A Most English Princess

A Most English Princess

by Clare McHugh
Setting: England, Germany
Genres: Fiction / Historical / General
Published on September 22, 2020
Pages: 500
Format: eBook Source: Library

To the world, she was Princess Victoria, daughter of a queen, wife of an emperor, and mother of Kaiser Wilhelm. Her family just called her Vicky…smart, pretty, and self-assured, she changed the course of the world.

January 1858: Princess Victoria glides down the aisle of St James Chapel to the waiting arms of her beloved, Fritz, Prince Frederick, heir to the powerful kingdom of Prussia. Although theirs is no mere political match, Vicky is determined that she and Fritz will lead by example, just as her parents Victoria and Albert had done, and also bring about a liberal and united Germany.

Brought up to believe in the rightness of her cause, Vicky nonetheless struggles to thrive in the constrained Prussian court, where each day she seems to take a wrong step. And her status as the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria does little to smooth over the conflicts she faces. 

But handsome, gallant Fritz is always by her side, as they navigate court intrigue, and challenge the cunning Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, while fighting for the throne—and the soul of a nation. At home they endure tragedy, including their son, Wilhelm, rejecting all they stand for.

Clare McHugh tells the enthralling and riveting story of Victoria, the Princess Royal—from her younger years as the apple of her father Albert's eyes through her rise to power atop the mighty German empire to her final months of life.

This novel tells the story of the oldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of England, Princess Victoria. Vicky had a very good political mind. Her father discussed matters of international importance with her. This novel makes the case that she would have been the best choice of Victoria’s children to inherit the English crown. However, at that time, a female child couldn’t inherit if there was a male heir so her less talented brother would be king. Vicky’s lot in life was to marry well.

She chose to marry into the Prussian royal family. Her father was German. She was fluent in the language. She understood the politics. She and her husband wanted to help modernize Prussia. But she was seen as a political tool and spy of her father’s. Her husband was marginalized by his father who did not want to loosen his control over the people of Prussia. Her child, who became Kaiser Wilhelm, also thought that she was too lenient and rejected her teachings in favor of strengthening the power of the monarchy and his personal power.

It is interesting to consider how the history of Europe and the world may have been changed if her husband had lived longer or if her father-in-law or son had thought that her ideas were worthy of consideration.

This book was very well written. It brought to light a time that isn’t written about often – the late 1800s and the events that foreshadow the world wars.