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Charlotte and Feodora

In 1900, almost two years after Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen married Prince Henry XXX of Reuss, her mother Charlotte, eldest sister of the German Emperor William, told a friend that her daughter was beyond her comprehension, and vowed to exclude her from her home 'for ever'. Charlotte had long had an uneasy relationship with her mother, now the Empress Frederick, a daughter of Queen Victoria, but her relationship with her only child astonished the family. Mother and daughter both suffered from porphyria, the disorder which appears to have exacerbated the personality differences between them. Charlotte, a frivolous-minded young woman known for her love of society life and gossip, and later her involvement in the anonymous letters scandal which plagued Berlin high society from 1892 onwards, had never really wanted children, while Feodora's life was embittered by her failure to have a family. This short life of both women examines the troubled lives which led to estrangement and in Feodora's case ended in tragedy.
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