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A Magdeburg Merchant Remembers a Royal Visit (1880)

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As members of the special committee, we had the honor of being the first to welcome the arriving dignitaries, who were accompanied by city leaders, and of being introduced to them. And to this day it fills me with happiness to remember the sociability and kindness that the royal ladies and gentlemen displayed, especially His Imperial and Royal Highness, the Crown Prince. Specifically, I will never forget the scene after the meal in the adjoining work area of the private chambers that had been specially set up on this day for the reception of the illustrious guest and for taking coffee: The Crown Prince showed such affability and openness to conversation; he was always quick with a kind or joking remark. Also unforgettable, though, were the great, kind eyes of our beloved old Kaiser as he, standing immediately before me, greeted us municipal deputies with friendly words upon his arrival at the Alte Markt. Magnificent as well were the words that His Majesty the Crown Prince offered in reply to the speech and toast given by the Lord Mayor to the Kaiser and the ruling dynasty. Only a few days had passed since the engagement of our current Kaiser with Princess Auguste Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, our illustrious Empress. He [the Crown Prince] spoke about this and said that it was a particular pleasure to first mention this happy event publicly in Magdeburg of all places, the city that had shown so much love for his grandmother, the unforgettable Queen Luise. He then expressed his wish that his future daughter-in-law, our current illustrious Empress, would also encounter as much love from the people one day as had [Queen Luise]. [ . . . ] And how this wish has come true!

I have preserved a wonderful, dear keepsake from this day. My wife had contributed the champagne glasses for the little breakfast table at the exhibition, and, under my watchful eye, the servant marked and wrapped the glasses Kaiser Wilhelm and the Crown Prince had used; engraved with an inscription and crown, they now represent a precious family treasure in my house.

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