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When I began my interest in royalty, genealogy was the doorway by which I entered. After sorting out the genealogy of the British Royal Family the era that piqued my interest the most was the Victorian Era. To be more accurate I also am equally interested in the Edwardian Age and the time until the end of the First World War. One of the things I have read frequently is the statement that the descendants of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married into all the great Royal Houses of Europe. While this is true, in some ways I find it misleading because royals marrying royals is a practice that had been going on for centuries. Today all the reigning royal families are related and this is nothing new.

Let us take the marriage of Victoria and Albert’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal, and her marriage to the future Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia as an example. The two royals were already related. Both were descendants of Sophia of the Rhine (Electress Sophia) and Elector Ernst August of Hanover, the line from which the royal family earned its claim to the throne. Electress¬†Sophia’s daughter, also named Sophia, married King Friedrich I of Prussia and their son, King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia married his first cousin, Princess Sophia Dorothea of Great Britain. The next time the Prussians and the British royal family mingled was when Friedrich III’s great aunt, Princess Frederica, married Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal’s great uncle, Prince Frederick, Duke of York. Their mutual descent from the Electress Sophia made Fritz and Vicky 5th cousins.

Even if you go further back into the British Royal Family’s genealogy, their members frequently married into or chose members from the reigning houses that ruled France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Italy and many others. Charles II of England and Scotland was the first cousin of King Louis XIV of France. The marriage of Charles’ grandfather, James VI-I of Scotland and England married, Anne, the daughter of King Frederik II of Denmark and from this union also descends many of the great royal houses of Europe.

As I discuss this topic on Monday we will come to see all the myriad ways in which the various royal families are related.

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