The Ems telegram was a dispatch released by the German press in regards to the meeting of the French Ambassador and King William I. On 13 July 1870, King Wilhelm I of Prussia, on his morning stroll in the Kurpark in Ems, was stopped by Count Vincent Benedetti, the French ambassador to Prussia since 1864. Benedetti had been instructed by his superior, Foreign Minister Agénor, the Duc de Gramont, to present the French demand that the king should guarantee that he would never again permit the candidacy of a Hohenzollern prince to the Spanish throne. The meeting was informal and took place on the promenade of the Kursaal with the king’s entourage at a discreet distance. Politely, and in a friendly manner, "with the courtesy that never failed him," the king refused to bind himself to any course of action into the indefinite future. After their exchange, "the two departed coolly." From the meeting, the King's secretary Heinrich Abeken wrote an account, which was passed on to Otto von Bismarck in Berlin. Wilhelm described Benedetti as "very importunate." The King gave permission to Bismarck to release an account of the events. Bismarck took it upon himself to edit the report, sharpening the language. He cut out Wilhelm’s conciliatory phrases and emphasized the real issue. The French had made certain demands under threat of war, and Wilhelm had refused them. This was no forgery; it was a clear statement of the facts. Certainly, the edit of the telegram, released on the evening of the same day (13 July) to the media and foreign embassies, gave the impression both that Benedetti was rather more demanding and that the King was exceedingly abrupt. It was designed to give the French the impression that King Wilhelm I had insulted Count Benedetti; likewise, the Germans interpreted the modified dispatch as the Count insulting the King. Bismarck had viewed the worsening relations with France with open satisfaction. If the war had to come, now was as good a time as any. His editing, he assured his friends, "would have the effect of a red rag on the Gallic [French] Bull." The edited telegram was to be presented henceforth as the cause of the war.