The cologne triumvirate lives in a hotel. They call it „Hofburg“. Before they move-in they meet in a local brewery to have breakfast.
Every year the cardinal of cologne celebrates a mass for the new carnival-season at the great cathedral of cologne.
The farmer`s gloves. It is made out of cotton but suggest to be out of iron.
A child looks awestruck at the appearance of the triumvirate at her Kindergarden.
A Holger I. mask. A local newspaper printed it for a do it yourself prince-costume.
The „Equipeführer“ and the farmers adjutant discuss something minutes before an important apperance.
The proclamation of the triumvirate is one of the Highlights each season. For the triumvirate it is the first appearance with their regalia.
The triumvirate has a own coiffeur. Here he does a final check on Holgers I. look minutes before the proclamation.
The triumvirate composed their own carnival songs and learned to play harmonia. Here Holger I. sings an old cologne carnival song.
The „prince-brooch“. Designed by the triumvirate its self. They award it to people who do special things for the carnival.
The triumvirate with adjutancy after a appearance at the cologne fair halls.
Prinz Holger I. having fun at an appointment in a local brewery.
To be on point at the many appearances prince, farmer and virgin have their own cars and drivers, sponsored by Ford.
The prince´s cape.
The farmer`s trousers. It is made out of cotton but suggest to be out of iron.
The regalia of the virgin.
After a exhausting day the triumvirate and the adjutancy meets for lunch at a Brauhaus.
The cologne carnival is closely connected to the christian church. They participate in several church services.
The Virgin minutes before the proclamation.
Holger I. enters his own parade float.
The head of the prince. The prince puts on the head minutes before each appearance.
The Highlight of the triumvirate is the Rosenmontags parade. Here it passes the cathedral of cologne.
The triumvirate and adjutancy get emotional after the end of the Rosenmontags parade.

einmal letzter sein

The origin of the Cologne carnival can be traced back to the year 1341. Carnival derives from the Latin word „Carnislevamen“, translated „meat, farewell“. It is the last festival before Lent, a time of abandonment. The Carnival is deeply connected with the Christian religion.

The festival was so excessive in the years before 1823, that it was repeatedly banned. Masked cliques ran riot in the streets of Cologne. There were clashes, including murder. A group from the „better“ circles of the city founded in 1823 the „Festordnende Comité“ and organized from now on the Cologne carnival in their interests. Until today, the elitist circle around the „Festkomittee Kölner Karneval von 1823 e.V.“ („Festival Committee of Cologne“) is responsible. In hardly any other city in the world the carnival is so ingrained and so professionally organized, like in Cologne.

The highest  representative of each carnival season is the Prince. This function is the most prestigious in the Cologne Carnival and involves high financial costs. Together with his „Deftigkeit“ (ribald) the Farmer and their „Lieblichkeit“ (sweetness) the Virgin, overtime represented by a man they build the Cologne triumvirate. It is selected by the „Festival Committee of Cologne“. While the carnival season the prince is the ruler of cologne. The farmer represents the constancy of Cologne and the virgin stands for the self-determination of the city.

The aura surrounding the triumvirate is enormous. Weeks before carnival the Prince is represented in the daily local press. He is celebrated like a popstar. It is an open secret that a high office in the Cologne carnival is also helpful for a great career. In 8 weeks, the trio has up to 400 appearances. They reach up to the highest regions of politics. It ends on Ash-Wednesday. The frenetic celebrated triumvirate get private persons again. A challenge for many. Next year a new triumvirate is selected.