Wilhelm II reigned as the King of Prussia and German emperor from 1888 to 1918. He is credited with promoting scientific innovation and building a blue-water navy, which strengthened Germany’s position as a great power. However, he was also responsible for getting his country involved in World War I, which eventually brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty’s rule.
Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1855 to 1881. He became known as Alexander the Liberator for his most significant reform, which was the Emancipation Reform of 1861. He is also credited with reorganizing the judicial system, abolishing corporal punishment, and imposing universal military service in Russia.
Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.
The King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for almost six decades, George III had a reign that was longer than those of any of his predecessors. His reign was marked by a series of military conflicts. He suffered from mental illness in his later years.
Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.
Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.
12 Edward VIII
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire for several months in 1936. He was also Emperor of India during this period. He served in the British Army during the First World War and became the king following his father’s death. However, he abdicated the throne only months into his reign.
Regarded as the first gentleman of England, King George IV of the United Kingdom saw his empire consolidating its position as the global hegemon, particularly after the Napoleonic Wars. His regency during the illness of his father and then his 10-year reign were marked by royal extravagance.
14 Ibn Saud
Ibn Saud, or King Abdulaziz, was the founder and first monarch of Saudi Arabia. He oversaw the discovery of petroleum and the subsequent oil production in his country. He annexed the kingdoms of central and northern Arabia and ruled for over 20 years. He sired countless children, including 45 sons.
Charles I of Austria reigned from 1916 to 1918 as the last emperor of Austria. He was the last king of Croatia, Bohemia, Hungary, and the last monarch from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Charles is remembered for making unsuccessful attempts to end Austria-Hungary's World War I campaign. He also tried to save the Austro-Hungarian Empire from disintegration but was unsuccessful.
Frederick III, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia and emperor of the German Empire from 9 March 1888 until his death on 15 June 1888. Although he played key roles during the Austro-Prussian, Second Schleswig, and Franco-Prussian wars, Frederick professed hatred for warfare and was willing to make the German Empire more liberal before his untimely death.
18 Wilhelm I
20 Napoleon II
Napoleon II was the son of Emperor Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise. He was the titular Emperor of the French for a few weeks in 1815. He was just a small child when he became the disputed emperor following his father’s abdication. He died as a young man before getting the chance to serve his nation.
Pedro II, son of the first Brazilian emperor, Dom Pedro I, is also remembered by his countrymen as the Magnanimous. He made Brazil prosper while other South American nations were torn apart by strife and clashes. Following his deposition, by a coup to overthrow the monarchy, he sailed to Europe.
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the son of King George I of Greece, served as a major general in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922. The Turkish forces recaptured Smyrna and Andrew was blamed for the loss of Greek territory. As a result, he was exiled from Greece and he lived in France where he died.
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy reigned as the king of Sardinia from 1849 to 1861. He then became the first king of a united Italy in 1861 and reigned as its king until his death in 1878. Since he played a major role in the Second Italian War of Independence, Italians started referring to him as Father of the Fatherland.
Nicholas I of Russia reigned as Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1825 to 1855. Nicholas I is remembered for his controversial reign, under which the Russian Empire achieved great geographical expansion. He also played a key role in creating an independent Greek state and was successful in ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.
28 Menelik II
Menelik II reigned as the emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913 after ruling as the king of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. He is credited with transforming the Ethiopian Empire by expanding his kingdom into Wolayta, Sidama, and Kaffa kingdoms. Fascinated by modernity, Menelik II played a major role in modernizing Ethiopia.
29 Mahmud II
Mahmud II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 to 1839. His reign was marked by the extensive military, administrative, and fiscal reforms which he initiated. The reforms that he initiated eventually led to the formation of the modern Turkish Republic. He is also credited with rebuilding a strong naval force for the empire.
Ferdinand I of Austria reigned as the Austrian emperor from 1835 until his retirement in 1848. As the emperor of Austria, Ferdinand also ruled as the king of Croatia, Hungary, and Bohemia. He also served as the king of Lombardy–Venetia and held several other lesser titles, which any emperor of Austria is entitled to hold.
Pedro I of Brazil was the founder of the Empire of Brazil and reigned as its emperor from 1822 to 1831. He also ruled over Portugal before abdicating the throne in favor of Dona Maria II. He is credited with spreading the liberal ideals that enabled Portugal and Brazil to move to representative forms of government from absolutist regimes.
Older brother of Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte, had been the king of Naples and Spain. After Napoleon’s fall, he was exiled to New Jersey, U.S. Later, in Europe, he lived a lavish life at Point Breeze, surrounded by all the wealth he had inherited, along with a classy collection of paintings.
Though completely blind since childhood, George V of Hanover, the only son of King Ernest Augustus, exerted his influence by constantly being at conflict with the Hanoverian parliament. His rejected of Prussia’s demands of unarmed neutrality led to Prussia’s invasion of Hanover. He spent his final years in exile.
Ferdinand VII of Spain reigned as the king of Spain during the 19th century. Widely regarded as despotic and incompetent, Ferdinand is often criticized by historians and scholars for having failed to disallow the disintegration of the Spanish territories in the Americas. Thus, he is often blamed for the termination of the Spanish rule in the Americas.
William III of the Netherlands was the king of the Netherlands for four decades from 1849 to 1890. The son of King William II and Anna Pavlovna of Russia, he ascended to the throne after the death of his father. The king’s behavior was often erratic, and it is speculated he suffered from a mental disorder.
38 Ernest II
Ernest II, the eldest son of Duke Ernest I, had been the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He was quite close to his brother, Prince Albert, consort to England’s Queen Victoria. Best known for his support of the German unification, he was also a skilled composer of operas and an avid sports lover.
William II took over as the king of the Netherlands after his father William I’s abdication. His reign witnessed the transformation of his country into a parliamentary democracy through the constitution of 1848. With F.A. van Hall as the finance minister, he helped his country attain a surplus.
William I of the Netherlands reigned as the king of the Netherlands from 1815 to 1840. Before declaring himself King of the Netherlands, William I had an influential career in the military. In 1790, he was made the Dutch States Army's general of infantry where he served under his father William V, who served as Captain-General.
Umberto I of Italy reigned as the king of Italy from 1878 until his death in 1900. His reign witnessed an attempted colonial expansion by Italy into the Horn of Africa, successfully annexing Somalia and Eritrea. Loathed by anarchists because of his approval of the Bava Beccaris massacre, Umberto I of Italy was assassinated by an anarchist named Gaetano Bresci.
Otto of Greece was a Bavarian prince who reigned as the king of Greece from 1832 to 1862. He was largely unpopular throughout his reign as he failed to resolve Greece's poverty. He was deposed in 1862 and died in exile in 1867.
Frederick William IV of Prussia was the King of Prussia from 1840 until his death in 1861. He was the eldest son of Frederick William III of Prussia and his wife, Queen Louise. He was a staunch Romanticist and was a patron of several great German artists. He ascended to the throne upon the death of his father in 1840.