K is for Nine Kings

As usual, I am again focusing on the famous, the forgotten and the misbegotten for round 19 of the popular ABC Wednesday meme. But finding suitable characters is getting harder, so apologies in advance if I miss out some of the alphabet.

Nine KingsRather than being about an individual, this week’s post concerns a remarkable photograph of nine kings that illustrates how great were the changes in the early 20th century.

It was taken in London in May 1910 as the crowned heads of gathered for the funeral of King Edward VII and of the nine monarchs, four would be deposed, one assassinated and two would be at each other’s throats.

Below is a larger version and standing left to right are: King Haakon VII of Norway, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of The Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians (Belgium).

Seated are: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the Great Britain and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

Nine Kings

King Frederik VIII of Denmark was the father of King Haakon VII of Norway; while Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was first cousin of both George V and his sister who was married to King Haakon VII of Norway. The mother of King George V was Alexandra of Denmark, sister to King Frederik VIII of Denmark, making Frederik King George’s uncle.

King George was grandson of Queen Victoria and first cousin of both Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and their martial regalia demonstrates that the war that was to follow a few years later was as much about royal ego as it was geopolitics.

King Haakon VII of Norway died of natural causes in 1957; King Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated in 1918 and died in 1948; King Manuel of Portugal was deposed in 1910 and died in 1932; Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated and was exiled in 1918; King George I of The Hellenes was assassinated in 1913; King Albert I died in a climbing accident in 1934.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain was forced to flee the country in 1923 and died in 1941, while King Frederick VIII of Denmark died of natural causes in 1912.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • leslie 21st September 2016

    The royal lineages are just too complicated for me. I do follow the British royalty as that’s my heritage. Another kreative post!

    abcw team

  • Melody Steenkamp 21st September 2016

    This is (again) a wonderful post… people like that have (had) great influence on how a country is dealing with its one ‘nices’ and ‘bads’ … many former kingdoms don’t exist anymore, somewhat a shame if I may say so

    Have a nice ABC-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (ABC-team)

  • Steve 21st September 2016

    It was tough to be a royal back in the day! I thought sure Tsar Nicholas II was going to be among this bunch, but no. George V and he sure looked alike!

  • Roger O Green 23rd September 2016

    It was practically incest, to keep power consolidated.


    • Trevor Rowley 27th September 2016

      In many ways, it makes sense to keep control within a selective circle. Ideally, many “ordinary” families, even in this day and age, want to be able to vet the outsider who may want to enter their circle through marriage. It would be foolish to let any old scallywag slip through the net.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 23rd September 2016

    Martin Luther-King was better than all those other kings.


Your email will not be published on this site, but note that this and any other personal data you choose to share is stored here. Please see the Privacy Policy for more information.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: