Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kaiser declines to go Vienna: has lumbago

July 2, 1914

Kaiser Wilhelm II is "diplomatically ill, and will not be attending Archduke Franz Ferdinand's funeral, reports the New York Times.

The official announcement, which was made earlier today, is not "taken seriously in all quarters," as the Kaiser had "suddenly been compelled to abandon" his plan to travel to Vienna tonight to attend the funeral tomorrow.

According to the announcement, the Kaiser has suffered "a slight indisposition," this morning.  The pains "resembling lumbago" began in his back, and he began to feel unwell after his "usual morning ride" at Sanssouci in Potsdam.

It is understand that the Kaiser's brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, who was to have accompanied the Kaiser to Vienna, will now travel "there alone tonight."

The Kaiser's illness is being called a "diplomatic indisposition," either due to his own decision, recognizing that his "presence at the Archduke's funeral as the only foreign sovereign open to misinterpretation" or he received an "intimation" from Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, recommending that it would be better if the funeral ceremonies were completely private."

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