In looking at the complex nationality of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, I discussed how he became a Prince of Greece and Denmark. In this section I want to back up a little and discuss the paternal house that he came from, the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

The House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (generally abbreviated to House of Glücksburg) is a German ducal house that is itself a collateral branch of the House of Oldenburg. In 1448 Count Christian I of Oldenburg was elected to the Danish throne. Although the main line ruled Denmark, there were various branches of the House of Oldenburg that descended from the Danish kings. The progeniture of the Glücksburg line was  Johann II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, fifth son of King Christian III of Denmark and his wife Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg.

Johann II’s son, Duke Alexander of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, was himself the progenitor of the two main lines of dukes of Schleswig-Holstein. An elder son was Ernest Günther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg and the another son was August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. In 1816 Duke Friedrich Wilhelm became the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Beck was replaced with Glücksburg  the elder Glücksburg line went extinct in 1779.

 Duke Friedrich Wilhelm married Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel and through her mother, Princess Louise of Denmark, she was the grandaughter of King Frederik V of Denmark and Norway and his wife Princess Louise of Great-Britain (daughter of King George II). Thiers fifth son, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-SonderburgGlücksburg, was elected King of Denmark according to the London Protocol of 1853 (that in and of itself deserves another series all on its own). Therefore, although the House of Glücksburg is a direct male-line descendant of King Christian I of Denmark, Christian I and his descendants were of German descent.

This does make the current Duke of Edinburgh German. As we saw in Part III the Greek throne was occupied by a Danish prince who was, as Part IV demonstrates, technically belonging to a German Ducal house. In Part V I will examine the Duke of Edinburgh’s as well as the matrilineal line, the House of Battenberg-Hesse and By Rhine.

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