Kaiser to rule again from Berlin
The Local · 1 Apr 2015, 08:50
Published: 01 Apr 2015 08:50 GMT+02:00
- Kaiser Wilhelm II faces pan-European war (11 Dec 14)
- 100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak (01 Aug 14)
- Kaiser's early love of sea surfaces in sketches (16 Jun 14)
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“We've been so inspired by our British friends and their unparalleled system of constitutional monarchy that we want to achieve the same for ourselves,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told an extraordinary session of the Bundestag [German parliament].
The changes mean that come the next election in 2017, Merkel will drive from her modernist, cuboid office opposite the Bundestag to the newly-rebuilt Imperial Palace (Kaiserliches Schloss) at the other end of Unter den Linden in a horse-drawn carriage, to ask the new Kaiser to grant a dissolution of parliament.
Originally intended to serve as a historical art gallery, the rebuilt Schloss will instead become the permanent residence of the monarch.
As well as bringing the German constitution up to date with the British, Germany also hopes to boost tourist revenue with the move.
“We all know that no-one would visit Britain's castles, cities and monuments if they didn't know there was a chance the Queen might show up at any moment,” Anton Falschmann of the German Tourist Board said.
“A new Kaiser in Germany could draw millions more tourists every year in the hope of catching sight of him.”
Germany will also issue new Euro coins bearing the monarch's profile, while Deutsche Post will begin a new series of commemorative stamps featuring the Kaiser in equestrian poses.
The offical name of the country will be changed to the Imperial Republic of Germany.
The man who would be king
The current head of the House of Hohenzollern, Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen, is the most sought-after candidate to ascend to the German throne.
But the 38-year-old prince is understood to be reluctant to take up the post, saying that it “didn't work out too well for great-great-grandpa” Wilhelm II the last time the family was in charge.
Some politicians have mooted instead marrying the ancient tradition of the monarchy with a newer German passion, reality television.
A high-stakes “Germany seeks its Kaiser” - rather than the traditional “Germany seeks its Super-Star” - would likely be the highest-rated television show in German history.
Advocates hope that it could raise the initial funds needed to set up the royal household.