Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wilhelm II and George V argue in London

In a rare public display of emotion between European royals, German Emperor Wilhelm II and British King George V argued in public at a railway station in London.  While the nature of the argument was not mentioned in the Washington Herald, the heated discussion was visible to the public at Victoria Station as the royals of Germany and Great Britain awaited the departure of the German Kaiser.  Reportedly, the heads of state were arguing as they approached the platform from the royal reception room.  The king smacked his hand several times before the Kaiser dismissed him with an "expressive gesture."

After the Kaiser dismissed him with this "expressive gesture", the Kaiser turned away to talk with Lord Lonsdale while the King also turned away to talk with the Duke of Connaught.  The King continued his conversation even while the Kaiser and the Kaiserin boarded the train.  Eventually, the King did board the train as well, bowed before the Kaiser but refused to shake his cousin's hand, upon which he continued his conversation with the Duke.  The rest of royals looked on with awkward silence.  Finally, the King returned to Buckingham Palace with a "gloomy face."

The incident has been the only event to mar what has been a successful "German Week" in London.  In what has been a family affair between the German and British royals, they oversaw the dedication of the Victoria Monument.  It is thought that the state visit by the Kaiser may have improved relations between the powerful nations after years of intense naval buildups, including so-called "super-Dreadnoughts" and improved relations between England and France during Edward's reign.  Gossip from the visit has also centered on a possible marriage between the Prince of Wales and the Kaiser's only daughter, Victoria Luise.

Link: Royalties Squabble When Kaiser Departs [The Washington Herald]
Link: "German Week" a Joy to London [The New York Tribune]

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