The Kaiser’s last dance

The Kaiser’s last dance

On the eve of WWI, the Kaiser, the King and the Tsar gathered for the Royal Wedding in Berlin

When Kaiser Wilhelm’s daughter, Princess Viktoria Luise, got engaged with the Crown Prince Ernest August in May 1913, people rejoiced and wedding fever spread across Europe. Though it was a time of intense political tension. A war raged in the Balkans. When King Georg I of Greece was shot it became clear that even the monarchs are no longer safe. But in Berlin, huge preparations were set in motion. Splendid coaches and the Imperial fleet of cars were polished. 70 seamstresses spent weeks working on the bridal veil alone. Guests and journalists from all over the world travelled to the Reich’s capital. Berlin’s Chief of Police was alarmed having learned through informants that Russian revolutionaries would plan an attack on the Tsar on this occasion. Still, the heads of the most powerful states in Europe demonstrated their family ties and desire for peace – for the last time before a world war sparked and practically all of the wedding guests would lose their high rank if not their lives. This modern history docu-drama combines re-enactment with rotoscoping technique to set newly produced drama scenes against original Wilhelmine backgrounds from photos, film and illustrations. This fascinating visual style reflects the beautiful illusion of the royal celebration on the eve of a catastrophe.