The Last Czar Of Russia, Nicholas II, Was A Dead Ringer For Elizabeth II's Grandpa

While it's true that no two people are exactly alike — genetics, upbringing, environmental factors — there are certainly enough people alive that some folks are bound to at least look like each other, right? In fact, as this thread on Quora says, while it's not certain how many total permutations of human DNA exist, taking basic factors into account, the total number is four raised to the three-billionth power, then squared. So... a lot. Why is it, then, that the cashier at Trader Joe's looks just like that weird uncle you haven't seen since Thanksgiving, 2016? (Hint: he is your uncle.)

And speaking of weird uncles and convoluted parentage? The British royals. Or really, all royals, because as we'll soon see, they're practically all related, anyway.

Take the case of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). Yes, that renowned, regaled, and much-remembered lady of industrial Britain who presided over the "Victorian era" of arsenic baths, death photography, rampant syphilis, and extremely poor public sanitation. Her grandson, George V (1865-1936), is Queen Elizabeth II's (the current queen) grandfather. George V's father was Queen Victoria's son, Edward VII, and his mother was Alexandra of Denmark, whose sister Dagmar was the mother of the Russian tsar, Nicolas II. This made George V and Nicolas II first cousins, and as History tells us, they hung out a lot as kids.

We're not sure what they looked like as children, but if it's anything that they looked like as adults, you might be wondering who was who.

Keeping it in the family through war and peace

Ok, admittedly, the twin beards and equivalent hairlines make things a bit more challenging. But really, the faces of Nicolas II (left) and George V (right) are testaments to the power of royal lineages to greatly shrink that "four raised to the three-billionth power, then squared" genetic probability of producing differently-featured offspring. But hey, that's what happens when monarchs consolidate power, protect economic interests, attempt to foster inter-state peace, and ensure that their progeny can go on to produce excessively confusing family trees like this one in Town and Country Mag.

Except, even the strongest family ties and childhood friendships fail in the face of political strife. Take World War I, which roped not only Nicolas II and George V into the mix, but their other brother from another mother, the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II (1859-1941), whose twin-peaked mustache, seen on History, totally makes him stand out from his cousins. And we say "cousins," because yes, history's last kaiser was also a relative of Nicolas II and George V. In fact, he was another grandchild of Queen Victoria, through Victoria's daughter, who was named (wait for it) Victoria

When World War I broke out in 1914, the conflict quickly became "a savage rebuke to the idea that close familial links between royal families would somehow prevent nations from descending into bloodshed," as History perfectly states it. Not even the letters that Nicolas II sent to Wilheim II, using personal nicknames, made any difference.