The story of a terrified little boy with a secret disability
Queen Victoria’s eldest child, Vicky, married the German Crown Prince in 1858. One year after her wedding Vicky endured a difficult birth that almost ended her life and left her baby, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, with a permanently paralysed arm. Soon Vicky presided over a series of bizarre and often cruel attempts to cure Wilhelm of his disability.
These included regular animal baths in which the body of a freshly slaughtered hare was wrapped around Wilhelm’s arm in the belief that its blood would bring life to his limb. These procedures created a highly dysfunctional relationship between Vicky and Wilhelm, he developed a growing hatred for his mother’s country while at the same time expressing his desire for ‘forbidden love’ with her.