If you do any sort of genealogy on royal families in Europe today – the odds are fairly high that four names will show up over and over. In their time, and in history, they’ve received the title of “the grandmother of Europe2, “grandfather of Europe”, “Mother-in-law of Europe”… well, you get the gist.
The four names are:
The King of Denmark: Christian IX of Denmark, and his wife Louise
The Queen of the United Kingdom: Victoria, and her husband Albert.
Although Victoria and Christian IX were married to Albert and Louise, respectively, in speech, it usually tends to revert to the monarchs as the most important, so that’s what I’ve used in the section I discuss below.
There were rumors about Christian courting Victoria in their youth, but ultimately she ended up with Albert and he married Louise von Hesse Kassel. (Something which later served him the Danish throne.)
If you’re tallying it up, between them, Christian and Louise and Victoria and Albert had fifteen children. Through their descendants, they would come to conquer Europe’s royal families. In this post, I’ve chosen to focus on their grandchildren, due to the monikers they received in their time.
Though descendants are on more thrones in Europe today than the reasoning below and the subsequent map will show – there is still a substantial spread.
Despite the lack of result from their own courting, the genes ended up united through Victoria’s son, Edward VII and Christian’s daughter, Alexandra’s offspring.
With regards to the grandchildren:
Victoria’s daughter, Vicky, married German emperor Friedrich III. Their daughter, Sophie, would marry Christian’s grandson, Constantine of Greece. Vicky and Friedrich’s son, Wilhelm, would make the effort to conquer more than his fair share of Europe with the German army.
Another of Victoria’s daughters, Beatrice, married Heinrich Moritz von Battenberg, and their daughter, Victoria Eugenia, or Ena as she was known, married Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Victoria’s son Arthur married Luise of Prussia – and their daughter Margaret married Crown Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden.
Another of Victoria’s sons, Alfred, married Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, and one of their daughters, Marie, married Ferdinand I of Romania.
Edward VII and Alexandra’s daughter, Maud of Wales ended up married to her first cousin, Carl of Denmark, son of Frederik VIII. Carl would be chosen as the King of Norway in 1905.
Out of Christian’s children and grandchildren, apart from Alexandra, his daughter, Dagmar married the Russian czarevich, later czar, Alexander III. Her son, Nicholas II and his family (his wife, Alix von Hessen und bei Rhein, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria through her daughter Alice. ) would come to an untimely end at the hand of the Bolsheviks.
His son Vilhelm was chosen to be the Greek king as George I.
For further display of the spread of children and grandchildren – check out this GoogleMap.
View Grandparents of Europe in a larger map
The first generation is red/blue. The second generation is green, and the third generation is aqua. I’ve tried as best possible to put the marker down in places that had some significance to the persons in question, or the geographic area they “ruled”.