View Full Version : What if Victoria had been Queen of Hanover?
12-14-2010, 01:53 PM
A historical what-if. Assume that Hanover did not have a salic law. William IV dies in 1837. Victoria becomes Queen of both the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Hanover.
I think it's reasonable to assume she would have still lived to 1901 (although feel free to offer an opposing opinion). Which means she would have ruled Hanover through the period of German unification. How would that have affected Bismarck's plans? Would Bismarck have sought an accomodation with Victoria or would there have been an Anglo-Prussian confrontation? Maybe Germany would have united under Austria rather than Prussia. Or maybe not united at all. Or maybe there would have been a broader Anglo-German accord under the joint crown. A United Kingdom of Great Britain and Germany?
12-14-2010, 02:20 PM
Now that's a fascinating alternate history idea. I wish I was a good enough historian to give a plausible "history"
One idea though, Victoria had a LOT of kids. Could she have passed it on to one of them? Her oldest child, also named Victoria, became the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Maybe when the younger Vickie married the title could have gone to her, as a sort of wedding present?
I'll bet it would have been hard to reign over both kingdoms.
12-14-2010, 03:03 PM
In my uninformed opinion, if she had been Queen of Hanover I don't think Germany would have formed around Prussia. The UK wanted peace on the continent more than anything and having a continental holding would have caused the UK to pay more attention and I think they would have restrained Prussia.
12-14-2010, 03:08 PM
One idea though, Victoria had a LOT of kids. Could she have passed it on to one of them? Her oldest child, also named Victoria, became the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Maybe when the younger Vickie married the title could have gone to her, as a sort of wedding present?Normally you can't hand off a crown like that. It's a lifetime obligation.
And it's very likely that the Hohenzollerns would never have become Kaisers and Victoria might not have married Frederick.I'll bet it would have been hard to reign over both kingdoms.What had happened during the personal union period was the King lived in England and appointed a viceroy to rule Hanover on his behalf. Historically, that viceroy was Prince Adolphus, one of George III's sons. He was appointed by his father in 1816 and served as viceroy through the reigns of his father and his two brothers. When his older brother Ernest became King of Hanover in 1837 he ruled the kingdom directly and the position of viceroy was abolished. Apparently many Hanoverians prefered Adolphus and would have liked to skip over Ernest and give Adolphus the crown but Adolphus refused to usurp his brother's position.
12-14-2010, 03:15 PM
In my uninformed opinion, if she had been Queen of Hanover I don't think Germany would have formed around Prussia. The UK wanted peace on the continent more than anything and having a continental holding would have caused the UK to pay more attention and I think they would have restrained Prussia.That's why I left Bismarck as an open question. Historically, he was able to match his loyalty to Prussia with the ideal of German unification (and his personal ambition). He united Germany under Prussian control as directed by himself.
What I wondered is if he could have seperated those loyalties if necessary. Would Bismarck have accepted Prussia being a lesser power in a Germany built around a Hanoverian axis with Victoria as nominal Empress of Germany and Bismarck running the country as her Prime Minister and/or Chancellor?
12-15-2010, 08:59 AM
Judging by this map (http://www.geographicus.com/P/AntiqueMap/GermanyPrussia-mb-1837) of the German states in 1837, Prussia was already in a very dominant position when Victoria would have assumed power.
Without checking, I'm not sure if all the pink bits are Prussian (Westfalia?) but at best I think you'd have a polarised position, with Prussia the dominant state and a Hanover-based rump in N.W. Germany controlling the Elbe and the North Sea ports.
Freddy the Pig
12-15-2010, 11:15 AM
I don't think it would have made much difference. A male sovereign (or Victoria if allowed as Queen of Hanover) would have continued to employ a viceroy. As I understand it, Parliament was pretty adamant about not letting the Hanoverian connection influence British foreign policy.
And if the British government didn't care about it, why should Prussia? At most they might have allowed the Hanoverian monarchy to survive a la Bavaria, but still as part of the German Empire. And I don't see the British going to war to prevent that.
12-15-2010, 11:55 AM
Normally you can't hand off a crown like that. It's a lifetime obligation.
I suppose Queen Victoria could have abdicated just from the throne of Hanover (and not from the British throne), and let her eldest child, Princess Victoria, become the new Queen of Hanover in her own right.
A related thread that may be of interest: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=588942
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