"Seine Tollität” (His Madness), the Carnival Prince,
is the most important personage of Cologne Carnival. The name replaced the description “Carnival Hero” in the course of the 19th century. Since 1823, the Prince or Hero has been the most important figure in the Rose Monday parade.
During the proclamation (always at the beginning of January) by the Lord Mayor of Cologne, he receives a slapstick as a symbol, which he waves over his foolish people. The Carnival Prince always rides on the last float in the Rose Monday parade, as it were the climax of the foolish “Lindwurm” (dragon or serpent). His float is the biggest and most splendid of them all.
The Cologne triumvirate
is provided by the Carnival associations that are subject to the Cologne Festival Committee, and is usually composed of members of a single company. When submitting their applications, special consideration is given to companies that celebrate an anniversary in the respective year. Every year a new triumvirate is appointed for the Carnival. The Street Carnival opens at 11.11 on “Weiberfastnacht” on the Alten Markt (Old Market) and now on the Heumarkt in Cologne. The triumvirate is accompanied during the processions and on the Rose Monday parade by the Prinzen-Garde Köln 1906 e.V. (the guards for the Carnival Prince) and by the EhrenGarde der Stadt Köln 1902 e.V. (the guards for the Cologne peasant and the Cologne maiden).