Nine Kings Pose For a Photograph, 1910

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This rare photograph of nine monarchs gathered in one room was taken by W. & D. Downey on May 20, 1910. The sovereigns posed for a portrait within Windsor Castle while attending the funeral of King Edward VII. Never again would so much European royalty be assembled in one place, or even exist. Just four years later, some of these men would be mortal enemies.

The nine sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel II of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of Greece and King Albert I of Belgium. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. (Image via Wikipedia)

Of the nine sovereigns pictured, four would be deposed and one assassinated. Within five years, Britain and Belgium would be at war with Germany and Bulgaria. Only five of the nine monarchies represented still exist today: Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Belgium. Oddly, the four sovereigns whose monarchies would not survive the twentieth century (Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, and Greece) all stood together. It would not be possible to take a photograph of nine reigning European kings today, as there are only seven kingdoms remaining, two of which are currently headed by queens regnant.

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