Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 1863 until his death in 1906. From 1863 to 1864, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Lauenburg. Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish throne. However, in 1852, Christian was chosen as heir to the Danish monarchy in light of the expected extinction of the senior line of the House of Oldenburg. Upon the death of King Frederick VII of Denmark in 1863, Christian acceded to the throne as the first Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg; the beginning of his reign was marked by the Danish defeat in the Second Schleswig War and the subsequent loss of the duchies of Schleswig and Lauenburg which made the king immensely unpopular. The following years of his reign were dominated by political disputes as Denmark had only become a constitutional monarchy in 1849 and the balance of power between the sovereign and parliament was still in dispute.
In spite of his initial unpopularity and the many years of political strife, where the king was in conflict with large parts of the population, his popularity recovered towards the end of his reign, he became a national icon due to the length of his reign and the high standards of personal morality with which he was identified. Christian married his second cousin, Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, in 1842, their six children married into other royal families across Europe, earning him the sobriquet "the father-in-law of Europe". Margrethe II of Denmark, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Philippe of Belgium, Harald V of Norway, Felipe VI of Spain, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Constantine II of Greece, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are among his descendants. Christian was born on 8 April 1818 at Gottorf Castle near the town of Schleswig in the Duchy of Schleswig as Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, the fourth son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel.
He was named after Prince Christian of Denmark, the King Christian VIII, his godfather. Christian's father was the head of the ducal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, a junior male branch of the House of Oldenburg. Through his father, Christian was thus a direct male-line descendant of King Christian III of Denmark and an agnatic descendant of Helvig of Schauenburg, mother of King Christian I of Denmark, the "Semi-Salic" heiress of her brother Adolf of Schauenburg, last Schauenburg duke of Schleswig and count of Holstein; as such, Christian was eligible to succeed in the twin duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, but not first in line. Christian's mother was a daughter of Landgrave Charles of Hesse, a Danish Field Marshal and Royal Governor of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, his wife Princess Louise of Denmark, a daughter of Frederick V of Denmark. Through his mother, Christian was thus a great-grandson of Frederick V, great-great-grandson of George II of Great Britain and a descendant of several other monarchs, but had no direct claim to any European throne.
Christian lived with his parents and many siblings at Gottorf Castle, where the family stayed with Duke Friedrich Wilhelm's parents-in-law. However, on 6 June 1825, Duke Friedrich Wilhelm was appointed Duke of Glücksburg by his brother-in-law Frederick VI of Denmark, as the elder Glücksburg line had become extinct in 1779, he subsequently changed his title to Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and founded the younger Glücksburg line. Subsequently, the family moved to Glücksburg Castle, where Christian was raised with his siblings under their father's supervision. Following the early death of the father in 1831, Christian grew up in Denmark and was educated in the Military Academy of Copenhagen; as a young man, Christian unsuccessfully sought the hand of his third cousin, Queen Victoria, in marriage. At the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen on 26 May 1842, he married his half-second cousin, Louise of Hesse-Kassel, a niece of Christian VIII. In 1852, with the approval of the great powers of Europe, Christian was chosen by King Frederick VII to be heir presumptive after the extinction of the most senior line to the Danish throne, as Frederick VII seemed incapable of fathering children.
A justification for this choice was his marriage to Louise of Hesse-Kassel, who—as a niece of Christian VIII of Denmark—was related to the royal family. Frederick VII's childlessness had presented a thorny dilemma and the question of succession to the Danish throne proved problematic. Denmark's adherence to the Salic Law and a burgeoning nationalism within the German-speaking parts of Schleswig-Holstein hindered all hopes of a peaceful solution. Proposed resolutions to keep the two Duchies together and part of Denmark proved unsatisfactory to both Danish and German interests. While Denmark had adopted the Salic Law, this only affected the descendants of Frederick III of Denmark, the first hereditary monarch of Denmark. Agnatic descent from Frederick III would end with the death of the childless King Frederick VII and his childless uncle, Prince Ferdinand. At that point, the law of succession promulgated by Frederick III provided for a Semi-Salic succession. There were, several ways to interpret to whom the crown could pass, since the provision was not clear as to whether a claimant to the throne could be the closest female relative or not.
As the nations of Europe looked on, the numerous descendants of Hel
Order of Beneficence (Greece)
The Order of Beneficence, is an order of Greece, established in 1948. It is conferred by the Greek government as a moral reward for women Greek and foreign, for the good services they have rendered to the Fatherland in the field of charity as well as for their performance in the arts and letters; the fact that the order is awarded to women does not mean that the other Greek decorations are awarded to men. The Order has five classes: Grand Cross - wears the badge on a sash from the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest; the badge of the Order is a five tipped blue-enamelled flower, in silver for the Silver Cross class, in gold for the higher classes. The overall design is derived from the then-recently abolished British Order of the Indian Empire; the obverse central disc bears a portrait of the Holy Virgin with the Divine Child in Her arms with the legend "ΕΥΠΟΙΙΑ" on a white enamel ring. The reverse side bears the emblem of the Hellenic Republic; the star of the Order is a silver eight-pointed star with straight rays, with the same central disc as the obverse of the badge, while the reverse side bears the emblem of the Hellenic Republic.
The ribbon of the Order is orange with blue edges. Presidency of the Hellenic Republic - Order of Beneficence The Greek Royal Orders George J. Beldecos, "Hellenic Orders and Medals", pub. Hellenic War Museum, Athens 1991, ISBN 960-85054-0-2
Prince Louis of Battenberg
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg, was a British naval officer and German nobleman related to the British royal family. Although born in Austria, brought up in Italy and Germany, he enrolled in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy at the age of fourteen. Queen Victoria and her son King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales intervened in his career: the Queen thought that there was "a belief that the Admiralty are afraid of promoting Officers who are Princes on account of the radical attacks of low papers and scurrilous ones". However, Louis welcomed assignments that provided opportunities for him to acquire the skills of war and to demonstrate to his superiors that he was serious about his naval career. Posts on royal yachts and tours arranged by the Queen and Edward impeded his progress, as his promotions were perceived as undeserved royal favours. After a naval career lasting more than forty years, in 1912 he was appointed First Sea Lord, the professional head of the British naval service.
With World War I looming, he took steps to ready the British fleet for combat, but his background as a German prince forced his retirement once the war began, when anti-German sentiment was running high. He changed his name and relinquished his German titles, at the behest of King George V, in 1917, he married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was the father of Queen Louise of Sweden and Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who served as First Sea Lord from 1954 to 1959. He is the maternal grandfather of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Louis was born as Ludwig Alexander von Battenberg in Graz, the eldest son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine by his morganatic marriage to Countess Julia von Hauke; because of his morganatic parentage, Louis was denied his father's rank in the Grand Duchy of Hesse. On 26 December 1858, he automatically became His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg when his mother was elevated to Princess of Battenberg with the style of Serene Highness, by decree of her husband's brother, Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse.
Shortly after Louis's birth, his father was stationed with the Austro-Hungarian Army of occupation in Northern Italy during the Second Italian War of Independence. Louis's early years were spent either in the north of Italy or at Prince Alexander's two houses in Hesse, the castle of Heiligenberg in Jugenheim, the Alexander Palace in Darmstadt; because his mother spoke French to him and he had an English governess, he grew up trilingual. Among the visitors entertained at Heiligenberg were Prince Alexander's relations, the Russian imperial family, his cousin, Prince Louis of Hesse. Influenced by his cousin's wife, Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria, by Prince Alfred, another of Queen Victoria's children, Battenberg joined the Royal Navy on 3 October 1868 at the age of fourteen and thus became a naturalised British subject, he was admitted by the Board of Admiralty without the production of a medical certificate, contrary to the usual regulation. He had been found medically unfit "on account of small, flat chest, slight lateral curvature of the spine and defective vision", but was allowed to join so as not to disappoint the Queen.
He was entered as a naval cadet aboard HMS Victory, Nelson's old flagship used as a permanently moored receiving ship. In January of the following year, the Prince and Princess of Wales cruised the Mediterranean and Black Seas in the frigate HMS Ariadne; as part of the same tour, Louis accompanied them on a visit to Egypt, where they visited the construction site of the Suez Canal. As was traditional, the Khedive bestowed honours on the party, Louis received the Medjidie. In April, he received the Osmanie from the Ottoman Sultan. Louis returned to Britain in May 1869. In June he joined HMS Royal Alfred, the flagship of the North America and West Indies Station, becoming a midshipman in October. From June to September 1870 he took leave in Germany, coinciding with the Franco-Prussian war, but he spent the next three-and-a-half years in the Americas, where his tour of duty served to make up for the training he had missed while posted with the Prince of Wales on the Ariadne. Returning to Europe in early 1874, he was posted to the shore establishment HMS Excellent, passed the sub-lieutenant's examinations—gaining the best marks recorded at seamanship and joint best-ever at gunnery.
In 1875, again at the invitation of the Prince of Wales, he joined HMS Serapis, which conducted the Prince on an official tour of India, 1875–76. Louis sketched some of the events of the tour and his drawings were published in the Illustrated London News, he was promoted to lieutenant on 15 May 1876. The Prince asked Louis to stay with him at Marlborough House for the summer of 1876, but wishing to gain further experience at sea, Louis instead accepted an offer to join Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, as a lieutenant on board HMS Sultan. In addition to acting as the Duke's equerry, Louis continued his naval duties, he did not enjoy the position, as the Duke was rather touchy and Louis's cabin was infested with rats, one of which he caught with his bare hands as it ran across his chest as he lay in bed. The Sultan toured the Mediterranean from July 1876. In late February–early March 1878, Louis was still serving on the Sultan as it lay in the Bosphorus during the Russo-Turkish War
Alexandra Feodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia)
Alexandra Feodorovna, born Princess Charlotte of Prussia, was Empress of Russia as the wife of Emperor Nicholas I. Charlotte was born the eldest surviving daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia, Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, her childhood was marked by the Napoleonic wars and the death of her mother when she was twelve years old. In 1814, her marriage was arranged for political reasons with Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich of Russia, the future Tsar Nicholas I, they married on 1 July 1817. Upon her marriage, Charlotte converted to Russian Orthodoxy, took the Russian name Alexandra Feodorovna. Ideally matched with her husband, she had a happy marriage. At the death of her brother-in-law, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, in December 1825, Alexandra's husband became the new Russian emperor. Alexandra enjoyed her husband's confidence in affairs of state, but she had no interest in politics other than her personal attachment to Prussia, her native country, she was the admiring supporter of her husband's views.
Her personality was overshadowed by Nicholas I's strong character. As empress, Alexandra Feodorovna had no interest in charity work, her chief interests were in family affairs, dancing and jewels. After 1841 her health deteriorated, she spent long sojourns abroad in search for a respite to her frail constitution. As she became an invalid, Nicholas I took mistresses, but Alexandra retained her husband's love, she survived Nicholas I by five years and died in 1860. Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was born as Princess Friederike Luise Charlotte Wilhelmine of Prussia, at the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin on 13 July 1798, she was the eldest surviving daughter and fourth child of Frederick William III, King of Prussia, Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a sister of Frederick William IV and of William I, German Emperor. She was known as Charlotte, a name popular in the Prussian royal family, nicknamed Lottchen by her family; the princess's childhood was marked by the Napoleonic Wars and she was raised under difficult financial conditions.
Her father was a kind, religious man but a weak and indecisive ruler who, following military defeats in 1806, lost half of his kingdom. Charlotte's mother, admired for her beauty and charm, was considered more decisive than her husband; when the Prussians were defeated at the battle of Jena, Louise fled to Königsberg, taking her children with her, Charlotte being eight years old. In East Prussia, they were given protection by Tsar Alexander I. "My daughter Charlotte is reserved and concentrated, but like her father, her cold appearance conceals the beating of her hot compassionate heart", wrote Queen Louise about her daughter. On 27 October 1806, Berlin fell under Napoleon’s control and Charlotte grew up in war-torn Memel, Prussia. In December 1809, Queen Louise returned to Berlin with her children, but after a few months, became ill and died of typhus at the age of 34, shortly after Charlotte’s twelfth birthday; as the eldest daughter, Charlotte was now the first lady at the court and had to undertake her mother’s duties.
For the rest of her life, Charlotte treasured her mother’s memory. In February 1814, Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich, future Tsar of Russia, his brother Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich, visited Berlin. Arrangements were made between the two dynasties for Nicholas to marry Charlotte fifteen years old, to strengthen the alliance between Russia and Prussia. Nicholas was only second in line to the throne, as the heir was his brother Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich who, like Tsar Alexander I, was childless. On a second visit the following year, Nicholas fell in love with the then-seventeen-year-old Princess Charlotte. Nicholas was handsome with classical features; the feeling was mutual, "I like him and am sure of being happy with him." She wrote to her brother, ``. Hand-in-hand, they wandered over the Potsdam countryside, attended the Berlin Court Opera. By the end of his visit, in October 1816, Nicholas and Charlotte were engaged, they were third cousins as great-great-grandchildren of Frederick William I of Prussia.
On 9 June 1817 Princess Charlotte came to Russia with her brother William. After arriving in St. Petersburg she converted to Russian Orthodoxy, took the Russian name "Alexandra Feodorovna". On her nineteenth birthday, 13 July 1817, she and Nicholas were married in the Grand Church of the Winter Palace. "I felt myself very happy when our hands joined," she would write about her wedding. "With complete confidence and trust, I gave my life into the hands of my Nicholas, he never once betrayed it." At first, Alexandra Feodorovna had problems adapting to the Russian court, the change of religion affected her and she was overwhelmed by her new surroundings. She gained the favor of her mother-in-law, Maria Feodorovna, but did not get along well with the Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna, consort of her brother-in-law. "I was weak pale and interesting-looking", she recalled later. Pregnant with her first child, Alexandra traveled to Moscow where, on 29 April 1818, she gave birth to her first son, the future Tsar Alexander II.
The next year, 18 August 1819 in Krasnoye Selo, she had Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. That summer, Tsar Alexander I announced to Nicholas and Alexandra his intention of abdicating during his lifetime and that Nicholas would succeed him since their brother Constantine intended to marry morganat
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna of Russia. He was a grandson of father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he began military training at an early age, was commissioned as an officer in the Greek army. His command positions were substantive appointments rather than honorary, he saw service in the Balkan Wars. In 1913, his father was assassinated and Andrew's elder brother, became king. Dissatisfaction with his brother's neutrality policy during World War I led to his brother's abdication and most of the royal family, including Andrew, was exiled. On their return a few years Andrew saw service in the Greco-Turkish War, but the war went badly for Greece, Andrew was blamed, in part, for the loss of Greek territory, he was exiled for a second time in 1922, spent most of the rest of his life in France. By 1930, he was estranged from Princess Alice of Battenberg.
His only son, Prince Philip, served in the British navy during World War II, while all four of his daughters were married to Germans, three of whom had Nazi connections. Separated from his wife and son by the effects of the war, Andrew died in Monte Carlo in 1944, he had seen neither of them since 1939. Prince Andrew was born at the Tatoi Palace just north of Athens on February 2, 1882, the fourth son of George I of Greece, he was taught English by his caretakers as he grew up, but in conversations with his parents he refused to speak anything but Greek. He spoke German, Danish and French, he attended cadet school and staff college at Athens, was given additional private tuition in military subjects by Panagiotis Danglis, who recorded that he was "quick and intelligent." He "became quite friendly" with fellow student Theodore Pangalos. Despite his near-sightedness, Andrew joined the army as a cavalry officer in May 1901. In 1902, Prince Andrew met Princess Alice of Battenberg during his stay in London on the occasion of the coronation of King Edward VII, his uncle-by-marriage and her grand-uncle.
Princess Alice was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, King Edward's niece. They fell in love, the following year, on 6 October 1903, Andrew married Alice in a civil wedding at Darmstadt; the following day two religious wedding services were performed: one Lutheran in the Evangelical Castle Church, another Greek Orthodox in the Russian Chapel on the Mathildenhöhe. Prince and Princess Andrew had five children, all of whom had children of their own. In 1909, the political situation in Greece led to a coup d'état, as the Athens government refused to support the Cretan parliament, which had called for the union of Crete with the Greek mainland. A group of dissatisfied officers formed a Greek nationalist Military League that led to Prince Andrew's resignation from the army and the rise to power of Eleftherios Venizelos. A few years at the outbreak of the Balkan Wars in 1912, Andrew was reinstated in the army as a lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, placed in command of a field hospital.
During the war, his father was assassinated and Andrew inherited a villa on the island of Corfu, Mon Repos. In 1914, Andrew held honorary military posts in both the German and Russian empires, as well as Prussian, Russian and Italian knighthoods. During World War I, he continued to visit Britain, despite veiled accusations in the British House of Commons that he was a German agent, his brother, King Constantine, followed a neutrality policy, but the democratically elected government of Venizelos supported the Allies. By June 1917, the King's neutrality policy had become so untenable that he abdicated and the Greek royal family were forced into exile. For the next few years, most of the Greek royal family lived in Switzerland. For three years, Constantine's second son, was king of Greece, until his early death from an infection due to a monkey bite. Constantine was restored to the throne, Andrew was once again reinstated in the army, this time as a major-general; the family took up residence at Mon Repos.
Andrew was given command of the II Army Corps during the Battle of the Sakarya, which stalemated the Greco-Turkish War. Andrew had little respect for his superior officers. On 19 September 1921, Andrew was ordered to attack the Turkish positions, which he considered a desperate move little short "of ill-concealed panic". Refusing to put his men in undue danger, Andrew followed his own battle plan, much to the dismay of the commanding general, Anastasios Papoulas. Relieved of his chief of staff, given a dressing-down by Papoulas, Andrew offered to resign his command but Papoulas refused; the Turks attacked and Andrew's troops were forced to retreat. Andrew was placed on leave for two months. In March 1922, he was appointed as commander of the V Army Corps in the Ionian Islands. Papoulas was replaced by General Georgios Hatzianestis; the Greek defeat in Asia Minor in August 1922 led to the 11 September 1922 Revolution, during which Prince Andrew was arrested, court-martialed, found guilty of "disobeying an order" and "acting on his own initiative" during the battle the previous year.
Many defendants in the treason trials that followed the coup were shot, including Hatzianestis and five senior politicians. British diplomats assumed that Andrew was in mortal danger. Andrew, though spared, was banished for life and his fam
House of Glücksburg
The House of Glücksburg, shortened from House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, is a Dano-German branch of the House of Oldenburg, members of which have reigned at various times in Denmark, Norway and several northern German states. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, King Constantine II of Greece, Queen Sofía of Spain and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are patrilineal members of cadet branches of the Glücksburg dynasty; the family takes its ducal name from Glücksburg, a small coastal town in Schleswig, on the southern, German side of the fjord of Flensburg that divides Germany from Denmark. In 1460, Glücksburg came, as part of the conjoined Dano-German duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, to Count Christian VII of Oldenburg whom, in 1448, the Danes had elected their king as Christian I, the Norwegians taking him as their hereditary king in 1450. In 1564, Christian I's great-grandson, King Frederick II, in re-distributing Schleswig and Holstein's fiefs, retained some lands for his own senior royal line while allocating Glücksburg to his brother Duke John the Younger, along with Sonderburg, in appanage.
John's heirs further sub-divided their share and created, among other branches, a line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg dukes at Beck, who remained vassals of Denmark's kings. By 1825, the castle of Glücksburg had returned to the Danish crown and was given that year by King Frederick VI, along with a new ducal title, to his kinsman Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. Frederick suffixed the territorial designation to the ducal title he held, in lieu of "Beck", thus emerged the extant Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. The Danish line of Oldenburg kings died out in 1863, the elder line of the Schleswig-Holstein family became extinct with the death of the last Augustenburg duke in 1931. Thereafter, the House of Glücksburg became the senior surviving line of the House of Oldenburg. Another cadet line of Oldenburgs, the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, consisted of two branches which held onto sovereignty into the 20th century, but members of the Romanov line were executed in or exiled from their Russian Empire in 1917, while the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg was abolished in 1918, although its dynastic line survives.
Neither the Dukes of Beck nor of Glücksburg had been sovereign rulers. Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the fourth son of Duke Friedrich of Glücksburg, was recognized in the London Protocol of 1852 as successor to the childless King Frederick VII of Denmark, he became King of Denmark as Christian IX on 15 November 1863. Prince Vilhelm, the second son of Crown Prince Christian and Crown Princess Luise, was elected King of the Hellenes on 30 March 1863, succeeding the ousted Wittelsbach Otto of Greece and reigning under the name George I. Prince Carl, the second son of Frederick VIII of Denmark, Christian IX's eldest son, became King of Norway on 18 November 1905 as Haakon VII of Norway. Christian IX's daughters, Alexandra of Denmark and Dagmar of Denmark became the consorts of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexander III of Russia; as a result, by 1914 descendants of King Christian IX held the crowns of several European realms, he became known as the "Father-in-law of Europe".
Christian IX's older brother inherited formal headship of the family as Karl, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. It is his descendants who now represent the senior line of the Schleswig-Holstein branch of the House of Oldenburg. Elimar I, Count of Oldenburg Elimar II, Count of Oldenburg Christian I, Count of Oldenburg Maurice, Count of Oldenburg Christian II, Count of Oldenburg John I, Count of Oldenburg Christian III, Count of Oldenburg John II, Count of Oldenburg Conrad I, Count of Oldenburg Christian V, Count of Oldenburg Dietrich, Count of Oldenburg Christian I of Denmark Frederick I of Denmark Christian III of Denmark John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg Alexander, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Frederick Louis, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Peter August, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Karl Anton August, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Friedrich Karl Ludwig, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg The Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg constitute the senior male line of the branch.
They hold the headship by primogeniture of the cadet house of Glücksburg. The headship by agnatic primogeniture of the entire House of Oldenburg is held by Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein; the heir apparent is Friedrich Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1853, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg became heir to the Kingdom of Denmark, in 1863, he ascended the throne, he was the third son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, whose elder brother retained the Glücksburg dukedom. The Danish royal family call itself Glücksborg, using a Danicized form of Glücksburg; the heir apparent is Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, who belongs agnatically to the Monpezat family. See the present line of succession. Although there are no more male members of the dynastic line of Glũcksburgs domici