Prince Alexander of Prussia

Prince Alexander

Prince Alexander, c. 1880
Born (1820-06-21)21 June 1820
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 4 January 1896(1896-01-04) (aged 75)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Full name
Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Alexander
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Prince Frederick of Prussia
Mother Princess Luise of Anhalt-Bernburg
Prussian royalty
House of Hohenzollern
Descendants of Frederick William II
Prince Frederick
Prince Charles
Frederica Wilhelmina, Duchess of Anhalt-Dessau
Princess Friederike
Princess Irene
Prince Tassilo
Prince Adalbert
Prince Tassilo
Princess Elisabeth
Prince Waldemar
Marie, Queen of Bavaria
Prince Alexander
Prince George

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Alexander of Prussia (21 June 1820 4 January 1896) was the eldest child of Prince Frederick of Prussia and his wife, Princess Luise of Anhalt-Bernburg.[1][2]

Early biography

Military career

Alexander joined the army at a young age, and was attached to the headquarters of Crown Prince Frederick during the Austro-Prussian War.[3] During the morning of the decisive battle of Königgrätz, a humorous account recounted that while on his horse, it ran away; Alexander was found later in the afternoon seated on the horse in a neighboring wood, stating that his horse had insisted on going there.[4]

He served as a general of infantry in the Prussian army. He was also a chief of the Third West Infantry Regiment and chief of the Second Regiment of Grenadiers of the Guard in the Landwehr.[2]

Later years

In 1891, Alexander ended his cure at Marienbad and embarked for Ostend for three to four weeks.[5]

A contemporary figure once recounted that:

"The charitable disposition of Prince Alexander of Prussia, the Emperor's cousin... is so well-known and often so appealed to in Berlin, that his secretary must acquired great experience in answering begging questions. He passes the greater part of the year in Switzerland and at Burg Rheinstein, his castle on the Rhine".[6]

Traveling in Switzerland, Alexander liked to stay under the title Count de Tecklenburg.[7] He was described as an "extraordinary pedestrian", because he "accomplished in twelve hours what the best walker in the valley takes sixteen hours to perform".[7] In November 1852, Alexander went to visit his very ill friend the Duchess of Orleans at her estate at Lausanne, Switzerland, though she survived for six more years.[8]

Death and legacy

In late December 1895, Alexander was reported to be "critically ill".[9] He died at a quarter to eleven on 4 January 1896 after ailing for some time.[1][2][10] The Emperor and Empress were at his bedside when he died.[10] On 9 January, Alexander's funeral was held in a Berlin cathedral.[11] Members of the Imperial court attended, including the Emperor and Empress, Dowager Empress Frederick, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and the Bundesrat, and a number of generals from the Germany army.[11] His death sent the Berlin court into mourning for a month, causing the planned season's functions and court festivities to be altered.[12][13] Hunting excursions prearranged for the month were also canceled.[13] Some of the members of his entourage received quite substantial legacies, but the rest of his estate passed to his younger brother Prince George of Prussia, and after his death, to Alexander's godchild Prince Oskar of Prussia.[14]

Much was written about Alexander's supposedly promiscuous ways. In her 1915 work Memories of forty years, Catherine Radziwill recalled that:

"[Prince Alexander], though none too intelligent, was extremely fond of society, feminine society in particular. I remember that one day, at my mother-in-law's house, he managed to decoy into an empty room a certain Madame von Wildenbruch, the wife of an illegitimate son of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, and began kissing her with fervour, to the extreme stupefaction and anger of the lady in question, who, it must be added, was at that time nearly seventy years of age".[15]

Despite never marrying, another source said Alexander declared marriage to every woman he met, "no matter if she be princess or laundress, octogenarian or young girl, married or single".[4]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles




  1. 1 2 Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Alexander Prinz von Preußen". Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Death Prince Alexander of Prussia", The New York Times, Berlin, 5 January 1896
  3. Burke, Edmund (1897). The Annual register of world events: a review of the year, Volume 138. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 133.
  4. 1 2 "Europe's Crazy Kings", The Washington Post, 18 November 1894
  5. "To-day", The Observer, 5 July 1891
  6. Vizetelly, Henry (1879). Berlin under the New empire: its institutions, inhabitants, industry, monuments, museums, social life, manners, and amusements. London: Tinsley Brothers. p. 272.
  7. 1 2 The Literary gazette and journal of the belles lettres, arts, sciences for the year 1842. London: Literary Gazette Office. 1842. p. 793.
  8. "Foreign Miscellany", Gleason's Pictorial Drawing - Room Companion, 20 November 1852
  9. "Prince Alexander Very Ill", The New York Times, Berlin, 28 December 1895
  10. 1 2 "Death of Prince Alexander of Prussia", The Irish Times, Berlin, 6 January 1896
  11. 1 2 "Prince Alexander's Funeral", The New York Times, Berlin, 10 January 1896
  12. "William Will Not Fight", The New York Times, Berlin, 12 January 1896
  13. 1 2 "From the German Capital", The Washington Post, Berlin, 12 January 1896
  14. Röhl, John (1987). The Kaiser and his court: Wilhelm II and the government of Germany. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
  15. Radziwill, Catherine (1915). Memories of forty years. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. p. 104.
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