I checked *Queen Victoria's Descendants*, by Marlene A. Eilers, 2nd edition, 1997, and *L'Allemagne Dynastique*, Tome I (Hesse-Reuss-Saxe), by Michel Huberty, et. al., 1986, to see if either book might have an answer. Unfortunately, neither book specified the cause of death of Princess Feodora.
I then checked the archives of the Usenet newsgroup called alt.talk.royalty and found basic genealogical information for Princess Feodora. I also found this message about the princess and her husband:
"Neuhoff (now Radociny in Polish) is located near Schmiedeburg (now Kowary), both located in Kreis Hirschberg (now Jelenia GÃ³ra), Silesia. The couple was buried in an underground crypt in the park of their estate. The tomb was plundered after the war, and the bodies (or what was left of them) were later exhumed for testing regarding the inheritance of porphyria in descendants of the House of Hannover. Details can be found in the book *Purple Secret*, by John C. G. RÃ¶hl, Martin Warren and David Hunt (Bantam Press, London, 1998). In this book, Pr. Heinrich XXX Reuss is described as "a penniless Prussian army officier." His nickname was "Haz." He was kept busy with regimental duties and served on the French front during WWI. There is no information regarding his activities from the end of the war until his death in 1939."
(Source: From: Sam Dotson (email@example.com
) / Subject: Re: A Duchess and a Princess / Newsgroups: alt.talk.royalty / Date: 1999/09/02)
Using the Yahoo! search engine, I then looked for Princess Feodora on the Internet and found this info:
"Princess Feodora entered into a suicide pact with her companion and gassed herself in an oven".
As this plot kept thickening, so to speak, I continued to look for info about Princess Feodora. I came across a 1998 book review (by author Hugo Vickers) of *Purple Secret: Genes, "Madness" and the Royal Houses of Europe* at this URL: http://www.fltr.ucl.ac.be/FLTR/GERM/ETAN/przemek/attach/rev1...
--- begin partial quote from that review ---
The authors trace the gene (which sometimes lies dormant) to Queen Victoria, without convincing me that she was an actual sufferer, but onwards to her daughter, the Empress Frederick, and then the next generation, Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen and her tragic daughter, Feodora Reuss, who committed suicide after a lifetime of pain and misguided surgery.
In the case of the last two princesses, the authors take the role of the biographer a macabre step further than the usual digging-up of obscure papers in archives. They actually dug up both princesses, securing sufficient samples for conclusive DNA testing.
--- end partial quote from that book review ---
These are all the details I managed to find.
If you're still interested in finding out more about what happened to Princess Feodora, I suggest the following approaches: post your question in the Usenet newsgroup alt.talk.royalty, where questions about royalty and nobility of any time frame are welcomed. (For information on how to post to a.t.r. using Google, see the "Frequently Asked Question About Posting" at http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/posting_faq.html
), or contact Marlene Eilers (author of *Queen Victoria's Descendants*) at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, for those who do not know this princess, here is some information: Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen (b. Potsdam 12 May 1879, d. Schloss Neuhoff 26 Aug. 1945) was the only child of Bernhard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen by his wife Princess Charlotte of Prussia (who was a sister of Wilhelm II, German Emperor). Princess Charlotte was the eldest daughter of Princess Victoria of Great Britain, who in turn was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria.
Princess Feodora married at Breslau on 24 Sept. 1898 Prince Heinrich XXX Reuss-Schleiz-KÃ¶stritz (then just "Reuss" after June 1930) (b. Schloss Neuhoff 25 Nov. 1864, d. Schloss Neuhoff 23 Mar. 1939). They did not have children.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2002 2:11 PM
Subject: [GERMAN-NOBILITY] Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen - died 1945
Can anyone tell me the circumstances of her death. Supposedly she committed suicide with a "companion".