Thought for the day

"Arms are the only true badges of liberty.  The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave." -- Andrew Fletcher 1698



In May 1910, European royals gathered in London for the funeral of King Edward VII. Among those mourning were the nine reigning kings who were photographed together, which may be the only photograph of the nine kings ever taken. Of the nine sovereigns depicted, four would be deposed and one would be assassinated.


Within five years, Britain and Belgium would be at war with Germany and Bulgaria. Of the nine monarchies shown in the photo, only five still exist today.


Oddly enough, the four sovereigns whose monarchies would not last until the twentieth century (Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany and Greece) all stood together. Today it would not be possible to photograph nine reigning European kings, as only seven kingdoms remain, two of which are currently headed by queens.



Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Helens and King Albert I of Belgium.

Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.


There are many family relationships in that picture. For example, Frederick VIII of Denmark (bottom right) was the father of Haakon VII of Norway (top left), while Wilhelm II of Germany (top, third from right) was the first cousin of both George V of the United Kingdom (bottom center). ), and Queen Maud of Norway who was the wife of Haakon VII of Norway and the sister of George V of the United Kingdom - who made Haakon VII of Norway and brother-in-law George V of the United Kingdom.