Crowns in a Changing World: The British and European monarchies 1901-1936
John Van der Kiste
Sutton, Stroud (UK), 2003
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, most European nations were monarchies, many of them linked by family ties to her and to her son King Edward VII, the 'uncle of Europe'. Before the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 the personal relationships of Edward VII and his son, King George V, with the other European royal and imperial families flourished.
Much of this came to an end with the war, when the three imperial dynasties (in Germany, Russia, and Austria) fell. Two of King George V's cousins lost their thrones; the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, abdicated and went into exile, and the Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, had been held captive after abdicating and was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks. Although the Austrian imperial family was not related, the personal relationships between their sovereigns are described in some detail. The less powerful monarchies - including those of the Scandinavian countries, Spain, Roumania, Belgium and Greece - survived, though in some cases severely weakened by events.
George V was the figurehead of continental monarchy, and his generally supportive connections with royal cousins across the continent helped to maintain an element of cohesion within European royalty up to his death in 1936, by which time European peace was being threatened with the rise of the dictators in Germany and Italy.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste