One of the things I enjoy about royalty is how its members connect to the past and the rich history of each nation. One example I showed was the christening of Queen Elizabeth II and one of her godparents was HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942) son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I failed to mention that the Duke of Connaught was also a godfather to one of his own descendents, his great-granddaughter, Queen Margrethe II, current Queen Regnant of Denmark! Even the Duke of Connaught’s life connects us to the past. One of his godparents was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) who lead the British in defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815!
When I scan across the genealogy charts of these royal families it is often difficult to see all the lives that overlap. In many families, after a generation or two, relatives can be scattered all about different countries or different regions of the same country and never see or meet one another. I have cousins I have not seen in nearly 30 years. In my head I have some people belonging to certain eras and it is interesting to see how some of these people spanned the eras. For example, at 91, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is someone I associate with today’s time period. Yet in his youth he interacted with people I associate more with the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
I have a couple of books by Charlotte Zeepvat. One is called Queen Victoria’s Family: A Century of Photographs & the other is The Camera and the Tsars: A Romanov Family Album which both showcase wonderful family photographs. Although I will not be able to post some of the photographs but I did want to discuss some of the family connections they depict. I found these interesting and I hope you will also.
There is a picture of the funeral procession of King Edward VII of Great Britain. In the procession is the new king, George V, and his two eldest sons, Edward, Duke of Cornwall (future Edward VIII) and Prince Albert (future George VI). Also in the procession was Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. I had known that the Kaiser and George V were fist cousins, what I did not know was that the Kaiser had met the future George VI, father to the the present queen.
There is another family gathering of the Swedish royal family. In the picture is Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, whose daughter, Princess Margaret of Connaught had just died unexpectedly the previous year. Also depicted is her widowed husband, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolph (Gustaf VI Adolph of Sweden) and his children, the youngest, prince Carl-Johan just passed away a month or so ago.
There are a couple of pictures with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh which connects him to the Victoria era. One takes place in 1931 with the marriage of his sister, Princess Cecile of Greece and Denmark to Hereditary Grand Duke Georg-Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine. Standing in front of Prince Philip is his great-uncle, Grand Duke Ernst-Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine, and next to him is his sister, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven (Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine) grandmother to prince Philip and the bride, Princess Cecile of Greece and Denmark. Grand Duke Ernst-Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine and the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven were grandchildren of Queen Victoria.
In October of 1937 Hereditary Grand Duke Georg-Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine and his wife, Cecile of Greece and Denmark (along with two of their children) were killed in a plane crash en-route to the wedding of his brother, Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine to Margaret Campbell-Geddes. In the funeral procession were members of German Royalty. Prince Philip, then aged 16, walked in front of Prince August-Wilhelm of Prussia the son of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Speaking of the Kaiser. The book had a picture of the Kaiser holding his great-grandson Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, son of Prince Louis-Ferdinand and Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia. Although Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia married unequally he still claims to be the head of the House of Prussia.
In the book is also the only picture I have seen of King Alfonso XIII of Spain with his grandson the current Spanish King, Juan Carlos. Alfonso XIII was born a king in 1886 after the death of his father. One of the two people in European History to be born a king. The other was King Jean I of France who died a five days after his birth in 1316.
There you have some interesting connections. I will have more for next Monday’s look at royal Geology.