Monarchs of World War I in Color
This article features 5 key monarchs that ruled during the First World War. By the end of the war, only 1 was still left in power. Thanks to the colorizers Mads Madsen, Marina Amaral, and Klimbim, we get to see these amazing photographs in color.
1. Charles I of Austria, 1916 - 1918
Colorization by Mads Madsen
Charles I or Karl I, was the last reigning monarch of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and reigned from 1916 until 1918. He did not abdicate from rule but “renounced participation” from state affairs. He became the heir presumptive of Emperor Franz Josef after his uncle, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in 1914 (which is widely regarded as the trigger to the First World War). He died in 1922 at the age of 34 after suffering two heart attacks.
2. Franz Josef I of Austria, 1848 - 1916
Colorization by Marina Amaral
Franz Josef is known as the longest reigning Emperor of Austria-Hungary and the third-longest-reigning monarch in European history. Reigning for 68 years, the Austria-Hungarian Empire faced great change under his supervision including the declaration of war on the Kingdom of Serbia in 1914. He died at the age of 86 after developing pneumonia in the night.
3. King George V of the United Kingdom, 1910 - 1936
Colorization by Marina Amaral
George Frederick Ernest Albert became King on 6 May 1910 after the death of his father, King Edward VII. George was not the first in-line originally until the unexpected death of his older brother, Prince Albert, in 1892. The political landscape of the United Kingdom changed greatly during George V’s reign with things such as the Parliament Act of 1911 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. He ruled during the First World War which also had his cousins, Wilhelm II and Nicholas II. In this photograph, George is at Buckingham Palace in 1914.
4. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, 1894 - 1917
Colorization by Klimbim
Nicholas II became Tsar of Russia in 1894 after the unexpected death of his father, Alexander III, at the age of 49. Nicholas was never prepared to become Tsar as his father assumed that he himself would be in power far longer than he was, and he believed it was too early to prepare his son. Nicholas II oversaw the collapse of the Russian Empire and he abdicated in February in 1917 and was executed in 1918. The Communist Party rose to power which saw the beginning of the Soviet Union after his death. This photograph shows Nicholas in the uniform of the Life-Guards 4th The Imperial Family's Rifle Regiment.
5. Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, 1888 - 1918
Colorization by HistoryColored
Wilhelm II was the 3rd and last Emperor of Germany lasting for 1888 until his abdication, effectively ending the First World War, on the 10th November 1918. He was the eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria and was the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King George V of the United Kingdom. Until his reign, Wilhelm seeked to expand the German Empire as they had not been as successful as the other great European powers as the nation had only been founded in 1871 by his grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I. Wilhelm lived out the remainder of his life in exile in the Netherlands, dying at the age 82 in 1941.