A MOTHER TO HER PEOPLE

100th death anniversary of Auguste Viktoria Luise Feodora Jenny of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg

Click at the picture to see the church record.

Today, she is portrayed as a strictly church-minded mother of the country who cared for her family and the numerous people in need. She was very popular with the people. A well-known voice of her time, however, Imperial Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow, labelled her as too petty, narrow-minded and stiff to be able to play the role of the German Empress. Despite all the criticism, there are two things she cannot be denied: the love of her husband and her social commitment. She not only stood up for vulnerable girls and created a safe haven for them, she also dedicated herself to baby care and established the Protestant Church Organisation [Evangelisch-Kirchlicher Hilfsverein]. 

We are talking about the Prussian Queen and German Empress Auguste Viktoria. Upon his marriage to Auguste Viktoria the Prussian King wrote to his mother: “Hip hip hooray! Finally, I’ve got her!” The screenshot is taken from Archion and shows the entry of her wedding in the marriage register of the Parish and Cathedral Church [Oberpfarr- und Domkirche] in Berlin on 27 February, 1881. It was a rocky road to marriage, though. Due to political obstacles and doubts about her equality the engagement took place in secret at the court of the Duke of Saxony-Coburg. The press, however, found out about this event so that Wilhelm had to tell his family about it. In spite of the concerns of the Prussian Royal Family the official engagement took place on 2 June, 1880 in Babelsberg Castle.  

Auguste Viktoria was the oldest daughter of Duke Frederick VIII of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. She spent her childhood in Dolzig (Lausitz), today located in Poland. Reportedly, her last words had been: “I must not die, I cannot leave the Emperor alone!” She died on 11 April, 1921 in Doorn Castle in the Netherlands. 11 April, 2021 marks her 100th death anniversary.