IX Berlin 20/11/96

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IX Berlin 20/11 96

Dearest Nicky

General Werder has the great pleasure and honour to be your guest and so I entrust this letter to his care. Let me once more thank you with all my heart for the picture and the letter you sent me for my birthday.[1] The attention was most kind and gracious at the same time, as the opening of the Canal was indeed something which I had very much at heart and which really was a success. I have sent the picture to Kiel where it is to be hung in my private apartments, the same in which your dear lamented father lived the last time he met me at Kiel. Werder will also be the bearer of two photographs. One for you, as a little souvenir of mine and one for Alix, to give her an idea of what my girl[2] looks like. She is a real piece of living quicksilver and tyrannises her papa tremendously.

Your Embassy has enquired about my beeing represented at the Coronation[3] at Moskau and I have named Henry as my representant. I should be very thankful if you would kindly see that the question of his rank is made out clearly, as I heard that your Master of Ceremonies has hinted to Radolin that he would have to follow all the Hereditary German Granddukes and Princes, even the son of the Prince of Montenegro. This is of course out of the question. My house as the reigning one in Germany is the first, and the Princes belonging to it go before the sons of the Reigning Princes in Germany. I asked Wladimir[4] about this when he was here, and he was of quite the same opinion, and told me he would mention the matter to you. Besides he is your brother in law,[5] and as such he counts as one of your family, just as your Papa did for the Duke of Edinbourgh[6] at his coronation.

I saw Aunt Sanny[7] at Oldenburg and on her passage here. She is very much affected by the slow and harrassing death of her poor sister, and suffers much from sleeplessness, poor thingl

The Blue Book[8] in Parliament in London has once more proved how right your policy was in Oriental matters and how England has tried to get you and us others into trouble. In Transvaal their Coup de Bourse was miscarried by the will of Providence, and though some lives were lost, yet revolution, bloodshed and general pillage have been stopped. They have behaved very improperly to me, but that leaves me untouched, whereas their mobilising their celebrated Flying Squadron[9] against us, who have hardly anything to speak of, made them supremely ridiculous.

Now good by dearest Nicky, best love to Alix. and believe me
Ever
Your most devoted Cousin and friend
Willy

Notes

  1. On the Kaiser's birthday, January 27th, the Russian ambassador in Berlin, Count Osten-Sacken, presented him with an autograph letter from the Czar and an oil painting representing Kiel Harbor at the moment of the opening of the Canal. The German Imperial yacht "Hohenzollern" was shown passing the Russian flagship "Alexander II."
  2. The Kaiser's youngest child, Princess Victoria Louise, born September 13th, 1892, and married to Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, in 1913
  3. The Czar was crowned on May 26th, 1896
  4. Grand Duke Wladimir, the Czar's uncle
  5. Prince Henry of Prussia married Princess Irene of Hesse, elder sister of the Czarina
  6. When the Czar Alexander III. was crowned on May 27th, 1883, the Duke of Edinburgh, who had married the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the Czar's sister, followed immediately after the members of the Imperial family
  7. Grand Duchess Alexandra Josefovna, Princess of Saxe-Altenborg, married to the Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaevitch
  8. A Blue Book on the Armenian question was issued in London on February 17th, 1896. A Blue Book on the Transvaal was issued on February 12th
  9. The squadron, commissioned on January 9th, 1896, consisted of two first-class battleships, two first-class cruisers, and two second-class cruisers

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