Wilhelm II, German Emperor
Profile

Wilhelm II, German Emperor

Emperor + King + Minister
Male
Born Jan 27, 1859
Hometown Crown Princes Pal...
Died Jun 4, 1941

Wilhelm II or William II was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe. Crowned in 1888, he dismissed the Chancellor, Prince Otto von Bismarck, in 1890 and launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" in foreign affairs that culminated in his support for Austria-Hungary in the crisis of July 1914 that led to World War I. Bombastic and impetuous, he sometimes made tactless pronouncements on sensitive topics without consulting his ministers. He was humiliated by the Daily Telegraph affair in 1908 and lost most of his power. His generals dictated policy during World War I with little regard for the civilian government. An ineffective war leader, he lost the support of the army, abdicated in November 1918, and fled to exile in the Netherlands.… Read More

related links

Romance

Check out the latest love interests for Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

Family

Discover the family history of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

Wilhelm II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II, German Emperor
d.1941

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

Timeline

Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

CHILDHOOD

1859 Birth Wilhelm was born on 27 January 1859 at the Crown Prince's Palace in Berlin to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (the future Frederick III) and his wife, Victoria, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom.

TEENAGE

1871 12 Years Old He was the first grandchild of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but more importantly, as the first son of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Wilhelm was (from 1861) the second in the line of succession to Prussia, and also, after 1871, to the German Empire, which, according to the constitution of the German Empire, was ruled by the Prussian King. … Read More

TWENTIES

1881 22 Years Old Wilhelm and his first wife, Princess Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, were married on 27 February 1881. … Read More
1888 29 Years Old 1 More Event
The German Emperor Wilhelm I died in Berlin on 9 March 1888, and Prince Wilhelm's father was proclaimed Emperor as Frederick III. … Read More

THIRTIES

…  In an outburst in April 1889, Wilhelm angrily implied that “an English doctor killed my father, and an English doctor crippled my arm – which is the fault of my mother”, who allowed no German physicians to attend to herself or her immediate family.
1890 31 Years Old 1 More Event
The final split between monarch and statesman occurred soon after an attempt by Bismarck to implement a far-reaching anti-Socialist law in early 1890. … Read More
1896 37 Years Old …  There were a number of key exceptions, such as the famous Kruger telegram of 1896 in which Wilhelm congratulated President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic on the suppression of the Jameson Raid, thus alienating British public opinion. … Read More

FORTIES

1900 41 Years Old One of the few times Wilhelm succeeded in personal diplomacy was when he supported Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in marrying Sophie Chotek in 1900 against the wishes of Emperor Franz Joseph.
1905 46 Years Old One of Wilhelm II's diplomatic blunders sparked the Moroccan Crisis of 1905, when Wilhelm made a spectacular visit to Tangier, in Morocco. … Read More
1908 49 Years Old Perhaps Wilhelm's most damaging personal blunder in the arena of foreign policy had a far greater impact in Germany than internationally. The episode cost him much of his prestige and power. The Daily Telegraph Affair of 1908 involved his publication of an interview with a British daily newspaper that included wild statements and diplomatically damaging remarks. … Read More

FIFTIES

1913 54 Years Old One domestic triumph for Wilhelm was when his daughter Victoria Louise married the Duke of Brunswick in 1913; this helped heal the rift between the House of Hanover and the House of Hohenzollern after the 1866 annexation of Hanover by Prussia.
Naval expansion under the Fleet Acts eventually led to severe financial strains in Germany by 1914, as by 1906 Wilhelm had committed his navy to construction of the much larger, more expensive dreadnought type of battleship. … Read More
1917 58 Years Old Upon hearing in July 1917 that his cousin George V had changed the name of the British royal house to Windsor, Wilhelm remarked that he planned to see Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.The Kaiser's support collapsed completely in October–November 1918 in the army, in the civilian government, and in German public opinion, as President Woodrow Wilson made clear the Kaiser could no longer be a party to peace negotiations.
1918 59 Years Old 1 More Event
Wilhelm was at the Imperial Army headquarters in Spa, Belgium, when the uprisings in Berlin and other centres took him by surprise in late 1918. … Read More

LATE ADULTHOOD

…  Upon the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles in early 1919, Article 227 expressly provided for the prosecution of Wilhelm "for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties", but Queen Wilhelmina refused to extradite him, despite appeals from the Allies. … Read More
1922 63 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1922, Wilhelm published the first volume of his memoirs—a very slim volume that insisted he was not guilty of initiating the Great War, and defended his conduct throughout his reign, especially in matters of foreign policy. … Read More
1939 80 Years Old In the wake of the German victory over Poland in September 1939, Wilhelm's adjutant, General von Dommes, wrote on his behalf to Hitler, stating that the House of Hohenzollern "remained loyal" and noted that nine Prussian Princes (one son and eight grandchildren) were stationed at the front, concluding "because of the special circumstances that require residence in a neutral foreign country, His Majesty must personally decline to make the aforementioned comment. … Read More
Nevertheless, after the Nazi conquest of the Netherlands in 1940, the aging Wilhelm retired completely from public life.
1941 82 Years Old Wilhelm II died of a pulmonary embolus in Doorn, Netherlands on 3 June 1941 aged 82, just weeks before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_II,_German_Emperor.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.