Unions of crowns: England/Britain and...

There were two occasions when the hereditary ruler of another country became the King or Queen of England or Great Britain as well. After each of these occasions, there was a "union of crowns" between England or Britain and the other country, in each case lasting for over a hundred years.

The first occasion was in 1603, when Queen Elizabeth I died. She had been the only living descendant of King Henry VIII. Henry's sister Margaret married King James IV of Scotland. Their son James V was the father of Mary Queen of Scots, whose son James Stuart inherited the crown of Scotland in 1567 as James VI. As great-great-grandson of Henry VII, he inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I. The two realms had the same ruler until 1707, when they became a single country by the Act of Union.

The second occasion was in 1714, when Queen Anne died. She had no children, and her older sister Mary had died without children. Her father James II and his son were in exile, excluded from the crown as as Catholics. Her uncles, Charles II and Henry, had died without legitimate children. Her aunt Mary's only child William of Orange (also her sister's husband) had died without children; her other aunt, Henriette Marie, had married a French duke, and her descendants were excluded as Catholics. Her grandfather Charles I, son of James VI and I, had a sister, Elizabeth Stuart, who married Frederick V von Wittelsbach, Count Palatine of the Rhine. All of her descendants died without children or married Catholics, except her youngest daughter Sofia, who married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and later Prince-Elector of Hanover.

Their eldest son, George of Hanover, inherited Brunswick-Lüneburg and the Prince-Electorate in 1698. As great-grandson of James VI and I, he inherited the crown of Great Britain in 1714. Hanover and Britain had the same ruler until 1837, when Victoria succeeded in Britain, but was ineligible, as a woman, to succeed in Hanover.

Other occasions when the English/British crown and some other crown could have been inherited by the same person. (OTL history in plain text; AH in italics.)

For each case, I ask: Could the personal union actually come about? And how long could it last?

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Spain (son of Philip and Mary I)

Felipe II of Spain has a son with Mary I of England ("Philip", 1556-1619). Philip is heir to England, succeeding his mother in 1558. Felipe's elder son Carlos dies in 1568, making Philip heir to Spain, succeeding his father in 1598.

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France (son of Mary of Scotland and Francis II)

Mary of Scotland has a son with her first husband, King Francis II of France ("Robert", 1560-1622). Robert is heir to France, succeeding his father in 1561, to Scotland, succeeding his mother in 1567, and to England, succeeding his cousin thrice-removed Elizabeth in 1603. (Though as a Catholic, he would be unlikely to succeed in England, and if he became a Protestant in Scotland or England, he would probably be deposed in France.)

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Palatinate (great-grandson of Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V of the Palatinate)

Karl Ludwig, the second son of Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V, succeeded to the Palatinate. His only son, Charles II, has a son ("Rupert", 1674-1730). Rupert is heir to the Palatinate, succeeding his father in 1685, and to Britain, succeeding his second cousin once-removed Anne in 1714.

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Denmark (son of Anne and Prince George Oldenburg of Denmark)

Anne and George have a healthy son ("James", 1686-1754). All the children of George's older brother King Christian V of Denmark die childless. James is heir to Britain, succeeding his mother in 1713, and to Denmark, succeeding his cousin Sophie Hedwig in 1730 (she being the last surviving child of Christian V).

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Transylvania (great-grandson of Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V of the Palatinate)

[This one requires the most finagling. But bear with me.]

Elizabeth Stuart's third daughter Henrietta Marie married Sigismund Rakoczi, brother of George Rakoczi, elective Prince of Transylvania, in 1651. (Both died within a few months of the wedding.) The Rakoczis are Reformed (Calvinist) Protestants, as are most of the Transylvanian Magyars.

Henrietta Marie and Sigismund have a son ("George", 1655-1726). In 1657, Prince George is killed in battle against Poland. Sigismund leads the army safely back to Transylvania, and is elected to succeed his brother as Prince.

In 1668, Habsburg Emperor Leopold I (also King of Hungary), in concert with George's Catholic widow, Sofia, invades Transylvania to impose George's now-Catholic son Francis as Prince, and to implement the Counter-Reformation there (suppressing the Reformed Church). Sigismund defeats the Habsburg army, and then expels pro-Habsburg Catholic magnates from Transylvania. (He has the support of the Romanian-speaking peasantry in western Transylvania, who are Orthodox and oppose Catholic control.)

In 1683, during the Turkish siege of Vienna, Sigismund repudiates Ottoman overlordship and joins the alliance against the Turks. But he does so on condition that Leopold forever renounce any claim by the Kingdom of Hungary over Transylvania. He leads the Transylvanian army against the Turkish lines of supply in Hungary, and then ambushes the retreating Turks, capturing their leader, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa.

Sigismund now capitalizes on his victories to become hereditary King of Transylvania. His son George is heir to Transylvania, succeeding his father in 1693.
James II and his children are exiled, William III and Mary II die childless, Anne is childless after 1700, and all senior descendants of Elizabeth Stuart have died childless or married Catholics. That leaves George as the nearest Protestant relative. He is therefore heir to Britain, succeeding his second cousin Anne in 1713.

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Prussia-Brandenburg (son of Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and Frederick William I of Prussia)

Sophia Dorothea was the eldest sister of George II, and the mother of Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786). George II has no surviving children. Frederick is heir to Prussia and Brandenburg, succeeding his father in 1740, and to Britain, succeeding his uncle George II in 1760.

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Orange (son of Princess Anne of Britain and William IV of Orange)

Anne, eldest daughter of George II, married William IV, who became the first hereditary Stadtholder-General of the Netherlands. Anne's brother Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, has no children, nor does ther surviving brother William. Anne's son William V (1748-1806) is heir to the Netherlands, succeeding his father in 1751, and to Britain, succeeding his uncle Wiliiam (IV) in 1765 (and becoming William V of Britain as well).
 
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Prussia-Brandenburg (son of Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and Frederick William I of Prussia)

Sophia Dorothea was the eldest sister of George II, and the mother of Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786). George II has no surviving children. Frederick is heir to Prussia and Brandenburg, succeeding his father in 1740, and to Britain, succeeding his uncle George II in 1760.
“Old Fritz takes on the American Colonies” is a scenario I didn’t know I needed until now.
(Yes, I know it’s unlikely the AmRev would still happen if Fritz became King of Britain, but I can dream!)
 
Orange (son of Princess Anne of Britain and William IV of Orange)

Anne, eldest daughter of George II, married William IV, who became the first hereditary Stadtholder-General of the Netherlands. Anne's brother Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, has no children, nor does ther surviving brother William. Anne's son William V (1748-1806) is heir to the Netherlands, succeeding his father in 1751, and to Britain, succeeding his uncle Wiliiam (IV) in 1765 (and becoming William V of Britain as well).
Stadholder Willem V becoming king of Great Britain? Why do you hate Great Britain so much?
 
Stadholder Willem V becoming king of Great Britain? Why do you hate Great Britain so much?
Well...there's an alternative that William III apparently floated at Het Loo to the Electress Sophia. She was dithering (read: being diplomatic) about accepting being named as Anne's eventual heir. So, William III told her that if she (Sophia) refused, he would name her daughter, the queen of Prussia's son as heir (to England AND the Netherlands/Orange inheritance) instead.

According to Sophia's librarian, Leibniz, this caused a diplomatic flurry not just in Hannover, but Berlin, Nassau, Vienna and Dresden at the prospect of this "super state".

Could've been fun to see where that would go.
 
Well...there's an alternative that William III apparently floated at Het Loo to the Electress Sophia. She was dithering (read: being diplomatic) about accepting being named as Anne's eventual heir. So, William III told her that if she (Sophia) refused, he would name her daughter, the queen of Prussia's son as heir (to England AND the Netherlands/Orange inheritance) instead.

According to Sophia's librarian, Leibniz, this caused a diplomatic flurry not just in Hannover, but Berlin, Nassau, Vienna and Dresden at the prospect of this "super state".

Could've been fun to see where that would go.
I don't think that would work. It was not William III place to appoint some foreigner as stadholder of the Netherlands. Just like OT they would just ignore that wish and declare a stadholderless period (or possibly appoint the Frisian stadholder). That said, it is a good threat, espcialy since most nobles pobably did not understand the way the Dutch republic actualy worked.
 
Denmark (son of Anne and Prince George Oldenburg of Denmark)

Anne and George have a healthy son ("James", 1686-1754). All the children of George's older brother King Christian V of Denmark die childless. James is heir to Britain, succeeding his mother in 1713, and to Denmark, succeeding his cousin Sophie Hedwig in 1730 (she being the last surviving child of Christian V).

How would Europe respond to the Oldenburgs adding, Great Britain and Ireland to their holdings? How would France respond to Great Britian gaining Denmark, Iceland and Norway? This would unite to two European powers into a world power. The power balance in Europe would be throw off. This could turn into a war of succession. France, Russia and possibly Sweden would all likely oppose this union. James would need allies fast, the HRE would be his best bet. Could he hold on to his empire take Sweden, and maybe restore the Hapsburgs to Spain. Or would the Oldenburgs keep the Great Britain, Ireland, and maybe Iceland or Greenland. Sweden gets Norway. Hannover gets Denmark, etc. Europe divided.
 
Well...there's an alternative that William III apparently floated at Het Loo to the Electress Sophia.....
This would have to be around 1700. I haven't been able to find anything about William visiting the Netherlands after 1688. Nor about Dutch politics in this period, i.e. who might be considered as successor to William as multi-stadtholder. IIRC, there was no adult Orange heir available.

She was dithering (read: being diplomatic) about accepting being named as Anne's eventual heir. So, William III told her that if she (Sophia) refused, he would name her daughter, the queen of Prussia's son as heir (to England AND the Netherlands/Orange inheritance) instead.
Interesting! So George I's sister Sophia Charlotte and daughter Sophia Dorothea were both married to Kings in Prussia.
According to Sophia's librarian, Leibniz, this caused a diplomatic flurry not just in Hannover, but Berlin, Nassau, Vienna and Dresden at the prospect of this "super state".
William could so dispose of the Orange inheritance, but not the stadtholderships. And at that time, the Hohenzollern heir would have been Sofia Charlotte's husband Frederick I, who claimed the title at William III's death. One wonders how he would take a move to bypass him for his son.
 
Nor about Dutch politics in this period, i.e. who might be considered as successor to William as multi-stadtholder. IIRC, there was no adult Orange heir available.
The Dutch stadholderhip was not heriditary. OTL William III wanted the Frisian stadholder (a distant relativeR) to succeed him, but the Dutch simply decided to have no stadholder for a while
 
The Dutch stadholderhip was not heriditary.
The statdtholderships (William held five of them) were elective, not hereditary. I knew that, which is why I referred to the question of the next stadtholder(s) as a matter of Dutch politics.
OTL William III wanted the Frisian stadholder (a distant relativeR) to succeed him, but the Dutch simply decided to have no stadholder for a while.
Johann Willem Friso, Stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen, was a double first cousin once removed of William III, so not that distant. He was a boy of 14 when William died, and of course was not elected to the other stadtholderships. (Friesland and Groningen had made their stadtholderships hereditary.) Johann Willem might have gained the other stadtholderships after he reached majority, but he drowned in a ferry accident at the age of 23 (in 1711).

William III designated Johann Willem as his successor as Prince of Orange, a title which had become identified with the stadtholders of the House of Orange. He probably expected him to be elected stadtholder(s), but William also expected to live quite a bit longer, not be fatally injured in a horse-riding accident (in 1702). Had William lived until 1715 (i.e. age 65), Johann Willem would have been 27, and his position would have been well-established.

So I guess that pretty much answers my question. However, another question is raised: why did none of the Dutch Estates ever consider electing a stadtholder other than a senior male of the House of Orange?
 
How would Europe respond to the Oldenburgs adding, Great Britain and Ireland to their holdings?
In the 1690s, after the death of Mary II, and before it was clear Anne would have no living children, it was expected that England (and Scotland and all) would pass to Anne's descendants by her Oldenburg husband. No one seems to have been very agitated by the prospect of an Oldenburg cadet as King of England.
How would France respond to Great Britian gaining Denmark, Iceland and Norway? This would unite to two European powers into a world power.
Annoyed, but hardly panicked. England was not quite a first-rank power at that time, and Denmark was a minor power. Even combined they would not have the muscle of France, or Spain, or Austria. Sweden and Russia might be more concerned. But I can't see a succession war. Who would be the rival claimant?

Also, by 1730, in the proposed scenario, *James would be about 40, and might have two or more sons. If the union of crowns was that upsetting, a younger son could be designated Crown Prince or King of Denmark. Though it would be more amusing if the union continued, as it did with Hanover.
 
I think Robert III Valos could succeed to all three thrones because Catholicism is still in living memory the alternative would be Robert goes Protestant. I believe there is enough support in France for the conversion to happen but it would most likely lead to a 30 years war kind of situation.

But with that stated I thing Robert/Francis would most likely try to make England and Scotland Catholic but with that stated the Scots and England may look to a different candidate.
 
The statdtholderships (William held five of them) were elective, not hereditary.

However, another question is raised: why did none of the Dutch Estates ever consider electing a stadtholder other than a senior male of the House of Orange?
The thing is, the stadholdership was not realy elective. Originaly the stadholdership was basicly a steward. A representative of the king in the Dutch provinces. It was just that during the recolt the position changed. In the end it became sort of hereditary, but not realy. Certainly not elective. The stadholdership was more an traditional function. The house of Orange became stadholders of the republic out of tradition, not because they were elected. In a way the stadholder was the most powerful noble in the republic, no matter how contraditory that sounds. That means that the more republican factions within the Netherlands (effectively the urban upper and middle class), didn't realy like the idea of a stadholder and wanted to get rid of him and do things themseves, without some powerful noble looking over them. So when possible, they never though of electing another stadholder, they simply announced a stadholderless period.

You could say that the only people who could have become stadholder after William III were any possible sons (or grandsons) of William III* , the Frisian stadholders or no stadholders at all.

*assuming those sons or grandson were Dutch and not some foreigners, like the rulers of Brandenburg would be or possibly the kings of England.
 
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