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  #81  
Old 02-25-2010, 05:41 AM
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I'm pretty sure that he had some brain damage; he had frequent headaches, and he used to have a very low attention skill, as well as a sort of emotional and mental imbalance; but surely he was not crazy.

About Sophie, I remember to have read something about a very violent discussion in 1890 between Sophie and Wilghelm's wife Dona, who was pregnant of Prince Joachim; after the discussion, about the conversion of Sophie, Dona became hysterical, and she gave birth Joachim too early; after that, the relations between Sophie and her brother and sister-in-law became even more cold, because Wilhelm and Dona thought Joachim very delicate and frail and that the fault of all that was of Sophie.
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  #82  
Old 02-25-2010, 02:16 PM
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yes you are quite right MAfan........
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the story goes.....that sophie announced her intention of her conversion at her sisters (morretta) wedding to prince adolf of schaumburg-lippe. the kaiser was very angry and his wife dona (who was expecting another child) became very agitated and summomed sophie to her, resulting in a massive row between the two sister in laws. dona then went into labor early and the baby was born 3 weeks prematurely....the kaiser wrote to his grandmother queen victoria "if the baby dies it sophies fault and she has murdered it"
due to the circumstances of his birth, Prince Joachim was perhaps the favorite child of the Empress and their story finishes up with such sad irony!

during the exile of the Emperor and the Empress, her health began to deteriorate, as she lay on her sick bed, news arrived that Prince Joachim had shot himself. this was the final blow and she suffered a heart attack and from that time her condition worsened. she lingered for some months until the early hours of 11 april 1921, whereby the Empress breathed her last !!
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  #83  
Old 02-26-2010, 01:33 PM
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It looks to me that Wilhelm needed to have some sort of chaos and disorder in order for him to feel in control. He imagined himself this wonderful statesman, matchmaker, warlord, leader, et al.... but in reality, he was not very apt at any of them! He's one of those characters of history that makes me want to know more and more about him.
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  #84  
Old 02-28-2010, 09:52 AM
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One thing that really surprises me was the Kaiser's relationship with Viktoria Luise. While he could be cold and hard to his sons (and sometimes to his wife), he always showed the best of him to Viktoria Luise - she was his darling little girl in his eyes. In fact , he behaved with more affection to her than to his sons, who would view them as soldiers. Viktoria Luise's descriptions of him picture a loving, dotting father who was willing to comply with every little of her childhood's tantrums. It seems that he was able to express a softer side with her......
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  #85  
Old 02-28-2010, 03:50 PM
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Little girls will do that to a father (or an uncle, in my case)..... they can make even the hardest heart melt!
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  #86  
Old 02-28-2010, 04:30 PM
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Not to mention that Viktoria Luise adored him too. If I remember correctly, she didn't go to her mother's funeral in Germany, instead she went to the Netherlands were she payed her respect to her mother's coffin and stayed with the Kaiser and some family members to his small chapel in his estate for a private service when most of the family went to Germany for the burial because she didn't want to leave him alone during such hard times.
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  #87  
Old 02-28-2010, 05:31 PM
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I did not know that. Very, very touching.
Indeed, maybe he did have a heart.
How long after Kaiserin Augusta died before he remarried??
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  #88  
Old 02-28-2010, 06:21 PM
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yes it is true.....

Dona had always wished and declared "i will sleep in my homeland." now, after her death, the ex-Kaiser had to arrange for her body to be moved from Holland to its final resting place in Germany, while he himself remained in Doorn. he was never allowed to leave the country even to see her grave!

his daughter later recalled her fathers reaction upon her death "my father was distraught, he seemed timid and embarrassed and his face was painfully blank!"

but what is more touching is this....it is said that on every anniversary of her death.....he being unable to visit her grave, placed fresh roses upon her death bed, for like his british grandmother, he kept his wifes rooms untouched from the day she died, Queen Victoria did the same when Prince Albert died...

so the man did have a heart after all.....

He remarried less than two years after his wife's death i believe.
btw wasnt Hermine, his second wife, the mother in law of Prince Joachims son, Prince Franz Joseph ?.

i know the marriage was deemed very controversial at the time, the family was against the marriage ......but i feel it was a good occurrence concerning Wilhelm, as he was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife, it left a huge void within his life, after all they had been married for 40 years !! also it is said that the remaining few members his entourage feared for his sanity as he became obsessed with the memory of his late wife to the extent that he visited the death bed every night to converse with her spirit....these are not the actions of heartless man.....
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  #89  
Old 02-28-2010, 07:26 PM
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I don't believe he was a heartless man, just a man dealing with many, many , many issues all together at the same time. The saddest thing in his relationship with Dona was that although he did love her as it appears, he could be quite harsh on her during the first 20 years or so of their marriage. He would judge her hard for her body, her style ( he thought her taste in clothes was non existent and he once told her that she should start copying a really elegant woman, like Queen Elisabeth of Belgium) and he would openly compare her with his cousin Ella, his first love. And guess what, Ella was always the winner during these comparisons. It seems that years needed to pass before being able to fully appreciate her.
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  #90  
Old 02-28-2010, 08:00 PM
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He would judge her hard for, her style ( he thought her taste in clothes was non existent and he once told her that she should start copying a really elegant woman, like Queen Elisabeth of Belgium).
and perhaps of my own Queen Alexandra......she herself was very stylish and elegant too. it is said during a visit to Berlin in 1908, Alexandra looked lovely and superb in comparsion to The Empress, who apppeared staid and matronly, it was commented upon that though The Queen was of a age to be the mother of The Empress, she looked more like her daughter !
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  #91  
Old 02-28-2010, 08:27 PM
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Wilhelm's pursuit of Ella is one of the great "what could have been"s of history. Given his difficult character, no one could have blamed her for turning Willy down. Might she have become a liberal influence on him if they had married? She also helped convince her sister Alix to Orthodoxy, thus securing Alix's ill-fated role as the last Tsarina.
Being one of the most charming granddaughters of Queen Victoria and women of her time, it seemed like she should have been destined to become an Empress or Queen instead of marrying a 5th son (abet in the richest court in the world) who was rumored to have a complicated personal life.
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  #92  
Old 02-28-2010, 08:35 PM
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Kaiserin Augusta was not an unattractive woman, IMO.... but I have read on several occasions that she was rather matronly and often rather prudish, as well. Which can distract, easily, from making someone elegant and worldly...
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  #93  
Old 03-01-2010, 07:14 AM
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It would appear that like many men, he did not truelly appreciate what he had in his wife until she was gone.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:37 AM
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Wilhelm appreciated a lot his wife, and loved her as well; under several points she was the opposite of him, she was one of the very few "stable points" in his life; as he was ruled by his emotions and impulsiveness, as Dona was a very quiet and calm woman, a good mother of her family and one of his most trustworthy confidents. Princess Daisy of Pless described Dona in her memoirs: "she never made a single proposal, only "it interests me very much and I shall be much obliged if something could be done to help the poor people". For a woman in that position I never met anyone devoid of any individual thought, or agility of brain and understanding. She is just like a good, quiet, soft cow that has calves and eats grass slowly and then lies down and ruminates".
Dona was the perfect wife for Wilhelm: she loved and admired him a lot, and never stolen him the scene (and he could not help appreciating this, as vain as he was), she was maternal, not too interested in politic matters and rather conservative in her ideas (on the contrary of Wilhelm's hated mother, Victoria).
Wilhelm hated the lack of elegance in Dona's dresses, and he took on 6 full time working tailors, hoping that they could transform Dona into an elegant and finally well dressed woman, but it seems that the results were not what the Kaiser hoped...
In 40 years of matrimonial life, Wilhelm never betrayed Dona with other women.
Of course, when she died he was destroyed, losing his life companion and confident.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:20 PM
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In 40 years of matrimonial life, Wilhelm never betrayed Dona with other women.
perhaps with men though....it is rumoured that he was bi-sexual and perhaps had a inimate relationship with Count Philip zu Eulenburg amongst others...

Willhelm had a strong preferance for male company, esp with the tallest and most handsome officers he could find and even taking male partners at regimental dances. he even attended the all male "white stag" dining club, where very bizarre actitives took place.... it is said that Wilhelm took great delight in asking the fellow diners to kneel over a chair, whilst he snacked them on the behind !!

Eulenburg, although married with five children was a practising homosexual.
he often called wilhelm "das liebchen" and wrote of Wilhelms friendship towards him as being ecastic, the two of them would often spend long evenings alone together. Wilhelm so adored and unshamedly fawned upon Eulenburg, that Dona and some govenrment officials became very worried and concerned indeed !!

Although hommosexuality was quite common in royal (and miltary circles) it has not been proven that both men had ever become lovers in the physical form, but you must agree there is a hint that this may be the case !

moreover Eulenburg was later ruined by a homosexual scandal, which went to court..... so i believe......
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:41 PM
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I admit I know nothing particular on the matter but, wouldn't it be odd going through so much trouble and dissaproval from his children to marry Hermine if he preferred men? I mean, there was no dynastic or other such reason for a 64 years old ex Kaiser to marry a woman like Ermine who offered no particular gain, expect for finding it pleasurable. Am I correct in my thinking?
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:25 PM
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it is said that Wilhelm took great delight in asking the fellow diners to kneel over a chair, whilst he snacked them on the behind !!
Once he also caused a small scandal pinching King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria on the behind...

Btw, although Eulenburg was known to be bisexual (he was happily married) and although Wilhelm hung out with several men known as bisexual or homosexual (among them, Friedrich Alfred Krupp, who died probably suicide in 1902 after his homosexuality was made public; Wilhelm attended his funeral, where he hold a speech accusing the socialists to have slandered him), but nobody, neither Wilhelm's enemies, was able to prove anything.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:36 PM
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Hello Snowflower
well given his character, it is more likely that wilhelm in the dream world in which he lived, merely played at this masculine eroticism as he played at every other role he assumed whilst being Kaiser.....gallant, warrior or statesman etc. the play acting in this case was just as well in view of the scandal concerning Eulenburg....

i myself dont believe that he had any male lovers at all. but the suggestion is there..

moreover all these events that i have mentioned was pre-great war and exile. during his exile his life lifestyle took on a differant direction..he lived in another world from what had gone on as before....
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:13 PM
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There is alot written about this in "King, Kaiser, Tsar"
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:39 PM
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Hello Snowflower
well given his character, it is more likely that wilhelm in the dream world in which he lived, merely played at this masculine eroticism as he played at every other role he assumed whilst being Kaiser.....gallant, warrior or statesman etc. the play acting in this case was just as well, in view of the scandal concerning Eulenburg....
You're perfectly right: Wilhelm played.
As Sarah Bernhardt once told, she greatly got on well with Wilhelm, because both them were "colleagues in art", both them were players.

Quote:
during his exile his life lifestyle took on a dfferant direction..he lived in another world from what had gone on as before....
During the exile Wilhelm finally got able to realize one of his biggest dreams, to live like a (British) country gentleman, finally living more relaxed; he no longer was the Lord of War with his martial mustache, but a distinguished gentleman with falling grey mustache and beard.
I dare to say that during the exile he found the interior peace and the mental lucidity that he missed for most of his life.
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