September 14, 2013
Great, Great Grandson Of Last German Kaiser Wants Monarchy Restored
While the world “welcomed” a royal baby this year in the U.K., in Germany there is no King, or more accurately Kaiser, which technically was the Emperor. However, the great, great grandson of Kaiser Wilhem II (Kaiser Bill as he was often known) has said that his country should copy the U.K. and reinstate its royal family, reported the Daily Mail earlier this year.
For the quick history lesson, Germany was unique in the fact that it had several kings but one Emperor. This is because Germany was actually a loose (very loose) confederation of states until 1871. This is when the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the German Empire was proclaimed.
This is notable because it elevated the King of Prussia to the position of German Emperor – not technically Emperor of Germany. King Wilhelm V of Prussia became Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany (but retained being a King as well). Germany also had kings in Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony, as well as grand dukes in Baden, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Hesse. There were even princes in various cities such as Hamburg and Bremen. In other words, a lot of royalty was floating around united Germany.
It all looked up to the Kaiser. For the record, there were also only three Kaisers – Wilhem I, his son Friedrich (or Frederick) and grandson Wilhelm II. 1888 is known as the year of three emperors because Wilhelm died of old age, his son died of throat cancer and this left the arguably erratic Wilhelm II as the German Emperor.
It is Wilhelm II who gets a lot of the blame for the First World War, and given his policies that’s not really a stretch. He ended up fleeing to Holland at the end of the war in 1918 and lived out his days there. He died in 1941.
So, now Prince Philip wants there to be a restored Kaiser.
His argument is that it would be good for Germany and create a “feel-good factor,” and even boost the birthrate! Philip, who is currently a Protestant vicar, might not even technically be able to hold the position, and he had further said he would not accept “freebies” or gifts, but isn’t getting to be Kaiser essentially the ultimate gift?
Wouldn’t getting to lead parades and potentially dress up in grand uniforms be expected? Kaiser Wilhelm II changed military uniforms several times a day, including into those that were eventually his rivals; he was an honorary British admiral until the outbreak of that unfortunate situation that cost Europe tens of millions of lives.
The truth is that perhaps Prince Philip – or is it Vicar Philips – is on to something. It could be a good source for tourism, and people to line up for hours in London to see the daily changing of the guard.
There is, however, a problem. Germany doesn’t need to celebrate its military might. Look what happened last time Germany flexed its military muscle under the Nazis? That led to the Second World War and it cost the nation dearly.
So, as long as there are World War II veterans in the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and a dozen other countries, maybe Germany doesn’t deserve the pomp and circumstance of royalty.
The other thing: in America we have parades when we win something. If history is to be remembered on the World War score Germany is still zero and two. France might get the butt of the joke for being a nation whose army surrenders, but they have victory parades. In the end Germany does not.
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