Unfortunately for him the first orders sent to Billow by Gneisenau, chief of the staff, at midnight June 14-1 5, were written in so stilted and hazy a style that Billow did not consider any especial display of energy was required.
Billow (1827-1901), an official in the Prussian foreign office, who in 1882 was appointed German envoy at Bern, from 1892 to 1898 was Prussian envoy to the Vatican, and died at Rome on the 22nd of November 1901.
A cautious and versatile diplomatist like Bernhard von Billow appears to be best adapted to the personal and political necessities of the present situation."
On the 6th of June 1905 Count Billow was raised to the rank of prince (Fiirst), on the occasion of the marriage of the crown prince.
In his speech of the 13th of January 1903, in which he made the above admission, Count Billow also had to admit the failure of the Prussian policy.