Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover), Edward VII of the United Kingdom, George II of Great Britain, German Emperor Wilhelm II, House of Hohenzollern, King of Great Britain and Ireland, King of Prussia, Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom
George II (November 9, 1683 – October 25, 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire from June 11, 1727 until his death in 1760.
Born and brought up in northern Germany, George is the most recent British monarch born outside Great Britain. The Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707 positioned his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, and her Protestant descendants to inherit the British throne.
After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father, the Elector of Hanover, became George I of Great Britain. In the first years of his father’s reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians until they rejoined the governing party in 1720.
As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy. He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745 supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart (“The Old Pretender”), led by James’s son Charles Edward Stuart (“The Young Pretender” or “Bonnie Prince Charlie”), attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died suddenly in 1751, nine years before his father; George was succeeded by Frederick’s eldest son, George III.
For two centuries after George II’s death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper, and boorishness. Since then, reassessment of his legacy has led scholars to conclude that he exercised more influence in foreign policy and military appointments than previously thought.
Edward VII (November 9, 1841 – May 6, 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from January 22, 1901 until his death in 1910.
The second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and nicknamed “Bertie”, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years.
During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political influence and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and of the Indian subcontinent in 1875 proved popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.
As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He re-instituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor.
The Edwardian era, which covered Edward’s reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, George V.
Abdication of German Emperor Wilhelm II on November 9, 1918.
Wilhelm II (January 27, 1859 – June 4, 1941) was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, reigning from June 15, 1888 until his abdication on November 9, 1918. Despite strengthening the German Empire’s position as a great power by building a powerful navy, his tactless public statements and erratic foreign policy greatly antagonized the international community and are considered by many to be one of the underlying causes of World War I.
When the German war effort collapsed after a series of crushing defeats on the Western Front in 1918, he was forced to abdicate on November 9, 1918 thereby marking the end of the German Empire and the House of Hohenzollern’s 300-year reign in Prussia and 500-year reign in Brandenburg.