Some highlights (or spoilers)
- As a child he and his brothers were allowed to watch their grandfather getting dressed for the state opening of parliament. Surrounded by courtiers in full gala several servants dressed him in ermine, crown, scepter etc etc. For the prince it was overwhelming. More opulent than any of his faitytale books.
- As a young man in the navy he visited the court of sultan Abdul Hamid in Constantinople to grant him the order of Seraphim. A lavish pompous court in an empire in decay. He describes the treassury with piles of jewels and precious stones, often covered in dust as if no one cared. During the banquets officialls sat om chairs so far from each other so conversation was impossible. According to the prince: to avoid gossip and plotting. The best wines in their glasses but no one dared to drink as long as the sultan was present. He was a devout muslim. As soon as he left, everyone helped themself
- With his wife he went to Bangkok for the coronation of king Vajiravud in 1911. He was amazed by the refinement of all the elaborate ceremonies. He comments of the thai peoples love for grandeur and pageantry.
- The Romanov jubilee in 1913. Fantastic descriptions of the prince taking part of a ride through Moscow to escort the tsar on horse from the railway station to the Kremlin. He, his brother in law grand duke Dmitri and grand duke Boris rode next to the tsar. All the prince could think of was the contrast of the splendor and misery and his fear of bombs (having in mind his wifes guardian grand duke Sergei who was murdered in Moscow in 1905). He also describes the lack of enthusiasm from the crowds. He got along very well with the tsar and gives insight to the close bond between the tsar and his children. He describes the tsar as very symphatetic but ill adviced. The tsarina as remote and cold.
- At the court of his maternal grandparents in Karlsruhe he is amazed by the stiff etiquette. Often critical about his mothers prussian manners. But also loving portraits of his mother and her parents, the grand ducal couple of Baden.
« Back to index