German Royalty: August Wilhelm Hohenzollern (1887-1949)

Figure 3.--The caption is difficut to read, but seems to read Alexander Ferdinand, son of Prince August Wilhelm.

Augustus Wilhelm was one of the sons of Kaiser Wilhelm II. We have developed some information August William. While there are a lot of photographs showing how the Kaiser's grandchildren, including August Wilhelm, were dressed, HBC so far as relatively little information how August and his brothers were dressed. He married Alexandra of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg (1887-1957) in 1908. They divorced in 1920 after World War I. After the War he joined a far-right veterans group known as the Stanlhelm. August Wilhelm, was an early an esthusiastic supporter of the NAZIs. He also served in World War II. Several photographs are available of his son Aleander Ferdinand.


Augustus Wilhelm's father was Kaiser William II of Germany. His mother was Augusta Victoria von Schleswig-Holstein.


Wilhelm II is perhaps the best known of the German Kaisers and Kings of Prussia--and the greatest failure. This was not preordained. He was a handicapped child that through strength of character became a capable horesman and marksman. Kaiser Wilhelm's upbrining and family background equiped him ideally to play the kind of peace keeping role played by his uncle Edward VII. However this role was not to his liking. He rejected the liberal leanings of his parents and instead the beicose leanings of the Prussian Junkers appealed to him. The result was to be disastorous for Germany, Europe and the Hohenzollern dynasty. While not the monster portrayed in British war-time propaganda, the bombastic Kaisser proved until Hitler to be one of the most disatrous rulers in German history. It was said of Wilhelm that he was a man who wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. Many historians trace his narcisistic personality to his hanndicap and childhood. It is not because of his parents, more than his predecessors, Wilhelm grew up in a loving family. Edward VII, a perceptive judge of character, said of his nephew, "the most brilliant failure in Europe". Certainly he became the most hated man in Europe, although today's historical judgement after Hitler and the Holacaust now sees Wilhelm as less sinister than he was viewed after World War I. In many ways, however, it was Wilhelm who made Hitler possible. Kaiser Wilheml II was a dutiful husband and father.


Auguste-Victoria's father was Duke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein, Duke of Schleswig-Holsein (1829- ). Her mother was Princess Adelaide von Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1835- ). Auguste-Victoria was born in 1858. After the death of the Danish King Christian IX, King Friedrich VIII attempted to unite Schleswig-Holstein under the Danish crown. First Schleswig and then Holstein, after a war with Austria is annexed by Prussia. Auguste-Victoria's dispossed family withdraws to Dolzig. As a young woman beginning about 1875, she begins to travel extensively, especially in England and France. In England she meets Prince Wilhelm and he proposes in 1879. Her father died in 1880. They marry in 1881. She has seven children. As a result of her personality and domestic life, the German people come to see her as the embodiment of the ideal German mother. She certainly was a dutiful wife and mother. Her dutiful obedience to her husband, however, meant that there was no one to moderate his arrogant manner that his mother thought so necessary. In 1888 with the accession of her husband to the throne, Auguste-Victoria becomes German empress and queen of Prussia. She often was disturbed by what she considered his neglect. They did argue about raising the children who grew up closer to her than their father.


He had had five brothers and one sistr. The brothers were: Rrinces Fredrich-Wilhelm, Eitel Friedrich, Adalbert, Oscar Charles, Joachim Francis. He was fourth brother. heir baby sister was Princess Victoria Luise.


August Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia, was born in 1887. He was the fourth son of Wilhelm II, German Emperor, (1859-1941). HBC has little information on August Wilhelm's childhood. While there are a lot of photographs showing how the Kaiser's grandchildren, including August Wilhelm, were dressed, HBC so far as relatively little information how August and his brothers were dressed.

Childhood Clothing

HBRC at this time has few individual photographs of Prince Augustus Wilhelm at this time. Based on family portraits, however we have a good idea at how he and his brothers were dressed. A a young boy he ould have dresses. We note the boys wearing the same white dresses with plaid sashes used for Princess Luise. This suggests that the boys would have been breached at about age 4 years. After breacing we note the boys wore sailor suits. One image shows the younger princes wearing identical cream colored kneepants sailor suits with short white socks and strap shoes. Another image shows black long stockings. Thy would have been about 5-6 years old. The boys also wore Little Lord Fauntleroy suits with elaborate lace collars at about 9 years of age. We are unsurejust hat the conventions were concerning sailor suits and Fauntlkeroy suits. At about age 10, the boys begin wearing military uniforms.

Hair Styles

As a little boy, Augustus Wilhelm had long hair. Available images uggest that the boys had thei hair curled. Other imags suggest that the boy at about age 5 were wearing long short hair. His hair was probably cut short at about age 6 years.

Figure 2.--This photograph was probably taken about 1915 in the early years of World War I. It shows Prince August Wilhelm and his family. Interestingly, the young prince wears a Russian cossock suit.


Augustus Wilhelm married Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein on October 22, 1908. Her fther was Duke of Frederick Ferdinand Schleswig-Holstein (1855- ). Her mother was Victoria Frederica of Schleswig-Holstein (1860- ). We have no details on the marriage. They divorced at Electors Hall Divorce in 1920. We do not have detail on the divorce, but suspect that his father's addication and the fact that his family no longer was the ruling family of Germany was a major factor.

World War I

The Prince served as a front-line staff officer.


August Wilhelm continued to use title Prince of Prussia even after his father's abdication in 1918. Like several family members, August Wilhelm joined the NAZI party and was strongest NAZI in the family. The right-wing politics attracted him. He also was naively led to believe that the NAZIs would reinstate the monarchy. His father the old Kaiser was much more suspicious of the NAZIs. August Wilhelm introduced other German royal families to the NAZIs, like Prince Philipp of Hesse-Kassel. He apparently joined the SA. August William himself fought in World War II and was killed. Another report indicates he lived until 1949, so I still need to sort out the information on the German royals.


August Wilhelm had only one son, unlike some of the other Gerrman royals who had very large families. His son was Alexander Ferdinand Albert. While I have little on August William, several photographs are available Alexander Ferdinand. Alexander Ferdinand was born December 26, 1912. He appears to wear a tunic suit which appears to be smocked. He also appears to have long hair at about age 3. I have no information on the boy's childhood or how he got along with his parents. Alexander Ferdinand married December 19, 1938, to Irmgard Weygand in Dresden. They had one child, Prinz von Preussen, Stephen Alexander who was born September, 30 1939.

Figure 3.--Alexander Ferdinand is pictured here about 1918 or 19, either before or immediately after the endof World War I, He wears knickers with three-quarter length white socks.

Child's Clothing

It is difficult to make out the details of Alexander Ferdinand's outfits. In the first photograph he appears to be wearing a tunic outfit with blomer or knicker above-the-knee pants. In the second photograph he wears a Russian inspired Cossok outfit which suggest that the photograph was taken before Wotld War I began in 1914. He wears a wide-brimmed sailor hat with the brim bent up. Alexander Ferdinand appears to have begun to wear more boyish outfits by at least 7-years of age. This photograph would have been taken only a year or two after the end of the War and the abdication of hid grandfather, Wilhelm II. One interesting outfit shows him wearing knickers. They are not baggy knickers as they look more like keepants. But they are knickers as they are closed below the knee. He wears them with three-quarter length short white socks. This is a rather cirious outfit. I have seen few images of gashionally addressed biys wearing knickers with anklle socks. He also wears what looks to be a a rather large tie, cut off at the bottom, but it could be an untied bow.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site royal pages:
[Main Wilhelm II page]
[Main German royal page]
[Austria] [Belgium] [Denmark] [France] [German states] [Italy] [Luxenburg] [Monaco] [Netherlands] [Norway] [Romania] [Russia] [Spain] [United Kingdom]

Created: December 8, 1998
Last updated: November 13, 2003