Nine kings of Europe - and all related

the nine kings
the nine kings
Hampshire's Jimmy Gray and Roy Marshall walk out to open the batting at Burnaby Road in a 1950s match

PICTURE GALLERY: Memories of Hampshire cricket at Burnaby Road

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As it is the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War next year, I include this photograph of nine kings of Europe.

It was taken in 1910 and they are all mourners at the funeral of King Edward VII.

Believe it or not they are all related in one way or another and all, no doubt, were bred or married to, children of Queen Victoria.

Back row standing (l-r): King Haakon VII of Norway (Edward VII’s son-in-law to the late king); King Ferdinand of Bulgaria (second cousin); King Manual II of Portugal (cousin); Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany (nephew); King George I of Greece (brother-in-l); King Albert of Belgium (second cousin).

Seated (l to r): King Alfonse XIII of Spain (nephew-in-law); our own King George V (son); King Frederick VIII Denmark (brother-in-law).

Within four years most of these countries would be at war.

The Kaiser had given his uncle four beautiful Prussian stallions as a gift. They were kept by the Life Guards until the death of Edward.

Four years later at the outbreak of the war these wonderful animals were put down as they had a German bloodline.

It helped solidify German-phobia.

It was a pathetic act indeed to put down these faithful beasts of the late King.

Perhaps if these nine men had got their heads together and talked about events that were going on in Sarajevo, the First World War may not have happened.

It would be impossible to take a photograph such as this today as only seven kingdoms remain.