And now for something completely different - did you know that Huns occupied the British throne for 2 centuries?
Central Europe was officially known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation, Latin: Imperium Romanum Sacrum Nationis Germanicæ) by 1450.
After Queen Anne’s death, at the age of 54, George I ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Over fifty Catholics bore closer blood relationships to Queen Anne, but the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the throne, and George was Anne's closest living Protestant relative.
George was and remained unpopular in England throughout his life, partly because of his inability to speak English. His son George II succeeded to the throne on his father's death on 11 June 1727. His wife was another German: the Margravine Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach. George II died in 1760 and was succeeded by his son George III.
George III was King of great Britain and King of Ireland from 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he became King of the United Kingdom of Britaion and Ireland until his death.
He was concurrently Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and prince-elector of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover but he was born in Britain and spoke English as his first language.
You think this was the end of the Germans in Britain? No way! George was succeeded by two of his sons George IV and William IV, who both died without surviving legitimate children, leaving the throne to their niece, Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover. That wasn’t the end of the Germans either because her son King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
Victoria was German, of course - the daughter of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and the grandaughter of George III. Queen Charlotte of Wurtemberg was her aunt, and her maternal grandmother was Duchess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
The young Princess Victoria, as the only legitimate child of the fourth son of George III, became heiress presumptive after the death of George V in 1830. In 1837, William IV died from heart failure at the age of 71 and Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom at the tender age of 18.
And whom did Victoria marry three years later? Her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, another German. He was loved by the British but died at a very young age (42). Victoria and Albert’s story is well-known, but the reason the Irish didn’t like her is not: During the potato famine, Victoria donated 2000 Pounds to help Ireland. The Ruler of the Ottoman Empire offered 10,000 pounds, and Victoria asked him to reduce his offer to 1,000 so as not to embarrass her.
Another little-known fact is that Victoria and Albert’s first language was not English (German). In fact, English wasn’t even their second language (French) Victoria had a long reign as we know and died in 1901 at the age of 81. By her side was the first of her grandchildren: Wilhelm II, the German Kaiser during the first World War.
As her husband Albert had belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Victoria’s son and heir Edward VII became the first 'British Monarch’ of this new house. In 1910, George V became King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperoro of India until his death in 1936. He was the first British ruler of the House of Windsor, so you might think the Germans were finished at last.
But you’d be wrong. George V had created the House of Windsor from the British branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. You see, anti-German sentiment reached a peak in Britain in March 1917, when the Gotha G.IV, a German aircraft capable of crossing the Channel bombed London.
Gotha G.IV became a household name and King George V and his family were forced to abandon all titles held under the German Crown, and change German titles and house names to anglicized versions. They adopted the name Windsor by a royal proclamation in 1917. At the same time, Prince Louis of Battenberg adopted the surname Mountbatten.
Upon hearing that his cousin had changed the name of the British royal house to Windsor, German Emperor Wilhelm II joked that he planned to see Shakespear's play The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The two cousins had been previously photographed riding horses together in 1910 at the funeral of George's father, Edward VII, and again at Potsdam palace circa 1913. This is why the first World War has at times been called a family feud, albeit an incredibly bloody one for the millions of innocent people who perished.
We’ll skip the two Edwards and go straight to Queen Elizabeth II who was the daughter of King George VI, the son of King George V who created the House of Windsor from its German origins. And what does she do? She marries another German: Lieutenant Philip Mountbatton.
German, you say? Wasn’t he known as Phil the Greek? Yes, he was, but he was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His mother’s origins are clearly German, and Philip’s father hails from the old-familiar House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Not exactly Greek.
So Philip was a royal Prince of Greece and Denmark, and also a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Glucksburg. The standard practice for a prince was to adopt his family’s household name but Phillip did not do that and renounced these titles before his marriage to Elizabeth. He also adopted the surname of his maternal grandparents to become known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
There you go!
My thanks to Wikipedia for most of the information and images in this story