King Väinö renounces the Finnish throne

14 December 1918

Today, ninety-four years ago, King Väinö I renounced the Finnish throne after just two months. It was the end to an abortive attempt by the Royal House of Hohenzollern to establish a monarchy following Finland's independence from the former Russian Empire.

Because Väinö was in fact a German Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse (actually the brother-in-law of Kaiser William II) who had been elected by the Parliament of Finland prior to the collapse of the Second Reich. He took the regnal name of Väinö to show his support to cause of Finnish independence from foreign rule. 

However after the ending of the monarchies in Imperial Germany the arrangement was quickly considered untenable by influential Finns of the time and indeed by Frederick himself. All three countries would endure civil war before they finally became Republicans.

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