Monday, January 25, 2010

Reign over subjects who don't share your blood.

One of the curious things about today's European royals is how they have very little, if any at all, of the ethnicity of their respective countries in their blood.



This will be an ongoing series here at About Royalty where we'll analyze the ancestry of various European royals to see what comprises their ethnic backgrounds.





Our first contender will be HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.





His is an especially interesting case. The Duke of Edinburgh was born as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. He married the heiress presumptive to the British throne, and is the father of the man expected to become the next King of the United Kingdom.










Prince Philip:

(note: these are rough, broad estimations)

75% German

6.25% Polish

6.25% English

6.25% Danish

3.125% Dutch

3.125% Russian



How did we calculate these numbers, you ask? Let's take a look.



Prince Philip's father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, was the son of King George I and Queen Olga of Greece. George I was the son of King Christian IX of Denmark, and Olga was born a grand duchess of Russia, being a granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. However, the Danish royal family and the Russian imperial family were heavily German. Since the 17th century, the majority of the brides chosen by Russian tsars and grand dukes were extracted from German noble houses. The particular branch of the Danish royal family sired from Christian IX hailed from the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, again, predominantly German. Prince Andrew of Greece was roughly 75% German, 12% Danish, 6.25% Russian, and a sliver of Dutch through Queen Olga's maternal grandmother's line tracing back to the House of Orange-Nassau.



Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was the daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg (later Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford-Haven) and Princess Victoria of Hesse. Louis of Battenberg was descended from a morganatic branch of the German ducal house of Hesse: his father, Prince Alexander of Hesse, contracted a non-royal marriage with Countess Julia Hauke, (later created Princess of Battenberg), who was of German-Polish extraction. Princess Victoria of Hesse was the daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria's second daughter. Despite the British connection, Queen Victoria was almost wholly German through her father's lineage in the House of Hanover and her mother's bloodlines through the House of Saxe-Coburg.



Thus, from his parents' respective ancestries, we can conclude that Philip is predominantly German from both sides of his family, with a sprinkling of Danish and Russian blood (and a small sliver of Dutch) from his father, and a slice of Polish and English blood from his mother.



(PS- did you notice a distinct lack of Greek blood in Prince Philip?)

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