Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Kaiser at the Milliner's

From Woman’s Own, October 24th 1914


A very interesting book has just been written by an English lady who for many years was governess to the Emperor of Germany's only daughter.  It deals, of course, with the home-life of the royal family exclusively, and gives, I think, an inimitable glimpse of the Kaiser.  He is, in his own way, a devoted husband, and one of his invariable gifts to the Empress on her birthday consists of one dozen gorgeous and glorious new hats.

Surely no man in the world but the Kaiser would be brave enough for such a deed.  And we can be sure he never hands his task over to another, just as surely as he never doubts that his task is beyond all criticism.

And poor Empress!  Men have sympathised much with each other because they have had to wear ties and socks which have been chosen by good wives and mothers and sweethearts.  But what is this compared with having to wear hats all the year round, and every year of one's life, without a chance of choice or opportunity to try them on beforehand?

I can very well imagine the Empress feeling a little depressed as her birthday comes round, and wishing that "William would give up buying hats, and let her choose for herself.”
After all, the hat is largely the making of a woman.  A woman can hardly fail to look nice if she has a neat, becoming hat, and is decently shod and gloved.  It is a little relief to turn aside from our sadness and anxieties for a short while, if possible, and think of hats.

[This seems an extraordinary article to publish when the country Is at war with Germany.  It reads as though it was written before the war, when the Kaiser was seen as part of the extended Royal family  - one of Queen Victoria's grandchildren, and so first cousin to George V.   I wonder if it was adapted from something written earlier, by the snide addition "he is, in his own way, a devoted husband". 

The article goes on to advise on the styles of hats that are in fashion, with illustrations (below).  It all seems a bit irrelevant to the war, but evidently it was what Woman's Own thought that women wanted.]

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