Friday, October 25, 2013

October Program Review - Queen Victoria's Family Tree

Jim Wells presented "Queen Victoria and the Royal Houses of Europe" at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on 23 October 2013 at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.  Jim is a numismatist and a historian, and it is a fascinating combination.

In his presentation, Jim outlined the ancestry and descendants of Queen Victoria (1819-1901), who reigned over Great Britain from 1838 to 1901 - 63 years.  Victoria was in the Hanover line of British monarchs that started with George I in the early 1700s.  In 1840, she married Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha (1819-1861), one of her first cousins, and they had nine children and 40 grandchildren.  One of her sons, Edward VII, became King of Great Britain after her death.  The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is one of Victoria's second great-granddaughters.

The other eight of Victoria's children married and had children, and many of them were part of Europe's royal families.  During the presentation, Jim showed the marriages, the children, and the royal lines that resulted by intermarriage with other European families in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Russia, Romania, Spain and Yugoslavia.  Several of the families resulted from intermarriage between cousins descended from Queen Victoria.  From the beautifully done charts, the attendees received a great lesson in how all of the royal families of Europe are related.  For each family, he also showed the coinage that depicted the royal families, right down to the commemorative coin released on 23 October for George, the new son of William and Kate (one of Victoria's 5th great-grandson).

In all, 33 of Queen Victoria's descendants have ruled as monarchs, and five are currently ruling European countries now.  

In addition, there are several cousins of Queen Victoria who are monarchs of current European countries.  Jim had an interesting photograph showing eight descendants or cousins of Queen Victoria meeting in 2013:  Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain; King Juan Carlos of Spain; King Albert II of Belgium; King Harald V of Norway; King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; King Henri of Luxembourg; Queen Margrethe II of Denmark; Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.  

The descendants of Queen Victoria can be found in the "Descendants of Queen Victoria" family tree at  This site has narrative about each descendant, often with pictures of the persons.

This was a fascinating presentation and everyone attending learned about the royal houses of Europe.

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