The four grandsons of King Christian IX were the kings of four different European states (Britain, Denmark, Greece, and Norway). His fifth grandson was the last reigning Russian emperor, Nicholas II.
Danish king Christian IX died on this day in 1906. His descendants were so dynastically intermixed that he is the ancestor of most contemporary European rulers. Namely, as many as six of Christian’s grandchildren were monarchs. Four were the kings of different European states (Britain, Denmark, Greece, and Norway), while his fifth grandson was the last reigning Russian emperor, Nicholas II. In addition, one of his granddaughters became a queen. Let us add that King George V of Great Britain simultaneously held the title of Emperor of India, which meant that two of Christian’s grandsons held imperial titles.
Christian IX belonged to the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty. He was actually of relatively humble descent, since he belonged to the younger branch of the Danish royal dynasty. He was originally not among those first in line to the throne, but outlived the male relatives who came before him. He became the Danish king at the age of 45.
The story of Christian IX’s descendants can be summarized as follows: his eldest son succeeded him as King of Denmark, while the younger was put on the Greek throne according to a deal between the European powers and after being elected by the Greek parliament. It is interesting that that younger son was elected as the King of Greece before his father became King of Denmark. Christian IX’s two daughters married very well. One became the British queen by marrying King Edward VII (the son of Queen Victoria). The second married Russian emperor Alexander III and became the mother of the last reigning Russian emperor – the mentioned Nicholas II.
Christian IX often took his numerous descendants-rulers in his palace in Denmark. Thus, it sometimes happened that many monarchs from all across Europe (Britain, Russia, Scandinavia, Greece) came together under one roof.