The royal weddings that shaped How the Mona Lisa became so overrated 2 days ago   06:41

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.

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Comments 1762 Comments

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:
Spawn of Demon
the other interesting part is that the dynasties that were deposed in Austria and Germany after the war didn't necessarily end with that moment, with the families still holding various "official" titles and being public figures of a sorts. Nothing like the British monarchy but the descendants of Kaiser Wilhelm etc are still alive and hold somewhat ceremonial powers and garner a great deal of respect within the semi-political sphere of Europe ^.^
Let democracy die. Long live monarchy!
Miriam Nassereddine
Actually in regards to the Kingdom of Romania, the monarchy was left intact until the communists forcefully took over in 1947. So while Queen Marie and the royal family did indeed leave the capital during the first world war, they won the war and the country became the Greater Romania. It was not until after her death that Romania lost its monarchs.
Chubb Lip
Take that Habsburgs
Constance Yen
Queen Victory had a very infamous history: She started Opion War which was pure invasion and ruined China. Britain was the superpower and started more than 250 wars all over the world. She bought the world countries with tremendous disasters
lianna aa
im shoook
Dee Rush
How interesting that this documentary failed to point out that both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are not only cousins, but great-great grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
jay sc
I find videos like this so interesting.
Random fact about me one of my relatives (I think my great grandmother on my grandpa from my dad’s side of the family) my dad claims she was duchess or some form of royalty that emigrated to America while they were killing of monarchs in Europe but I don’t really believe him
jordi reynal
At the begining you said the prince of Spain, he is nowadays the King

Pd: Viva la República
Semp Baka
Sibling rivalry at its finest
Abhik Raj
You gotta agree Britishers are really really genius when to comes to strategizing and taking lands under there control
Nana Almani
Victoria didn’t arrange for her *most favourite* granddaughter to marry a Russian prince, she was actually dead set against that since she didn’t really quite like Russians
Liam Naddell
its a literal European union
Emm Kay
YOU'RE MY DAUGHTER! And you'll do what I command, and marry King Phillip.
Patrick Turner
So when you had a war, it was like fighting your brother?
Rip Nicholas II he may havs been a bad king, his own family didn't except their asylum.
Emanuel-Victor Nastasa
There is a historical error in the video. Marie of Romania was never forced to leave her throne. Also, she is still one of the most important historical figures of Romania.
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How the Mona Lisa became so overrated The royal weddings that shaped 2 days ago   05:40

It's not just the smile. There are a few real reasons Mona is so famous. Vox's Phil Edwards looked into it...

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