The Imperial Couple (January 25, 1906)
In 1881, the German Prince Wilhelm of Hohenzollern (1859-1941), the subsequent King of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm II, married Auguste Viktoria, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein (1858-1921). In the three decades following Wilhelm’s accession to the throne in 1888, the imperial couple, who had seven children, was frequently held up as a model of religiosity and family life. In this 1906 postcard, the imperial majesties could almost be mistaken for a typical, upper middle-class couple. Whereas her husband favored grand public gestures, Auguste Viktoria preferred to work behind the scenes, patronizing numerous religious and charitable associations. Among them were the German Red Cross Society and the Fatherland Women’s Association [Vaterländische Frauenverein]; she also sponsored the Protestant Church Building Association [Evangelischer Kirchenbauverein] founded in 1890. Moreover, Auguste Viktoria was actively involved in the charitable aspects of military hospitals during World War I. She followed Wilhelm into exile in the Netherlands after the collapse of the empire and his subsequent abdication in 1918. She died there in 1921. Postcard, photo by unknown photographer (January 25, 1906).