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One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Horses. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Eberhard Späth
In search of a strong horse

Helene and the king

King Friedrich I von Württemberg was very large and very loved, which is why it took a great deal of time to find him a suitable horse that could carry him with ease. The death of his horse, who was named Helene, was an event that everyone feared.

Portrait of King Friedrich I von Württemberg. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Dieter Jäger

King Friedrich I.

Searched for and found

The horse that was finally selected for King Friedrich, was a gray named Helene. The king is said to have loved the horse a great deal, because it could assist him in mounting up by kneeling down like a camel. His affection for Helene was so deep that the king allegedly stated that the individual who brought him news of the animal's death would soon follow the horse.

The bearer of a death message

When the horse finally died, fear spread through the servants and they were divided about who would inform the king. But one servant did not shy from the task. He fearlessly approached King Friedrich and said, "My king, Helene is no longer eating. Helene is no longer drinking. And Helene will no longer stand up." To which a horrified Friedrich replied, "Then my Helene must have died!" Whereupon the servant said, "It was you who said it, my king!"

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