Nineteen hundred and thirteen was a very busy year for Sir John Jellicoe. On May 16th he left England for Germany to attend the wedding festivities of the Emperor’s only daughter, Princess Victoria Louise, who was to be married to Prince Ernest of Cumberland.
Sir John and Lady Jellicoe were, curiously enough, the first English guests to reach Berlin. The King and Queen of England left Sheerness on the 20th on board the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert, the Duchess of Devonshire accompanying Her Majesty and Sir Frederick Ponsonby and Sir Colin Keppel being Equerries in Waiting to the King.
Berlin was en fête for over a week, and among those present at Princess Victoria’s wedding, besides our own Royal Family, were the Czar of Russia, the Grand Duchess of Baden, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, the Grand Duke of Hesse and ambassadors from nearly every country in the world.
Festivities commenced with a gala dinner given the day the Czar of Russia arrived in Berlin. The following morning there was a luncheon at the British Embassy in honour of King George and Queen Mary, at which the Imperial Chancellor, the Ambassador in Berlin and Sir John and Lady Jellicoe were among the principal guests. That same evening there was a gala performance at the Opera. “Lohengrin” was performed at the special request of Princess Victoria.
The Opera House presented a wonderful appearance; from foyer to ceiling it was decorated with red and white carnations, the outsides of all the loges being turned into great banks of these flowers. Sir John and Lady Jellicoe occupied one of the loges near the stage, where the ambassadors, ministers and distinguished officers were seated. The royal party not only filled the vast court box but overflowed into the boxes at the back of the dress circle. There was, of course, a brilliant display of uniforms and decorations, and against the background of red and white carnations the colour scheme was extraordinarily effective.