Monday, 5 March 2018
Empress Maria Feodorovna's Food Problems at Schloss Rumpenheim
Prince Friedrich and Caroline of Hesse-Kassel lived in Schloss Rumpenheim near Frankfurt from the 1780s. In the following century it was the scene of family reunions with their eight children and grandchildren. After Friedrich’s death in 1837, the property was inherited by all the children with the provision that they continued to meet all together at the schloss every two years.
Painting c1830s (below) of Schloss Rumpenheim
Their eldest son Wilhelm was the father of Queen Louise of Denmark, the mother of Queen Alexandra and Empress Maria. Their youngest daughter Augusta was the mother of George, the Duke of Cambridge, and Princess Mary of Teck. The Danish and English royals gathered here for many summers.
Photograph c1865 (below) of the Royal Families at Schloss Rumpenheim
While staying in Rumpenheim in May 1884, Empress Maria's letters to her husband Alexander III are amusing. On May 11th she wrote that her ‘joy at the sight of all my loved ones was boundless. Everyone was happy and in good health. The palace is beautiful but there are only ceremonial rooms so it’s not comfortable to live in. Despite the fact that we pay for everything ourselves here, we eat poorly and get little food. Obolensky even argues that, rising from the table, you have to ask yourself where to go to dinner’. On May 16th she reports of her visit to Empress Augusta of Germany. ‘The Grand Duke of Baden met us at the door with his youngest son. He took us to the Empress who accepted us perfectly, not officially at all. I found her much better than I had imagined by descriptions. We were given a great dinner and I ate everything as if I had not eaten for fifteen days. The Empress sat between Alix and Valdemar and talked all the time. She was so kind and nice’.
Photographs c1880s (below) of Schloss Rumpenheim
Aerial and interior views c1930 (below) of Schloss Rumpenheim
Aerial and photograph (below) of Schloss Rumpenheim today