Friedrich III. deutscher
Kaiser und König von Preußen K.u.K.H.
(18.10.1831 - 15.06.1888)
place of birth: Potsdam, Brandenburg
Kaiser und König, Oberster Kriegsherr
Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl von Preußen,
King of Prussia and German Emperor for 99 days. Friedrich
Wilhelm (Frederick William) was born at the New Palace in Potsdam, the
son of Prince Wilhelm and nephew of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. His
mother was Princess Augusta von Saxe-Weimar. Young Fritz began his military career at the age of
ten when he was commissioned as a Leutnant
in the 1st Guards Infantry Regiment. Following his formal education, he
married Princess Victoria in 1858 at St James Palace. Young Vicky was
the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Vicky and
Fritz' eldest son Wilhelm later ascended to the throne as Kaiser Wilhelm
II. When Fritz' father was crowned King Wilhelm I of Prussia in 1861,
the 29-year old Fritz became Crown Prince Friedrich. As Crown Prince, the liberal-minded Friedrich often disagreed
sharply with his father's conservative Minister- President Otto von
Bismarck. During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Crown
Prince and his Chief of Staff Graf von Blumenthal successfully led their
troops to numerous victories, and were specifically cited for their
actions during the Battle of Sadowa. Friedrich was even awarded
the coveted Pour le Merite for his personal gallantry exhibited
during the campaign. He likewise commanded the Third Army during
Prussia's war with France in 1870-71, leading them at Sedan and
during the Siege of Paris. He was also one of only nine
recipients of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross during the Franco-Prussian
War of 1870-71. He died in Berlin on 15 June 1888.
When his father died in March of 1888, Friedrich was already
suffering from cancer of the larynx and could not speak. He thus only
ruled for 99 days, succumbing to his illness on 15 June 1888 at the age
of 57. He was interred in the mausoleum at the Friedenskirche in
Potsdam. Although influenced by liberal, constitutional, and
middle-class ideas, Friedrich III retained a strong sense of the
Hohenzollern royal and imperial dignity. Many consider his early demise
a particular tragedy: his ultra-short reign was sandwiched between his
father's ruling Prussia for 27 years and his militaristic son Wilhelm
II's stumbling with the General Staff into the First World War.
von Preußen ........
des EK ..........
Pour le Mérite