- Royal descendants of Queen Victoria and King Christian IX
The royal descendants of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and King Christian IX of Denmark currently occupy the thrones of Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. At the outbreak of the First World War their grandchildren occupied the thrones of Denmark, Greece, Norway, Germany, Romania, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. For this, Victoria was nicknamed "the grandmother of Europe" while Christian IX was nicknamed "Father-in-law of Europe".
- 1 Grandchildren
- 2 Present-day reigning descendants
- 3 Common ancestry between Victoria and Christian IX
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Queen Victoria arranged the marriage of her eldest son and heir, the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom to Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of King Christian IX, which took place on March 10, 1863. Among their six children were George V of the United Kingdom (who was also Emperor of India throughout his reign) and his sister Maud of Wales (who would later marry their cousin King Haakon VII of Norway, another grandchild of Christian IX, on July 22, 1896). However, these two marriages were not the only unions amongst and between descendants of Victoria and Christian IX.
The second son of Christian IX, Prince William, became King of Greece as George I shortly after his sister Alexandra's marriage due to this new connection with the British Royal Family. On October 27, 1889, his son, later Constantine I of Greece married Sophia of Prussia, a granddaughter of Victoria, forging another union between descendants of the British queen and the Danish king.
Dagmar of Denmark, one of Christian IX's daughters, married Tsar Alexander III of Russia and became empress-consort as Maria Feodorovna. Her son, Nicholas II of Russia, married Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, yet another granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, on November 26, 1894, and she became empress-consort as Alexandra Feodorovna.
Other grandchildren became monarchs in their own right or consorts. Christian X of Denmark was the elder brother of Haakon VII of Norway and thus another grandson of Christian IX of Denmark. William II, German Emperor was the elder brother of Sophia of Prussia and thus another reigning grandson of Victoria. Lastly, Victoria had two more granddaughters who became queens: Marie of Edinburgh, who married Ferdinand I of Romania, and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg who married Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Christian IX was therefore the grandfather of an emperor and two kings who all married granddaughters of Victoria, one of whom (Maud of Wales) was also a granddaughter of Christian IX. In total, five of his grandsons were reigning sovereigns.
Victoria, meanwhile, was the grandmother of an emperor, a king-emperor, four queens consort and an empress consort.
Family tree of sovereign and consort grandchildren
First World War
During the First World War (1914–1918), many monarchs of countries from both sides were closely related due to their mutual descent from either Queen Victoria, King Christian IX or both. The most commonly cited example is the fact that George V of the United Kingdom, William II, German Emperor and Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia were all first cousins via Queen Victoria. Other countries who fought against William II in addition to Russia and the United Kingdom include Romania, whose queen-consort was Marie of Edinburgh, and Greece, whose queen-consort was William's sister Sophia of Prussia. Constantine I of Greece and Nicholas II of Russia, the husbands of Sophia of Prussia and Alix of Hesse respectively, were also first cousins of George V of the United Kingdom as grandsons of King Christian IX. Other first cousins of George V of the United Kingdom, whose countries were neutral during the war, were Christian X of Denmark, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (queen-consort of Spain) and Haakon VII of Norway (who was married to George's sister Maud of Wales).
Princess Margaret of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria (and daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn), married Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, the future Gustaf VI Adolf. Princess Margaret died before becoming Queen of Sweden due to an infection following a mastoid operation. Gustav was later remarried to Louise Mountbatten, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria (and daughter of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine). Unlike her cousin, Louise lived to become Queen of Sweden in 1950.
Present-day reigning descendants
The unions between descendants of Queen Victoria and of King Christian IX did not end with the First World War. On the contrary, nearly all European monarchs today are most closely related through their descent from Victoria, Christian or both.
Presently, there are seven kingdoms remaining in Europe:
1. Belgium: Albert II & Queen Paola
2. Denmark: Margrethe II & Prince Consort Henrik
3. Netherlands: Beatrix & Prince Claus (deceased)
4. Norway: Harald V & Queen Sonja
5. Spain: Juan Carlos I & Queen Sophia
6. Sweden: Carl XVI Gustaf & Queen Silvia
7. United Kingdom: Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Harald V of Norway, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Sofía of Spain are all descended from both Queen Victoria and King Christian IX. The first two monarchs are great-grandchildren of the aforementioned union between Alexandra of Denmark (daughter of Christian IX) and Edward VII of the United Kingdom (son of Queen Victoria). Harald V of Norway is actually descended from King Christian IX three ways, twice through his father and once through his mother. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and his wife Queen Elizabeth II are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX and also third cousins as they are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Queen Sofía of Spain is twice a descendant of Queen Victoria and twice a great-great-granddaughter of Christian IX. Margrethe II of Denmark is descended once each from Victoria and Christian IX. She is also a first cousin to Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden through Victoria's granddaughter Princess Margaret of Connaught.
The husband of Queen Sofía, Juan Carlos I of Spain, is descended from Queen Victoria and not from Christian IX at all. Thus, the couple's closest relationship is of third cousins. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is also descended from Queen Victoria and not Christian IX, but he is her descendant twice, as his parents were second cousins because they were both great-grandchildren of Victoria.
Conversely, Albert II of Belgium is descended from Christian IX but not Queen Victoria. He is a first cousin to Harald V of Norway through their grandmother Princess Ingeborg of Denmark, a granddaughter of Christian IX.
Thus, Beatrix of the Netherlands is the only reigning monarch in Europe today who is descended from neither Queen Victoria nor King Christian IX of Denmark, but she shares George II of Great Britain as an ancestor with other European royal families through Queen Victoria's great grandfather's younger sister, Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange.  Her grandmother's, Wilhelmina of the Netherlands uncle however was Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, the youngest son of Queen Victoria.
In summation, the monarchs of Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom as well as the consorts of the United Kingdom and Spain are descended from both Queen Victoria and King Christian IX. The kings of Spain and Sweden are descended from Queen Victoria and not King Christian IX. The King of Belgium is descended from King Christian IX and not Queen Victoria. The Queen of the Netherlands is the only monarch descended from neither Queen Victoria nor King Christian IX.
Descended from Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom Princess Alice of the United Kingdom King Edward VII of the United Kingdom Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom Victoria, Princess Royal Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine George V of the United Kingdom Maud of Wales Princess Margaret of Connaught Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg William II, German Emperor Sophia of Prussia Princess Alice of Battenberg George VI of the United Kingdom Olav V of Norway Ingrid of Sweden Prince Gustav Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom Harald V of Norway Margrethe II of Denmark Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Juan Carlos I of Spain Frederika of Hanover Paul I of Greece Queen Sofía of Spain
Descended from King Christian IX
Common ancestry between Victoria and Christian IX
Because so many monarchs descend from both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and King Christian IX of Denmark, the relationship between these two monarchs is of some interest. These monarchs were third cousins through their mutual descent from King George II of the United Kingdom. This relationship occurs twice because the maternal grandparents of King Christian IX of Denmark, Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) (1744–1836) and Princess Louise of Denmark (1750–1831), were both children of daughters of King George II of the United Kingdom (1660–1727), and thus first cousins. It is also interesting to note that Louise of Hesse-Kassel, wife of King Christian IX of Denmark, was a granddaughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse (1747–1837), the brother of the aforementioned Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel.
George II of Great Britain Frederick, Prince of Wales Princess Mary of Great Britain Louise of Great Britain George III of the United Kingdom Prince Frederick of Hesse Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel Princess Louise of Denmark Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent Prince William of Hesse Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel Victoria of the United Kingdom Louise of Hesse-Kassel Christian IX of Denmark
- ^ The designation of 'kingdom' excludes five other monarchies in Europe: the Principalities of Monaco, Liechtenstein and Andorra, the last of which is headed by a bishop (appointed by the Pope) and an elected president (of France); the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; and Vatican City, whose leader, the Pope, is traditionally elected by the College of Cardinals. See also Monarchies in Europe.
- ^ When speaking of the present day descendants of Victoria and Christian IX, only those who are kings and queens or married to kings or queens are mentioned, to the exclusion of grand duchies, principalities, etc.
- Aronson, Theo. Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and the Tragedy of European Monarchy 1910–1918
- Aronson, Theo. A Family of Kings: The Descendants of Christian IX of Denmark
- Aronson, Theo. Grandmama of Europe: The Crowned Descendants of Queen Victoria, 1973
- Carter, Miranda. Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to the First World War. London, Penguin. 2009. ISBN 9780670915569
- Gelardi, Julia P. Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
- Potts, D. M. and W. T. W. Queen Victoria's Gene: Haemophilia and the Royal Family
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