The royal weddings that shaped European history

  • Loading...
  • Published on:  Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • To Queen Victoria, marriages were about strategic alliances.Correction: At 5:38, the map of post-war Germany is missing eastern Prussia. The borders of Austria-Hungary should also include portions of northern Serbia and southern Poland.Subscribe to our channel! video was produced in collaboration between Vox and BBCThree.Over the course of her 63-year reign, Queen Victoria strategically planned marriages to place her descendants in royal families all over Europe. In doing so, she created one of the most remarkable royal families in history. By the early 19th century, Europe had been at war for decades. After the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars killed millions, European leaders came together to restore peace by reshaping major states for a new balance of power. Great Britain went on to become one of the strongest states. And years later, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert came up with a plan to maintain that political power — they married their children to monarchs across Europe. By the 1880s Queen Victoria’s children were in several important branches of Europe’s monarchies. The royal unions didn't play out as Queen Victoria planned, but she continued to make more matches anyway. She had 42 grandchildren, and these 7 ended up on royal thrones. Her grandchildren would end up on the thrones of Britain, Russia, Germany, Romania, Norway, and Spain leading up to the most destructive war Europe had ever seen. To truly understand the international conflicts and trends shaping our world you need a big-picture view. Video journalist Sam Ellis uses maps to tell these stories and chart their effects on foreign is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:


  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +550

    This is the second of three videos we're doing in collaboration with BBC Three, all about royal weddings! Watch the first one, that breaks down all the basics, here:

  • Venom
    Venom  a years ago +2999

    Keeping Up With The Victorians

  • Dawud G Delves
    Dawud G Delves  a years ago +3689

    Queen Victoria was the first Kris Jenner.

  • Mobile Legends Pampanga
    Mobile Legends Pampanga  a years ago +2445

    World war 1 = family feud

  • Daniel Read
    Daniel Read  a years ago +2780

    So basically you're telling me... queen victoria was a pimp?

  • Oktodenn
    Oktodenn  a years ago +3322

    Victoria clearly plays a bit to much Crusader Kings II

  • Justin Y.
    Justin Y.  a years ago +2505

    Ironically the US is more fascinated about the Royals than the British are

  • Andrew Farrell
    Andrew Farrell  a years ago +483

    You left out the personal messages between Kaiser Wilhelm and Tzar Nickolas as they called each other by their boyhood names Willy and Nicky and tried to stop the war.

  • Maz S
    Maz S  a years ago +1192

    I think Victoria Beckham deserves the title "former spice girl" over David Beckham's wife thank you

  • wizard 22
    wizard 22  a years ago +709

    Queen Victoria, the ultimate shipper who shipped her children with people from different countries with different cultures, in an effort to bring peace to Europe.

  • Gray fox
    Gray fox  a years ago +627

    Damn Queen Victoria is Littlefinger of game of throne

  • Lashan
    Lashan  a years ago +1999

    Damn the politics of old royalty is fascinating. Kinda tragic how a gambit to try and bring about peace ended up failing as catastrophically as possible.

  • Kaiser Wilhelm's mustache
    Kaiser Wilhelm's mustache  a years ago +177

    Ww1 aka the greatest family dispute in history.

  • Enthused Norseman
    Enthused Norseman  a years ago +381

    When I was in Russia, I visited the Norwegian embassy, where they keep a letter from the last Russian tsar adressed to the first (independent) Norwegian king, written sometime before the 1st world war. The Russian tsar refers to him as a cousin (I'm not sure if they literally were cousins, but I believe they were related), and expresses great concern for him since he's become the monarch of such a small and poor nation and the royal facilities are so limited (palace, etc.). All of this was in English - the language they both knew, and they seemed to refer to each other with Anglicized names.
    A few years later, the Russian tsar was dead, and the Russian Empire was gone. The Norwegian royal family is still here. That letter is really interesting in hindsight.

  • Random Guy
    Random Guy  a years ago +232

    But it's kind of amusing to remember that the British Royal family was a german dynasty and only changed their name once the first world war started.

  • The Cheaterman
    The Cheaterman  a years ago +465


  • Aedar18
    Aedar18  a years ago +68

    I don't know much about her personality but if she were anything like my grandma and was still alive by 1914, she'd call her grandkids to London and whup their asses until they agreed to play nice :D

  • Tomas Dalton
    Tomas Dalton  a years ago +134

    Poor Tsar Simeon is in the same photo and doesn't get a mention. Where's the love for the Bulgarians?

  • João Pedro Nasser
    João Pedro Nasser  a years ago +92

    Vox and BBC ? Best Anime crossover !

  • Clement Lee
    Clement Lee  a years ago +89

    Queen Victoria is truly the grandmother of Europe.