Noble Readers should be warned that men who dress like this are likely to be trouble. While other men might be content to sport simple spikes on their helmets, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany – for it is he - decided he would benefit from a nine-inch tall gilded eagle.
Along with the epaulettes, sashes, cavalry boots, sabre and curiously enlarged tassel, Wilhelm looks quite the part. But what you don't see in the picture is the sad, fact that blighted Wilhelm's whole life and outlook - that magnificently uniformed left arm of his was deformed.
Nowadays, right minded folk would overlook such a bodily imperfection. We would reprove our children for remarking cruelly on physical differences among their school pals. But in Wilhelm's time - and, more importantly, in Wilhelm's mind - possession of a malformed arm was an unforgiveable weakness.
Imperial tailors were tasked with the mission of hiding the problem in plain sight. The Emperor's new clothes must act as camouflage, so that resurgent Germany could not be mocked through its leader. Wilhelm must be presented to the world as faultless, virile, strong!
Noble Readers, I have to tell you now, they went too far.
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