Tradition dictates that Cologne's colorful carnival must be led by a prince, a peasant and a maiden. This year, those roles are being played by Marc Michelske, Markus Meyer und Michael Everwand. We followed them through the debauchery.
In January, Pope Francis received three unusual guests in Rome: the Prince, the Peasant and the Maiden who are leading this year's Cologne Carnival. It was a big honour for the trio - as was being selected to be the carnival's "Dreigestirn" or triumvirate. But the honour comes with a lot of obligations: the trio are booked at over 400 different events during carnival. They'll be stopping by hospitals, municipal offices, social welfare projects, and the German army. Our reporter Axel Rowohlt accompanies them as they spread good cheer from morning ‘til night.