List of monarchs of Prussia

The monarchs of Prussia were members of the House of Hohenzollern who were the hereditary rulers of the former German state of Prussia from its founding in 1525 as the Duchy of Prussia. The Duchy had evolved out of the Teutonic Order, a Roman Catholic crusader state and theocracy located along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Teutonic Knights were under the leadership of a Grand Master, the last of whom, Albert, converted to Protestantism and secularized the lands, which then became the Duchy of Prussia.

Monarchy of Prussia
Könige von Preußen
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia 1873-1918.svg
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany - 1902.jpg
Wilhelm II
Details
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchAlbert (as Duke)
Last monarchWilliam II
Formation10 April 1525
Abolition9 November 1918
ResidenceStadtschloss, Berlin (last)
AppointerHereditary
Pretender(s)Georg Friedrich

The Duchy was initially a vassal of the Kingdom of Poland, as a result of the terms of the Prussian Homage whereby Albert was granted the Duchy as part of the terms of peace following the Prussian War. When the main line of Prussian Hohenzollerns died out in 1618, the Duchy passed to a different branch of the family, who also reigned as Electors of Brandenburg in the Holy Roman Empire. While still nominally two different territories, Prussia under the suzerainty of Poland and Brandenburg under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Empire, the two states are known together historiographically as Brandenburg-Prussia.

Following the Second Northern War, a series of treaties freed the Duchy of Prussia from vassalage to any other state, making it a fully sovereign Duchy in its own right. This complex situation (where the Hohenzollern ruler of the independent Duchy of Prussia was also a subject of the Holy Roman Emperor as Elector of Brandenburg) laid the eventual groundwork for the establishment of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. For diplomatic reasons, the rulers of Prussia called themselves King in Prussia from 1701 to 1772. They still nominally owed fealty to the Emperor as Electors of Brandenburg, so the "King in Prussia" title (as opposed to "King of Prussia") avoided offending the Emperor. Additionally, calling themselves "King of Prussia" implied sovereignty over the entire Prussian region, parts of which were still part of Poland.

As the Prussian state grew through several wars and diplomatic moves throughout the 18th century, it became apparent that Prussia had become a Great Power in its own right. By 1772, the pretense was dropped, and the style "King of Prussia" was adopted. The Prussian kings continued to use the title "Elector of Brandenburg" until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, reflecting the legal fiction that their domains within the empire were still under the ultimate overlordship of the Emperor. Legally, the Hohenzollerns ruled Brandenburg in personal union with their Prussian kingdom, but in practice they treated their domains as a single unit. The Hohenzollerns gained de jure sovereignty over Brandenburg when the empire dissolved in 1806, and Brandenburg was formally merged into Prussia.

In 1871, in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire was formed, and the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I was crowned German Emperor. From that point forward, though the Kingdom of Prussia retained its status as a constituent state of the empire (by far the largest and most powerful), all subsequent Kings of Prussia also served as German Emperor, and that title took precedence.

Duchy of Prussia (1525–1701)Edit

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Albert(1490-05-17)17 May 1490 – 20 March 1568(1568-03-20) (aged 77)10 April 152520 March 1568Hohenzollern 
Albert Frederick(1553-05-07)7 May 1553 – 28 August 1618(1618-08-28) (aged 65)20 March 156828 August 1618Son of AlbertHohenzollern 
John Sigismund(1572-11-08)8 November 1572 – 23 December 1619(1619-12-23) (aged 47)28 August 161823 December 1619Cousin of Albert Frederick, also Elector of BrandenburgHohenzollern 
George William(1595-11-13)13 November 1595 – 1 December 1640(1640-12-01) (aged 45)23 December 16191 December 1640Son of John Sigismund, also Elector of BrandenburgHohenzollern 
Frederick William
  • the Great Elector
(1620-02-16)16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688(1688-04-29) (aged 68)1 December 164029 April 1688Son of George William, also Elector of BrandenburgHohenzollern 
Frederick I(1657-07-11)11 July 1657 – 25 February 1713(1713-02-25) (aged 55)29 April 168818 January 1701Son of Frederick William, also Elector of BrandenburgHohenzollern 

Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918)Edit

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Frederick I
  • the Mercenary King
    [1]
(1657-07-11)11 July 1657 – 25 February 1713(1713-02-25) (aged 55)18 January 170125 February 1713Son of Frederick William, also Elector of BrandenburgHohenzollern 
Frederick William I
  • the Soldier King
(1688-08-14)14 August 1688 – 31 May 1740(1740-05-31) (aged 51)25 February 171331 May 1740Son of Frederick IHohenzollern 
Frederick II
  • the Great
(1712-01-24)24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786(1786-08-17) (aged 74)31 May 174017 August 1786Son of Frederick William IHohenzollern 
Frederick William II(1744-09-25)25 September 1744 – 16 November 1797(1797-11-16) (aged 53)17 August 178616 November 1797Nephew of Frederick II, Grandson of Frederick William IHohenzollern 
Frederick William III(1770-07-03)3 July 1770 – 7 June 1840(1840-06-07) (aged 69)16 November 17977 June 1840Son of Frederick William IIHohenzollern 
Frederick William IV(1795-10-15)15 October 1795 – 2 January 1861(1861-01-02) (aged 65)7 June 18402 January 1861Son of Frederick William III; also President of the Erfurt Union (1849-1850)Hohenzollern 
William I(1797-03-22)22 March 1797 – 9 March 1888(1888-03-09) (aged 90)2 January 18619 March 1888Brother of Frederick William IV, Son of Frederick William III; also President of the North German Confederation (1867-1871) and German Emperor (from 1871)Hohenzollern 
Frederick III(1831-10-18)18 October 1831 – 15 June 1888(1888-06-15) (aged 56)9 March 188815 June 1888Son of William I; also German EmperorHohenzollern 
William II(1859-01-27)27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941(1941-06-04) (aged 82)15 June 188828 November 1918
(abdicated)
[2]
Son of Frederick III; also German EmperorHohenzollern 

TimelineEdit

William II, German EmperorFrederick III, German EmperorWilliam I, German EmperorFrederick William IV of PrussiaFrederick William III of PrussiaFrederick William II of PrussiaFrederick the GreatFrederick William I of PrussiaFrederick I of PrussiaFrederick William, Elector of BrandenburgGeorge William, Elector of BrandenburgJohn Sigismund, Elector of BrandenburgAlbert Frederick, Duke of PrussiaAlbert, Duke of Prussia

Pretenders to the Throne of Prussia (1918–present)Edit

Family TreeEdit

Frederick I
of Ansbach
and Bayreuth

1460-1536
Sophia
Jagiellon

1464-1512
Albert
1490-1525-1568
Anna Marie
of Brunswick-
Lüneburg

1532-1568
Sophie of
Brandenburg-
Ansbach-
Kulmbach

1485-1537
Frederick II
of Legnica

1480-1547
Casimir of
Brandenburg-
Bayreuth

1481-1527
Susanna
of Bavaria

1502-1543
Hedwig of
Münsterberg
and Oleśnica

1508-1531
George of
Brandenburg-
Ansbach

1484-1543
Emilie
of Saxony

1516-1591
Albert
Frederick

1553-1568-1618
Marie Eleonore
of Cleves

1550-1608
John George
of Brandenburg

1525-1598
Sophie
of Legnica

1525-1546
Marie of
Brandenburg-
Kulmbach

1519-1567
Frederick III,
Elector
Palatine

1515-1576
William I
of Nassau-
Dillenburg

1487-1559
Anna Maria of
Brandenburg-
Ansbach

1526-1589
George Frederick
regent
1539-1577-1603
Anna Sophia
of Prussia

1527-1591
Eleanor
of Prussia

1583-1607
Joachim
Frederick of
Brandenbrug

regent
1546-1605-1608
Catherine of
Brandenburg-
Küstrim

1549-1602
Louis VI,
Elector
Palatine

1539-1583
William I
of the
Netherlands

1533-1584
Elisabeth
of Nassau-
Dillenburg

1542-1603
Sabine of
Württemberg

1549-1581
John VI
of Nassau-
Dillenburg

1536-1606
Magdalene of
Brandenburg

1582-1616
Anna
of Prussia

1576-1625
John Sigismund
1572-1618-1619
regent
1611-1618
Anna Maria of
the Palatinate

1561-1589
Frederick IV,
Elector
Palatine

1574-1610
Louise Juliana
of Nassau

1576-1644
John Albert I
of Solms-
Braunfels
John VII
of Nassau-
Siegen

1561-1623
John VII of
Mecklenburg

1558-1592
Anne Eleonore
of Hesse-
Darmstadt

1601-1659
George
William

1595-1619-1640
Elizabeth
Charlotte
of the Palatinate

1597-1660
Frederick V
Elector
Palatine

1596-1632
Frederick
Henry of
Orange

1584-1617
Amalia
of Solms-
Braunfels

1602-1675
Maurice of
Hesse-Kassel

1572-1632
Juliane
of Nassau-
Dillenburg

1587-1643
George William
of Saxe-
Lauenburg

1624-1705
Ernest
Augustus
of Hanover

1629-1698
Sophia of the
Palatinate

1630-1714
Frederick
William

1620-1640-1688
Louise
Henriette
of Orange

1627-1667
John Albert of
Mecklenburg

1590-1636
Sophia
Dorothea
of Celle

1666-1726
George I
of Great
Britain

1660-1727
Sophia
Charlotte
of Hanover

1688-1705
Frederick I
1657-1688-1713
Catherine
of Sweden

1584-1638
John Casimir
of Kleeburg

1589-1652
Caroline
of Ansbach

1683-1737
George II of
Great Britain

1683-1760
Sophia
Dorothea
of Hanover

1687-1757
Frederick
William I

1688-1713-1740
Louis IX
of Hesse-
Darmstadt

1719-1790
Eleonora
Catherine of
Zweibrücken

1626-1692
Frederick
of Hesse-
Eschwege

1617-1655
Elisabeth
Sophie of
Mecklenburg

1613-1676
Frederick,
Prince of Wales

1707-1751
Augusta of
Saxe-Gotha

1719-1772
Charles Louis
Frederick of
Mecklenburg

1708-1752
Elisabeth
Albertine
of Saxe-
Hildburghausen

1713-1761
Christine
of Hesse-
Eschwege

1648-1702
Ferdinand
Albert I of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1636-1687
George III of
the United
Kingdom

1738-1820
Charlotte of
Mecklenburg-
Strelitz

11744-1818
Charles II of
Mecklenburg-
Strelitz

1741-1816
Antoinette of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1696-1762
Ferdinand
Albert II of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1680-1735
Amalie
of Hesse-
Darmstadt

1754-1832
Augustus
William of
Prussia

1722-1758
Luise of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1722-1780
Frederick II
the Great

1712-1740-1786
Elisabeth
Christine
of Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1715-1797
Philippine
Charlotte
of Prussia

1716-1801
Charles I of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1713-1780
Louise
of Hesse-
Darmstadt

1757-1830
Caroline
of Baden

1776-1841
William IV
of the United
Kingdom

1765-1837
Sophie
Antoinette
of Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1724-1802
Frederica
Louisa of
Hesse-
Darmstadt

1751-1805
Frederick
William II

1744-1786-1797
Elizabeth
Christine of
Brunswick-
Woldenbüttel

1746-1840 
Augusta
of Great
Britain

1737-1813
Charles
William of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1735-1806
Francis of
Saxe-Coburg-
Saalfeld
1750-1806
Frederick
William III

1770-1797-1840
Louise of
Mecklenburg-
Strelitz

1776-1810
Charles
Frederick of
Saxe-Weimar-
Eisenach

1783-1853
Caroline of
Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel

1768-1821
George IV of
the United
Kingdom

1762-1830
Frederick
of York and
Albany

1763-1827
Frederica
Charlotte
of Prussia

1767-1820
Edward
of Kent and
Strathearn

1767-1820
Victoria of
Saxe-Coburg-
Saalfeld

1786-1861
Emich Carl
of Leiningen

1763-1814
Ernerst I of
Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha

1784-1844
Louise of
Saxe-Gotha-
Altenburg

1800-1831
William I
the Great

1797-1861-1888
Augusta
of Saxe-
Weimar-
Eisenach

1811-1890
Caroline
Matilda
of Great
Britain

1751-1775
Frederick
William IV

of Prussia

1795-1840-1861
Elisabeth
Ludovika
of Bavaria

1801-1873
Victoria of
the United
Kingdom

1819-1901
Albert of
Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha

1819-1861
Louise
Augusta
of Denmark

1771-1843
Frederick
Christian II
of Schleswig-
Holstein

1765-1814
Feodora of
Leiningen

1807-1872
Ernest I of
Hohenlohe-
Langenburg

1794-1860
Victoria of
the United
Kingdom

1840-1901
Frederick III
1831-1888-1888
Louise
Sophie of
Danneskiold-
Samsøe

1796-1867
Christian
August II of
Augustenburg

1798-1869
Adelheid of
Hohenlohe-
Langenburg

1835-1900
Frederick VIII
of Schleswig-
Holstein

1829-1880
Frederick
Francis II of
Mecklenburg-
Schwerin

1823-1883
Augusta
Reuss of
Köstritz

1822-1862
Alexander II
of Russia

1818-1855-1881
Maria of
Hesse and
by Rhine

1824-1880
Augusta
Victoria of
Schleswig-
Holstein

1858-1921
William II
1859-1888-1918-1941
in pretence
1918-1941
Frederick
Francis III of
Mecklenburg
Schwerin

1851-1897
Marie of
Mecklenburg-
Schwerin

1854-1920
Vladimir
Alexandrovich
of Russia

1847-1909
Maria
Alexandrovna
of Russia

1853-1920
Alfred of
Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha

1844-1900
Frederick
William V

in pretence
1882-1941-1951
Cecilie of
Mecklenburg-
Schwerin

1886-1945
Kirill
Vladimirovich
of Russia

1876-1938
Victoria
Melita of
Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha

1876-1936
Louis
Ferdinand

in pretence
1907-1951-1994
Kira
Kirillovna
of Russia

1909-1967
Donata
of Castell-
Rüdenhausen
1950-2015
Louis
Ferdinand
of Prussia

1944-1977
George
Frederick

in pretence
1976-1994-

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Hull, Isabel V. (2004), The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888–1918.
  • Horne, Charles F. (2009), Source Records of the Great War, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 978-1104855536

External linksEdit