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It was an extraordinary set of sovereigns reigning in 1713. Their doyen was Louis XIV, who for half a century had dominated European politics in a way few have before or since, and none for so long. Next most senior of their number was Peter the Great, who through a mixture of imagination, daring, force of personality and sheer brutal ruthlessness had propelled his vast country into the orbit of modern European society, from which it had long been remote and secluded. Next after him was his great foe Karl XII, perhaps the most famous of Sweden’s kings after Gustavus Adolphus.

He spent half of his life and most of his reign, which began when he was not quite fifteen, at war and at the head of his armies. Still only just turned eighteen when he first led his armies triumphantly to battle, by the time he was twenty he was a seasoned general with a sheaf of victories to his name. Then he suffered a string of vicissitudes that took him all the way across Europe to spend five years in exile in Turkey, first the Sultan’s honoured guest and later his prisoner. When he eventually returned to Sweden it was after an absence of 14 years, nine on campaign and then the five in Turkey. Four years later he was dead, killed while besieging a Norwegian fortress.

There were other notable monarchs in the group, too. Felipe V, first Bourbon King of Spain, progenitor of the line that reigns there today. Anne, last Stuart to reign in these isles. Her reign may have been brief and she perhaps not the most attractive or impressive of personalities (though she had a great ability to charm the common people, who adored her – it was those who actually knew her that were not always so keen), but it was marked by great and significant changes and also by a string of military triumphs unparalleled in our history.

Karl VI, the last male Habsburg. August II, remembered as Augustus the Strong literally on account of his immense physical strength, and perhaps also on account of his reputed fathering of over 300 children, all but one illegitimate. He is not remembered with favour in Poland, the crown of which he obtained in an election of somewhat dubious probity, but is in Saxony, where he left a glorious architectural and cultural legacy, not to mention establishing the famous Meissen porcelain manufacture. Friedrich Wilhelm I, a man who behaved barbarously and horribly to his family and indeed all those around him, yet was an outstanding administrator and a good king to his subjects, laying both the economic and military foundations from which his son Frederick the Great (who bitterly hated him, with reason, a feeling amply returned) was able to raise Prussia to be one of the Powers.

Last to come to reign as a king, though he had long been the sovereign Duke of Savoy, was Vittorio Amadeo II, whose elevation to King of Sicily (later exchanged for Sardinia) was one of the consequences of the Utrecht treaties. It was also a consequence of his guile and craft, always striving to make the best use of the weak hand he held. He was famous for never once ending a war on the side he started on, but such duplicity was understandable given the strategic situation of Savoy, and was all part of the way he managed to achieve the long-held ambition of his house and erect his domains into a sovereign kingdom.

The first of the several treaties of Utrecht was signed by Spain, the principally affected party, on the date chosen for these charts. Meant to resolve the issues that had led to the protracted War of the Spanish Succession, they largely did so but created other issues that continue to fester today. Best known of these is Gibraltar, which only yesterday I noticed Spain was yet again making hostile noises about. Somehow the status of the Portuguese territory of Olivenza, which Spain undertook in the treaties to return but to this day has not, does not seem to come up in the Spanish rhetoric.

There were many other consequences to the European and indeed world political map which can still be seen today, but these are long-accepted and uncontroversial. Uncontroversial is not exactly the word for the French Succession, over which probably more cyber-ink has been spilled in these forums than on any other subject, and the Utrecht treaties are at the heart of that dispute too. Hence the heading of this thread; in exchange for the peaceful enjoyment of Spain and the Indies for himself and his heirs, Felipe V renounced his and his heirs’ theoretical future right to succeed to France. When that theoretical possibility would have become real the renunciation was not honoured, so that the vacant throne has been disputed ever since.

Turning at last to the relationships of those occupying the thrones of 1713, these are set out in the usual three charts, followed by a table of combined statistics and a note on posterities. The charts show a similar pattern to 1789 and indeed 1815, the religious divide producing two closely related kinship groups only distantly related to each other, but there are some variations on this, as we are far enough back that the pattern is beginning to change.

Peter the Great was a member of neither kinship group, and only very distantly related to either of them. I had laboriously worked out the relationships for his father Alexis when originally preparing the 1660 chart, and could see no point in doing it all again, so merely added the appropriate number of generations to get those shown for Peter. His mother brought no ancestry that could link him to his fellow sovereigns, all his relationships were through his father, so I considered this a valid approach for relationships so remote that they can only be treated as examples anyway. They are relationships that he had (possibly: see the introductory note to the 1660 thread for an explanation of certain problems with the relationships of the father, which also affect those of the son), but the sovereigns of his day may have had additional descents to those of 1660 which created other relationships that are marginally nearer. I will never know, because I never intend to try to find out.

 An explanation of how to read the charts can be found here.


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Reply with quote  #2 
I: Relationships between the Catholic sovereigns of Europe at 13 July 1713, the day on which the Treaties of Utrecht were first signed by Spain
Reigning MonarchLouis XIVFelipe VJoão VAugust IIKarl VIVA II
Louis XIV of FranceGF3c1r AVB3c2r FIH1c1r F3S1c1r HIVF
Felipe V of SpainGS3c WVB5c FIH2c1r F3S
2c1r FIIH
1c1r VAIS
João V of Portugal3c1r AVB3c WVB2c1r JGIS1c PEP4c1r FIH
August II of Poland3c2r FIH5c FIH2c1r JGIS2c1r JGIS4c1r FIH
Karl VI, Holy Roman Emperor1c1r F3S2c1r F3S
2c1r FIIH
1c PEP2c1r JGIS3c FIIS
Vittorio Amadeo II of Sicily1c1r HIVF1c1r VAIS4c1r FIH4c1r FIH3c FIIS
Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria (1)Felipe III of Spain (2)Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (4)
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1)Felipe II of Spain (1)Henri IV of France (1)
Johann Georg I, Elector of Saxony (2)Philipp Wilhelm, Elector Palatine (1)Vittorio Amadeo I, Duke of Savoy (1)
Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria (1)  
Most connections formed:FIH (4)F3S, JGIS (2)Others (1)

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Reply with quote  #3 
II: Relationships between the Protestant* sovereigns of Europe at 13 July 1713, the day on which the Treaties of Utrecht were first signed by Spain
Reigning MonarchPeter IKarl XIIFrederik IVAnneFW I
Peter I of Russia10c5r MGK10c5r MGK10c3r MGK10c4r MGK
Karl XII of Sweden10c5r MGK1c F3D3c FIID2c GBL
Frederik IV of Denmark & Norway10c5r MGK1c F3D3c FIID2c GBL
2c GWB
Anne of Great Britain10c3r MGK3c FIID3c FIID2c1r JIE
Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia10c4r MGK2c GBL2c GBL
2c GWB
2c1r JIE
*including one Orthodox     
Frederik III of Denmark and Norway (1)Frederik II of Denmark and Norway (2)Georg, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (2)
Georg Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg (1)James I/VI of England and Scotland (1)Mikhail, Grand Prince of Kiev
Relationships through MGK are examples only, merely intended to show that a relationship existed between the Emperor Peter I and his fellow sovereigns and not claimed to be the nearest. They are accordingly excluded from all statistics.
Most connections formed:FIID, GBL (2)Others (1)

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Reply with quote  #4 
Relationships of the Catholic with the Protestant* sovereigns of Europe at 13 July 1713, the day on which the Treaties of Utrecht were first signed by Spain
Reigning MonarchPeter I
of Russia
Karl XII
of Sweden
Frederik IV
of Denmark
of Gt Britain
F Wilhelm I
of Prussia
Louis XIV of France10c3r MGK3c2r FIH3c3r FIH1c1r HIVF3c3r FIH
Felipe V of Spain10c5r MGK5c FIH5c1r FIH2c1r HIVF5c1r FIH
João V of Portugal10c5r MGK3c JGIS
3c LVHD4c1r FIH3c LVHD
August II of Poland10c5r MGK1c F3D1c F3D3c FIID2c GBL
Karl VI, Holy Roman Emperor10c5r MGK3c JGIS
Vittorio Amadeo II of Sicily10c4r MGK4c1r FIH4c2r FIH2c HIVF4c2r FIH
*including one Orthodox     
Frederik III of Denmark and Norway (2)Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (11)Frederik II of Denmark and Norway (1)
Georg, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1)Henri IV of France (3)Johann Georg I, Elector of Saxony (2)
Ludwig V, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (6)Mikhail, Grand Prince of Kiev 
Relationships through MGK are examples only, merely intended to show that a relationship existed between the Emperor Peter I and his fellow sovereigns and not claimed to be the nearest. They are accordingly excluded from all statistics.
Most connections formed:FIH (11)LVHD (6)HIVF (3)F3D, JGIS (2)Others (1)

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Reply with quote  #5 
Combined statistics 1713
FIHFerdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor154-11AVBAlbrecht V, Duke of Bavaria11--
LVHDLudwig V, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt  6--  6FIIHFerdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor11--
HIVFHenri IV of France  41-  3FIISFelipe II of Spain11--
JGISJohann Georg I, Elector of Saxony  42-  2GWBGeorg Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg1-1-
F3DFrederik III of Denmark and Norway  3-1  2JIEJames I/VI of England and Scotland1-1-
FIIDFrederik II of Denmark and Norway  3-2  1PEPPhilipp Wilhelm, Elector Palatine11--
GBLGeorg, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg  3-2  1VAISVittorio Amadeo I, Duke of Savoy11--
F3SFelipe III of Spain  22--WVBWilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria11--

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Reply with quote  #6 

A note on posterities

Of the eleven sovereigns covered in these charts, nine have a posterity today. The exceptions are Karl XII, far too busy blazing his meteoric trail to get married and have a family, and Anne, who heartbreakingly was pregnant seventeen times but never had a child that lived past eleven. The consequence in both cases was a change of dynasty. Sweden passed ultimately from the Wittelsbachs to a junior Holstein-Gottorp line (junior for both Holstein-Gottorp and Sweden, but the senior line for both were expected to inherit Russia, which they did, so were ruled out for Sweden). Great Britain, which the twin kingdoms of England and Scotland became during Anne’s reign, and the still-separate kingdom of Ireland passed likewise to the most junior line that existed from James I and VI, first king of the three realms together, religion in this case being the reason for the exclusion of senior heirs.

For the other sovereigns I wasn’t going to do the usual table, on the grounds that it would just repeat the pattern for 1815 and 1789, but when I thought about it that was not the case. The further you go back the wider the spread of descent becomes, and 1713 is far enough back from 1789 for the effect to be noticeable, so here goes:

2013 sovereigns: descents from 1713 sovereigns with surviving posterity
SovereignLouis XIVPeter IFrederik IVFelipe VJoão VAugust IIKarl VIFW IVA IITotal
Henri 8
Philippe 8
Juan Carlos I   6
Hans-Adam II   6
Margrethe II      3
C XVI G      3
Elizabeth II       2
Harald V       2
W-A       2

It will be seen that there is more spread of descent from Friedrich Wilhelm I than from his grandson Friedrich Wilhelm II, in both Protestant and Catholic lines, and considerably more from Vittorio Amadeo II than from his great-grandson Vittorio Emanuele I, all Catholic sovereigns (with the inevitable exception of Albert II, who was omitted from the table as usual) being of the former’s descent while only Henri is descended from the latter.

A point to make about Louis XIV’s posterity is that while all four Catholic sovereigns are descended multiple times from his son Louis, the only one of his legitimate children to live to adulthood, Juan Carlos I, Henri and Philippe are also descended from three more children of Louis XIV. The piety of that monarch was notable, but not the morality, in matters sexual at any rate, and he had a large brood of illegitimate children by several different mistresses. The ones he seemed to prize most were the children of Madame de Montespan, a daughter of one of France’s most ancient and illustrious noble houses. Two of her own daughters were married at their father’s behest to princes du sang, the King’s own nephew the duc de Chartres, later d’Orléans, and Louis III, prince de Condé.

Several generations later Louis-Philippe I, last Bourbon to reign in France, was descended not only from these two but also from Louis Alexandre, comte de Toulouse, their full brother. In fact, being twice descended from the aforementioned duc d’Orléans he was descended four times from children of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. And King Juan Carlos in turn is descended twice from Louis-Philippe, giving him eight such descents, while being descended once only King Philippe has just that four. The first part is also true of Grand Duke Henri, but not the second. He has a further descent from the duc d’Orléans previously mentioned, Philippe II, this coming through his Austria-Este and Bourbon-Parma ancestry and raising his total to five.

To conclude, in the next post another table shows descent to today’s sovereigns from the top eight ancestors of those of 1713. Albert II got 50%, which I decided was a pass mark, so gets in this time. For the rest, the pattern is as before, but with a twist. The Catholics of today, Albert II aside, are descended from everyone. The Protestants all get the same score, but it is 6/8 rather than 8/8. The twist is that one of the ancestors the Protestants all descend from was Catholic, the Emperor Ferdinand I. He is the most recent Catholic sovereign to be a universal ancestor of European royalty, Protestant and Catholic alike, and we are far enough back that he is no longer masked by more recent Protestant ancestors.

In fact he dominates the statistics, not only holding first position but outscoring the second, third and fourth placed ancestors put together. As we travel back, he is the first Catholic after Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Egon VIII of Fürstenberg to link Protestant and Catholic sovereigns (not counting example relationships, or the exceptionally remote Christian I of Denmark and Norway in 1789 charts I and III), but will not be the last. In the next chart, for 1660, it is mainly Catholics that do so, and to rather peculiar effect if one is used to the pattern seen in this chart and all the ones leading back to it. But that will be seen and discussed further in the next thread.


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Reply with quote  #7 
2013 sovereigns: descents from 1713 ancestors with two or more  connections
E II GB    6
M II D    6
C XVI G S    6
JC I Sp  8
H-A II Li  8
H V N    6
H Lu  8
A II M      4
W-A N    6
P B  8

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Reply with quote  #8 

A couple of days ago the forum owner Theodore Harvey asked me what he admitted was the random-sounding question ‘What is the relationship between the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III and Queen Elizabeth II?’ He indicated that the reason for the question was something to do with Justin Bieber, and I decided to enquire no further about that but instead look into the answer.

Which was not going to be straightforward, as I explained to Theodore. I knew right away that the nearest connection would be through the Emperor Ferdinand I, who, a glance at the ancestry of Ferdinand III revealed, was the latter’s great-grandfather (also twice his great-great-grandfather, but only that first descent counts for the purpose of establishing a nearest relationship). It also revealed what I would have confidently asserted anyway, that the Queen is not descended from any of the other great-grandparents of Ferdinand III, just Ferdinand I and his wife Anna Jagiello.

However, she was not going to be descended from the royal couple (Anna died before her husband became Emperor) three times and in two different degrees. It was going to be many more than that (I guessed over a hundred, an overshoot as you will see), and in several different degrees. How to find the shortest chain and establish the nearest relationship? I decided not to try. Instead I looked to see who was the first British sovereign to be descended from Ferdinand I (excluding the five sovereigns following Charles I, from whom the Queen is not descended, though see the footnote), George III as it happens, and calculated the relationship by the shortest chain through him. The result was second cousin ten times removed, which with due explanation I presented to Theodore.

Later it occurred to me that it would not actually be too hard to do a proper job, and that I could then use it on this thread as an example of the ubiquity of descent from Ferdinand I. I needed only to consider the Queen’s paternal ancestry, as the late Queen Mother was not going to be a Ferdinand I descendant.* So I set to, and the result is the table below, counting and analysing the descents of the Queen’s paternal great-great-grandparents from the 16th-century Emperor. In the column headings, 7x should be read as 7x great-grandchild, and so on.

Column17x8x  9x10x11xTotal
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 11111124
Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland 361 10
Christian IX of Denmark 351 9
Landgravine Luise of Hesse-Cassel 4122 18
Duke Alexander of Württemberg 33  6
Countess Claudine Rhédey de Kis-Rhéde     0
Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge23   5
Landgravine Auguste of Hesse-Cassel27   9

Although 100+ was an overestimate as I said, the number is still large. And the point is that any person of mainstream European royal blood will have as many descents or more, so when two of these marry .… If I had worked out the figure for say Margrethe II of Denmark or Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, contemporary sovereigns with two royal parents, I would expect it to be two hundred apiece at least, and probably more. The Prince of Wales, a future sovereign with two royal parents, I would expect to be around that figure, and the Prince of Asturias to be a lot more again.

Having sufficiently demonstrated the ubiquity of descent from Ferdinand I, I will turn to the particular one that I worked out for Theodore. This final table sets out the short chain of descent from Ferdinand I to Ferdinand III, and the considerably longer one to Elizabeth II, with the relationship to Ferdinand III (from the fourth row after the headings on) shown generation by generation.

Line to Ferdinand IIILine to Elizabeth IIRelationship
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman EmperorFerdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor 
Archduke Karl of AustriaArchduches Maria of Austria m Wilhelm III, Duke of Jülich, Cleves and BergSiblings
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman EmperorDuchess Marie Eleonore of Jülich, Cleves and Berg m Albrecht Friedrich, Duke of PrussiaFirst cousins
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorDuchess Magdalene Sybille of Prussia m Johann Georg I, Prince-Elector of SaxonySecond cousins
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorAugust, Duke of Saxe-WeissenfelsSecond cousins once removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorDuchess Magdalene Sybille of Saxe-Weissenfels m Friedrich I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-AltenburgSecond cousins twice removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorFriedrich II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-AltenburgSecond cousins three times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorDuchess Auguste of Saxe-Gotha m Frederick Lewis, Prince of WalesSecond cousins four times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorGeorge III of Great Britain and IrelandSecond cousins five times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorPrince Adolphus of Great Britain and Ireland, 1st Duke of CambridgeSecond cousins six times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorPrincess Mary of Cambridge m Franz, Duke of TeckSecond cousins seven times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorPrincess Victoria Mary of Teck m George V of Great Britain and IrelandSecond cousins eight times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorGeorge VI of Great BritainSecond cousins nine times removed
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman EmperorElizabeth II of Great BritainSecond cousins ten times removed

As it turned out my choice was a lucky one, as (along with three others in the same degree) the chosen relationship was in fact the nearest. It would be nice if I could give myself a pat on the back for my unerring genealogical instincts, but it really was just pure luck.

* Actually she might have been, since Lady Elizabeth Stanhope, wife of the 4th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and an ancestress of the Queen Mother, was said to be the daughter not of her mother’s husband Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield, but her lover James, Duke of York, the future James II and VII and a great-great-grandson of the Emperor. As Lady Elizabeth having a royal father is just unconfirmed albeit contemporary speculation and cannot be treated as fact, I ignored this possible descent.


Posts: 6,567
Reply with quote  #9 
I remarked above that the Prince of Asturias would have many more descents from Ferdinand I than those shown for Elizabeth II. I was really only thinking of his all-royal ancestry, but in connection with something else I was working on I remembered the remark and concluded that it was somewhat dumb. He wouldn't have many more descents, he would have many times the descents; the Emperor had six children from whom lines can be traced to present-day royalty, but only one of these has extensive Protestant descent. All of them have extensive Catholic descent. You would expect a major Catholic prince to be descended from all six, over and over, and indeed the Prince of Asturias is. I grew intrigued as to what the scale of the difference might be, and worked it out.

Not for the Prince of Asturias himself, but for his father King Juan Carlos; he being the same generation as Elizabeth II the comparison is better. However, as his ancestry is royal on both sides I have shown his eight great-grandparents rather than, as with Elizabeth II, paternal great-great-grandparents. This distorts the comparison slightly as regards distance of descents, but the mental adjustment is easily made. Anyway, the table follows, which perhaps more people than me might find at least briefly interesting. The multiple by the way is 16.6, producing a fairly eye-watering total number of descents. To which the Prince's mother would add another couple of hundred at least, not that I propose to count them and ascertain that point also. As before, 8x should be read as 'eight times great-grandchild', and so forth. Links are to Genealogics ancestries.

Alfonso XII of Spain56815010619348
Archduchess Maria Cristina of Austria10425010 112
Prince Henry of Battenberg 196 16
Princess Beatrice of Great Britain and Ireland417121 34
Prince Alfonso of the Two Sicilies 10637916168
Princess Maria Antoinetta of the Two Sicilies55713911211324
Prince Louis Philippe of France 73646493
Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain7591086510249

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Reply with quote  #10 

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