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Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser
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Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser

Today 8:05am - 9:10am PBS America
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Today, 5:35pm - 6:35pm PBS America
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Tomorrow, 3:45am - 4:40am PBS America
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Review

Born with a permanently damaged arm, Kaiser Wilhelm II (as the first grandson of Queen Victoria was destined to be) endured a traumatic childhood. Disability was considered shameful and not only did he suffer barbaric, agonising treatments but he also had to contend with his mother Vicky’s withdrawal of affection.

His letters to her reveal his obsessive – and slightly incestuous – feelings while her letters to her mother, Queen Victoria, show how embarrassing and difficult she found her eldest son. This absorbing documentary reveals how, despite Wilhelm’s love for his grandmother and all things British, the emotional fallout from his troubled upbringing contributed to the start of the First World War.

Summary

Documentary revealing the secret childhood of Queen Victoria's eldest grandson, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, through a long-hidden cache of intimate family letters. Wilhelm was born with a permanently paralysed arm - a disability considered shameful at the time - and was subjected to a series of bizarre and often cruel attempts to cure the condition. These childhood experiences are believed to have helped create a highly dysfunctional connection between the boy and his mother, Victoria, Princess Royal, and to have shaped his love-hate relationship with her country.

Cast & Crew

Director Brian Henry Martin
Producer Dermot Lavery

Documentary

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