Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne ruled as the king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and emperor of the Romans at different time periods. Not surprisingly, he had a major impact during the Early Middle Ages as he went about uniting the majority of central and western Europe, for which he is called the Father of Europe.
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.
Anne of Cleves was the Queen of England for 6 months in 1540, as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. Their unconsummated marriage deprived led to the annulment of the marriage, following which she received a settlement and came to be known as the King's Beloved Sister.
Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II, was the last Russian tsarina and reigned from 1894 to 1917. She suffered from hemophilia. Alexandra and her entire family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.
Victoria, Princess Royal was the Queen of Prussia and German Empress from 9 March 1888 to 15 June 1888. Victoria, Princess Royal had an opportunity to influence the German Empire's policy, but the death of her husband German Emperor Frederick III, just 99 days after his accession, ruined her opportunity. Victoria has been portrayed in several movies and TV series.
Empress Matilda was the daughter of King Henry I of England and one of the claimants to the throne of England during the 'Anarchy'. Her participation in the civil war and tales of bravery have been the subject of historical fiction. She has also been depicted in films, stage shows, and TV series.
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.
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha reigned as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld from 9 December 1806 to 12 November 1826. He oversaw the construction of many projects, including a court theatre, in Coburg. Ernest is also remembered for the educational, constitutional, and economic development of his territories.
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, known for his ruthlessness, not only united the German empire by crushing all rebellious vassals, but also put an end to the attacks by the Magyars of Hungary. His strategy of making the German bishops feudal lords helped his cause of stabilizing his empire.
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the king of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 to 1437. He also served as the king of Germany, king of Bohemia, king of Italy, and emperor of the Romans. Sigismund is best remembered for playing a key role in bringing about the Council of Constance, which ended the Papal Schism.
The Soldier King Frederick William I of Prussia is remembered for transforming his nation into a prosperous state. He was known for his simple lifestyle, as opposed to his father’s kingly excesses. His experience at the War of the Spanish Succession led him to strengthen Prussia militarily, too.
Charles the Fat reigned as the emperor of the Carolingian Empire between 881 and 887. During the same time period, he also served as the king of West Francia and Aquitaine, king of Italy, and king of East Francia and Alemannia. Although he was considered lethargic, Charles managed to reunite the entire Carolingian Empire after inheriting all of West Francia.
The only daughter of German emperor Wilhelm II, Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia became II Guard Hussar Regiment’s colonel-in-chief. She later became the Duchess consort of Brunswick by her marriage to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. Her memoirs were collated and published as The Kaiser’s Daughter.
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.
The queen consort of the UK and Hanover by her marriage to King William IV, Adelaide was also the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. She miscarried twice and lost 2 more children as infants, and the royal throne eventually went to Princess Alexandrina Victoria, who later ruled as Queen Victoria.
William I, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia from 1861 until his death in 1888. He also reigned as the first German emperor from 1871 to 1888. He is credited with overseeing the unification of Germany and establishing the German Empire. William's reign also witnessed the brilliance of Otto von Bismarck, who served as the former's minister president.
Ludwig II of Bavaria reigned as the King of Bavaria from 10 March 1864 until his death on 13 June 1886. He is best remembered for overseeing the construction of lavish palaces like Linderhof Palace, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Herrenchiemsee. This extravagance brought about his downfall as he was declared insane, which remains a subject of discussion.
Though he wasn’t a politically experienced ruler, Frederick William II’s reign as the king of Prussia proved to be beneficial for the country in terms of expansion. However, his excesses and his affinity for Protestantism made him unpopular. He patronized art and culture and even played the cello.
French princess Claude of France, who was the daughter of King Henry II of France, later became the duchess consort of Lorraine by her marriage to Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. She is known to have suffered from a club foot and a hunchback, traits she inherited from her mother, Catherine de' Medici.
The daughter of German emperor Frederick III, Princess Sophia of Prussia was also one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria through her mother. She later became the queen consort of the Hellenes by her marriage to King Constantine I of Greece. Following the National Schism, she spent her life in exile.
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.
Frederick I of Prussia reigned as the King of Prussia from 1701 until his death in 1713. He crowned himself in 1701 in Königsberg and proclaimed himself King in Prussia. A patron of learning and arts, Frederick I is credited with founding the Academy of Arts in 1696 as well as the Academy of Sciences in 1700.
Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine was a princess of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt and one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria. She later married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia and became well-known for her philanthropic activities. Following her husband’s murder, she became a nun and established a Moscow-based convent.
Frederica, princess of Hanover, Great Britain, Ireland, and Brunswick-Lüneburg, later became the Queen consort of the Hellenes, by her marriage to King Paul of Greece. Following the fall of the Greek monarchy, and the rise of a democratic republic, she was exiled in Spain, where she died following a cataract surgery.
Part of Germanic heroic literature and Norse mythology Brunhild was an Amazon-like princess who appears in works such as the epic Nibelungenlied and the Völsunga saga. Also described as a Valkyrie in some texts, she appears to have caused the death of a suitor who won her for someone else by deception.
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.
German princess Elizabeth Charlotte, also known as Madame Palatine, became the duchess of Orléans as the second wife of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. Interestingly, she converted from Protestantism to Catholicism just to get married to Philippe I. An ancestress of several royal families, she was also known as the Grandmother of Europe.
The son of Frederick William II, Prussian king Frederick William III mostly kept himself aloof from important decisions. He also hampered Prussia’s image by maintaining neutrality in the Wars of the Second and Third Coalitions. He mostly remained under the shadow of his wife, Queen Louise.
Louise of Hesse-Kassel was the Queen consort of Denmark from 1863 until her demise in 1898. Although she did not take an active part in state affairs, Louise's intelligence, psychological strength, and judgment were of prime importance as King Christian IX was dependent on these qualities of his wife. She also supported 26 different charitable organizations during her reign.
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 to 1493. He also ruled as the king of the Romans from 1440 until his death in 1493. Although he struggled to make prompt decisions, for which he was mocked during his lifetime, Frederick is now widely regarded as an effective ruler.
The only child of George William, the duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle, Sophia Dorothea got married to George Louis, the future King George I of Great Britain, who was also her cousin. She was imprisoned in the castle of Ahlden for infidelity for 32 years and eventually died in captivity.