|The Prince worked in a local blacksmith shop and wrote his memoirs on the island of Wieringen.
When it was finally safe, he left the island to return home in 1923. He reunited with his wife and
children, and they returned to Potsdam, where he finally saw their home Cecilenhof for the first time
since its completion, but they would enjoy it for only a few years. The Royal couple gave a reception
there in 1936 for Charles Lindbergh, who was in Berlin for the Olympic Games.
|Princess Cecilie remained in Germany and devoted herself to her six children. She continued living in
the official residence, named "Cecilienhof " (the last palace ever build by the Hohenzollerns) until she
moved in with her mother-in-law at the New Palais where they felt safer. She spent some time in
Silesia at an estate they were allowed to keep, her younger children accompanying her while her two
oldest sons remained in school in Potsdam. In the meantime, the German Crown Prince lived in
Holland with no electricity or running water. After a year, the Dutch government relaxed restrictions,
and his two youngest sons, Hubertus and Friedrich, were allowed to visit in September 1919. The
Prince did not meet with his own father until May 21, 1920.
|The prince was not overly political in the World War Two years. In the first year of the war their
eldest son was wounded in France and died. On June 4, 1941, his father, the German Kaiser, died in
exile and was buried in Doorn, Holland in accordance with his last will and testament. By 1944, the
royal couple was saddened and heavy of heart, their whole world in debris.
|During the last days of the war, the Prince was at a friend's hunting lodge in Austria. French troops
reached the region, and recognized the Prince on the street and arrested him. He was taken to a hotel
in Lindau and kept under guard. The French Supreme Commander did not allow him to return to his
friends hunting lodge, but let him find living quarters in the French zone and the Prince chose to stay
in 2 cold rooms at Hechingen, the ancestral home of his family, technically as a French prisoner until
October, 1945. Princess Cecilie stayed at Cecilienhof until she had to flee in February 1945 when the
Red Army was approaching. She then stayed with the family of the Kaiser's former doctor in the
town of Kissingen. In October of 1945, and on a couple of other occasions, she managed to meet her
husband in Hechingen but they had grown apart. He had developed a lifelong friendship with opera
singer Geraldine Farrar (1882-1967).
|Wilhelm II took over the throne. Hence, 1888 was known as the Year of Three Emperors. Wilhelm
II, King of Prussia and German Kaiser from June 15, 1888 to November 9, 1918, was born January
27, 1859 in Berlin to Friedrich III and Victoria, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom. As the eldest
grandchild of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm II journeyed to England in January of 1901 to be at the
bedside of his dying grandmother, and he held her in his arms at the moment of her death. He and
Bismarck had one thing in common: they were ardent Anglophiles, and he often stated that he could
not envisage a war with Britain. He was cousin to both the British King and the Russian Czar. Kaiser
Wilhelm was probably the most unjustly reviled man in the world during his era.
|In the chaos following the war, Chancellor Max von Baden announced on his own initiative that the
Kaiser of Germany and King of Prussia, Wilhelm II, had decided to denounce the throne. The Kaiser
and the Crown Prince had no choice but to abdicate and then flee. They avoided capture and left for
Doorn, Holland in November of 1918. With this, the 500-year-old dynasty which had started in
1412, when Friedrich of Hohenzollern was made Markgraf of Brandenburg, had come to an end.
|His son would later say of him, "he lived alone with his few earthly possessions he was able to save
out of all this chaos. He lived in this small house in Hechingen, where he was stranded, looking daily
up to the ancestral Burg, where so many hundred years before his ancestors had begun their
unbelievable glorious ascent." On July 20, 1951 the German Crown Prince died of a heart attack at
age 69. Princess Cecilie moved into a house in Stuttgart in 1952 and soon became ill and died two
years later in 1954 on her husband's birthday.
|The Last Hohenzollern King
|His future wife was the third child of the Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III and his wife the Grand
Duchess Anastasia Michailowna Romanov, a niece of Tsar Alexander II. The Crown Prince later
said he loved her at first sight. They were wed on June 6, 1905.
|The mighty German dynasty of Hohenzollern produced electors, kings and emperors of Prussia,
Germany, and Romania under their motto "Nihil sine Deo" (nothing without God).
|Thus ended the power of an ancient dynasty, a family who had for centuries given themselves wholly
and selflessly to their fatherland only to end up stripped of their reputations, personal wealth, private
possessions and homes.
|His son, the last Hohenzollern Crown Prince, Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Ernst, was born to the 23
year old Prince, later Kaiser Wilhelm II, and his wife Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein in
1882.The adored Crown Prince, spent his early youth in Berlin in winter and at the New Palace in
Potsdam in summer. At age 10, he began informal military training and when he was 14 years old,
he and his brother were sent to the Academy at Ploen in Schleswig-Holstein, where he became a
cadet. A Hohenzollern family rule was that every Prince had to learn a trade and Wilhelm chose to
become a drechsler, or lathe operator. After graduating in 1900, he began officer training in Potsdam
and began active service with his regiment. He studied civil law and administration at the University
of Bonn, and in 1904 he met beautiful Princess Cecilie of Mecklenburg at a wedding.
|The family's brilliant leaders took backwater Brandenburg to a pinnacle of power and prosperity in
Europe. The Hohenzollerns, one of the most important and oldest royal families of Europe, sacrificed
their lives, health and personal enrichment for their homeland, eventually lending their power to the
Unification of Germany and to the creation of the German Empire in 1871. They ruled until they
were forced to abdicate the German throne in 1918.
|They originated in Swabia during the 11th century, taking the name from their castle, Burg
Hohenzollern.The castle is in the Swabian Alps next to the town of Hechingen in the south of
Baden-Württemberg and was first documented in 1077. The old castle was reconstructed under
Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia beginning in 1819 from the old castle ruins where only
the original chapel was intact. In 1844, as King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, he wrote how he relished the
memory of that year as a beautiful dream, and particularly a sunset when he recalled watching from
the castle bastions, hoping to see the old castle made habitable again.
|The forty years following the foundation of the German empire were years of peace in Europe.
Under Bismarck's policy there would be no conflicts among the major powers in central Europe and
several potential European wars were avoided because of his diplomatic genius. Bismarck gained
respect world-wide and a reputation as a solid peace maker as did Kaiser Wilhelm I, who gained
international respect as an able and just mediator. He would shape the fortunes of Germany for
nearly three decades
|When Wilhelm I died in 1888 after his extraordinary long reign, his popular and handsome son,
Crown Prince Friedrich III, finally became Emperor, only to die of throat cancer after 99 days.