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Friedrich III

Kaiser (Emperor) of Germany

Menu dated: 30th November 1882

Dinner at Laband (Łabędy in modern Poland), Silesia, for His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Friedrich of Germany and Prussia (future Kaiser Friedrich III)

Gathered around this dinner table were three royal figures yet to make their full impact on European history. One dinner guest would eventually become an Emperor, another would be embroiled in a sexual scandal of sensational proportions, while a third guest would be blamed for not preventing the outbreak of World War I.



The most prominent dinner guest was the Crown Prince Friedrich (Kronprinz on the seating plan) who was  Emperor-in-waiting of Germany for 27 years; when he finally got to the throne in March 1888, Friedrich would reign exactly 99 days before dieing of throat cancer.



But such imperial illnesses were of no hinderance at this dinner six years earlier when Friedrich was still the Crown Prince and his father, Wilhelm I, reigned as the inaugural German Emperor.



This dinner menu offers guests a spectacular stuffed wild-boar's head; the trout is served with a 106 year-old 1794 Hochheimer Berg; and the little roast ortolans (a small song bird) are washed down with a 71 year-old 1811 Oporto Blanc.

The original seating plan for this dinner confirms that the Crown Prince was joined by Duke Victor I of Racibórz (Duc de Ratibor), a duchy located in Silesia in modern Poland, and numerous other members of the Racibórz princely family including the future Duke Victor Amadeus III (Victor Ratibor).  Also present was Prince Heinrich XIX and Princess Marie of Reuss along with Count Philipp of Eulenberg and Prince Max Lichnowski.



Count Eulenberg would later become Prince Eulenberg and a close confidant of Kaiser Wilhelm II under whom he served as Prussian Ambassador to the royal courts of Würtemberg, Bavaria and Oldenburg; and to the Imperial Court of Austria-Hungary. Eulenberg’s fame however came from his fall from grace with the German Emperor; the Eulenberg Scandal, as it became known, resulted in the married Prince being ostracised when he was implicated in homosexual affairs with members of the Emperor’s inner court. In 1908 the Prince would be charged with perjury for denying his homosexuality, but would die before the trial took place.



Prince Lichnowski, also attending this dinner, would rise to fame in the early 1900s as Kaiser Wilhelm II’s ambassador firstly to the Imperial Court of Autsria-Hungary and more famously as Ambassador to the Court of Saint James’s in London between 1912 and 1914. Lichnowski would be blamed, in part, by some Germans for failing to prevent the outbreak of World War I when he proved unable to secure British neutrality.



This dinner took place at Laband Palace; home of Baron and Baroness Bernard and Louise of Welczeck whose names also appear on the seating plan.

 

​Huitres au four

Baked oysters, served in their shell, which have been dipped in egg, rolled in breadcrumbs seasoned with pepper and nutmeg; and drizzled in lemon juice.



Potage á la Reine

Chicken consommé thickened with tapioca and garnished with shredded chicken cooked in court-bouillon (aromatic stock) and diced Royale (a savoury custard made from egg, chervil and chicken consommé)



Caisses d’ortolans

Small cases of ragoûts made from ortolan meat (a small songbird) and served in oval-shaped china dishes.



Truites au bleu

Skinned trout sprinkled with vinegar and plunged into a boiling court-bouillon turning the fish blue in appearance.



Selles de présale á l’Anglaise

Saddle of présale lamb, grazed on the salty marshlands on Brittany, that has been poached in a white stock and served with boiled spinach and leeks.



Salmi de bécasses á la Périgueux

Dishes of woodcock cooked in white wine, butter and Cognac-flamed mushrooms and then dressed in a Périgueux sauce made from Madeira and chopped truffles.



Hure de sanglier, Sauce Hatzfeldt

Whole wild boar’s head stuffed with layers of forcemeat, bacon soaked in Cognac, blanched pistachios and sliced truffles served with a Hatzfeldt Sauce



Ponche á la Romaine



Dindes du Mans truffées, Salade

Stuffed turkeys from Le Mans, France, served with salad



Fonds d’Artichauts á l’Espagnole

Artichoke hearts in an Espagnole sauce made from ham, partridge, veal, onions, chives and mushrooms

 

Pudding á la Windsor

 

Glaces au chocolat et aux noisettes

Chocolate ice-cream with hazelnuts

From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith

Seating plan with the future Emperor ("Kronprinz") seated centre-right opposite his host Baron Bernard

From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith

From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith