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Quiz about Dynasties
Quiz about Dynasties

Dynasties Trivia Quiz

How much do you know about the royal houses that have ruled over Europe throughout the centuries? Test your knowledge of past and present European dynasties with this label quiz!

A label quiz by LadyNym. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Label Quiz
Quiz #
Oct 05 23
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 13
Last 3 plays: Guest 2 (7/13), lemage (9/13), Guest 80 (0/13).
Please note there is only one option for each of the countries numbered on the map.
Orange-Nassau Vasa Osman Braganza Hanover Habsburg Glücksburg Hohenzollern Bourbon Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Savoy Romanov Bonaparte
* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the answer list.

Most Recent Scores
Jul 08 2024 : Guest 2: 7/13
Jul 04 2024 : lemage: 9/13
Jul 04 2024 : Guest 80: 0/13
Jul 04 2024 : RedheadDane: 11/13
Jul 04 2024 : Guest 213: 2/13
Jul 03 2024 : Guest 86: 7/13
Jul 01 2024 : Guest 87: 13/13
Jun 28 2024 : Guest 23: 4/13
Jun 21 2024 : Guest 98: 7/13

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Bourbon

The original House of Bourbon was a noble family from central France whose heiress, Beatrice of Burgundy, married Robert, Count of Clermont - the youngest son of French king Louis IX - in 1272. The royal House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, began with this marriage. The Bourbons ruled France from 1572 (with Henry IV, formerly King of Navarre) to 1792 (the overthrow of Louis XVI), then from 1815 to 1848.

Another branch of the house was founded by Philip, Duke of Anjou - a grandson of Louis XIV, the Sun King - who became king Philip V of Spain when the last Habsburg ruler of Spain, Charles II (who was his great-uncle), died without issue. The Bourbons were restored to the throne of Spain in 1975, after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, who had previously named Juan Carlos de Borbón (King Juan Carlos I) his successor. The Grand Dukes of Luxembourg also claim their descent from a cadet branch of the Spanish royal house, the House of Bourbon-Parma (established in 1731). The House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, founded in 1816 by Ferdinand I (formerly Ferdinand IV of Naples and Ferdinand III of Sicily), ruled over Southern Italy and Sicily until 1861.

The House of Bourbon is currently the oldest European royal house that still exists in the direct male line. All living members of the House are direct descendants of Henry IV of France.
2. Hohenzollern

The House of Hohenzollern takes its name from their ancestral seat, a magnificent hilltop castle located in the central part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The dynasty was established before 1061, the year in which one of their ancestors, Burkhard I, was first mentioned in a written document. Although in the Middle Ages and Renaissance the House flourished in the historical regions of Swabia and Franconia in southern Germany, it is mostly known for its Brandenburg-Prussian branch - founded in 1415 when Frederick VI, Burgrave of Nuremberg, was elevated to the rank of Elector and Margrave of Brandenburg, a principality of the Holy Roman Empire located in present-day northeastern Germany.

In 1618, John Sigismund, Margrave of Brandenburg, became Duke of Prussia. In 1701, his descendants were granted the title of King "in" Prussia until 1772, when the Duchy - under the rule of Frederick II the Great - was elevated to a kingdom, and became one of the great European powers. By the end of the 18th century, most of the other branches of the House of Hohenzollern had sold the sovereignty of their principalities to the Prussian crown. In 1871. William I became the first German Emperor. The last Hohenzollern monarch was the notorious Kaiser William II, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who abdicated in 1918 after Germany's defeat in WWI.

The rulers of the relatively short-lived (1881-1847) Kingdom of Romania also belonged to a branch of the House of Hohenzollern, the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. At the time of writing, the three existing branches of the House (Royal Prussian, Princely Swabian, and Romanian) all have living descendants.
3. Osman

The name "Ottoman", denoting the empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia for about seven centuries, is an Anglicization of Osman, the name of the founder of the Empire and its ruling house. Osman (Othman) Ghazi, or Osman I, was a Turkoman tribal leader who, around the turn of the 14th century, founded a beylik (principality) that eventually took over most of Anatolia and the Balkans.

Compared to the ruling houses of Western Europe, the House of Osman had very specific rules of succession, as every male member of the imperial family was eligible to become Sultan. Since sultans generally took more than one consort, this meant that the line of succession could get very crowded. Not surprisingly, in the first three centuries of Ottoman rule, the succession process was marked by conflict and violence, with brothers fighting among themselves until only one of them survived. In the mid-15th century, fratricide was legalized, and things eventually got so out of hand that Sultan Mehmed III (1595-1603) had all his 19 brothers executed. His successor, Ahmed I (1603-1617), put an end to this practice, adopting a simpler (and much less bloody) succession process, in which the eldest male blood relative of the Sultan would inherit the throne. This practice was successfully followed until the abolition of the Sultanate in 1922.

After the declaration of the Republic of Turkey (1923), the living members of the House of Osman were sent into exile, though they were allowed to return after the end of WWII. The House is now known as the Osmanoðlu family.
4. Glücksburg

The House of Glücksburg (Lyksborg in Danish) is named after the northernmost town in Germany, located in the southern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Founded in 1825 by Frederick William (Friedrich Wilhelm), Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, it is a collateral branch of the much older House of Oldenburg, which held the Danish throne from 1448 to 1863. When King Frederick VII of Denmark died childless in 1863, his second cousin, Prince Christian of Glücksburg, became king with the name of Christian IX.

The new King of Denmark eventually became known as the "Father-in-law of Europe", because his descendants became heads of various European states. His daughters, Alexandra and Dagmar, married Edward VII of Great Britain and Emperor Alexander III of Russia, while his grandson Carl (second son of Christian's successor, Frederick VIII) became King of Norway in 1905 with the name of Haakon VII. In 1863, the year of Christian IX's accession to the Danish throne, Prince William, his second son, was chosen by the Greek National Assembly to become King George I of the Hellenes.

The current monarchs of Denmark and Norway are both members of the House of Glücksburg - as was the former King Constantine II of Greece, deposed by a coup in 1967, who passed away in January 2023. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a grandson of George I of Greece.
5. Savoy

The history of the House of Savoy goes back to 1003, when the house was established in the historical region of the Western Alps that bears the same name. Its founder, Count Humbert I, nicknamed "Whitehand" (in Italian "Umberto Biancamano"), was rewarded with the lands that became the county of Savoy for his service to Holy Roman Emperors Henry II and Conrad II. The small territory grew in size and importance in the High Middle Ages, and became particularly powerful in the 16th century, when Duke Emmanuel Philibert the Iron-Headed ("Testa di Ferro") moved the capital of the Duchy to Turin, in northwestern Italy.

In the 18th century, the Dukes of Savoy became Kings of Sicily, then, in 1720, Kings of Sardinia. The Kingdom of Sardinia played a primary role in the struggle for Italian unification (the "Risorgimento"), which culminated with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in March 1861. Turin was the first capital of unified Italy, though it was later replaced by Florence, and then by Rome. The House of Savoy ruled over Italy until a referendum held on 2 June 1946 ousted the monarchy - considered guilty of having turned a blind eye to Benito Mussolini's abuses of power.

After the end of the monarchy, male descendants of the House of Savoy were expressly forbidden by the Italian constitution from entering the country. The ban was lifted in 2002 - not before Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, the eldest son of Italy's last king, Umberto II, renounced all claims to the throne.
6. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was founded in relatively recent times - in 1826 to be precise - as a cadet branch of the much older German House of Wettin. Its name comes from its oldest domain, one of a group of small states known as the Saxon or Ernestine duchies, located in the present-day German states of Thuringia and Bavaria. The house's founder, Duke Ernest Anton of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the father of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

Albert's prestigious marriage contributed to elevating the status of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on the European dynastic scene. Queen Victoria's successor, Edward VII, briefly established the House's British line, taking his father's family name - which was changed to Windsor by his son, George V. In 1831, one of Ernest I's younger brothers. Leopold, became the first King of the Belgians. The other brother, Ferdinand, founded the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Kóhary, a Catholic cadet branch whose descendants - also named Ferdinand - became kings of Portugal and Bulgaria.

The Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (whose members also converted to Catholicism) still occupies the throne, though their title was changed into "of Belgium" in 1920 by King Albert I. While the Portuguese line of the House is extinct, the Bulgarian line has survived: Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, formerly King Simeon II, was Bulgaria's Prime Minister for four years (2001-2005).
7. Braganza

Founded in 1442 by Duke Afonso I, illegitimate son of King John (João) I of Portugal, the House of Braganza ("Bragança" in Portuguese) quickly grew into one of Portugal's wealthiest and most powerful families. In 1508, after the last two kings of the House of Aviz died childless, a succession crisis occurred, with three pretenders vying for the Portuguese throne. One of them was Philip II of Spain, who invaded Portugal and annexed it to the Spanish Crown in a personal union. The rule of the Philippine Dynasty, however, lasted only until 1640, when John II, 8th Duke of Braganza, restored Portuguese independence, and became John IV of Portugal.

The House of Braganza ruled the Kingdom of Portugal until 1910, and the Empire of Brazil from 1822 (the year in which the South American country obtained its independence) to 1889. 14 monarchs (including two queens, Maria I and Maria II) followed John IV: the last of them was Manuel II (aptly nicknamed "The Unfortunate"), who ruled for only two years, and was ousted by a revolution in October 1910. In spite of various attempts by monarchist groups, the monarchy was never restored in Portugal, which remains a republic to this day. Like other countries, Portugal initially exiled the royals, but subsequently (in 1950) allowed the Braganzas to return.

One of the best-known members of the House of Braganza is Princess Catherine, daughter of John IV, who married Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, in 1662. She is credited with popularizing tea drinking in Britain.
8. Romanov

The Romanovs were originally a powerful house of boyars (the highest rank of Russian nobility) related to the Rurik dynasty that ruled Russia from 862 to 1598. They rose to prominence when a member of the family, Anastasia, became the first wife of Tsar Ivan IV (known as "the Terrible"). The first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Michael of Russia, was Anastasia's nephew: his accession in 1613 put an end to the "Time of Troubles" that followed the death of Feodor I, the last of the Rurikids. By the end of his reign, Russia's territory had expanded to include most of Siberia.

The Romanov dynasty emerged as a power to be reckoned with towards the end of the 17th century, with Michael's grandson Peter I, known as Peter the Great. He embarked on a process of modernization of his vast country, founding the city of St Petersburg, and establishing the Russian Empire in 1721. In the 18th and 19th centuries, under Romanov rule, Russia went from strength to strength on the international scene, in spite of simmering unrest at home. The well-known story of the downfall of the House of Romanov is bloody and tragic: Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and their five children were murdered in July 1918, during the revolution that put an end to the Russian Empire.

Most branches of the House of Romanov are extinct, and the only currently living members of the family are distantly related to the main line.
9. Vasa

The House of Vasa was founded in 1523 by nobleman Gustav Eriksson, who became King Gustav I of Sweden after the abolition of the Kalmar Union, which had joined the three kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark into a single monarchy. Under Vasa rule - especially in the early 17th century, under Gustav Adolphus (Gustav II Adolph), a reformer and brilliant military leader - Sweden grew in importance until it became one of Europe's major powers. His only child and heir, Christina - known as an extremely well-educated woman, and a somewhat eccentric personality - eventually abdicated the throne in 1654, converted to Catholicism, and moved to Rome. The last ruler of the House of Vasa in Sweden, she is buried in St Peter's Basilica.

In 1587, Sigismund III Vasa became King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as his mother was the heir of the last Jagellonian King of Poland; he also became King of Sweden when his father, John III, passed away. The turbulent rule of the Vasa (Wazowie) dynasty in Poland lasted until 1668, when King John II Casimir, son of Sigismund III, abdicated the throne.

Though the House of Vasa died out, the kings of the houses that succeeded them - the House of Holstein-Gottorp (1751-1818) and the House of Bernadotte (1818-present), founded by a Marshal of the French Empire - claim their descent from the Vasa dynasty.
10. Hanover

Named after the city of Hanover in northwestern Germany, the House of Hanover was founded in 1634 by George, Duke of Brünswick and Luneburg. The Duchy grew in prestige until, in 1692, it became an Electorate under Ernest Augustus, Duke George's fourth son. Ernest Augustus' wife, Princess Sophia of the Palatinate, was a granddaughter of James I of England, Scotland and Ireland, and became heiress presumptive of that kingdom under the Act of Settlement of 1701, which allowed only Protestants to inherit the throne. As she died less than two months before Queen Anne, it was her son, George Louis, who became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714.

The first three Hanover monarchs of Great Britain - George I, George II, and George III - also served as Electors of Hanover. When the Electorate was made into a Kingdom during the Congress of Vienna (1814), George III was proclaimed King of Hanover. The personal union of Hanover with the monarchy of Great Britain and Ireland was dissolved upon the death of William IV in 1837. The Kingdom of Hanover lasted until 1866, when it was annexed to Prussia. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover was Queen Victoria, whose son and heir, Edward VII, took his father's family name, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The current heirs of the House of Hanover - descended from Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, Queen Victoria's uncle - hold British and German citizenship. Princess Caroline of Monaco, eldest daughter of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, is Princess of Hanover by marriage.
11. Bonaparte

The Buonapartes were a patrician family that originated in northern Tuscany around the 12th century, and moved to Ajaccio, in Corsica, in the late 15th century. In 1771, soon after the French acquisition of Corsica, Carlo Buonaparte was granted a patent of nobility by King Louis XV. His third son, Napoleon - who would become one of the most influential figures in history - was born in 1769.

Napoleon (who began spelling his family name as "Bonaparte") conquered much of Europe around the turn of the 19th century, and crowned himself Emperor of the French in 1804. He also made his brothers kings of some of the countries he had conquered: his elder brother Joseph became King of Spain, his younger brother Louis King of Holland, and his youngest brother Jerome King of Westphalia (in northwestern Germany). One of his sisters, Elisa, became Grand Duchess of Tuscany, while another sister, Caroline, became Queen of Naples through her husband, Joachim Murat, formerly Marshal of France.

Though Napoleon's reign was short-lived, during those years his house managed to put roots and mingle with older European royal houses. Though Napoleon's only son, Napoleon II, the King of Rome, died young and without issue, his nephew Louis-Napoléon (the son of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, and Hortense de Beauharnais, Joséphine's daughter), became Emperor Napoleon III in 1852. He would be France's last monarch.
12. Habsburg

Named after Habsburg Castle (now located in northern Switzerland), founded by Count Radbot of Klettgau in the 11th century, the House of Habsburg is one of the most prominent dynasties in European history. Later known as "House of Austria", the Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire without interruption for three centuries (1440-1740), and then - as House of Habsburg-Lorraine - from 1765 to 1806, until the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved.

In the early 16th century, under Emperor Charles V, the House of Habsburg controlled an empire that included not only large parts of Europe, but a vast colonial empire - over which, as the saying went, the sun never set. After Charles V's abdication in 1556, the House split into two branches - the Spanish (led by Philip II) and the Austrian (led by Charles's brother, Ferdinand I), which remained in control of the Holy Roman Empire. Weakened by inbreeding, the male lines of both branches died out in the 18th century. In Spain, the Habsburgs were replaced by the Bourbons, while in Austria the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, established by Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis III, Duke of Lorraine, prevailed, reigning over the multinational Austrian Empire until 1918. The last Habsburg monarch, Charles (Karl) I, was dethroned and exiled in 1919.

The living descendants of the House of Habsburg are known in Austria (where titles of nobility are not officially recognized) by the family name Habsburg-Lothringen.
13. Orange-Nassau

Like other European royal houses, the House of Orange-Nassau has its origins in Germany, being a branch of the ancient House of Nassau, founded in the late 11th century in present-day Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1530, René of Chalon, son of Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda, inherited the Principality of Orange in southern France. His cousin William (Willem) of Nassau-Dillenburg, who inherited René's lands, became William I of Orange - also known as William the Silent, the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau.

In 1568, William organized the Dutch Revolt (also known as the Eighty Years' War) against Spanish (Habsburg) rule, which led to the creation of the Dutch Republic. During this time - which lasted until 1795 - the Princes of Orange-Nassau served as "stadtholders", a title comparable to that of Lord Protector. In 1689, William the Silent's great-grandson, William III, became King of England, Scotland and Ireland, while also keeping the title of stadtholder. In 1815, the Netherlands became a monarchy, with the ascent to the throne of William I, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The House of Orange-Nassau risked extinction when, in the late 19th century, King William III found himself a widower with no living issue. However, he married a young German princess, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, with whom he had a daughter, Wilhelmina - the first of the three queens who ruled the Kingdom of the Netherlands during the 20th century. The most recent of these queens, Beatrix, abdicated in 2013.
Source: Author LadyNym

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ponycargirl before going online.
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