Queen Elizabeth II’s State Visit to Germany this week has prompted a look back at her – and Philip’s – German connections. She isn’t the only royal with German roots, however. Several of Queen Victoria’s children married into German royal families and their offspring now reign in other nations. Below, how they’re linked:
Vicky was the headstrong eldest child of Victoria and Albert. She was clever and willing to learn, especially about Albert’s lessons in English government. That was her driving purpose, taught to her by both parents – go to Prussia and create a united Germany based on English principles.
The royal parents married her off to Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia. It was, quite simply, a love match made in heaven. Vicky and Fritz adored each other. Sadly, Vicky’s complicated relationship with her children and her stubborn, pro-English ways made life difficult at the Prussian court. Even worse, her husband died a mere three months into his reign, leaving her a dowager with no real power. His brief time on the throne made Vicky realize that it was “frighteningly possible that Fritz’s reign would represent little more than a mere bridge between two thoroughly Prussian Williams”.  Their son, Kaiser Wilhelm II, would play a part in the fall of his own House of Hohenzollern.
Descent from Vicky: Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preussen; Ex-King Constantine of Greece and his sisters Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece; King Felipe VI of Spain (through his mother); King Michael of Romania; Ernst August V of Hanover.
This serious, earnest daughter of Victoria married Grand Duke Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt, a small duchy within the group of German states. During the Austro-Prussia war, Hesse-Darmstadt sided with Austria; this officially set Princess Alice against her own sister, Vicky, the Crown Princess of Prussia. In the end, the small duchy lost what little territory it had acquired to the ever-growing Prussian state.
Throughout the conflicts, Alice became a skilled nurse. Thanks to her efforts, the region saw a vast improvement to nursing practices and hospital facilities.
Sadly, the princess died of diphtheria, a dangerous illness that had already taken two of her children. Of her surviving children, young Alexandra would be most affected by Alice’s death. Alexandra would carry the emotional baggage into her marriage to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Descent from Alice: The Romanov family of Nicholas and Alexandra; Earl Mountbatten of Burma; HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Maximilian, Margrave of Baden.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, was passionate about the military. The seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria became a soldier at age 16 and rose to the rank of Field Marshal in 1902.
Like his sister Vicky, Arthur entered into marriage with a Prussian royal, though not as high in rank. Arthur wed Princess Louise (Luise Margrete) of Prussia in 1879, and they had three children. When he was appointed as Governor General of Canada, Arthur and his family settled in the Commonwealth country for the duration of the appointment.
Arthur’s daughter, Princess Margaret, married Gustaf Adolf, Crown Prince of Sweden. Here we see another German link – Gustaf’s mother was Victoria of Baden. It is her tiara that we see on today’s Crown Princess Victoria.
Descent from Arthur: King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; Prince Bertil of Sweden; Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
Leopold, Duke of Albany, was the youngest son and eighth child of Queen Victoria. He was sadly a victim of the bleeding disease hemophilia, but Leopold never let it stop him. Though he took precautions to stay safe from injury, he was described as a “strong-willed, attractive character with an immense thirst for life”.  The prince died at age 31 of a brain hemorrhage after accidentally falling down a flight of stairs.
Leopold’s daughter, Alice of Albany, married her second cousin once-removed, Prince Alexander of Teck (the brother of Queen Mary). Leopold’s son, Charles, became controversial in England for his support for Germany during World War I. Worse, he became a member of the Nazi party during World War II.
Beatrice, the youngest of Victoria and Albert’s children, was expected to remain a spinster and tend to her mother’s every wish. The princess’s heart had other ideas, though. Beatrice met and fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg. Their marriage the next year was no small miracle, since Victoria was totally opposed to it. She wanted to keep Beatrice to herself, but fortunately consented to the union when Beatrice promised to stay on.
Descent from Beatrice: Former King Juan Carlos of Spain; King Felipe VI of Spain (through his father).