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  #181  
Old 06-04-2018, 10:02 PM
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During the First World War, did Empress Augusta Viktoria screen people from seeing Wilhelm II to keep his distractors at bay?
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  #182  
Old 08-08-2018, 07:34 AM
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Lots of letters the future Empress Auguste Victoria received in the years 1883-1889 where found at the Neue Palais in Ptsdam. It are mainly letters she reveived from Family members like Queen Victoria, Empress Augustua, her mother, her sisters etc.

Schatzfund: Briefe von Kaiserin Auguste Victoria entdeckt
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  #183  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:09 AM
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Stefan , when will the Palace in Berlin be open to the Public ,
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  #184  
Old 08-08-2018, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Stefan , when will the Palace in Berlin be open to the Public ,

Apparently it will be ready at the End of 2019. But there will be no Schloßmuseum with restored rooms of the old Castle. There will be permanent exhibtions like the Ethnological museum or the Museum for asian Art among them.
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  #185  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:44 AM
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Regarding the palace in Berlin was any thought given to restoring at least part of the interior to its pre-destruction state?
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  #186  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:40 PM
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@Harold #185

No, no thought at all! In modern day Germany is the last Emperor still a symbol for militarism - the whole Prussia-Complex is ... The english Wikipedia has a bit about it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Palace#The_debate

But first the palace as a congress center and as a little bizarre museum and than, later, perhaps we'll get a Prussia museum...
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  #187  
Old 11-01-2018, 04:13 AM
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Yesterday the German public broadcaster ZDF had a docufilm (a film with voice-over and historic images) called Kaisersturz (Emperor's Fall). It was an unexpectedly nice docufilm, Besides the Emperor, the main characters were Empress Auguste Viktoria, Prince Max von Baden (the last Reichskanzler under Wilhelm II) and Friedrich Ebert (the first Reichskanzler after the abdication).


What struck me was that Friedrich Ebert (who would become the first Reichspresident of the Weimar Republik) actually wanted to keep a constitutional monarchy. Of course also Wilhelm II, Auguste Viktoria and Max von Baden wanted to keep the monarchy, but the docufilm showed incompatibilé des humeurs, non-understanding, machinations behind the screens. In the end the monarchy collapsed while it was close to saved.


The Reichskanzler, Prince Max von Baden, would step down for a new Reichskanzler (Friedrich Ebert) and would then become Prince-Regent for the underaged Prince Wilhelm (the son of the Crown Prince). All for the sake of the monarchy. This was over the dead body of the Emperor ("a descendant of Friedrich the Great will not abdicate!") and over the dead body of the Empress (who in the docufilm telephoned Prince Max von Baden and named him a miserable creature, a traitor, a lowlife).


When -afther the (enforced) abdication- the newly appointed Reichskanzler Friedrich Ebert came to Prince Max von Baden (in Hotel Adlon, in Berlin), he urged the Prince to proclaim himself Prince-Regent for the eldest grandson of the ex-Emperor. Prince Max however had collapsed after a nervous breakdown and a defaitisme got hold of him. He refused to do so. Without suitable successors and without an acceptable Regent for the underaged Prince Wilhelm, the monarchy was doomed.


-> Prince Max von Baden was father-in-law to Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (sister of the Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh).



https://www.zdf.de/doku-wissen/kaise...gallerySlide=6
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  #188  
Old 11-01-2018, 04:29 AM
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That's very interesting Duc. I didn't know Prince Max had a nervous breakdown. Thank you for taking the time to give us the information.
Also I have read many books about why WWI started, And yet I still don't understand why they went to war. I believe more diplomacy could have worked things out.
Such a waste of many lives due to ego. But that was a different time with different values.
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  #189  
Old 11-01-2018, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tarlita View Post
That's very interesting Duc. I didn't know Prince Max had a nervous breakdown. Thank you for taking the time to give us the information.
Also I have read many books about why WWI started, And yet I still don't understand why they went to war. I believe more diplomacy could have worked things out.
Such a waste of many lives due to ego. But that was a different time with different values.

The scenario was that Friedrich Ebert (the leader of the SPD, the Labour Party) would become Reichskanzler and Prince Max would become Regent for the underaged Prince Wilhelm.

Then Empress Auguste Viktoria threathened Prince Max (a cousin of the Emperor) to make public that he had homosexual affairs. The Prince then suffered a nervous breakdown, as the whirlwind of events and now this threat of a public defamation took a toll.

The docufilm showed that the Reichskanzler was kept in sleep, in the deciding days of November 1918, meaning that the ship of state was without clear lead, and that while there was a mutiny of the Kriegsmarine in Kiel, while in Bavaria the Wittelsbachs were overthrown and while general strikes and discontent paralyzed the country.

It was a toxic combination. When finally Germany surrendered, the Emperor was in the Netherlands, the military junta (the real power in 1914-1918) was shoved aside, a sort of defaitisme got grip on Prince Max. All what he believed in had crumbled under his eyes. The new Reichskanzler (Friedrich Ebert, Labour) urged his predecessor, Prince Max, to save the monarchy but the Prince had the feeling: "Pffft... All is lost, what is the use?" and refused to act to save the monarchy.
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  #190  
Old 11-01-2018, 05:19 AM
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OMG had no idea he was homosexual. He was a favourite of mine. I always thought of him as a stand up guy. Perhaps he thought if Augusta knows then many others do as well.
Thank you for explaining. I always thought he was keen on Prss Marie (Missy future Queen of Romania.)
I vaguely remember Grand Duchess Vladimir thought he might suit her daughter Helena, but she wasn't interested. Perhaps she heard rumours about him.
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  #191  
Old 11-01-2018, 09:12 AM
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The funny thing is that Wilhelm II wasn't a descendant of the childless Frederick the Great.
If true this further cements what a pair of fools Wilhelm and Dona were. Even when faced with revolution and a possible way to save the throne for their family the refused to face facts. Pride certainly went before their fall.
Even the equally folish Vittorio Emmanuele realised he had to abdicate in the end for a chance to save the monarchy.
In the end one wonders if it would've succeded in doing so. It didn't work for the Savoys, the Bourbons or the Romanovs. Unfortunately one might say - a Constitutional German monarchy might've spared us all from fascism and communism
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  #192  
Old 11-01-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
The funny thing is that Wilhelm II wasn't a descendant of the childless Frederick the Great.
If true this further cements what a pair of fools Wilhelm and Dona were. Even when faced with revolution and a possible way to save the throne for their family the refused to face facts. Pride certainly went before their fall.
Even the equally folish Vittorio Emmanuele realised he had to abdicate in the end for a chance to save the monarchy.
In the end one wonders if it would've succeded in doing so. It didn't work for the Savoys, the Bourbons or the Romanovs. Unfortunately one might say - a Constitutional German monarchy might've spared us all from fascism and communism

Absolutely true. But to speak for the Emperor: he was kept in a bubble by the Household, the Government and the military. His world was that of Potsdam and he was completely out of touch with how the common German suffered because of this devastating war.

The real power was in hand of the Oberste Heeresleitung in Spa (Belgium). Both the Emperor as well the Government were factually rubberstamps for decisions by this military junta.

In the docufilm a major point was the stubborness of the generals. While both the Emperor as well the Reichskanzler (Prince Max von Baden) were willing to negotiate an offer by US President Wilson, the generals unexpectedly went all-out with a Spring Offensive 1918, which was initially quite succesful. The Germans made major advances on the battlefield, but this came with a heavy toll in casualties, in resources and in material.

In August 1918, the Allies began a counteroffensive with the support of more than 1 million fresh American troops. The Americans finally weighed down the balance in favour of the Allied Forces. This resulted in the Germans retreating or being driven from all of the ground that they had taken in the Spring Offensive.

The Germans, faced with the immense cost for litterally nothing, exploded and turned to the Emperor and the Government, exactly the two entities which in fact had little to do with these disastrous military manoeuvres.
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  #193  
Old 11-01-2018, 03:56 PM
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About the Romanovs too...

There was also a docu about the End of the Romanovs, called "Zarensturz". It is still on youtube (but of course only in German)!

But I think, it was terrible! They reported the end of the Romanovs, like it would be reported today - and today's reports are the reason, I stopped watching TV...

So, after "Zarensturz" now "Kaisersturz". It is online, I see at the ZDF Mediathek. I'll give it a try!
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  #194  
Old 11-09-2018, 08:52 AM
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Investigations in Prussian archives have learned that Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (picture) actively engaged to save Emperor Wilhelm II and his family. The story was always that Queen and Government were "taken by total surprise" when suddenly the Emperor arrived on the railway station of a small village under Maastricht, on November 10th 1918.

In reality already in Summer 1918 the Queen actively engaged into a peace conference between the Germans and the allied countries. In agreement with the minister of Foreign Affairs, jonkheer Herman van Karnebeek (picture), Queen Wilhelmina offered the Vredespaleis (picture) in The Hague, with the Queen as chair. The US Government under President Wilson was willing to accept the Queen's invitation, on condition that the Germans would retreat from occupied territories and end the U-boot war. The German Government was willing to do these concessions, but the Oberste Heeresleitung (the Generals) wanted to continue the battle to obtain a more favourable position at the negotiations.

Originally Queen Wilhelmina offered Het Loo Palace (picture) as a refuge to the German Emperor. The Government was worried the Allied Powers would be offended by this "too generous show of royal hospitality". Instead Godard graaf van Aldenburg-Bentinck (picture) was willing to host the Emperor at Amerongen Castle (picture).

This was not all: Queen Wilhelmina ordered her Aide-de-Camp-General J.B. van Heutsz (picture) to visit the German military headquarters in Spa from 5 to 9 November 1918. The Dutch Government declared it was "a long on beforehand agreed working visit" but this seems unlikely in the hectic last days of the war, at the front.

Besides this the Queen played a role in the abdication of the Emperor. Officially Wilhelm II was guest of the Queen as "a private person". That was a hard to maintain position, as long as he officially was Emperor. Wilhelm II refused to abdicate. Then the Queen decided to bring Empress Auguste Viktoria (picture) -who was still in Berlin- to the Netherlands. A special train brought the Empress, whom arrived on November 28th 1918 with an Act of Abdication in her luggage. The Emperor finally signed and the Act was delivered in Berlin, the next day.

Reason for the Queen to act so pro-actively: her utter shock to learn about the fatal fate of the Romanovs (she herself was a granddaughter of Anna Pavlovna Romanova, Grand-Princess of Russia). She wanted to prevent the same to happen to the German imperial family, to which she was related as well.



Source: https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-ach...land~b9b529dc/
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  #195  
Old 11-09-2018, 01:33 PM
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In English: https://www.uu.nl/en/news/queen-of-p...ser-wilhelm-ii
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  #196  
Old 11-10-2018, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Investigations in Prussian archives have learned that Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (picture) actively engaged to save Emperor Wilhelm II and his family. The story was always that Queen and Government were "taken by total surprise" when suddenly the Emperor arrived on the railway station of a small village under Maastricht, on November 10th 1918.

In reality already in Summer 1918 the Queen actively engaged into a peace conference between the Germans and the allied countries. In agreement with the minister of Foreign Affairs, jonkheer Herman van Karnebeek (picture), Queen Wilhelmina offered the Vredespaleis (picture) in The Hague, with the Queen as chair. The US Government under President Wilson was willing to accept the Queen's invitation, on condition that the Germans would retreat from occupied territories and end the U-boot war. The German Government was willing to do these concessions, but the Oberste Heeresleitung (the Generals) wanted to continue the battle to obtain a more favourable position at the negotiations.

Originally Queen Wilhelmina offered Het Loo Palace (picture) as a refuge to the German Emperor. The Government was worried the Allied Powers would be offended by this "too generous show of royal hospitality". Instead Godard graaf van Aldenburg-Bentinck (picture) was willing to host the Emperor at Amerongen Castle (picture).

This was not all: Queen Wilhelmina ordered her Aide-de-Camp-General J.B. van Heutsz (picture) to visit the German military headquarters in Spa from 5 to 9 November 1918. The Dutch Government declared it was "a long on beforehand agreed working visit" but this seems unlikely in the hectic last days of the war, at the front.

Besides this the Queen played a role in the abdication of the Emperor. Officially Wilhelm II was guest of the Queen as "a private person". That was a hard to maintain position, as long as he officially was Emperor. Wilhelm II refused to abdicate. Then the Queen decided to bring Empress Auguste Viktoria (picture) -who was still in Berlin- to the Netherlands. A special train brought the Empress, whom arrived on November 28th 1918 with an Act of Abdication in her luggage. The Emperor finally signed and the Act was delivered in Berlin, the next day.

Reason for the Queen to act so pro-actively: her utter shock to learn about the fatal fate of the Romanovs (she herself was a granddaughter of Anna Paulovna Romanova, Grand-Princess of Russia). She wanted to prevent the same to happen to the German imperial family, to which she was related as well.



Source: https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-ach...land~b9b529dc/
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Very interesting! This presents an answer for why the German emperor had little problem being taken in by a foreign government, considering all of the failed efforts to send his Russian cousins into exile.
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  #197  
Old 11-10-2018, 07:49 AM
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Very interesting news indeed. And very different from the narrative as we knew it thus far, including from Wilhelmina's own memoires.

The Dutch public channel made a 30 min. documentary about it, in which they also visit Burg Hohenzollern with Prince Georg Friedrich, who talks about his characteristic Prussian nose:

https://www.npostart.nl/andere-tijde.../VPWON_1283698

The episode is called 'A Royal Lie'.

It is surprising that the late Prof. Fasseur did not find more details about the matter, as Prof. de Graaf mainly used the archives of the Hohenzollern's in Huis Doorn which would have been open to him as well. It was thought that Fasseur was allowed access to the Royal Archives because Beatrix could rely on him being discreet about sensitive issues. His book about the break down of Juliana and Bernhards marriage was heavily criticized. One wonders if he chose not to investigate this particular episode further on purpose. Not that the issue would have been sensitive or particulary damaging for the RF in the late 1990s when his biographies were published.

Although some conclusions seem quickly made - all monarchs were related to 'Onkel Willy', many more closely than Wilhelmina, the case she makes is rather persuiasive. The fondness for the emperor, which she discovered in Wilhelmina, seems based on a visit to Berlin when Wilhelmina was 10 y/o. De Graaf claims that Wilhelm was a sort of paternal figure to the young queen, which is new to me as well (not that he saw himself as a mentor but that Queen Emma actively searched for it).

Still, if he was such a strong father figure it is even more surprising that Wilhelmina did not marry one of the Hohenzollern princes (grandsons of Prince Albrecht and Pss Marianne of The Netherlands IIRC). De Graaf says that Wilhelmina never met the Emperor after the war because of reasons of state, but that she still had warm feelings for him. It is completely different from what has been said up to now, which was that she behaved coldly towards Wilhelm. If there truly was so much coldness it would have been odd that she allowed her mother, husband daughter and son-in-law to pay visits to Doorn.

Wilhelmina's willingness to host a Peace conference in The Hague is surprising for reasons stated in posts above. And perhaps ironic considering how much she fumed against the two peace conferences and the opening of the peace palace (& Tsar Nicholas II who proposed it all) as she found it a humiliation for the country. In 1919 German officials wanted to publish information about the failed peace conference, which was prevented by minister van Karnebeek and the Queen.

A pro-German stance of Queen Wilhelmina in WWI is also new though De Graaf softens the language in the tv program and talks about the 'two hearts' of Queen Wilhelmina -one for neutrality and one for family/friends- that are in conflict in the summer of 1918.

De Graaf gives a lot of convincing details that the authorities knew what was going to happen, for example how the village doctor of Amerongen was notified in advance of Wilhelm's flight, a file of the French secret service officer in The Hague talking about '40 suitcases' with which Wilhelm was supposed to travel to The Netherlands, the visits of Dutch and German diplomats to Amerongen in the summer etc etc. She also puts the visit of general Van Heutz -a great favorite of Wilhelmina- to the German headquarters in November 1918 in a more probable light. The official explanation that he was there to observe manouevers was never likely & was widely doubted by historians.

De Graaf claims that while revolutions raged in Europe, the Dutch queen still had actual power which she used not for the good of the country but for personal reasons. I am not sure if that is fair. Even the British later came around and thought it best if the emperor stayed in exile in The Netherlands. A trial of a (former)monarch would have encouraged revolutionary feelings in Britain it was thought, when it was clear that monarchs are ordinary people too. Up to now it was also maintained that a big role of Wilhelm's welcome was that the Netherlands was a neutral country and to prove that neutrality it could not pick sides. Welcoming a conquered neighbor would not be in conflict of neutrality but an expression of it.

Although it is not surprising that the court & government preferred to keep the peace conference and the Dutch involvement in Wilhelms flight to the Netherlands quiet at the time & esp. after WWII, it is surprising that it took this long to be challenged & revealed. Queen Wilhelmina's word was believed 'on her blue eyes' -as De Graaf says. It is clear that she must have known about the Emperor's arrival but as Hans Goedkoop says in the documentary: it is not proven that she took the initiative for it, a 'smoking gun' is missing from the large pile of sources that have been discovered.
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  #198  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:18 PM
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I think a Hohenzollern prince certainly would have been a great match, after all there have been many alliances with the Hohenzollerns in the Orange-Nassau genealogy.

But these alliances were with the Hohenzollerns being Markgrafen and Kurfürsten von Brandenburg and later Könige von Preussen. In Wilhelmina's younger years, until 1918, the neighbour no longer were the many principalities but the immense Deutsches Reich and I can understand the undesirability of seeing the House of Orange-Nassau, on the verge of extinctuon in the male lineage, being "incorporated" by the Hohenzollerns (the Kaiser himself was Prince of Orange and proud on his Orange-Nassau ancestry).
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  #199  
Old 11-10-2018, 02:53 PM
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Let us assume it is 1900, Queen Wilhelmina is 20 years old and looking for a consort. And I am Wilhelm II von Hohenzollern, König von Preußen, Deutscher Kaiser, Prinz von Oranien and I want to couple a Hohenzollern with my dearest cousine Wilhelmina von Oranien-Nassau....

First I look to my own sons:

Kronprinz Wilhelm (18)
The Dutch Government would surely object the Queen marrying the future Kaiser.
At the age of 23 Kronprinz Wilhelm married Cecilie Herzogin zu Mecklenburg (by coincidence the niece of Wilhelmina's choice as consort).

Prinz Eitel Friedrich (17)
At the age of 23 Prinz Eitel Friedrich married Sophie Charlotte Herzogin von Oldenburg.

Prinz Adalbert (16)
At the age of 30 Prinz Adalbert married Adelheid Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen.

Prinz August Wilhelm (13)
He was too young to marry Wilhelmina. At the age of 21 Prinz August Wilhelm married Alexandra Viktoria Prinzessin zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

Prinz Oskar (12)
He was too young to marry Wilhelmina. At the age of 26 Prinz Oskar married Ina Maria Gräfin von Bassewitz.

Prinz Joachim (10)
He was too young to marry Wilhelmina. At the age of 26 Prinz Joachim married Marie Auguste Prinzessin von Anhalt.

When my sons can not marry Queen Wilhelmina. Maybe my nephews can? The sons of my only brother Prinz Heinrich:

Prinz Waldemar (11)
He was too young to marry Queen Wilhelmina. At the age of 30 Prinz Waldemar married Calixta Agnes Prinzessin zur Lippe.

Prinz Sigismund (4)
He was too young to marry Queen Wilhelmina. At the age of 23 Prinz Sigismund married Charlotte Agnes Prinzessin von Sachsen-Altenburg.

After this the only marriage-able Princes were the grandsons of Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina's great-aunt:

Prinz Friedrich Heinrich (26)
He would never marry.

Prinz Joachim Albrecht (24)
He made two undynastical marriages when he was way in his forties.

Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm (20)
He had the same age as Queen Wilhelmina. At the age of 30 Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm would marry Agathe Prinzessin von Ratibor und Corvey, Prinzessin von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst.
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  #200  
Old 11-10-2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Very interesting news indeed. And very different from the narrative as we knew it thus far, including from Wilhelmina's own memoires.

The Dutch public channel made a 30 min. documentary about it, in which they also visit Burg Hohenzollern with Prince Georg Friedrich, who talks about his characteristic Prussian nose:

https://www.npostart.nl/andere-tijde.../VPWON_1283698

The episode is called 'A Royal Lie'.

It is surprising that the late Prof. Fasseur did not find more details about the matter, as Prof. de Graaf mainly used only the archives of the Hohenzollern's in Huis Doorn which would have been open to him as well. It was thought that Fasseur was allowed access to the Royal Archives because Beatrix could rely on him being discreet about sensitive issues. His book about the break down of Juliana and Bernhards marriage was heavily criticized. One wonders if he chose not to investigate this particular episode further on purpose. Not that the issue would have been sensitive or particulary damaging for the RF in the late 1990s when his biographies were published.

Although some conclusions seem quickly made - all monarchs were related to 'Onkel Willy', many more closely than Wilhelmina, the case she makes is rather persuiasive. The fondness for the emperor, which she discovered in Wilhelmina, seems based on a visit to Berlin when Wilhelmina was 10 y/o. De Graaf claims that Wilhelm was a sort of paternal figure to the young queen, which is new to me as well (not that he saw himself as a mentor but that Queen Emma actively searched for it).

Still, if he was such a strong father figure it is even more surprising that Wilhelmina did not marry one of the Hohenzollern princes (grandsons of Prince Albrecht and Pss Marianne of The Netherlands IIRC). De Graaf says that Wilhelmina never met the Emperor after the war because of reasons of state, but that she still had warm feelings for him. It is completely different from what has been said up to now, which was that she behaved coldly towards Wilhelm. If there truly was so much coldness it would have been odd that she allowed her mother, husband daughter and son-in-law to pay visits to Doorn.

Wilhelmina's willingness to host a Peace conference in The Hague is surprising for reasons stated in posts above. And perhaps ironic considering how much she fumed against the two peace conferences and the opening of the peace palace (& Tsar Nicholas II who proposed it all) as she found it a humiliation for the country. In 1919 German officials wanted to publish information about the failed peace conference, which was prevented by minister van Karnebeek and the Queen.

A pro-German stance of Queen Wilhelmina in WWI is also new though De Graaf softens the language in the tv program and talks about the 'two hearts' of Queen Wilhelmina -one for neutrality and one for family/friends- that are in conflict in the summer of 1918.

De Graaf gives a lot of convincing details that the authorities knew what was going to happen, for example how the village doctor of Amerongen was notified in advance of Wilhelm's flight, a file of the French secret service officer in The Hague talking about '40 suitcases' with which Wilhelm was supposed to travel to The Netherlands, the visits of Dutch and German diplomats to Amerongen in the summer etc etc. She also puts the visit of general Van Heutz -a great favorite of Wilhelmina- to the German headquarters in November 1918 in a more probable light. The official explanation that he was there to observe manouevers was never likely & was widely doubted by historians.

De Graaf claims that while revolutions raged in Europe, the Dutch queen still had actual power which she used not for the good of the country but for personal reasons. I am not sure if that is fair. Even the British later came around and thought it best if the emperor stayed in exile in The Netherlands. A trial of a (former)monarch would have encouraged revolutionary feelings in Britain it was thought, when it was clear that monarchs are ordinary people too. Up to now it was also maintained that a big role of Wilhelm's welcome was that the Netherlands was a neutral country and to prove that neutrality it could not pick sides. Welcoming a conquered neighbor would not be in conflict of neutrality but an expression of it.

Although it is not surprising that the court & government preferred to keep the peace conference and the Dutch involvement in Wilhelms flight to the Netherlands quiet at the time & esp. after WWII, it is surprising that it took this long to be challenged & revealed. Queen Wilhelmina's word was believed 'on her blue eyes' -as De Graaf says. It is clear that she must have known about the Emperor's arrival but as Hans Goedkoop says in the documentary: it is not proven that she took the initiative for it, a 'smoking gun' is missing from the large pile of sources that have been discovered.
Just saw the documentary. With Prince Georg Friedrich clearly proud on the links with the Oranges. It was fascinating. I hope that ARD or ZDF will broadcast this too.
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