This is a marvelous period framed photograph of Imperial Germany’s Kronprinz Wilhelm (1882-1951). The Kronprinz was one of the most popular Imperial German royalty members. He was an army man who led the V. Armee (5. Armee / Armeeoberkommando 5 / A.O.K. 5) when WW I began. In 1915 he was given command of Heeresgruppe Deutscher Kronprinz (Army Group German Crown Prince), which he led until the Great War’s end, eventually achieving the rank of Generalleutnant. Troops under his command began what became the year-long Battle of Verdun, WW I’s longest and bloodiest battle.
After the war, Wilhelm first followed his father into exile in the Netherlands. In 1923, he was allowed to return to Germany as long as he promised NOT to participate in political activities. [This was done without his father’s knowledge, who was not happy that HE could not return as well]. The Kronprinz soon broke his promise, and supported the Nazi party on an unofficial basis. Ultimately, the Kronprinz became disenchanted when an old friend of his, former German Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher, was murdered during Hitler’s 1934 “Night of the Long Knives,” which consolidated Der Führer’s political power supremacy. Wilhelm lived a quiet life for the balance of the Nazi regime and WW II. He survived to die in 1951, estranged from his wife Kronprinzessin Cecilie.
The photograph is presented in a simple brown frame that measures 8 ¾” x 11 ¾.” The photo is surrounded by a light brown matte. Centered in the matte is the photo of the Kronprinz wearing Küraßier-Regiment Königin (Pommersches) Nr 2’s uniform. [PLEASE NOTE: during his military career, Kronprinz Wilhelm was associated with three Prussian regiments, 1 Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1, 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, and Küraßier-Regiment Königin (Pommersches) Nr 2. He was best known for his association with 1 Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1. Through much of his military career he wore its uniform and Totenkopf-bedecked headdress. Küraßier-Regiment Königin (Pommersches) Nr 2, however, was his mother’s “regiment,” as she was its patron. So in this photo he wears “her” uniform. If you look closely, you will see his tunic’s unique to the Küraßier and Jäger zu Pferde Regiments collar. He also wears the Regiment’s ringkragen (gorget), a four-place medal bar, two breast stars, and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class.
The photograph, which measures 4 ½” x 6 ¼,” was taken later in Wilhelm’s life. I estimate that it was taken between 1935 and his 1951 death. At the photograph’s bottom we see it was taken in Kassel by a house photographer. Both frame and photograph are in excellent condition and ready to hang on YOUR wall.