Serial Mom reminds us of an important point in sartorial etiquette - no white shoes between Labor Day and Memorial Day. And no, fashion has not changed: la sartoria non fa moda.
The famous Black Watch regiment, raised on the orders of Charles II in 1667, has become synonymous with classic tartan fashion yet its history is murky. George II, wary of their loyalty to the crown, charged the Black Watch with monitoring the activity of the Highlanders and to take…
Two Prussians in Scotland
Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich with his then four-year-old son, future Kaiser Wilhelm II, pose in highland dress at Balmoral Castle in 1863. Balmoral held special significance for the anglophilic Friedrich, for he was engaged there eight years earlier to his wife, Victoria - the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Great Britain.
A dynastic union between the Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Hohenzollern was not merely one of the mid-century’s most highly anticipated social events, but also carried tremendous importance in international politics. Through a royal alliance, Great Britain sought to consolidate peaceful relations with its burgeoning continental neighbor, as well as to foster the liberalization of its autocratic, Junker-dominated government. Friedrich, for his part, greatly admired his new father-in-law’s energetic reform efforts and hoped eventually to emulate them at home.
The crown prince’s liberal ambitions, however, never came to fruition as the domineering, conservative Chancellor Otto von Bismarck stifled his political influence and poisoned his relationship with his son. Though Friedrich finally succeeded to the imperial throne in 1888, his reign lasted merely ninety-nine days before he succumbed to cancer of the larynx. Even before Bismarck’s machinations, however, Wilhelm’s ominous glare as a child at Balmoral could have presaged his wild departure from his father’s liberal and dovish sensibilities, which launched the German Empire on its path toward reckless bellicosity and ultimately self-destruction.