Letters of the Empress Frederick

Letters of the Empress Frederick

Letters of the Empress Frederick

Letters of the Empress Frederick

Excerpt

The circumstances under which the letters of the Empress Frederick came into my possession are so exceptional and even dramatic that I make no apology for giving them in detail.

Soon after King Edward came to the throne in 1901, the accounts of the Empress Frederick's health began to be alarming, and as she was his favourite sister, he decided to go and stay with her for a week at Friedrichshof, near Cronberg. He took with him Sir Francis Laking, his physician in ordinary, and myself as Equerry and Private Secretary. The addition of Sir Francis Laking to his suite was very much resented not only by the German doctors attending the Empress, who rightly thought she was past all medical aid, but also by the Emperor's suite, who considered his presence to be a slur on the German medical profession. It was, however, the King's idea that possibly Sir Francis Laking might do something to mitigate her terrible sufferings by administering narcotics in larger doses than the German doctors were accustomed to give.

After I had been at Friedrichschof for three days, I received a message that the Empress wished to see me in the evening at six o'clock. At the hour named I went upstairs and was shown into her sitting-room where I found her propped up with cushions; she looked as if . . .

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