The royal weddings that shaped European history

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  • Published on:  Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • To Queen Victoria, marriages were about strategic alliances.

    Correction: At 5:38, the map of post-war Germany is missing eastern Prussia. The borders of Austria-Hungary should also include portions of northern Serbia and southern Poland.

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    This video was produced in collaboration between Vox and BBCThree.

    Over the course of her 63-year reign, Queen Victoria strategically planned marriages to place her descendants in royal families all over Europe. In doing so, she created one of the most remarkable royal families in history.

    By the early 19th century, Europe had been at war for decades. After the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars killed millions, European leaders came together to restore peace by reshaping major states for a new balance of power. Great Britain went on to become one of the strongest states. And years later, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert came up with a plan to maintain that political power — they married their children to monarchs across Europe. By the 1880s Queen Victoria’s children were in several important branches of Europe’s monarchies.

    The royal unions didn't play out as Queen Victoria planned, but she continued to make more matches anyway. She had 42 grandchildren, and these 7 ended up on royal thrones. Her grandchildren would end up on the thrones of Britain, Russia, Germany, Romania, Norway, and Spain leading up to the most destructive war Europe had ever seen.

    To truly understand the international conflicts and trends shaping our world you need a big-picture view. Video journalist Sam Ellis uses maps to tell these stories and chart their effects on foreign policy. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vox

     (May 17, 2018)

    This is the second of three videos we're doing in collaboration with BBC Three, all about royal weddings! Watch the first one, that breaks down all the basics, here:

  • golden chariot

     (Nov 27, 2018)

  • Dawud G Delves

     (May 17, 2018)

    Queen Victoria was the first Kris Jenner.

  • K.Rai28

     (Feb 9, 2019)

    +Martin Amarilla r/wooosh

  • Here_We_Go_Again2

     (Jan 17, 2019)

    Dynastic marriages have been the norm forroyal families for millennia. Kris Jenner is more akin to the manipulatingmistresses of the royals.

  • Venom

     (Jun 1, 2018)

    Keeping Up With The Victorians

  • Stephanie Logan

     (Jan 6, 2019)

    Would've been a much better program.

  • Ewan’s Here

     (Jan 5, 2019)

    Venom 😂😂

  • Oktodenn

     (May 17, 2018)

    Victoria clearly plays a bit to much Crusader Kings II

  • Simple Maker

     (Dec 5, 2018)

    +merchantfanOH LMAO

  • Simple Maker

     (Dec 5, 2018)

    Well, turns out... there's this game called Victoria II, made by Paradox Interactivelol

  • Daniel Read

     (May 17, 2018)

    So basically you're telling me... queen victoria was a pimp?

  • Lily 'Happ' Wilson

     (Oct 27, 2018)

    A pimp for marriage

  • Salokin

     (May 17, 2018)

    Ah European monarchs, United in incest

  • Brendan Carrick

     (Jan 27, 2019)

    Martina Daly maybe you should go sing ‘The Internationale’ and go preach your communist bullshit somewhere else, cause the overwhelming majority of people will disagree with you

  • Neph Neph

     (Jan 27, 2019)

    +Brett Sylvester what?Are you crazy?Where in Africa people marry their cousin?

  • Filipino 8D songs

     (May 17, 2018)

    World war 1 = family feud

  • Math

     (Dec 29, 2018)

    Some say that if Victoria was alive during that time, she'd gather up the monarchs and scold them about their fighting.

  • Lashan

     (May 17, 2018)

    Damn the politics of old royalty is fascinating. Kinda tragic how a gambit to try and bring about peace ended up failing as catastrophically as possible.


     (Jan 25, 2019)

    Why do people have to pay for that nonsense royal

  • Swastika Biswas

     (Dec 16, 2018)

    +MyFootYourFace exactly...

  • Akm 11

     (May 17, 2018)

    Queen Victoria, the ultimate shipper who shipped her children with people from different countries with different cultures, in an effort to bring peace to Europe.

  • Beyonder

     (Jan 23, 2019)

    or she just wanted to have her own kins rule europe at a time when the people wanting to over throw royalty and end up like France

  • Keyrings Locks

     (Jan 4, 2019)

    +Dannhy Mir Also Renaissance and Enlightenment played major role in the social development of European states and their relationships which ultimately influenced the whole Modern world.

  • Justin Y.

     (May 17, 2018)

    Ironically the US is more fascinated about the Royals than the British are

  • Ssgt RS

     (Feb 11, 2019)

    Justin Y. Hi Justin Y.