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Kings and Queens
Modern Europe

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Belgium
Denmark
Greece
Italy
The Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
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Kings and Queens: Modern Europe

Using the term "modern" fairly loosely, this page covers kings and queens of continental Europe since the Middle Ages. Note that France and Russia (as well as England, Scotland and the United Kingdom) are covered on separate pages.

Note also that like many pages on this website, this one is not supposed to be comprehensive; it's just a collection of facts that I've heard asked about in quizzes (or that I think are likely to crop up).

Current European monarchs

This section probably tells you more than you'll ever need to know on this subject – but you never know when you might need to know who any of these people are.

Country Regnal name (and number) Born Acceded Heir apparent
Andorra Click to show or hide the answer 24 July 194912 May 2003N/A
Click to show or hide the answer 12 August 195415 May 2012N/A

Under the terms of an agreement dating back to 1278, sovereignty over Andorra has been shared since 1607 by the bishop of La Seu d'Urgell (a town in the Catalan Pyrenees of Spain) and the French head of state.

Belgium Click to show or hide the answer 15 April 196021 July 2013Elisabeth (b. 2001)
Denmark Click to show or hide the answer 16 April 194014 January 1972Frederik (b. 1968)
Liechtenstein Click to show or hide the answer 14 February 194513 November 1989Alois (b. 1968)

Prince Alois has been Regent of Liechtenstein since 15 August 2004.

Luxembourg Click to show or hide the answer 16 April 19557 October 2000Guillaume (b. 1981)
Monaco Click to show or hide the answer 14 March 19586 April 2005Jacques (b. 2014)

Prince Jacques has a twin sister, Princess Gabriella.

Netherlands Click to show or hide the answer 27 April 196730 April 2013Catharina–Amalia (b. 2003)
Norway Click to show or hide the answer 21 February 193717 January 1991Haakon (b. 1973)
Spain Click to show or hide the answer 30 January 196819 June 2014None

Felipe has two daughters, the elder of whom is Princess Leonor (born 2005). Leonor is the heir presumptive but, if Felipe has a son in the future, that son will become heir apparent and will replace Leonor as first in line to the throne.

Sweden Click to show or hide the answer 30 April 194615 September 1973Victoria (b. 1977)
United Kingdom Click to show or hide the answer 21 April 19266 February 1952Charles (b. 1948)

Further details of these monarchs, where I've come across anything significant, can be found below under History (except for Elizabeth II, who comes under Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain: Chronological and The Royal Family).

Belgium

1831–65 First King of the Belgians Click to show or hide the answer
1934–51 Controversial king of Belgium (but not a Nazi sympathiser) from 1934 and during World War II; abdicated 1951 in favour of his 20–year–old son Baudouin Click to show or hide the answer
1951–93 Abdicated for 36 hours in 1990 to avoid signing a law legalising abortion. Having no children, he was succeeded, on his death in 1993 aged 62, by his younger brother, Albert II (then aged 59) Click to show or hide the answer
1993–2013Succeeded his elder brother Baudouin, 1993; abdicated for health reasons in 2013, aged 79, in favour of his son Philippe Click to show or hide the answer
2013–Succeeded in 2013 after his father, Albert II, abdicated for health reasons Click to show or hide the answer

Denmark

936–958 First King of Denmark: reported son of the semi–legendary King Harthacnut (dates are approximate) Click to show or hide the answer
958–985/6 Click to show or hide the answer
986–1014 King of England 1013–14 Click to show or hide the answer
1014–18 Son of Sweyn Forkbeard, brother of Cnut Click to show or hide the answer
1018–1035 King of England 1016–35 Click to show or hide the answer
1035–1042 Initially rejected by the English, in favour of his half–brother Harold Harefoot, because he spent too much time in Denmark; succeeded Harold on the latter's death in 1040; succeeded in Denmark by Magnus the Good, King of Norway, and in England by his other half–brother, Edward the Confessor – son of Ethelred the Unready Click to show or hide the answer

When King Christopher of Denmark, Sweden and Norway died without issue in January 1448, the three kingdoms were separated; Count Christian of Oldenburg (a descendant of Eric V who ruled from 1259 to 1286) was elected to the Danish throne as Christian I. (Denmark was an elective monarchy; the king was elected by the nobility, who shared power with him.)

1448–1481 Father of Margaret of Denmark, the popular consort of King James III of Scotland Click to show or hide the answer

Christian I was succeeded in 1481 by his son John (a.k.a. Hans); John was succeeded in 1513 by his son Christian II, who was deposed ten years later in favour of his uncle Frederick, Duke of Holstein. Frederick's eldest son, like John's, was named Christian in honour of their father Christian I, and he succeeded his father in 1534 to become Christian III. His son was named Frederick in honour of his father, and so on.

Kings and Queens of Denmark

The names of the Danish kings continued to alternate between Christian and Frederick until 1972.

1912–47  Click to show or hide the answer
1947–72Succeeded by the eldest of his three daughters, Margrethe II Click to show or hide the answer
1972– Denmark's first queen for over 600 years: born 1940, succeded her father, Frederick IX Click to show or hide the answer

The heir apparent to Queen Margrethe II is Prince Frederik (born 1968); Fredrik’s firstborn (born 2005) is called Christian. So the sequence is set to continue, with Margrethe having replaced one Christian. (Margrethe I was was Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 1387 to 1412.)

Greece

1832–62Son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria; became the first modern King of Greece under the terms of the London Convention 1832, following Greece's hard–won independence from the Ottoman Empire. Deposed by the National Assembly Click to show or hide the answer
1862–1902Son of King Christian IX of Denmark; brother of Queen Alexandra (consort of Edward VII of Great Britain) and Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar), wife of Tsar Alexander III of Russia; grandfather of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; elected by the National Assembly following the deposition of Otto I; assassinated in Thessaloniki, for disputed reasons, by a lone gunman Click to show or hide the answer
1902–17
1920–22
Son of George I: abdicated in favour of his son Alexander, 1917, following the National Schism (over whether Greece should join World War I); restored by a plebiscite in 1920 following Alexander's death, but abdicated again in 1922 following defeat in a war with Turkey Click to show or hide the answer
1917–20 Second son of Constantine I: succeeded following his father's abdication, but died three years later of septicaemia after being bitten by a pet monkey (belonging to one of his stewards) when trying to intervene in a fight between another monkey and his German shepherd dog Fritz Click to show or hide the answer
1922–24
1935–47
Eldest son of Constantine I: joined his father in exile in 1917, but succeeded him following his second abdication in 1922; deposed 1924 following the declaration of a republic, but returned in 1935 after the monarchy was restored by a plebiscite. Left Greece during World War II; returned 1946, died without issue on April Fool's Day 1947 Click to show or hide the answer
1947–64 Third son of Constantine I: succeeded his eldest brother George II Click to show or hide the answer
1964–73 Last King of Greece: only son of Paul. Won a sailing gold medal at the Rome Olympics, 1960. Forced into exile following the Colonels' Coup in 1967; remained head of state in exile until 1973, when the junta abolished the monarchy; remained in exile in Rome Click to show or hide the answer

Italy

1805–14 Crowned in Milan; abdicated at the Treaty of Fontainebleau, when he was exiled to Elba Click to show or hide the answer
1861–78 The first king of a united Italy since the 6th century: previously (from 1849) King of Sardinia Click to show or hide the answer
1878–1900 Assassinated by anarchist Gaetano Breschi, two years after the massacre of 118 protestors (or over 400, depending on who you ask) in Milan Click to show or hide the answer
1900–46 Abdicated in 1946 in favour of his son Umberto II, hoping to strengthen support for the monarchy, one month before a referendum that resulted in its abolition; died in exile in Alexandria, 19 months later (December 1947) Click to show or hide the answer
May–June 1946Last King of Italy (left the country in 1946 following the abolition of the monarchy; died in exile in Portugal, 1983) Click to show or hide the answer

The Netherlands

1544–84 William I, Prince of Orange, first ruler of the Netherlands and leader of the revolt against the Spanish; great–grandfather of William III of England; known in English as (translation of the Dutch Willem de Zwijger) Click to show or hide the answer
1840–9 Fought in the British Army at Waterloo, where he was knocked from his horse by a musket ball to the shoulder – the spot marked by the Butte de Lion (Lion’s Mound), an artificial hill constructed in 1820 Click to show or hide the answer
1890–1948 Succeeded her father William III in 1890, aged 10; encouraged Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation in WWII, from exile in Britain; abdicated in 1948 in favour of her daughter Juliana; died in 1962 Click to show or hide the answer
1948–80 Succeeded in 1948 on the abdication of her mother Wilhelmina; abdicated in 1980 in favour of her daughter Beatrix; died in 2004 Click to show or hide the answer
1980–2013 Succeeded in 1980 on the abdication of her mother Juliana; abdicated in 2013 in favour of her son Willem–Alexander Click to show or hide the answer
2013– Succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, following her abdication in 2013 Click to show or hide the answer

Norway

1015–28 Seen as a harsh ruler, given to rough treatment of his enemies; killed by a peasant army at the Battle of Stiklestad; canonised one year later, he became the patron saint of Norway Click to show or hide the answer
1905–57Succeeded by his son Olav V Click to show or hide the answer
1957–91Succeeded by his son Harald V Click to show or hide the answer
1991–Succeeded his father, Olav V Click to show or hide the answer

Portugal

1394–1460 Prince of Portugal under whose patronage Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands and the Azores were colonised Click to show or hide the answer
1908–10 Last king of Portugal: fled to Gibraltar to escape the revolution, lived the rest of his life in exile in England; died at Twickenham in 1932 Click to show or hide the answer

Romania

1881–1914First king of Romania Click to show or hide the answer
1914–27Nephew of Carol I Click to show or hide the answer
1930–40 Son of King Ferdinand: renounced the succession 1925, settled in Paris with his mistress, returned to Romania 1930 and was proclaimed King; forced to abdicate 1940 by the pro–Nazi Iron Guard; went to Mexico, married his mistress 1947 Click to show or hide the answer
1927–30,
1940–47
Last King of Romania: succeeded his grandfather Ferdinand 1927, displaced on the return of his father Carol II from exile 1930, proclaimed king again on his father’s abdication 1940; overthrew Antonescu’s first dictatorship 1944; abdicated 1947 Click to show or hide the answer

Spain

Son of Kings of Spain or Portugal – especially one not heir to the throne Click to show or hide the answer

1556–98 Married Mary I of England, 1554 (she died 1558); sent the Armada to England, 1588 Click to show or hide the answer
1896–1931 Grandfather of Juan Carlos; abdicated 1931, after which Spain became a republic Click to show or hide the answer

Sweden

1611–32 Known as "The Lion of the North"; confirmed as a great tactical leader by his victory at the first Battle of Breitenfeld – the first major Protestant victory of the Thirty Years' War (1631); killed the following year during the Battle of Lützen Click to show or hide the answer
1950–73 Succeeded his father Gustav V Click to show or hide the answer
1973– Succeeded his grandfather Gustav VI Adolf. (His father, Prince Gustav Adolf, was killed in a plane crash in 1947 – three years before the death of Gustav VI Adolf – when Carl was less than nine months old) Click to show or hide the answer

Other

King of Ireland, 1002–1014: defeated the Vikings, but was himself killed — aged about 70 — at the Battle of Clontarf (1014); the cognomen refers to a cattle tax which he reimposed during his reign Click to show or hide the answer
Tsar of Bulgaria, 1918–43 (father of Simeon II) Click to show or hide the answer
Last Holy Roman Emperor (1792 – 1806); beaten by Napoleon at Austerlitz Click to show or hide the answer
King of Prussia 1740–86 – corresponded regularly with Voltaire. Built Sanssouci palace in Potsdam and is buried there Click to show or hide the answer
King of Poland who halted the Ottoman Turks at Vienna in 1683 Click to show or hide the answer
Bulgaria’s last Tsar, and the last head of any state to carry the title (acceded 1943 aged 6, monarchy overthrown 1946); also served as Prime Minister, 2001–5 Click to show or hide the answer
15th century prince of Wallachia, said to have provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula Click to show or hide the answer
Queen Victoria's eldest grandchild: eldest child of Princess Victoria, who was the eldest child of Queen Victoria (and married the Emperor Frederick III of Germany) Click to show or hide the answer
Last King of Albania (self–proclaimed in 1928, deposed by the Italians in 1939) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017