Most current societies have abolished absolute monarchies, but some variations of them with constitutions in place remain. These real-life royal families usually serve as figureheads and diplomatic servants of the state they reside in. We've been collectively obsessed with the lives of monarchs for generations, with history books encompassing tons of private information on what these 'celebrities' have been up to. We dress up as Cleopatra for Halloween, we watch TV shows about the Tudor Dynasty, and sometimes we even major in the study of great civilizations from the past. The fascination with royals is occasionally unexplainable, but a significant aspect of our ability to document history.
Did you know that divorce was essentially invented and introduced to the Church by King Henry VII? Or that the York family inspired parts of "Game of Thrones?" Get out your thinking cap as we dive into the world of empires and birthright. We'll look at kings and queens, sultans, emperors and empresses, and other members of the royal families who have contributed to our world history. Some bloodlines remain today, and others stay in our textbooks. They royallymade an impression on the world, but it's their marriages, children and political alliances that keep them in our culture. Crack open your inner textbook, and let's see if you know your stuff!
Which historical monarch is known for the phrase "Let them eat cake!"?
Madame de Brinvilliers
Roman Empress Valeria Messalina
Marie Antoinette of France
This monarch has done and presumably said a lot of strange things in her lifetime. Did you know that Miss Marie also constructed her own fake peasant town on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles? You could say it was the original Barbie dream house, but not much of a dream ...
The current Queen of Britain is Elizabeth II, full name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. She was crowned queen on February 6th, 1952 and has remained on the throne for 67 years. The next in line for her throne would be Prince Charles.
Which American turned royal just had a baby in May 2019?
Diana, Princess of Wales
Anne, Princess Royal
Lady Louise Windsor
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
On May 6th, 2019, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He was born in Portland Hospital in London, and his mother being of mixed heritage makes him the first biracial royal baby!
Who was the last sovereign of Russia and parent to the famous Anastasia?
The last true Tsar of Russia was Nicholas II, who was murdered along with his entire family in 1918. It is theorized that his youngest daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, survived the attack on the family and hid in secret. However, there is minimal evidence to prove if this is true.
The "Pharaoh of the Exodus" has been considered by scholars to be ...
He is known as "Ramesses the Great" by many Egyptians even in the 21st century. A well-celebrated pharaoh, Ramesses II lived to be about 90 and had a full life. He is considered one of the most influential and celebrated pharaohs in history and is often considered the likely candidate of being the pharaoh mentioned in the story of Moses.
The Princess, who had endured increasing media criticism for her highly publicized failed marriage to Prince Charles, died in a car crash in August 1997. She was being followed and harassed by paparazzi, which resulted in a collision. Diana, her friend and her driver all lost their lives. The funeral was televised in September of that year and 32.1 million people tuned in to watch.
This Romanian ruler was dubbed "Vlad The Impaler" due to his frequent torture/killing methods involving impalement. He was the Voivode of Wallachia, which was a Romanian territory during his reign in 1448. His full name is Vlad III Dracula, hence the inspiration for the later written vampire.
Kate Middleton married the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, in 2012. She is the likely Queen Consort of England when the current ruler, Queen Elizabeth II, and her son, Prince Charles pass away. She met her husband while studying art history at the University of St. Andrews.
While Queen Elizabeth may have never been wed, that doesn't mean she didn't have lovers. Elizabeth was dubbed the "Virgin Queen" since she produced no heirs during her reign and refused to marry despite her counsel's request to do so. She was particularly fond of a man named Robert Dudley, who married two other women during their "friendship."
The monarchs known for supporting Christopher Columbus' expedition to the New World are ...
King Francis and Queen Mary
King Henry VII and Queen Catherine
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
The King of Aragon aka King Ferdinand and his wife, Isabella I of Castile, are credited with sponsoring Christopher Columbus as he sailed the ocean blue in 1492. This power couple was also known for major economic reforms, brutal conversion or exile of Muslim/Jewish subjects, and the Reconquista.
Which of the following is NOT one of King Henry VIII's wives?
While Henrietta Maria of France WAS a monarch, she didn't come along until several generations after Henry VIII's reign. She married Charles I in 1625. Catherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VII, married him in 1543 and were together until his death in 1547. At least she survived ...
Elizabeth I is the first and only daughter of Anne Boleyn, Henry VII's second wife. Her mother was beheaded for "treason," which was more a pretext for Henry to further marry and find someone who could produce a male heir. She also established the English Protestant Church during her reign.
The only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire was named ...
The last of the House of Habsburg, this monarch assumed the throne in 1745 after the death of her father Emperor Charles VI. Her husband was Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. Despite people thinking she would give her control of Austria to her husband and eldest son, Maria Theresa instead chose to rule solely over the country.
Who mothered nine children and gained the title "Grandmother of Europe"?
She was the first of many to spend her rule in Buckingham Palace, but her real legacy is found within her nine children. They were all wed to royal families across Europe, giving Queen Victoria of England the title mentioned above. Along with those children went terrible blood-clotting disease that affected the extended families for several generations.
The House of Bourbon's "Sun King" is from what country?
"Louis the Great" aka Louis XIV of France was king of his country for 72 years, the longest reign of a European monarch in recorded history. His wife was Maria Theresa of Spain, and they had six children with only one making it to adulthood. That child later served as the Dauphin of France.
The leader in technology, creator of anime and perfecter of sushi, Japan is also the home of the only Emperor in the world. The country operates as a constitutional monarchy in more recent history, with current Emperor Akihito serving mainly as a figurehead.
Did you know that after the war, this Emperor decided to pursue his childhood love of marine biology? Hirohito did a lot of labwork while he was at the Imperial Palace. He submitted several papers and discovered various marine species to contribute to the scientific record.
How old was the powerhouse Catherine de' Medici when she married her husband Henry II?
Catherine de' Medici is characterized as a vicious, power-hungry ruler who had multiple forms of French influence via her sons Francis II, Henry III and Charles IX. Her first son passed shortly after assuming the French throne. She then was regent of Charles IX, and after the death of her husband, she used Henry III for control over the throne.
Whether or not this part is true is up for debate, but it is believed that Cleopatra killed herself by having an asp bite her and letting the venom take her life. This was in response to her defeat and humiliation from the Final War of the Roman Republic.
The Dauphin of France, Francis II, was reportedly very much in love with Queen Mary. Despite their documented infatuation, Mary's husband died two years after their marriage (age 16). She then returned to Scotland where she later married Henry Stuart, then James Hepburn. She was executed several years later by her longtime rival, Queen Elizabeth of England.
Of the following, who was executed by their husband Henry VII?
Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII. They were only married two years before she was ordered to be executed. She had been caught in an affair with two individuals, and all three of them were sentenced to death.
Who is the earliest recorded Sultan of the Ottoman Empire?
Also known as Osman Gazi, this Sultan was the first monarch of the Ottoman Turks in 1299. He founded the Ottoman Dynasty and ruled over the country until his death in 1323. A ceremonial sword used in Ottoman coronation ceremonies was called the "Sword of Osman."
While Eleanor may have been the Duchess of Aquitaine by her own right, she later became the queen consort of France (and later England). She was a member of the House of Poitiers, one of the wealthiest and most influential families in southwestern France. She married King Louis VII of France in 1137 but had their marriage annulled to wed the Duke of Normandy (later King Henry II of England).
The Korean King credited with creating the Hangul alphabet is ...
The Korean king of the Joseon dynasty, Sejong the Great is best known for his contributions to the advancement of education and science. He developed and perfected the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul. This ruler is also considered one of the most impactful kings to have ruled Korea to date.
Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, married which Russian Emperor?
Peter III was only the Tsar for six months and was entirely overshadowed by his Queen Catherine the Great. They were married in 1745 and had two children together (Emperor Paul and Princess Anna). Catherine has historically claimed that Paul was not fathered by Peter, though there is no solid proof of this claim. Both of them took multiple lovers during their marriage.
Jean Bernadotte was elected to the Swedish crown in 1810 and assumed the throne in 1818. He earned a reputation as being one of the most helpful guys, and then one of the nicest kings! As of 2019, Sweden operates under a constitutional monarchy with the next in line for the throne being Crown Princess Victoria.
Who did Peter the Great share the throne with in a co-tsar-ship during a period of his reign?
Peter's half brother, Ivan, was the actual heir of the throne, but he was very sickly and weak. The council appointed and ratified Peter as Tsar, but it was blocked and then changed to a dual rule between both Peter and Ivan from the Miloslavsky family. Ivan did minimal work as Tsar, and Peter assumed sole sovereign power at the age of 24 when his brother died.
Which king of Denmark is the inspiration for the name "Bluetooth" technology?
Eric I Evergood
Olaf I Hunger
Known for his unification of tribes and kingdoms, Harold "Bluetooth" Gormsson was chosen as the inspiration for Bluetooth technology's name. His nickname came simply from a rotting tooth that may have appeared blue to others. If you look at the Bluetooth symbol, you can see it's the combination of his initials H & B = ᚼ ᛒ
Who was the last king of the House of York in England?
Did you know this monarch was involved in "The War of the Roses," which was the inspiration of George R. R. Martin's series "A Song of Ice & Fire" (also known as "Game of Thrones")? Richard III's reign was around the end of the Middle Ages of England. He is an integral character in the history of England, so much so that he's been characterized in all forms of media and adaptation.
Akbar I, also known as "Akbar the Great," ruled over his empire from 1556 to 1605. He was known as a man of the people, and a generally harmonious ruler. Akbar was good at getting his follows to pledge loyalty to him, and strove to unite his people under one well-functioning state of the union.
Which member of the British Royal Family had a dating show on FOX based on their likeness?
Like most of the dating reality shows on FOX, this one is a bit crazy. In May 2014, the show "I Wanna Marry "Harry" aired on television. The premise of the show was that 12 women were under the guise that they would be competing for the affections of Prince Harry in a Bachelor-esque style. However, the person playing "Harry" was simply a lookalike who would reveal his true self at the end. Only four episodes aired.
Mary Elizabeth Donaldson was born in Tasmania, Australia in February of 1972. She met her prince charming, Frederik of Denmark, during the Summer 2000 Olympics, which were hosted in her country. They met in a pub, got engaged in 2003, and married that subsequent year.
The first Korean Empress of the Yuan Dynasty in China was ...
Empress Wu Zetian
Empress Gi was originally a concubine for Toghon Temür, but he fell in love with her and pursued her as his second wife. The court disapproved of this status change, and the motion was blocked until she gave birth to his successor. She was then promoted to the position in 1340. She became an incredibly powerful player in Yuan.
His Apostolic Majesty King Charles I ruled various domains across the states. He was the last King of Hungary, Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia. In the Catholic church, he is known as "Blessed Karl of Austria," which is another spelling of his name that is very common.
The last Scottish monarch to rule during the third restoration of the Stuart Family was ...
King James VII
King William II
The Stuarts have ruled Scotland for generations, but eventually, Scotland merged with England and became the United Kingdom. They are now ruled over by a constitutional monarchy alongside the Brits. Their Queen is currently Elizabeth II.