So, Just Who Was Wilhelm German Crown Prince?

Wilhelm German Crown Prince was the final Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. He was the firstborn of Empress Augusta Victoria and Wilhelm II, the future German Emperor during that time.

After Emperor Frederick III, his grandfather passed away, the 6-year-old Wilhelm became the crown prince. He retained this title for over three decades until the empire’s fall on November 5, 1918. He was the commander of the 5th Army during World War II from 1914 to 1916.

He was also the Army Group’s commander throughout the war’s remaining years. The crown prince also became the Head of the House of Hohenzollern on June 4, 1941, after his father died. He remained in the position until he passed away on July 20, 1951.

So, Just Who Was Wilhelm German Crown Prince?
Hohenzollern Castle near Hechingen was built in the mid-19th century by Frederick William IV of Prussia. | Image: A. Kniesel (= User:-donald-), Lauffen, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Early Life Of Wilhelm German Crown Prince

Wilhelm was born in Brandenburg province, specifically in the Marmorpalais of Potsdam, on May 6, 1882. His father Wilhelm II was the final German Emperor and his mother was Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, the first wife of his father.

When Wilhelm was born, the reigning emperor was his great grandfather Kaiser Wilhelm I. Crown Prince Frederick, the grandfather of Wilhelm, was the immediate successor to the throne, which makes Wilhelm the third one in line.

He was the eldest of the seven children of the Kaiser, with his birth sparking an argument between his grandmother and parents. Before Wilhelm’s birth, his grandmother had anticipated being asked for help in finding a nurse. However, with her son doing his best to rebuff his mother, the future Wilhelm II sought the help of his aunt, Helena, instead.

Crown Prince William of German Empire on the front with his personal staff | “Crown Prince William of German Empire on the front with his personal staff” by over 26 MILLION views Thanks is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

This hurt his mother and Queen Victoria, his grandmother who was the great-grandmother of the younger Wilhelm, was furious. After the death of both his grandfather and great grandfather in 1888, the young Wilhelm at the age of 6 became the heir-apparent to the Prussian and German thrones.

Association football was still a new sport back then in the nation, but it was already supported by Wilhelm. He even donated a cup in 1908 to the German Football Association. This initiated German football’s oldest cup competition, the Kronprinzenpokal, currently known as Länderpokal. The original name of BFC Preussen, the German club, was BFC Friedrich Wilhelm to honor him.

It was in 1914 when the Kaiser commanded the establishment of Potsdam’s Schloss Cecilienhof for Prince Wilhelm together with his whole family. The Bidston Court found in Birkenhead in England somewhat served as an inspiration for the Schloss that resembled a Tudor mansion. The construction was finished in 1917 and for a time, it also became the Crown Prince’s main residence.

The Family Of Wilhelm German Crown Prince

So, Just Who Was Wilhelm German Crown Prince?
With his father and his son, Prince Wilhelm, in 1927 | Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-01280 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

On June 6, 1905, in Berlin, Wilhelm tied the knot with Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Following their marriage, the couple resided at the Crown Prince’s Palace located in Berlin during winter as well as at Potsdam’s Marmorpalais. The Duchess was the daughter of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia and the of Grand Duke Frederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.