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Emperor Wilhelm II

Emperor Wilhelm II


Prince Wilhelm of Prussia was born in Berlin on the 27th of January 1859 as the first son of crown prince Friedrich and princess Victoria of England. Through his grandmother, queen Victoria of England, Wilhelm is closely related to almost all the governing royal families of Europe.
In 1881 he marries Auguste-Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1888 Germany buries Kaiser Wilhelm l as well as his son Friedrich III, after a reign of only 99 days. Thus Wilhelm II becomes King of Prussia and German Kaiser at the age of only 29.

He replaces his experienced counsellors by a 'Persönliches Regiment' and with his wayward political performance soon raises criticism at home and abroad.

In 1914 Wilhelm II considers it his duty to support Austria when this ally comes into conflict with Serbia after the murder of the heir to the throne Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajewo.
Serbia is supported by Russia with France as an ally. By invading France through Belgium, Germany also incurs the animosity of England that had guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium. When other nations enter into the conflict World War I is a fact. In 1917 the U.S. join the war and that is a turning point for Germany. The imminent defeat is seen as a personal failure of the Kaiser. The Imperial Navy rises in revolt and in Berlin the revolution breaks out. The allies want Wilhelm II brought to trial as a criminal of war, but he flees to the neutral Netherlands, where he is granted political asylum. On the 29th of November 1918 he signs his abdication at Amerongen Castle, where he stayed during the first 18 months of his exile.

He is never to see Germany again. In accordance with his last will his bodily remains have been laid to rest in a mausoleum on the estate.