German Royalty: Wilhelm II--Remairrage

Figure 1.--Wilhelm II's second wife, the Princes Hermine, and her five children are seen here in the eraly 1920s. The boys wear knickers. The youngest boy may be wearing kneepants.

The Emperess Auguste-Victoria died in February 1921. He was reported devestated, but visits from his brother Prince Henry and his family brought him around. Wilhelm reportedly received a letter from the son of Prince Schönaich-Carolath, who had been killed in the War, on the occasion of his 63 birthday. He invited the Prince to visit him at Doorn. The Prince did not come, but his mother did--Princess Hermine. Her father was Prince Henry XXII of Reuss. She had been one of the Emperess's many godchildren and was 28 years younger than Wilhelm. The former Kaiser was enchanted by the lively young woman. The Emperess had hoped that her husband would remarry--it was ione of her death bed requests. The children who were devoted to their mother expected it. The younger chldren, however, were upset with how soon the wedding took place. Royalists in Germany visited the Wilhelm advising that a marriage so soon after the Empress's death did not look good. Wilhelm ignored them all and married the Princess in November 1921. Again he mairred another German wife. She was given the title of Her Royal Prussian Higness the Princess of Liegnitz, a title that King Friederich Wilhelm III had given to his secoind wife. Prince Henry and the Crown Princve attended the wedding, but some of the younger children did not and the Crown Prince's wife who had left her husband. Wilhelm took to calling her Hermo. The Princess had five children of her own, three boys and two girls, from a previous mairrage. The Princes were Georg Wilhelm, Hans Georg, and Ferdinand. The Princesses were Henrietta and Karno. Wilhelm and the Princess did not have any additional children. The Princess brought some hapiness into the Kaiser's last years, filly the house with a little youthful spirit. They both enjoyed gardening. She was tactful with his children and allowed a portrait of the Emprepress to be hung next to one of Wilhelm. They soon began bickering with each other. She found him very difficlt to live with. Princess Hermine was reportedly more favorably disposed toward the NAZIs than Wilhelm. One of Wilhelm's biographers expresses surprise at this as she was a well-read cultured woman. He suggests that because she often had to travel to Germany to negotiate about family property that she needed to retain reasonable relkations with them.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: June 26, 2001
Last updated: June 26, 2001