Saturday, July 18, 2020

100 Years Since the Suicide of Prince Joachim of Prussia

Prince Joachim of Prussia

On the evening of Saturday, 17 July 1920, Prince Joachim of Prussia shot himself in the left breast while in his room at the Villa Liegnitz in Potsdam. The prince was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, 18 July, at 1:00am as a result of his wounds. His brother Prince Friedrich Eitel of Prussia issued a formal statement that said Joachim's death was the result of "psychic disturbances caused by the pressure of events and personal difficulties." Joachim was twenty-nine years-old; the prince was the youngest son of the German Emperor and Empress and the first of their children to die.

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The funeral for Prince Joachim of Prussia was held on Tuesday, 20 July 1920, at the Protestant Church of Peace (Friedenskirche) in Potsdam. The rites were attended by Prince Eitel Friedrich, Prince Adalbert, Prince August Wilhelm, Prince Oskar, Duke Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, and General Paul von Hindenberg, among others.

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Prince Joachim Franz Hubert of Prussia was born at Berlin on 17 December 1890. The prince was the sixth son of Wilhelm II and his wife Auguste Viktoria. Joachim had followed five older brothers: Crown Prince Wilhelm (1882-1951), Prince Eitel Friedrich (1883-1942), Prince Adalbert (1884-1948), Prince August Wilhelm (1887-1949), and Prince Oskar (1888-1958). The final addition to the family was Princess Viktoria Luise (1892-1980).

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie Auguste

On 11 March 1916, Prince Joachim of Prussia married Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt (1898-1983) at Schloß Bellevue. The princess was the daughter of Duke Eduard of Anhalt (1861-1918) and Princess Luise of Saxe-Altenburg (1873-1953). Nine months after their wedding, Joachim and Marie Auguste welcomed their only child: Prince Karl Franz Joseph of Prussia (Potsdam 15 December 1916-Arica, Chile 22 January 1975). In January 1920, it was reported that divorce proceedings were underway between Prince Joachim and Princess Marie Auguste.

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