Marie of Saxe-Altenburg (1854-1898)
Prince Albrecht of Prussia (1837-1906)
This cistern commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the union of Prince Albrecht of Prussia and Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg.
Prince Albrecht (1837-1906) of Prussia was the product of an important Hohenzollen family union. His parents were married to link the kingdoms of their fathers, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and William I of the Netherlands. In 1849, they divorced and his mother, Marianne of the Netherlands, raised her children in Castle Camenz, a building designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Prince Albrecht joined the Prussian army at the age of 10, and served for many years, fighting for Prussia in several important battles in the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars. He was a General Field Marshal and made Regent of the Dutchy of Brunswick in 1885.
Prince Albrecht married on April 19, 1873, shortly after the Hohenzollen family established the German Empire in 1871. His bride was Marie of Saxe-Altenburg (1854-1898), daughter of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg and Friederike Amalie Agnes of Anhalt-Dessau. In the New York Times's May 7th announcement of the wedding, she was described as a bride of "girlish beauty and modest, unpretending demeanor."
The wedding took place at the Palace Chapel in Berlin and was an event "celebrated with more than the usual pomp," according to the Times. Indeed, it seems that some combination of the Prince's committed military career and the discouraging model of his parents' marriage caused him to postpone his own marriage until rather late in life.
The union was thus conscientiously promoted and honored by the groom's uncle, then Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany. Princess Marie arrived in Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate in the State carriage of the royal family, which, according to the Times was "best described as a house on wheels, all gilt, and surmounted by helmet and crown." The ceremony, performed in the palace chapel at 7 o'clock in the evening, was concluded with the Fackel Tanz, a torchlight minuet performed by the German cabinet members.