House of Hohenzollern

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House of Hohenzollern
Hohenzollern COA.png
Armorial of Hohenzollern
Country German Empire, Kingdom of Prussia, Kingdom of Romania
Parent house Burchardinger dynasty
Founder Burkhard I, Count of Zollern
Ethnicity Germanic, Prussian (see details)
Cadet branches

The House of Hohenzollern is an aristocratic family and royal dynasty of Electors, Kings, and Emperors, ruling over Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany, and Romania.


The family originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia, Württemberg during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle nearby.

The family uses the motto Nihil Sine Deo (English: Nothing Without God). The family coat of arms, first adopted in 1192, began as a simple shield quarterly sable and argent.

The head and shoulders of a hound were added in 1317 by Frederick IV. Later quartering incorporated other branches of the family.

The family later split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and Protestant Franconian branch.

The Swabian branch ruled the area of Hechingen until their eventual extinction in 1869. The Franconian branch was comparatively more successful. Cadets within the Franconian branch ascended to the Margravate of Brandenburg in 1415 and to the Duchy of Prussia in 1525.

The union of Brandenburg and Prussia in 1618 created the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, the state which led the eventual unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

World War I

Social unrest at the end of World War I led to the German Revolution of 1918, with the subsequent formation of the Weimar Republic forcing the Hohenzollerns to abdicate, thus bringing an end to the modern German monarchy. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 set the final terms for the dismantling of the German Empire.


Kings of Prussia

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Frederick I of Prussia.png Frederick I of Prussia 18 January 1701 25 February 1713 first King of Prussia. Duchy of Prussia becomes a kingdom, free from any connection to Poland.
Frederick William I of Prussia.png Frederick William I of Prussia
The Soldier King
25 February 1713 31 May 1740 son of Frederick I of Prussia.
Frederick II of Prussia.png Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick the Great
31 May 1740 17 August 1786 son of Frederick William I of Prussia.
Frederick William II of Prussia.png Frederick William II of Prussia 17 August 1786 16 November 1797 nephew of Frederick II of Prussia.
Frederick William III of Prussia.png Frederick William III of Prussia 16 November 1797 7 June 1840 son of Frederick William II of Prussia.
Frederick William IV of Prussia.png Frederick William IV of Prussia 7 June 1840 2 January 1861 son of Frederick William III of Prussia.

German Emperors, Kings of Prussia

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Wilhelm I, German Emperor.png Wilhelm I, German Emperor 2 January 1861 9 March 1888 brother of Frederick William IV of Prussia.
Frederick III, German Emperor.png Frederick III, German Emperor 9 March 1888 15 June 1888 son of Wilhelm I, German Emperor.
Wilhelm II, German Emperor.png Wilhelm II, German Emperor 15 June 1888 9 November 1918 son of Frederick III, German Emperor.