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Titles and emblems of the German Emperor after 1873
Overview about the Titles and emblems of the German Emperor after 1873.

Wilhelm I, German Emperor and King of Prussia.

In the great title of the German Emperors as Kings of Prussia, the history of the Hohenzollerns and the Prussian rulers were reflected. All German emperors after 1873 had the same title “German Emperor and King of Prussia”. The great title of German Emperors after 1873 was the complete list of the individual titles which they ruled as King of Prussia.

Here is the complete list of the title of the German Emperor.

His Imperial and Royal Majesty, by the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia; Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern; Sovereign and Supreme Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz; Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen; Duke of Saxony, of Westphalia, of Angria, of Pomerania, Lüneburg, Holstein and Schleswig, of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelders, Cleves, Jülich and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kassubes, of Crossen, Lauenburg and Mecklenburg; Landgrave of Hesse and Thuringia; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Prince of Orange; Prince of Rügen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and Pyrmont, of Halberstadt, Münster, Minden, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, of Verden, Cammin, Fulda, Nassau and Moers; Princely Count of Henneberg; Count of Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, Tecklenburg and Lingen, of Mansfeld, Sigmaringen and Veringen; Lord of Frankfurt.

I will not detail the history of every title for the Emperor but I will mention the top and most important.

The German Emperor

The official title German Emperor was for of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the January 1, 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on November 28, 1918. The Holy Roman Emperor is sometimes also called “German Emperor” when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire’s official name of “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” from 1512.

Following the revolution of 1918, the function of head of state was succeeded by the President of the Reich beginning with Friedrich Ebert.

King of Prussia

Under its last master Albrecht in 1525, the State of the Teutonic Order was transformed into the secular Duchy of Prussia under Polish armament. After the death of his successor, the Duke Albrecht-Friedrich in 1618, the Duchy of Prussia became a part of the Brandenburg-Hohenzollern lands, who now ruled it in personal union.

Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg, King Friedrich I in Prussia

In the Treaties of Wehlau in 1637 and Oliva in 1660, the Elector Friedrich-Wilhelm, the “Great Elector”, succeeded in gaining full sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia, whereby he himself became a European sovereign. His successor, Friedrich III of Brandenburg was crowned King Friedrich I in Prussia on January 18,1701, after the Emperor had contractually secured him to recognise him as King of the Holy Roman Empire and in Europe.

The name and coat of arms of the Prussian monarch then passed as a result of the new designation of sovereignty and authority könglich-preußisch (royal Prussian) to the entire Prussian state of Hohenzollern, which lay within and outside the empire and for which the name of Prussia prevailed in the eighteenth century.

The restricted in in the King’s title recalled that the West of Prussia, Royal Prussia (Warmia and West Prussia) remained under the Polish crown. This terminological refinement was, however, only observed in the German version. In Latin, he called himself “Nos Fridericu, Dei greatia Rex Borussiae,…”and in the French version “Frederic par la grace de Dieu Roi de Prusse…”.

Friedrich II, King of Prussia.

After the first Polish partition of 1772 under Frederick II, Warmia, the Netzedistrikt and West Prussia fell to Prussia, so that Friedrich II could now be called King of Prussia. This title was passed onto his successors. The last of these successors was Wilhelm II.