Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria, Princess Royal (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa;[1][2] 21 November 1840 5 August 1901) was German Empress and Queen of Prussia as the wife of German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and was created Princess Royal in 1841. She was the mother of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

Victoria
Princess Royal
Portrait by T. H. Voigt, 1900
German Empress consort
Queen consort of Prussia
Tenure9 March 1888 – 15 June 1888
Born(1840-11-21)21 November 1840
Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom
Died5 August 1901(1901-08-05) (aged 60)
Schloss Friedrichshof, Cronberg, Grand Duchy of Hesse, German Empire
Burial13 August 1901
Spouse
(m. 1858; died 1888)
Issue
Names
Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa
HouseSaxe-Coburg and Gotha
FatherPrince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
MotherQueen Victoria of the United Kingdom
Signature

Educated by her father in a politically liberal environment, Victoria was married at age 17 to Prince Frederick of Prussia, with whom she had eight children. Victoria shared with Frederick her liberal views and hopes that Prussia and the later German Empire should become a constitutional monarchy, based on the British model. Criticised for this attitude and for her English origins, Victoria suffered ostracism by the Hohenzollerns and the Berlin court. This isolation increased after the rise to power of Otto von Bismarck (one of her most staunch political opponents) in 1862.

Victoria was empress for only a few months, during which she had opportunity to influence the policy of the German Empire. Frederick III died in 1888 – 99 days after his accession – from laryngeal cancer and was succeeded by their son William II, who had much more conservative views than his parents. After her husband's death, she became widely known as Empress Frederick (German: Kaiserin Friedrich). The empress dowager then settled in Kronberg im Taunus, where she built Friedrichshof, a castle, named in honour of her late husband. Increasingly isolated after the weddings of her younger daughters, Victoria died of breast cancer on 5 August 1901, not long after her mother's death on 22 January 1901.

The correspondence between Victoria and her parents has been preserved almost completely: 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter, and about 4,000 letters from the empress to her mother are preserved and catalogued.[3] These give a detailed insight into life at the Prussian court between 1858 and 1900.