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Archiver > GEN-ROYAL > 2009-03 > 1235995287

From: Trish Lawrence <>
Subject: Re: [GEN-ROYAL] Illegitimate daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm I
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 21:01:27 +0900
References: <19F8A525133C4E8C81C8D61EFD8AA709@belinda>
In-Reply-To: <19F8A525133C4E8C81C8D61EFD8AA709@belinda>

All I can say is as someone with a similar type of legend, truth is
stranger than fiction! Have you considered DNA?

On 02/03/2009, at 3:14 PM, Belinda Dettmann wrote:

> When Queen Victoria's second son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
> visited Australia in 1867 as the captain of HMS Galatea, he carried
> a Letter of Introduction to German immigrants Louis Dettmann and his
> wife Agnes (nee Kroll), then living in Sydney. Originally from
> Berlin, the Dettmanns had been married in London in December 1848
> and left for Australia 10 days later, arriving in Sydney in 1849.
> Louis Dettmann became a naturalised British citizen in 1860. The
> Letter of Introduction had been written by Wilhelm I, King of
> Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany), whose son Frederick was
> married to Alfred's sister, Princess Victoria of Great Britain. It
> seems remarkable that a Royal Prince should carry a Letter of
> Introduction to the Steward of the NSW Parliament (as Louis Dettmann
> then was) as Letters of Introduction in those days carried stringent
> social obligations and were usually carried between person of
> similar social standing.
> The Dettmann descendants believe the explanation is that Agnes Kroll
> was the illegitimate daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm I, or Prinz Wilhelm
> of Prussia as he was at her birth, and that she had been given into
> the care of Josef Kroll and his wife as a foster child to raise as
> Kroll's own daughter. Agnes's daughter Jane Dettmann maintained
> throughout her life that her mother was a princess, daughter of the
> Emperor, and the claim was investigated in 2008 in an Australian
> episode of the TV program "Who Do You Think You Are?" featuring
> Australian lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, QC, who is Jane Dettmann's
> great grandson.
> The results were suggestive, but not conclusive. There is no doubt
> that Agnes was raised as the daughter of Joseph Kroll, owner and
> operator of the Kroll Etablissement in Berlin, better known as the
> Kroll Oper, or Kroll Opera House, and that her husband Louis
> Dettmann had been pastry chef at the Kroll Etablissement. However no
> records could be found of Agnes Kroll's birth, her father Joseph
> Kroll's marriage (although he is known to have had 5 children, and
> his wife and children were mentioned in newspaper reports of the day
> in Berlin) nor is there a record of his own will or of his wife's
> death. The only evidence that researchers could find in the Berlin
> Archives were marriage records for two of his daughters, plus a
> letter written by Prinz Wilhelm to his brother King Frederick
> Wilhelm IV, requesting that the KIng should grant favours to Joseph
> Kroll. The King apparently accceded to this request, as he granted a
> piece of prime Berlin real estate to Joseph Kroll in 1841, on !
> which Joseph proceeded to build the Kroll Opera House.
> My family is left to wonder whether Joseph Kroll had indeed taken in
> Agnes as a foster child, or whether he had agreed to marry Prinz
> Wilhelm's mistress (for a consideration) and how many (if any) of
> Joseph Kroll's children were his own.
> This is a brief resume of an extraordinary story. I would be
> interested to know if there's anyone out there who can throw light
> on the matter.
> Belinda Dettmann
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Trish Lawrence

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