (the future Duke of Edinburgh), who will carry the train of her wedding dress. Prince Andrea and his family have also had a difficult decade - he, barely escaping with his life after being charged with treason by the Greek revolutionary government in 1922. ...

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