Beginning in the 10th century, the German king was elected by the dukes, the leaders of the duchies that made up the realm. These duchies were semi-sovereign and often acted independently, though theoretically they were under the command of the king/Emperor.
After Friedrich III all of the kings of Germany and the Holy Roman Emperors were from the Habsburg family, with the exception of one. The Habsburgs personally possessed extensive territories in Austria, and later in Bohemia, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. By this time the Emperors were no longer crowned by the popes. The last Holy Roman Emperor was removed by Napoleon in 1806.
|Heinrich||6 king/emperors, 1 king||7|
|Konrad||1 king/emperor, 3 kings||4|
|Ludwig||3 king/emperors, 1 king||4|
|Albrecht||1 king/emperor, 2 kings||3|
|Rudolf||1 king/emperor, 1 king||2|