THE THREE KINGS (THREE ROYAL COUSINS)
One aspect of the war upon which she remarks is the close connection among the three principal monarchs of the age, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany; King George V of England; and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. In fact, they were all cousins with each other: Wilhelm and George were first cousins, George and Nicholas were also first cousins, and Wilhelm and Nicholas were third cousins.
Wilhelm’s mother was the sister of George’s father; George’s mother and Nicholas’ mother were sisters from the Danish royal family. All three men were also fifth cousins, being equal descendants of King George II of England.The King versus the Kaiser: Royal rift that meant George V and Tsar Nicholas lined up against their German cousin in World War I.
Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the German kaiser (emperor) and king of Prussia from 1888 to 1918, was one of the most recognizable public figures of World War I (1914-18). He gained a reputation as a swaggering militarist through his speeches and ill-advised newspaper interviews. While Wilhelm did not actively seek war, and tried to hold back his generals from mobilizing the German army in the summer of 1914, his verbal outbursts and his open enjoyment of the title of Supreme War Lord helped bolster the case of those who blamed him for the conflict.
King George V of Great Britain was born on June 3, 1865, the unpromising second son of Edward VII. Initially, he sought a career in the British Navy, but the untimely death of his brother, Albert, placed him on the throne. He became king in 1910 and played an active role supporting the troops during World War I. Though lackluster in personality, he won the loyalty of the middle class and many in Great Britain with his steadfast dedication to his country.
Nicholas II was the last tsar of Russia. He was deposed during the Russian Revolution and executed by the Bolsheviks.
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born near St Petersburg on 18 May 1868, the eldest son of Tsar Alexander III. When he succeeded his father in 1894, he had very little experience of government. In the same year, Nicholas married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt (a duchy in Germany). They had four daughters and a son, Alexis, who suffered from the disease haemophilia.
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