Excerpts from the diaries of the ducal state minister of Brunswick,
Adolf Hartwieg ( 1914), about the wedding gift of the Land Brunswick.
Especially during the years 1912/13, Hartwieg successfully finished
off the exceptionally difficult preparations for the arrangement of
the heir apparents. Below, a summary of his extensive and full diaries,
his private and official correspondence and the unfortunately incomplete
files of the state archives in Wolfenbüttel, the Landtag minutes
and the files of the embassy of Brunswick concerning the gift of the
Hartwieg always was a pronounced follower of the traditional dynasty.
It was not that this corresponded to the opinion of the monarchic minded
bourgeoisie of that time, but more of an inherited conviction as a descendent
of an ancient patrician family of Brunswick, whose collateral line had
provided the reigning royal House Wolfenbüttel some princely Secretary,
Chamber-, War- and Court Counsellor. One of them signed as a doctor
of laws, legal counsellor and representative of the Crown the treaty
of St.Petersburg in 1615, which finished the long feuds between the
city of Brunswick and the reigning Royal House of Wolfenbüttel.
On the occasion of the selection of a sovereign for the dukedom after
the death of the last scion of the Royal House of Brunswick (the elder
line), who deceased unmarried and without heirs, Hartwieg reproached
the Landtag for having contacted the Duke of Cumberland, the English
collateral line of the House of Brunswick, in order to prevent the choice
of a foreign sovereign. This reproach probably derived from the fact
that the Marshall Hunter von Kalm proposed among his friends to send
him to Gmunden as a mediator.
A long time before a connection between the Houses of Cumberland and
Prussia was suspected, Hartwieg contacted the followers of the Hanoverian
Guelph party in order to settle the question which had been on his mind
a long time:
if it was his duty to remind the Council of Ministers of finishing off
the problem of the succession to the throne. In his letters he wrote:
We finally have to get out of our insecure situation and try
to find our traditional Duke.
Having been appointed state minister, he continuously pursued the aim
to remove all obstacles that might prevent the accession of the legitimate
Royal House to the throne. The engagement of Prince Ernst August with
the daughter of the Prussian king was the natural cause to drive forward
his aim with both intensity and prudence.
Here he was kindly supported by Prince Max of Baden, who was related
to the House of Cumberland, and it cannot be emphasised enough
by the sovereign at that time, who thereby accelerated the end
of his own reign.
Mentioning all the above in advance is necessary for the comprehension
of the following:
Having announced the engagement, Hartwieg started to think about how
the Land of Brunswick could express its delight for the event. And thereby
we come to the actual topic:
Hartwieg requested an audience from the monarch in order for receiving
the ducal agreement for the wedding gift of the land of Brunswick.
There were several conferences about it, one of them with Prince Heinrich
XXX. Reuß, who was serving as a lieutenant colonel in the staff
Br. i.R. 92. H
He knew about the possibility of buying a tiara. The monarch took up
this idea and proposed himself to choose a diadem. There was few time
until the wedding and it seemed impossible to make a new tiara, so they
had to look out for one which had already been manufactured.
Fortunately, the Saxon Court Jeweller, Moritz Ellimeyer, in Dresden
had such a jewel.
Hartwieg made the jeweller to present it to him. The correspondence
between him and Jeweller Ellimeyer about the purchase
is kept in the national archives. They contain important details on
the origins of the tiara, which Hartwieg wanted to be informed of.
The tiara originates from the imperial jewels of the Bonaparte family
and was worn of the Empress Josephine Beauharnais. There is a painting
of the Empress where the tiara can be identified. The bill of costs
with details, is also kept in the national archives.
In the diadem, which they wanted to buy, the two biggest and especially
valuable diamonds were missing.
Ellimeyer explained that he had not yet succeeded in finding a fitting
replacement for them. This just suited Hartwieg since he planned to
made a jeweller from Brunswick refurbish the tiara.
The executive of the jewellers guild, the master Carl Grieß,
and the secretary Ernst Wurm offered their services. Ellimeyer agreed
to leave the diadem up to the Court Jeweller of Brunswick, Hermann Jürgens,
who was to complete the diamond skeleton. To be on the safe side, Hartwieg
made experts examine the manufacturing and the value of the jewel.
Afterwards, he proposed to replace the case with the company name Ellimeyer
with an etui more worthy. In his correspondence with the monarch of
that time, Hartwieg wrote:
I like the idea of engraving the heraldic figures of Brunswick
and Prussia on the jewel-case. But I am stressing the one of Brunswick
since Prince Ernst August is important for our land only as the hereditary
Prince or Duke of Brunswick, not as the prince of Hanover.
The Court Jeweller of Brunswick, Jürgens, was able to procure
the missing diamonds immediately.
After the completion of the jewel and its case and the monarchs
approval, Hartwieg told the museum's director P. J. Meier to organise
the exhibition of the wedding gift (in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum).
It was presented at the place, where usually the valuable onyx receptacle
was positioned. The tiara was guarded day and night and visited by a
large crowd of people.
The purchase of the wedding gift from the treasury had been approved
in the Landtag session of Brunswick on March 4th.
The finance department took over to handle the case and accepted Hartwiegs
proposals unanimously. In his application speech the reporter Lagerfeld,
member of the Landtag stressed the following:
It has been said several times that there shall not be drawn
any political conclusion from the family union between our ducal dynasty
and the dynasty Hohenzollern. The finance department does not intend
to do that, and we suppose that neither the general assembly of the
Länder does so. But these events are so important that we consider
it necessary to accentuate this
The orator continues with his hopes that this union will bring a descendent
to the guelphs, who will especially benefit our Land of Brunswick
Later, the general assembly of the Landtag had been informed about
the choice of the wedding gift: a tiara. Then, on 10th of May 1913,
the lawyer von Dähne, chairman of the Brunswick Guelph party, wrote
to the Landtag:
I am surprised that a tiara was chosen as wedding gift. You should
have chosen a gift from the dynasty of Brunswick for one of their sons
this intention, the tiara is as meaningless as possible.
Von Dähne protested loudly against the decision of the Landtag
who considers the gift as offending to the Prince. He thought that this
gave the impression of the land sympathising only with the Prussian
Kings daughter. He regretted that his sense of tact forbade him
to express his opinion in public. But towards the assembly, he
hereby declares his fundamental disagreement.
However, the Landtag ignored his objection. In these days, Hartwieg
was in Berlin to negotiate the arrangement of the line of succession
with the Imperial Chancellor, the Minister-president of Prussia, von
Bethmann-Hollweg, the Secretary Delbrück and the second Secretary
Apart from these events I consider the modalities of the tiaras
presentation to be important for the decision whom it belongs to.
Hartwieg applied for the permission of the first office of majordomo
for presenting the wedding gift with a delegation on May 23rd 1913,
the day before the wedding.
This delegation consisted of the president of the general assembly of
the Länder and its juristic officer, legal advisor Klaue, and the
district director Langerfeldt (who had fallen ill so that mayor Retemeyer
stood in for him).
In the application, he wrote:
I dare to approach the royal office of major-domo with the
request to report on our wish to the highest authority, and of informing
me about the decision. His application was accepted.
On 23.05.1913, Hartwieg wrote in his diary:
in the morning, presentation of the gift with my successful
and well accepted speech. The tiara made them very happy. The Princess
and the Empress were very delighted, Prince Ernst August did not say
a very much
In the evening: Gala Opera, Lohengrin, 1st act I had a privileged
seat next to the princely loge
later Circle. Empress and Princess
again pretty gracious, Prince again very taciturn
The Emperor told
me, he was happy that we were finally had come so far. I was introduced
to Duchess Thyra, she was very friendly. The Duke was absent, he felt
unwell. Conversations with the King of England, the Grand Duke and the
Grand Duchess of Hesse, the Imperial Chancellor and our Lordship
The newspapers published Hartwiegs speech:
".........Your royal highness knows about the exceptional delight
that the announcement of your engagement has aroused both in the duchy
of Brunswick and the general assembly of the Länder.
We can be convinced that the accession to the throne of Brunswick
by a descendant of our lord ship will not take long any more. So,
our countries wishes will be fulfilled and our future secured.
The ducal government and the general assembly of the land of Brunswick,
whose representatives we are nowadays, decided unanimously to offer
Your Royal Highness a wedding gift.
It is, at first, a piece of jewellery for Your Royal Highness, the
Princess, but we hope that Your Royal Highness, the Prince, will be
delighted as well.
We are happy about the thought that the tiara will grace our Duchess
of Brunswick at the festivities in our palace. We beg Your Royal Highness
most obediently to accept this gift as an expression of the love and
admiration of all inhabitants of Brunswick.
According to the newspaper, the bride and the groom were visibly moved
and warmly pleased. This also showed their returning thanks, which the
Empress, too, expressed.
The gift met with everybodys approve. The lord ships could not
find enough words to express their delight and appreciation
The young bride wore the tiara of Brunswick already at the family lunch
that day and occasionally at Gala operas.
That is undoubtedly a prove of delight about the gift, which was probably
intensified by the intention to accentuate the future diplomatic relations
with the land of Brunswick.
Annotation: I couldnt find a larger picture of
Empress Josephine with the orginal tiara, but I will try to get a copy
of the picture described above from the national archives. I think it`s
another picture as above.
Viktoria Luise Adelheid Mathilde Charlotte Princess of Prussia,
Markgravin of Brandenburg, Countess of the Castle of Nuremberg, Countess
of Hohenzollern, Duchess of Silesia and the duchy of Glatz, Duchess
of the Lower Rhine and Posen, Duchess of Saxony, Westphalia and Engern,
of Pomerania, Lüneburg, Silesia-Holstein, Magdeburg, Bremen, Geldern,
Cleve, Jülich-Bergen, Wenden and Cassuben, Crossen, Lauenburg,
Mecklenburg, Countess of Upper and Lower Laisitz, Princess of Orania,
Rügen, East Frisia, Paderborn and Pyrmont, Halberstadt, Münster,
Minden, Osnabrück, Hildesheim Verden, Cammin, Fulda, Nassau and
Mörs, Princely Countess of Henneberg, Countess of the marches,
Ravensburg, Hohenstein, Tecklenburg and Lingen, of Manfeld, Sigmaringen
and Veringen, Mistress of Frankfort.
After the marriage, she was furthermore: Princess of Hanover, Princess
of Great Britain, Duchess of Cumberland, Brunswick and Brunswick-Lüneburg.
Above right, the Empire Style Diamond Diadem of Duchess Victoria Luise
Above in the picture left, Princess Caroline of Hanover, Princess of
Monaco wearing the Brunswick-Tiara of the House of Hanover. More
Special Thanks to my dear Caroline Butschal for help!!
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Die Juwelen und der private
Schmuck der Herzogin | Princess Viktoria-Luise`s Private Trove
Das Hochzeitsgeschenk ihrer Mutter
der Kaiserin | Wedding Gift from her mother the Queen of Germany
Diamant-Diadem von Viktoria-Luise Herzogin von Braunschweig
| Viktoria-Luises diamond Tiara
| Imperial wedding gift, the Koechert-Tiara-Necklace