In 2012 I did a post about royals from different eras who actually did meet. As I look at genealogy charts it is easy to associate a particular person with one era. However, since many of these royals have lived long lives they often overlap with royals from other eras. I think of Queen Victoria who died in the arms of her son, Edward VII, and her grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1901, yet also remember she was born in the last years of the reign of her grandfather King George III who died in 1820! No, Queen Victoria was never presented to her grandfather who was blind and suffering from dementia at the time.
Incidentally, George III, who was born in 1738, was a third cousin to King Friedrich-Wilhelm II of Prussia. This made Kaiser Wilhelm II a great-great grandson to both King George III of Great Britain and King Friedrich-Wilhelm II of Prussia. Continuing this theme of royals that knew each other and overlap, the Kaiser’s daughter, Princess Victoria-Louise, Duchess of Brunswick, has a unique connection to the knew king of Spain, Felipe VI. First of all, the Duchess of Brunswick is the Spanish king’s great grandmother. Princess Victoria-Louise married her Hanoverian cousin, Ernst-August of Hanover, in 1913 when the last gathering of European royals occurred before World War I.
Husband and wife were cousins through their descent from King George III of Great Britain. Victoria-Louise was descended from George III through her father, the Kaiser, whose grandmother, Queen Victoria, was the granddaughter of King George III, via George III’s 4th son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Ernst-August of Hanover traces his lineage to George III via George’s 5th son, King Ernst-August I of Hanover (1837-1851). The king of Hanover had a son, Georg V (1851-1866), who lost his throne in the war between Austria and Prussia in 1866. Georg V had a son, Ernst-August, Crown Prince of Hanover, who resumed his British title, Duke of Cumberland, and married Princess Thyra of Denmark (sister to Edward VII’s spouse, Alexandra of Denmark) and it was their son, Ernst-August, who married the Kaiser’s daughter in 1913. Ernst-August was given the Duchy of Brunswick to repair the rift between the two families when Hanover lost its throne in the Prussian war.
Ernst-August, Duke of Brunswick and Princess Victoria-Louise had one daughter, Fredericka of Hanover, who married King Pavlos of Greece in 1938. They had three children. The eldest son is Constantine II, who was King of Greece from 1964-1973 and now lives in exile in Britain. Their eldest child was Princess Sophia who married Juan Carlos de Bourbon in 1962. Juan-Carlos was the King of Spain from 1975 until June of last year, 2014. His son, King Felipe VI, was born in 1968. Princess Victoria-Louise of Prussia was therefore the great-grandmother of Spain’s current king, Felipe VI. Since Victoria Louise lived till 1980 and was the longest surviving child of Kaiser Wilhelm II, she did meet and get to know her great-grandson. In her memoir, The Kaiser’s Daughter, there is a picture of Victoria Louise with her grandchildren (Sophia of Spain and Constantine II of Greece) and great grand children…including Spain’s new king, Felipe VI.
It is amazing how we can span the doors of time to our modern Spanish king and the old German Empire of the 19th and early 20th centuries.