|Emperor of Germany|
|Imperial Coat of arms|
|First monarch||William I|
|Last monarch||William II|
|Style||His Imperial and Royal Majesty|
|Official residence||Stadtschloss, Berlin|
|Monarchy began||18 January 1871|
|Monarchy ended||28 November 1918|
|Current pretender(s)||Georg Friedrich|
The German Emperor (German: Deutscher Kaiser) was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire, beginning with the proclamation of the King of Prussia and President of the North German Confederation, William I, as "German Emperor" during the Franco-Prussian War, on 18 January 1871 at the Palace of Versailles, and ending with the official abdication of William II on 28 November 1918.
The title "German Emperor" was carefully chosen by Minister President of Prussia and Chancellor of the North German Confederation Otto von Bismarck after discussion until (and after) the day of the proclamation. William I accepted this title grudgingly as he would have preferred "Emperor of Germany" which was however, unacceptable to the federated monarchs, and which would also have signalled a claim to lands outside of his reign (Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg etc.). The title Emperor of the Germans, as had proposed at the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848, was ruled out as he considered himself chosen "By the Grace of God", not by the people as in a democracy.
By this ceremony, the North German Confederation (Norddeutscher Bund) was transformed into the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich). This empire was a federal monarchy; the emperor was head of state and president of the federated monarchs (the kings of Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, the grand dukes of Baden, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Hesse, as well as other principalities, duchies and of the free cities of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen).
The German Emperors had an extensive list of titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and diversity of the lands ruled by the House of Hohenzollern.
His Imperial and Royal Majesty William I, 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, Lunenburg, 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.
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His Imperial and Royal Majesty William II, By the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern, Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz, Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen, Duke of Saxony, of Angria, of Westphalia, of Pomerania and of Lunenburg, Duke of Schleswig, of Holstein and of Crossen, Duke of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelderland and of Jülich, Cleves and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kashubians, of Lauenburg and of Mecklenburg, Landgrave of Hesse and in Thuringia, Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia, Prince of Orange, of Rugen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and of Pyrmont, Prince of Halberstadt, of Münster, of Minden, of Osnabrück, of Hildesheim, of Verden, of Kammin, of Fulda, of Nassau and of Moers, Princely Count of Henneberg, Count of the Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, of Tecklenburg and of Lingen, Count of Mansfeld, of Sigmaringen and of Veringen, Lord of Frankfurt.
German Emperors (1871–1918)
||22 March 1797 – 9 March 1888 (aged 90)||18 January 1871||9 March 1888||Was monarch of Germany since 1866.||Hohenzollern|
|18 October 1831 – 15 June 1888 (aged 56)||9 March 1888||15 June 1888||Son of William I||Hohenzollern|
|Wilhelm II||27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941 (aged 82)||15 June 1888||28 November 1918
|Grandson of William I
Son of Frederick III
- Crown of William II
- German State Crown
- History of Germany
- Holy Roman Emperor
- List of German monarchs
- List of monarchs of Prussia
- Family tree of the German monarchs
- Year of the Three Emperors
- Statement of Abdication of William II
- Rudolf Graf v. Stillfried: Die Titel und Wappen des preußischen Königshauses. Berlin 1875.
- Titles of William II at the Wayback Machine (archived March 14, 2007)
- Hull 2004, p. 31.
- Enumerated as successor of Frederick II who was King of Prussia 1740–1786 but not German Emperor.