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The House of Hanover (the Hanoverians) is a Germanic royal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg ( ), the Kingdom of Hanover and the Kingdom of Great Britainmarker and the Kingdom of Ireland. It succeeded the House of Stuart as monarchs of Great Britainmarker and Irelandmarker in 1714 and held that office until the death of Victoria in 1901. They are sometimes referred to as the House of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Hanover line. The House of Hanover is a younger branch of the House of Welf, which in turn is the senior branch of the House of Este, with all three being offshoots of the ancient Saxon House of Wettin.

Queen Victoria was the granddaughter of George III, and was a descendant of most major European royal houses. She arranged marriages for her children and grandchildren across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe." She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father, Prince Albert. Since Victoria could not inherit the German kingdom and duchies under Salic law, those possessions passed to the next eligible male heir, her uncle Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale—the fifth son of George III. In the United Kingdom, after World War I, King George V changed the house's name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the currently serving House of Windsor in 1917. Both dynastic names are offshoots of the 800-plus years old House of Wettin.


George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, is considered the first member of the House of Hanover. When the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg was divided in 1635, George inherited the principalities of Calenberg and Göttingen, and in 1636 he moved his residence to Hanovermarker. His son, Duke Ernest Augustus, was elevated to prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Ernest Augustus's wife, Sophia of the Palatinate, was declared heiress of the throne of Great Britain (then England and Scotland) by the Act of Settlement of 1701, which decreed Roman Catholics could not accede to the throne. Sophia was at that time the senior eligible Protestant descendant of James I of England.

Hanoverian Monarchs: Great Britain and the United Kingdom

Ernest Augustus and Sophia's son, George I became the first British monarch of the House of Hanover. The dynasty provided six British monarchs:

Of the Kingdoms of Great Britainmarker and Ireland:

  • George I (r.1714-1727) (Georg Ludwig = George Louis)
  • George II (r.1727-1760) (Georg August = George Augustus)
  • George III (r.1760-1820)

Of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Irelandmarker:

George I, George II, and George III also served as electors and dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, informally, Electors of Hanovermarker (cf. personal union). From 1814, when Hanover became a kingdom, the British monarch was also King of Hanover.

In 1837, however, the personal union of the thrones of the United Kingdommarker and Hanover ended. Succession to the Hanoverian throne was regulated by Salic law, which forbade inheritance by a woman, so that it passed not to Queen Victoria but to her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. In 1901, when Queen Victoria died, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ascended to the UK throne as her son and heir, Edward VII, as son of her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, genealogically belonged to that House — asserting, thereby, that the name of the UK’s Royal House changed because the surname of his father was Edward VII's surname.

Kings of Hanover after the break up of the personal union

After the death of William IV in 1837, the following kings of Hanover continued the dynasty:

The Kingdom of Hanover came to an end in 1866 when it was annexed by Prussia.The 1866 rift between the House of Hanover and the House of Hohenzollern was settled only by the 1913 marriage of Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick.

Duchy of Brunswick

In 1884, the senior branch of the House of Welf became extinct. By House Law, the House of Hanover would have acceded to the Duchy of Brunswick, but there had been strong Prussian pressure against having George V of Hanover or his son, the Duke of Cumberland, succeed to a member state of the German Empire, at least without strong conditions, including swearing to the German constitution. By a law of 1879, the Duchy of Brunswick established a temporary council of regency to take over at the Duke's death, and if necessary appoint a regent.

The Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself Duke of Brunswick at the Duke's death, and lengthy negotiations ensued, but were never resolved. Prince Albert of Prussia was appointed regent; after his death in 1906, Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg succeeded him. The Duke of Cumberland's eldest son died of a car accident in 1912; the father renounced Brunswick in favor of his youngest son Ernest Augustus, who married the Kaiser's daughter, swore allegiance to the German Empire, and was allowed to ascend the throne of the Duchy in November 1913. He was a major-general during the First World War; but he was overthrown as Duke of Brunswick in 1918. His father was also deprived of his British titles in 1919, for "bearing arms against Great Britain".


The later heads of the House of Hanover have been:

see Line of succession to the Hanoverian Throne

The family has been resident in Austria since 1866; it has held courtesy titles since 1919.

List of members

See List of members of the House of Hanover.

Patrilineal descent

Patrilineal descent, descent from father to son, is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations, which means that the historically accurate royal house of monarchs of the House of Hanover was the House of Lucca (or Obertenghi, or Este, or Welf).

Descent before Oberto I is from [26538] and may be inaccurate.

This is the descent of the primary male heir. For the complete expanded family tree, see List of members of the House of Hanover.

  1. Richbald of Lucca, 700–761
  2. Boniface I, Count of Lucca, 725–785
  3. Boniface II, Count of Lucca, d. 823
  4. Boniface III, Count of Lucca, d. 842
  5. Adalbert I, Margrave of Tuscany, d. 891
  6. Adalbert II, Margrave of Tuscany, d. 915
  7. Gui de Lucca, d, 929
  8. Adalbert III, Margrave of Tuscany, d. 955
  9. Oberto I, 912–975
  10. Oberto Obizzo, 940–1017
  11. Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan, 970–1029
  12. Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan, d. 1097
  13. Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, 1037–1101
  14. Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, 1074–1126
  15. Henry X, Duke of Bavaria, 1108–1139
  16. Henry the Lion, 1129–1195
  17. William of Winchester, Lord of Lunenburg, 1184–1213
  18. Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1204–1252
  19. Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1236–1279
  20. Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1268–1318
  21. Magnus the Pious, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1304–1369
  22. Magnus II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1328–1373
  23. Bernard I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1362–1434
  24. Frederick II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1408–1478
  25. Otto IV, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1439–1471
  26. Heinrich, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1468–1532
  27. Ernest I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1497–1546
  28. William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1535–1592
  29. George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1582–1641
  30. Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, 1629–1698
  31. George I of Great Britain, 1660–1727
  32. George II of Great Britain, 1683–1760
  33. Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1707–1751
  34. George III of the United Kingdom, 1738–1820
  35. Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, 1771–1851
  36. George V of Hanover, 1819–1878
  37. Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 1845–1923
  38. Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, 1887–1953
  39. Ernest Augustus IV, Prince of Hanover, 1914–1987
  40. Ernest Augustus V, Prince of Hanover, b. 1954
  41. Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, b. 1983


  1. Picknett, Lynn, Prince, Clive, Prior, Stephen & Brydon, Robert (2002). War of the Windsors: A Century of Unconstitutional Monarchy, p.13. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 1-84018-631-3.
  2. In 1801, the British and Irish kingdoms merged, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  3. Picknett, Prince, Prior & Brydon, pp.13,14.
  4. Picknett, Prince, Prior & Brydon, p.14.

Further reading

  • Fraser, Flora. Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III. Knopf, 2005.
  • Plumb, J. H. The First Four Georges. Revised ed. Hamlyn, 1974.
  • Redman, Alvin. The House of Hanover. Coward-McCann, 1960.
  • Van der Kiste, John. George III’s Children. Sutton Publishing, 1992.

See also

External links

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