Nearly all the royal families in Europe – those remaining – are related to each other. This is not a coincidence, and it is worth considering, as many countries formerly loyal to the reigning family have either become republican, or having second or third thoughts about the monarchy. It is perfectly possible that our grandchildren will only read about kings, queens, their consorts and their often troublesome children in a book or on a plasma screen.
As a reminder of what used to be, here are a few names, some titles, hardly any dates, some recognition of mildly odd coincidences etc., concerning the relation between Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India, and the nineteenth century game of marital musical chairs that entertained Her Majesty so much, especially in her loneliness and boredom after she had lost her own spouse and confidant – Prince Albert, whose gothick memorial you may have seen in Hyde Park, London.
Victoria’s progenitors were Edward Duke of Kent and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. What does this mean? That by blood she was at least fifty per cent German. Very young, she married Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gothenberg, and this means that any children they might have would be chiefly German by blood. This Teutonic strain would gradually be reduced during the following five generations.
1 Victoria Adelaide (the Princess Royal) married Frederick III, King of Prussia & Emperor of Germany.
2 Edward VII married Alexandra daughter of Christian King of Denmark.
3 Alice Maud May married Louis IV Grand Duke of Hesse.
4 Alfred Ernest Duke of Edinburgh & Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburn-Gotha married Marie daughter of Alexander II Tsar of Russia.
5 Helena Augusta married Christian Prince of Schleswig-Holstein.
6 Louise married John Campbell Marquis of Lorne & IX Duke of Argyll.
7 Arthur Duke of Connaught & Strathearn married Louise dau. of Frederick Prince of Prussia.
8 Leopold Duke of Albany married Helena dau. of Prince George of Waldeck & Pyrmont.
9 Beatrice married Henry Prince of Battenberg.
Marriage No. 1 produced William (Wilhelm) II, the Kaiser, who married Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein-Augustenberg.
No. 2 produced (1) Albert Duke of Clarence who died before marriage.
(2) George V who married Princess May of Teck.
(3) Louise married Alexander Ist Duke of Fyfe
(4) Victoria, unmarried.
(5) Maud married Charles, later King Haakon VII of Norway.
(6) John, unmarried.
No. 3 produced (1) Victoria who married Louis Prince of Battenberg & Ist Marquess of Milford-Haven.
(2) Elizabeth married Serge Grand Duke of Russia.
(3) Irene married Henry Prince of Prussia.
(4) Ernest Grand Duke of Hesse married (first) Victoria Melitia and (second) Eleanor dau. of Prince of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich.
(6) Alexander who married Nicholas II, Tsar of all the Russias
Marriage No. 4 produced (1) Alfred.
(2) Marie who married Ferdinand I King of Roumania.
(3) Victoria Melitia who married (second) Cyril Grand Duke of Russia.
(4) Alexandra married Ernest Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
(5) Beatrice married Alfonso Prince of Orleans and II Duke of Galliera.
Marriage No. 7 produced (1) Margaret who married Gustav VI King of Sweden.
(2) Arthur married Alexander dau. of Ist Duke of Fyfe.
Marriage No. 9 produced (among others) Victoria Eugenia (Ena) dau. of Henry of Battenberg and Beatriz, youngest child of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Ena married King Alfonso XIII of Spain.
The Great Grandchildren
Edward VIII formerly Prince of Wales married Wallis, dau. of Teakle Warfield of Philadelphia, no issue.
George VI formerly Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, dau. of XIV Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne.
Mary, Princess Royal married Henry Viscount Lascelles, VI Earl of Harewood.
George Duke of Kent married Marina, dau. of Nicholas Prince of Greece & Denmark.
John, died 1919.
Alice married Andrew Prince of Greece & Denmark.
Louise married (second) Gustav VI King of Sweden.
George Mountbatten, II Marquis of Milford-Haven married Nadejda dau. of Michael Grand Duke of Russia.
Louis Earl Mountbatten of Burma married Edwina, dau. of Lord Mount Temple
Marie murdered 1918
Alex the Tsarevitch
Alastair II Duke of Connaught
Sybill married Gustav Crown Prince of Sweden
The Great Great Grandchildren
Elizabeth II married Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Greece, Duke of Edinburgh.
Margaret Rose married the Earl of Snowdon
Richard Alexander XI Duke of Gloucester married Birgitte van Deurs.
Edward Duke of Kent married Katherine Worsley.
Alexandra married Hon. Angus Ogilvie.
Michael married Princess Michael of Kent.
Margarita married Gottfried Prince of Honenlohe-Langenberg.
Theodora married Berthold olf Baden
Cecile married George Grand Duke of Hesse
Sophie married (1) Christopher of Hesse and (2) George Prince of Hanover.
Philip Mountbatten married Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, Head of the Commonwealth etc.
Points of genealogical interest:
- Alice Maud Mary was the great-grandmother of Prince Philip.
- Queen Victoria was the great-great-grandmother of Elizabeth II.
- Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) both descend from James I of England and VI of Scotland (qv.)
- James I of England (and VI of Scotland) in turn descends from Edward III, King of England.
- Both Prince Charles and his deceased wife Diana, Princess of Wales descend from Stuart Kings.
- Diana herself descended from the Despensers (father and son), favourites of King Edward II of England. Both were horribly executed. Diana Princess of Wales died atrociously in a car accident. Her brother Charles Spencer attacked the Queen and the royal family in a speech during the funeral of his sister.
- The family of ‘The Queen Mother’, George VI’s queen, is more ancient and much more ‘British/English’ than the Windsors. It is an irony that Elizabeth was called ‘a commoner’ when she married the Duke of York. Her father the Earl of Strathmore ( and other titles) belongs to a line of landowning aritocrats that streches back into the mists of the 10th century.
- The English King Charles II (a Stuart) had no children with his wife, but sired seventeen bastards between his many mistresses; all the illegitimate children were recognised by Charles II. One of them, Montrose, rebelled against Charles’ brother James II (his uncle) and was executed.
- The Spanish Duchess of Alba has the surname FitzJames Stuart because she descends from an affair between the future James II of England and a Lady. The Albas also hold the Scottish dukedom of Berwick.
- The English Duke of Wellington holds an important Spanish title – Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo – awarded him by a grateful Spanish government after he had helped the Spanish drive Napoleon’s occupation armies out of Spain.
- When Germany declared war against the Allies in 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II found himself involved in a sanguinary conflict against his own first cousins, Kings (Emperor) of Britain, Russia and Denmark.