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The royal weddings that shaped European history

To Queen Victoria, marriages were about strategic alliances.

The upcoming royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is bound to include some high-profile guests. Harry’s brother William’s wedding in 2011 was packed with celebrities; Elton John, David Beckham, and Victoria Beckham to name a few. Many of Europe’s royal families were also in attendance, but not necessarily because they were celebrities. Some, like the Queen of Spain and the former King of Greece, are actually related to the British monarchy. In fact, a significant number of Europe’s royal families trace their lineage back to Prince Harry’s great-great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Over the course of her almost 64-year reign in the 19th century, Queen Victoria strategically married her children and grandchildren into royal houses all over Europe. The hope was that they would build political alliances between Great Britain and an increasingly competitive Europe. But the results were vastly different.

Watch the video above to see why these royal weddings were strategic and how they ended up shaping European history. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe for the latest.

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