A couple of points on this thread that, though conscious of them, I didn’t make previously: first, I showed at some length that Edward III of England was a universal ancestor, thereby establishing the same for his mother Isabella of France, a second actor in the drama with which the thread opened. The same in fact is true of the third actor, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March.
Edward III could be ruthless but was not usually cruel or spiteful, and took no vengeance against Mortimer’s family. His title was attainted and his lands confiscated, but over the years they were slowly restored to Mortimer’s grandson and heir, another Roger Mortimer, and after he had distinguished himself fighting in the French wars the title was restored too. It passed to his son Edmund, the 3rd Earl, to his son Roger, 4th Earl, and his son Edmund, 5th Earl but childless, so the earldom passed through his sister Anne to his nephew Richard, 3rd Duke of York. His heir was Edward IV, who before his accession was 7th Earl of March, the peerage then being merged with the Crown and extinguished.*
The descent however was not extinguished. In the 1286 note on posterities, in connection with showing descent from William I of Scotland, grandfather of Alexander III of the same, Edward IV is shown to be a universal ancestor, and so therefore is Roger Mortimer. Now, there are people who believe the nonsense about Edward IV’s paternity advanced first by his worthless brother Clarence, then his wicked brother Gloucester. There was never the remotest evidence for its truth and plenty of evidence that it was a lie, and both men in fact withdrew the accusations (in Gloucester’s case, to make way for new lies about the legitimacy of Edward IV’s children).
However, people tend to believe what they want to believe, and evidence be damned; there would hardly be such a thing as a Richard III Society were that not the case. So for those people here is another route entirely from the original Roger Mortimer, bypassing Edward IV and going straight to Anna Jagiello, wife of the Emperor Ferdinand I and mother of all his children, so like him a universal ancestor.
The other point I wanted to make concerns an unusual feature of the ancestries of Edward III, Afonso IV of Portugal, Philippe VI of France and Alfonso IV of Aragón. All four great-grandfathers of each of them was a king. Not all that surprising, you might think, but actually this is rare, and I feel sure there was never before or since four monarchs at the same time with this distinction. Well, never since except when in 1337 Pietro II of Sicily acceded, making another fourth to replace the departed Alfonso IV of Aragón. The table below lists all the occurrences I can think of, and while I don’t suppose I have caught every single instance you do get an idea of how rare it is. Incidentally, while Maria II da Gloria of Portugal and Pedro II of Brazil were siblings, the aforementioned Alfonso IV of Aragón and Pietro II of Sicily were not, but rather double first cousins.
|#||Monarch||Realm||From||To||Great-grandfather 1||Great-grandfather 2||Great-grandfather 3||Great-grandfather 4|
|1||Louis V ||France||986||987||Charles III of France||Heinrich I of Germany||Hugh of Italy||Rudolf II of Burgundy|
|2||Alfonso X||Castile||1252||1284||Ferdinand II of León||Alfonso VIII of Castile||Friedrich I, HR Emperor|| Isaac II Angelos, E Emperor|
|3||Sancho IV||Castile||1284||1296||Alfonso IX of León||Philipp of Germany||Pero II of Aragón||András II of Hungary|
|4||Margaret I||Scotland||1286||1290||Haakon IV of Norway||Erik IV of Denmark||Alexander II of Scotland||Henry III of England|
|5||Jean I||France||1316||1316||Philippe III of France||Henri I of Navarre||Charles II of Naples||Rudolf I of Germany|
|6||Afonso IV||Portugal||1325||1357||Afonso II of Portugal||Alfonso X of Castile||Chaime I of Aragón||Manfred of Sicily|
|7||Edward III ||England||1327||1377||Henry III of England||Fernando III of Castile||Philippe III of France||Henri I of Navarre|
|8||Alfonso IV||Aragón||1327||1336||Chaime I of Aragón||Manfred of Sicily||Charles I of Naples||István V of Hungary|
|9||Philippe VI||France||1328||1350||Louis IX of France||Chaime I of Aragón||Charles I of Naples||István V of Hungary|
|10||Pietro II||Sicily||1337||1352||Chaime I of Aragón||Manfred of Sicily||Charles I of Naples||István V of Hungary|
|11||Juan II||Castile||1406||1454||Enrique II of Castile||Pero IV of Aragón||Edward III of England||Pedro of Castile|
|12||Felipe III||Spain||1598||1621||Juana I of Spain||Manoel I of Portugal||Ferdinand I, HR Emperor||Karl V, HR Emperor|
|13||João VI||Portugal||1816||1826||Pedro II of Portugal||Leopold I, HR Emperor||João V of Portugal||Felipe V of Spain|
|14||Maria II||Portugal||1826||1853||Maria I of Portugal||Carlos IV of Spain||Leopold II, HR Emperor||Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies|
|15||Pedro II||Brazil||1831||1889||Maria I of Portugal||Carlos IV of Spain||Leopold II, HR Emperor||Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies|
The qualification for inclusion is to have four separate great-grandparents who were Emperors, Kings, or Empresses or Queens regnant (the latter two count as honorary great-grandfathers in the table). ‘Separate’ covers four other cases I can think of, the Emperors Rudolf II and Matthias (who were brothers), Fernando VII of Spain and the present King of Norway, all of whose great-grandfathers were Kings or Emperors, but not all four, as in every case one repeats so they only had three. And another four who went further, Pedro I of Castile, Sebastião of Portugal, Ferdinand I of Austria and Alfonso XII of Spain; all their great-grandfathers were either Kings or Emperors, but they only had two great-grandfathers.
I was a bit dubious about Felipe III of Spain, as the last two of his listed great-grandparents were sons of the first, but still allowed him in along with João VI of Portugal, whose third great-grandparent was the first's son. Well, that’s it. I’ve listed 15 cases, plus another eight that could be included if you’re not picky. That really is not a lot considering all the monarchs there have been, and while I’m sure the number could be increased (if anyone can think of other examples please say, and I’ll gladly add them to the table) I still think four at the same time was remarkable, and worth pointing out.
* It was later recreated several times, and is currently held by the Duke of Richmond, whose heir uses it as a courtesy title.