The Women Who Made History
The Women Who Made History is a German documentary series. The series is German with English subtitles. This episode is about Queen Luise of Prussia. She was the queen that negotiated with Napoleon after the defeat of Prussia. This docu-drama opens up with Queen Luise's arrival in Paris to negotiate with Napeleon.
Queen Luise's story begins with her childhood in Mecklenburg, she and her sister were close companions, her mother had died and she was in the care of a governess. Her life changed when she and her sister went to Frankfurt to enjoy a bit of society. Her family was not rich, but had good connections which enabled her to be introduced to the Prussian Crown Prince Frederick Wilhelm. The Crown Prince proposed marriage and they set off for Berlin where they would live.
The Mecklenburg sisters were the hit of Berlin. They settled into life in Berlin. They were supposed to be good models for the Fatherland. Luise had to make adjustments while she lived at Court. The Prussian Court was quieter, more serious, and more strict. She did not want to end up like the other Prussian wives.
Frederick Wilhelm was a bit of a stickler for the rules, while Luise enjoyed excitement. They could drop the strictness in their summer palace. They could have fun, and Frederick Wilhelm was an affectionate father with this children.
Life changed when Napoleon took over France and politics started changing. He crowned himself Emperor. However there were concerns about revolution coming to Berlin. Luise thought they could make peace with Napoleon, however Napoleon had other ideas. He took what he wanted and tried to force Prussia into an Alliance.
The Prussians pursued an alliance with Russia. Tsar Alexander I came to Prussia to propose an alliance to stop Napoleon. The French defeated Austria and Russia. Prussia tried to challenge Napoleon and Luise was named an honorary colonel of a regiment. Napoleon defeated the Prussians and made their way towards Berlin. Queen Luise was forced to flee so the French would not take her hostage.
Napoleon felt Queen Luise instigated everything and wanted to humiliate the Queen. He spread rumors and lies about the Queen and convinced the people that it was Queen's fault for the suffering of the Prussian people. Napoleon offered the Prussians a truce. Frederick Wilhelm would have offered a truce but Luise pressed to continue the war. Alexander started negotiating with Napoleon behind the Prussians back.
Napoleon was determined to punish Prussian for its pride and arrogance. The Prussians then sent Luise to negotiate with Napoleon for better conditions. She was to charm the king but then Frederick Wilhelm showed up and spoiled everything. Prussia was cut into half, they were exiled to east Prussia and the French occupied Berlin.
Eventually the family returned to Berlin and Napoleon was sent into exile.
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