Thursday, March 17, 2016

Etiquette, Bismarck and Victoria

Victoria, Princess Royal, German Empress, Queen of Prussia,  detested Prussia's emphasis on its army. This was to be expected, however, considering her British upbringing. “Vicky,”  as she was known, hoped to influence Prussia away from the tradition of “Warrior Kings” in favor of "a new line of enlightened executives." Though supported by her husband, she was bound to clash with Bismarck's rising force. The Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's most important legacy is the unification of Germany. Germany had existed as a collection of hundreds of separate principalities and Free Cities since the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Over the centuries various rulers had tried to unify the German states without success until Bismarck. Resulting largely from his efforts, the varying German kingdoms united into a single country. Bismarck's psychology and personal traits have not been so favorably received over time, and historian Jonathan Steinberg portrays a demonic genius who was deeply vengeful, even toward his closest friends and family members. 

Bismarck and the Crown Princess Victoria


London, November 25th— Court circles in Berlin are discussing the reconciliation which has just been effected between Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Bismarck. Their hostility had been of many years' duration, and was known to all the world, although it was thinly veiled by court ceremony. Many reasons have been assigned for it, but its real origin was the utter incompatibility of the Chancellor and the Princess. 

Prince Bismarck scorns and condemns the little niceties of polite sriciety, and estimates women only as a factor in the problem of the continuance of the German nation. The Crown Princess had her education in a court and country where women arc treated with much deference, and where the canons of etiquette cannot be violated without serious consequences. The Princess has been, next to the aged Empress, the first lady in Germany, and refused to submit to what she termed Bismarck's boorishness. The result was warfare, sometimes open, sometime covert, as the necessities of court life required. 

Now there has been a reconciliation, and the question is; Which power conquered? The story most current in Berlin is as follows ... The Crown Princess, powerful as she is now, will be still more so when she becomes Empress of Germany. This must happen soon, and may happen at any time. 

The Chancellor is cultivating the friendliest relations with the Crown Prince, who may soon be Emperor, and has fouud it also desirable to propitiate the Crown Princess. He has, therefore, instituted certain reforms in his household and in his manners which makes his personality less disagreeable to her Imperial Highness. — Sacramento Daily Union, 1884

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia