Saturday, 11 October 2014

The best dressed woman on a European throne in 1914

Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria 1913
On 17 April 1914 the Avoca Mail advised its readers that the Empress of Germany was the "best dressed woman on a European throne." By contrast, Queen Mary of England dressed comparatively plainly and seldom fashionably. As for Queen Wilhelmina, she was accused of showing very bad taste. However, she had an excuse, for from loyalty to her own country she employed only Dutch dressmakers. "Whoever heard of a noted Dutch modiste?" The Empress of Germany bought her dresses in Berlin, London, and Vienna, but not Paris.

A search on Trove shows that this article appeared in at least sixteen other newspapers, with the first article appearing in the Adelaide Advertiser of 3 January 1914 on page 7. The Bruthen and Tambo Times (Vic.) reproduced it on 22 April 1914. Newspapers that syndicated the story include:

    Clunes Guardian and Gazette (Vic.)
    Euroa Advertiser (Vic.)
    Gippsland Mercury (Sale, Vic. )
    Gippslander and Mirboo Times (Vic.)
    Great Southern Advocate (Vic.)
    Kalgoorlie Miner (WA)
    Kyabram Guardian (Vic.)
    Lismore, Derrinallum and Cressy Advertiser (Vic.)
    Shepparton Advertiser (Vic.)
    South Gippsland Shire Echo (Vic.)
    Swan Hill Guardian and Lake Boga Advocate (Vic.)
    The Horsham Times (Vic.)
    The Narracoorte Herald (SA)
    Upper Murray and Mitta Herald (Vic.)

(The larger number of  Victorian newspapers in the list synidicating the article is due to the project to digitise 216 newspapers of the World War I era. The digitisation project was sponsored by local councils, historical societies , the Public Libraries Victoria Network, and the State Library of Victoria.)

On 10 June the Avoca Free Press wrote with enthusiasm about sausage making in Germany.

No title. (1914, June 10). Avoca Free Press and Farmers' and Miners' Journal (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from

Also enthusiastically in June 1914 the Lockhart Review and Oaklands Advertiser (NSW) published three paragraphs about Germany, where the sentiment is sympathetic to Germans. One paragraph discusses the craze for clubs and societies in Germany. Another, about diet, mentioned that the battalions of Germany, as well as those of England, have "proved their bravery and endurance on a hundred stubbornly-contested fields". The third paragraph is about a doll belonging to the Empress of Germany, said to be one of her most cherished possessions. (FACTS AND FANCIES. (1914, June 3). The Lockhart Review and Oaklands Advertiser (NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from

These examples from the newspapers of early 1914 show no antipathy towards Germans and Germany before the outbreak of World War I.