This book examines the diplomatic role of royal families in the era before the outbreak of the First World War. It argues that previous historians have neglected for political reasons the important political and diplomatic role of monarchs during the period. Particular attention is given to the Prusso-German, Russian and British monarchies. The Prusso-German and Russian monarchies were central in their countries' diplomacy and foreign policy, principally as a result of their control over diplomatic and political appointments. However, the book also argues that the British monarchy played a much more influential role in British diplomacy than has been accepted hitherto by historians. Individual themes examined include relations between Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II, the political significance of the ill-feeling between Wilhelm II and his uncle King Edward VII, the role of Edward VII in British diplomacy, and the impact of royal visits on pre-1914 Anglo-German relations.