Friday, 28 October 2016
Unwanted Guests (creepy-crawlies) – Part 2
The Empress Frederick (Vicky) wrote to her daughter the Crown Princess Sophie of her own encounters with creepy-crawlies and other palace problems.
Sophie had described the inadequacies of her Tatoi villa and her mother Empress Frederick replied “…I well understand that the state you found the house was not edifying. Your description reminds exactly of what Friedrickskron [Vicky had renamed Neues Palais] used to be like between 1860-1870. Lots of dead bats I found in one big empty room, and bugs by the 100. The beds I begged all to have burnt, but they were not. WC’s and water there were none. You can hardly have an idea!”
Aerial photograph (below) of the Neues Palais, Potsdam
The Empress further writes “…How furious the royal Hofmarschalls were with me when I rowed and complained and begged for money and reforms. Now William and Dona live there in comfort and cleanliness, where their parents were more or less only encamped for years. Every drop of water was fetched for every bath and for the kitchen …”
In 1899, Nicholas II and Alexandra encountered over heated rooms in the Neues Palais. On Thursday, October 21st, 1910 Nicholas II left Wolfsgarten for a 3 day visit to Potsdam, alone. He wrote on Friday, October 22nd “… to the palace [Neues Palais] … The Empress was waiting downstairs in the seashell hall. They put me in the rooms where I had stayed in 1899 …”
Panorama (below) of the Grottensaal [Seashell Hall], Neues Palais
The Empress then goes on “… Of Royal castles, the only clean ones were Gotha and Coburg and Hesse and Brunswick, where the servants were tidy. All the rest were as you saw at Aunt Vera’s and in Denmark. Dresden and Weimar were awful… Worst of all at Karlsruhe and Baden, where I used to stay for weeks every year, and where I used to have an insight into German Court and Palace life behind the scenes, which filled me with dismay…”
Sophie then writes how fortunate her mother is in her beautiful smooth running home Schloss Friedrichshof in Kronberg.
Photograph (below) of Schloss Friedrichshof
The Empress replied “… Indeed I do appreciate my dear Friedrichshof … Alas, very few servants of any of my guests take the least care of my things, and are very messy and untidy in their rooms. I shall have to fresh paper several…”
On Friday, October 4th, 1896 Nicholas II wrote “ … Alix, Ella, Erni and I went off to Homburg where Aunt Vicky met us … We went in carriages to Friedrichshof, where we had lunch in the beautiful castle. We looked it over and admired the marvelous furnishings of all the spaces inside …”
Interior photographs (below) of Schloss Friedrichshof