Nine Kings 1910

In May 1910, European royalty gathered in London for the funeral of King Edward VII. Among the mourners were nine reigning kings, who were photographed together in what very well may be the only photograph of nine reigning kings ever taken. Of the nine sovereigns pictured, four would be deposed and one assassinated. Within five years, Britain and Belgium would be at war with Germany and Bulgaria. Only five of the nine monarchies represented still exist today: Norway, Spain (thanks to a restoration after nearly half a century without a king), the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Belgium. Oddly, the four sovereigns whose monarchies would not survive the twentieth century (Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, and Greece) all stood together. It would not be possible to take a photograph of nine reigning European kings today, as there are only seven kingdoms remaining, two of which are currently headed by queens regnant.


Standing, L-R: King Haakon VII of Norway, King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, King Manuel II of Portugal, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (King of Prussia), King George I of Greece, King Albert I of Belgium.
Seated, L-R: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom, King Frederik VIII of Denmark.

The Nine Kings in order of seniority:
CountrySovereignBornReignedDied
Greece King George I 24 December 1845 27 June 186318 March191318 March1913
Spain King Alfonso XIII 17 May 188617 May 188614 April193128 February1941
Bulgaria King Ferdinand I 26 February 1861 7 July 18873 October191810 September1948
Germany Emperor Wilhelm II 27 January 1859 15 June 188818 November19184 June1941
NorwayKing Haakon VII3 Aug187218 November190521 September195721 September1957
Denmark King Frederik VIII 3 June 1843 29 January 190614 May191214 May1912
PortugalKing Manuel II19 March18891 February19084 October19102 July1932
Belgium King Albert I8 April 187523 December 190917 February193417 February1934
United Kingdom King George V3 June 18656 May191020 January193620 January1936


If the photo were to have been recreated exactly one hundred years later, in May 2010, with all heirs to the nine kings assembled and sitting or standing in the same places, the following individuals would have been required, in most cases no more than two generations removed:

Standing, L-R: King Harald V of Norway (grandson of Haakon VII), King Simeon II of Bulgaria (grandson of Ferdinand I), Dom Duarte Duke of Braganza (third cousin once removed of Manuel II), Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia (great-great-grandson of Wilhelm II), King Constantine II of Greece (great-grandson of George I), King Albert II of Belgium (grandson of Albert I).
Seated, L-R: King Juan Carlos I of Spain (grandson of Alfonso XIII), Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (granddaughter of George V), Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (great-granddaughter of Frederik VIII).

The Nine Kings' Heirs a Century Later, in order of seniority:
CountrySovereign (or Claimant)BornReign(ed) (or Inherited Claim)
Bulgaria King Simeon II 16 June 1937 28 August194315 September1946
United KingdomQueen Elizabeth II21 April 19266 February 1952
GreeceKing Constantine II 6 June 19406 March19648 December 1974
DenmarkQueen Margrethe II16 April 1940 14 January 1972
SpainKing Juan Carlos I5 January 193822 November 1975
PortugalDom Duarte, Duke of Braganza 14 May194524 December1976
NorwayKing Harald V21 February 193717 January 1991
BelgiumKing Albert II6 June 19349 August1993
GermanyPrince Georg Friedrich of Prussia 10 June 197625 September1994


European Sovereigns, One Hundred Years Ago (1910) (1908)
European Sovereigns, Today
European Sovereigns
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