Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meet Queen Louise

Queen Louise of Prussia was born in 1776, the daughter of a German duke and princess. At 17 she was introduced to the crown prince of Prussia, and he, dazzled by her beauty and charm, married her on Christmas Eve that same year. When he became King Frederick William III, she became Louise, Queen of Prussia. The marriage was, by all accounts, a happy one and Louise bore 10 children, only seven of whom survived childhood.

According to a contemporary account, "As Queen of Prussia she commanded universal respect and affection, and nothing in Prussian history is more admired than the dignity and unflinching courage with which she bore the sufferings inflicted on her and her family during the war between Prussia and France". Napoleon Bonaparte, when referring to the sovereigns allied against him, said, "She is the only man amongst them". He set about to destroy her reputation, but that only served to make her more beloved by her people.

In 1810, at the age of 34, Queen Louise died in her husband's arms. To honor her memory, the king established the Order of Louise, awarded to German women whose service was deemed worthy of the highest recognition.

Her face may look familiar to you. During the 1800s, her image was used on all manner of merchandise. The top picture is a tin lithographed plate from 1908, made by Vienna Art Plates. The chromolithographed print in a deep-dish walnut frame below is circa 1875, and has Queen Louise's face on a milkmaid's body. Her image shows up on porcelain dresser boxes, lockets and porcelain plates.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

I've never read anything about interesting.