The Exception concentrates on these last years in the life of Wilhelm. Living in a rambling country mansion with his wife, Princess Hermine, and a small retinue of aides and servants, the erstwhile emperor is given a new lease on life by the Nazi invasion of France and the Lowlands, which sees Holland fall under German subjugation. Fantasizing about a return to Berlin and the throne, Wilhelm soon finds himself under the supervision of an SS captain and a detachment of German soldiers. Meanwhile, the Kaiser's entourage hires a new maid, in whom the captain takes an immediate interest. The stage is set for a story of subterfuge and espionage, all of which comes to a head with a visit from Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS.