Ian McKay

A writer with a particular passion for war stories and comedy.

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The Nazis - From the Kaiser to Weimar

When Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd was only four years old he was taken to England, to attend the marriage of his 'Uncle Bertie, later to become England's King Edward 7th, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. He was being married to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The young Wilhelm, and his father, attended the wedding ceremony dressed in traditional Scottish highland dress. The boy was wearing a kilt and a sgian-dubh (a small dagger), in the top of his sock. During the ceremony, the four year old Wilhelm became bored and restless; and he started making a nuisance of himself. His eighteen year old uncle Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was given the job of looking after him; and, reports said, when Alfred shook him by the shoulder and told him to be quiet, the four year old Wilhelm drew the dirk out of his sock and threatened his uncle with it. Then, when Alfred took the knife from him and tried to physically restrain the child, Wilhelm bit him on the leg. Was this incident, perhaps, an indication of the volatile and bombastic nature of the future German Kaiser? From a very early age, Wilhelm was exposed to the stiff necked, autocratic Prussian military culture and society, and this seemed to have shaped his future behaviour, because, in later life, he was seldom seen out of one of his many different splendid uniforms.

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