|Alfred the Great||871-899|
Royal succession, or the transition of power from one ruler to the next, hasn’t always been smooth in Great Britain or other monarchies, but it has served as a template for governments around the world. Historically based on rules like primogeniture, modern monarchies are reforming the way power is transferred from generation to generation. Here’s a look at the current line of succession to the British throne and the ways the crown has been passed down through history.
The Politics of a Second Gilded Age
Anyone whose memory stretches as far back as January might be confused by the spectacle of American conservatives professing their love for Britain’s monarchy. Two days before Donald Trump left office, his “1776 Commission” praised the Declaration of Independence as a historically momentous document that made America a “unique” nation. During the Obama administration, the iconography of America’s revolutionary struggle against the British Crown was so pervasive that the right wing of the GOP actually called itself the “Tea Party.”
Yet when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry criticized the royal family in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, the response of at least some figures in prominent conservative institutions was to hail the very institution America’s founders were rebelling against in 1776. Multiple defenses of the monarchy appeared in publications like the Federalist and the National Review. The Heritage Foundation hosted a virtual event entitled “The Crown Under Fire: Why the Left’s Campaign to Cancel the Monarchy and Undermine a Cornerstone of Western Democracy will Fail.”
It’s hard to read that without thinking of the official slogans of the ruling party in George Orwell’s novel 1984. War is peace! Freedom is slavery! The monarchy is a cornerstone of democracy!
House of Alpin (848–1034) Edit
The reign of Kenneth MacAlpin begins what is often called the House of Alpin, an entirely modern concept. The descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin were divided into two branches the crown would alternate between the two, the death of a king from one branch often hastened by war or assassination by a pretender from the other. Malcolm II was the last king of the House of Alpin in his reign, he successfully crushed all opposition to him and, having no sons, was able to pass the crown to his daughter's son, Duncan I, who inaugurated the House of Dunkeld.
*Eochiad was a son of Run, King of Strathclyde, but his mother was a daughter of Kenneth I. Evidence of his reign is unclear. He may have never actually been king and if he was, he was co-king with Giric.
¤Amlaíb is known only by a reference to his death in 977, which reports him as King of Alba since Kenneth II is known to have still been King in 972–973, Amlaíb must have taken power between 973 and 977.
House of Dunkeld (1034–1286) Edit
Duncan succeeded to the throne as the maternal grandson of Malcolm II. He was also the heir-general of Malcolm I, as his paternal grandfather, Duncan of Atholl was the third son of Malcolm I. The House of Dunkeld was therefore closely related to the House of Alpin. Duncan was killed in battle by Macbeth, who had a long and relatively successful reign. In a series of battles between 1057 and 1058, Duncan's son Malcolm III defeated and killed Macbeth and Macbeth's stepson and heir Lulach, claiming the throne. The dynastic feuds did not end there: on Malcolm III's death in battle, his brother Donald III, known as "Bán", claimed the throne, expelling Malcolm III's sons from Scotland. A civil war in the family ensued, with Donald III and Malcolm III's son Edmund opposed by Malcolm III's English-backed sons, led first by Duncan II and then by Edgar. Edgar triumphed, sending his uncle and brother to monasteries. After the reign of David I, the Scottish throne was passed according to rules of primogeniture, moving from father to son, or where not possible, brother to brother.
Grandson of Malcolm II (son of second daughter)
Cousin of Duncan I
House of Sverre (1286–1290) Edit
The status of Margaret, Maid of Norway, as a Scottish monarch is debated by historians. One of her biographers, Archie Duncan, argues that because she was "never inaugurated, she was never queen of Scots". Another, Norman H. Reid, insists that Margaret was "accepted as queen" by her contemporaries but that, owing to the lack of Inauguration, "[her] reign never started".
|Margaret  |
the Maid of Norway
|c. April 1283 |
daughter of Eric II of Norway and Margaret of Scotland
|September/October 1290 |
St Margaret's Hope, Orkney
|granddaughter of Alexander III|
First Interregnum (1290–1292) Edit
Monarchy of Scotland restored Edit
House of Balliol (1292–1296) Edit
The death of Margaret of Norway began a two-year interregnum in Scotland caused by a succession crisis. With her death, the descent of William I became extinct and there was no obvious heir. Thirteen candidates presented themselves the most prominent were John Balliol, great-grandson of William I's younger brother David of Huntingdon, and Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, David of Huntingdon's grandson. The Scottish magnates invited Edward I of England to arbitrate the claims. He did so but forced the Scots to swear allegiance to him as overlord. Eventually, it was decided that John Balliol should become king. He proved weak and incapable and, in 1296, was forced to abdicate by Edward I who then attempted to annex Scotland into the Kingdom of England.
Second Interregnum (1296–1306) Edit
Monarchy of Scotland restored (second time) Edit
House of Bruce (1306–1371) Edit
For ten years, Scotland had no king. The Scots, however, refused to tolerate English rule. First William Wallace and then John Comyn and finally Robert the Bruce (the grandson of the 1292 competitor, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale) fought against the English. Bruce and his supporters had murdered their rival to the throne of Scotland, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, on 10 February 1306 at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries. Shortly after in 1306, Robert was crowned King of Scots at Scone. Robert Bruce was then hunted down for his crime of murder, and subsequently, he escaped to the outskirt islands, leaving the country completely leaderless, and the English invaded once again. Bruce would return a year later and gain support for his cause. His energy, and the corresponding replacement of the vigorous Edward I with his weaker son Edward II in 1307, allowed Scotland to free itself from English rule. At the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots routed the English, and by 1328 the English had agreed by treaty to accept Scottish independence. Robert's son, David, acceded to the throne as a child. The English renewed their war with Scotland, and David was forced to flee the kingdom by Edward Balliol, son of King John, who managed to get himself crowned (1332–1356) and to give away Scotland's southern counties to England before being driven out again. David spent much of his life in exile, first in freedom with his ally, France, and then in prison in England. He was only able to return to Scotland in 1357. Upon his death, childless, in 1371, the House of Bruce came to an end.
House of Balliol (1332–1356) Edit
Edward Balliol was the son of King John Balliol, who had himself ruled for four years following his election in the Great Cause. Following his abdication, John Balliol lived out his life in obscurity in Picardy, France. During the minority of David II, Edward Balliol seized the opportunity to assert his claim to the throne, and backed by the English, he defeated the forces of David's regency and was himself crowned king at Scone in 1332. He was quickly defeated by loyalist forces and sent back to England. With English support, he would mount two more attempts to seize the throne again, in 1333 and 1335, each time his actual control of the throne was brief before being sent back to England, for the last time in 1336. When David returned from exile in 1341 to rule in his own right, Edward lost most of his support. When David II was captured in battle in 1346, Edward made one last attempt to seize the throne for himself but had little support and the campaign fizzled before it gained much traction. In 1356 he renounced all claims to the throne.
|Edward Balliol  |
In opposition to David II
Son of John Balliol and Isabella de Warenne
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
|Son of John Balliol, candidate of the English to replace the exiled David II|
House of Stewart/Stuart (1371–1651) Edit
Robert the Stewart was a grandson of Robert I by the latter's daughter, Marjorie. Having been born in 1316, he was older than his uncle, David II. Consequently, he was at his accession a middle-aged man, already 55, and unable to reign vigorously, a problem also faced by his son Robert III, who also ascended in middle age at 53 in 1390, and suffered lasting damage in a horse-riding accident. These two were followed by a series of regencies, caused by the youth of the succeeding five boy kings. Consequently, the Stewart era saw periods of royal inertia, during which the nobles usurped power from the crown, followed by periods of personal rule by the monarch, during which he or she would attempt to address the issues created by their minority and the long-term effects of previous reigns. Governing Scotland became increasingly difficult, as the powerful nobility became increasingly intractable. James I's attempts to curb the disorder of the realm ended in his assassination. James III was killed in a civil war between himself and the nobility, led by his son. When James IV, who had governed sternly and suppressed the aristocrats, died in the Battle of Flodden, his wife Margaret Tudor, who had been nominated regent for their young son James V, was unseated by noble feuding, and James V's wife, Mary of Guise, succeeded in ruling Scotland during the regency for her young daughter Mary I only by dividing and conquering the noble factions, distributing French bribes with a liberal hand. Finally, Mary I, the daughter of James V, found herself unable to govern Scotland faced with the surliness of the aristocracy and the intransigence of the population, who favored Calvinism and disapproved of her Catholicism. She was forced to abdicate, and fled to England, where she was imprisoned in various castles and manor houses for eighteen years and finally executed for treason against the English queen Elizabeth I. Upon her abdication, her son, fathered by Henry, Lord Darnley, a junior member of the Stewart family, became King as James VI.
James VI became King of England and Ireland as James I in 1603 when his cousin Elizabeth I died. Thereafter, although the two crowns of England and Scotland remained separate, the monarchy was based chiefly in England. Charles I, James's son, found himself faced with the Civil War. The resultant conflict lasted eight years and ended in his execution. The English Parliament then decreed their monarchy to be at an end. The Scots Parliament, after some deliberation, broke their links with England and declared that Charles II, son, and heir of Charles I, would become King. He ruled until 1651 when the armies of Oliver Cromwell occupied Scotland and drove him into exile.
Third Interregnum (1651–1660) Edit
Monarchy of Scotland restored (third time) Edit
House of Stuart restored (1660–1707) Edit
With the Scottish Restoration, the Stuarts became Kings of Scotland once more but Scotland's rights were not respected. During the reign of Charles II, the Scottish Parliament was dissolved and James was appointed Governor of Scotland. James II himself became James VII in 1685. His Catholicism was not tolerated, and he was driven out of England after three years. In his place came his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, the ruler of the Dutch Republic. The two were accepted as monarchs of Scotland after a period of deliberation by the Scottish Parliament and ruled together as William II and Mary II.
An attempt to establish a Scottish colonial empire through the Darien Scheme, in rivalry to that of England, failed, leaving the Scottish nobles who financed the venture for their profit bankrupt. This coincided with the accession of Queen Anne, daughter of James VII. Anne had multiple children but none of these survived her, leaving as her heir her half-brother, James, then living in exile in France. The English favored the Protestant Sophia of Hanover (a granddaughter of James VI) as heir. Many Scots preferred Prince James, who as a Stuart was a Scot by ancestry, and threatened to break the Union of Crowns between England and Scotland by choosing him for themselves. To preserve the union, the English elaborated a plan whereby the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England would merge into a single Kingdom, the Kingdom of Great Britain, ruled by a common monarch, and with a single Parliament. Both national parliaments agreed to this (the Scots albeit reluctantly, motivated primarily by the national finances), and some subterfuge as a total majority of signatories were needed to ratify the Scottish parliament's assent, bribes, and payments. Thereafter, although monarchs continued to rule over the nation of Scotland, they did so first as monarchs of Great Britain, and from 1801 of the United Kingdom.
For the British monarchs see List of British monarchs.
James VII continued to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. When he died in 1701, his son James inherited his father's claims and called himself James VIII of Scotland and III of England and Ireland. He would continue to do so all his life, even after the Kingdoms of England and Scotland were ended by their merging as the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1715, a year after the death of his half-sister, Queen Anne, and the accession of their cousin George of Hanover, James landed in Scotland and attempted to claim the throne. He failed and was forced to flee back to the Continent. A second attempt by his son, Charles on behalf of his father, in 1745, also failed. Both James's children died without legitimate issue, bringing the Stuart family to an end.
- "James VIII", also known as The Old Pretender, son of James VII, was claimant from 1701 until he died in 1766.
- "Charles III", also known as The Young Pretender and often called Bonnie Prince Charlie, son of James VIII, was claimant from his father's death until his death in 1788 without legitimate issue.
- "Henry I", brother of Charles III and youngest son of James VIII. Died unmarried in 1807.
After 1807, the Jacobite claims passed first to the House of Savoy (1807–1840), then to the Modenese branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (1840–1919), and finally to the House of Wittelsbach (since 1919). The current heir is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. Neither he nor any of his predecessors since 1807 have pursued their claim.
In 1971, Ugandan President Idi Amin proclaimed himself to be the uncrowned king of Scotland,  although this illogical claim gained no international recognition.
The Acts of Union were twin Parliamentary Acts passed during 1706 and 1707 by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, agreed on 22 July 1706, following prolonged negotiation between Queen Anne's Commissioners representing both parliaments. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland to form a united Kingdom of Great Britain. 
Scotland and England had shared a common monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603 when the Scottish king James VI succeeded to the English throne. Although described as a Union of Crowns, before the Acts of Union of 1707, the crowns of the two separate kingdoms had rested on the same head. Three unsuccessful attempts (in 1606, 1667, and 1689) were made to unite the two kingdoms by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that the idea had the will of both political establishments to succeed, thereby bringing the two separate states together under a single parliament as well as a single monarch.
The coronation oath was sworn by every Scottish monarch from James VI to Charles II and approved by the Estates of Parliament in 1567:
I, N.N., promise faithfully, in the presence of the eternal, my God, that I, enduring the whole Course of my Life, shall serve the same Eternal, my God, to the utmost of my Power, accordingly as he required in his most Holy Word, revealed and contained in the New and Old Testament and according to the same Word shall maintain the true Religion of Jesus Christ, the preaching of his Holy Word, and due and right administration of his Sacraments, now received and practised within this Realm and shall abolish and oppose all false Religion contrary to the same and shall rule the People committed to my Charge, according to the Will and Command of God, revealed in his foresaid Word, and according to the lovable Laws and Constitutions received in this Realm, in no way repugnant to the said Word of the Eternal, my God and shall procure to my utmost to the Kirk of God and whole Christian people true and perfect Peace in all times coming the Rights and Rents, with all just privileges of the Crown of Scotland, I shall preserve and keep inviolate, neither shall I transfer nor alienate the same I shall forbid and repress in all Estates and all Degrees theft, Oppression and all kind of Wrong in all Judgements, I shall command and procure that Justice and Equity be kept to all creatures without exception, as he be merciful to me and you that is the Lord and Father of all Mercies and out of all my lands and empire I shall be careful to root out all Heresy and Enemies to the true Worship of God, that shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God of the foresaid Crimes and these Things above-written I faithfully affirm by my solemn Oath.
The coronation oath is sworn by William II, Mary II and Anne was approved by the Parliament of Scotland on 18 April 1689.  The oath was as follows:
WE William and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland, faithfully promise and swear, by this our solemn Oath, in presence of the Eternal God, that during the whole Course of our Life we will serve the same Eternal God, to the uttermost of our Power, according as he has required in his most Holy Word, revealed and contained in the New and Old Testament and according to the same Word shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his Holy Word, and the due and right Ministration of the Sacraments, now received and preached within the Realm of Scotland and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the People committed to our Charge, according to the Will and Command of God, revealed in his aforesaid Word, and according to the laudable Laws and Constitutions received in this Realm, no ways repugnant to the said Word of the Eternal God and shall procure, to the utmost of our power, to the Kirk of God, and whole Christian People, true and perfect Peace in all time coming. That we shall preserve and keep inviolated the Rights and Rents, with all just Privileges of the Crown of Scotland, neither shall we transfer nor alienate the same that we shall forbid and repress in all Estates and Degrees, Reif, Oppression and all kind of Wrong. And we shall command and procure, that Justice and Equity in all Judgments be kept to all Persons without exception, us the Lord and Father of all Mercies shall be merciful to us. And we shall be careful to root out all Heretics and Enemies to the true Worship of God, that shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God, of the aforesaid Crimes, out of our Lands and Empire of Scotland. And we faithfully affirm the Things above-written by our solemn Oath.
List of English Monarchs 👑🤴🏼👸🏼
ADDucation&rsquos list of English monarchs starts with King Egbert in 802 AD because there really wasn&rsquot a country called &ldquoEngland&rdquo before Egbert. Earlier rulers were not English monarchs.
Frequently Asked Questions About English Monarchs:
Who were the English monarchs before King Egbert in 802 AD?
There wasn't a country called &ldquoEngland&rdquo before Egbert so earlier rulers of the land now called &ldquoEngland&rdquo were not English monarchs. After the Romans left England around 410 AD the following 400 years saw battles between the Angles, Jutes and Saxons against the Picts and Scots. The Danish Jutes settled in Kent with their own kingdom. In Sussex the Germanic &ldquoSouth Saxons&rdquo established their own kingdom and later the &ldquoWest Saxons&rdquo in Wessex and the &ldquoEast Saxons&rdquo in Essex did the same. From 547 AD the Angles (from the Baltic) set up home first in Northumberland, then East Anglia (East Angles) and later in Mercia (Middle Angles). They all fought among themselves with the Northumbrians getting the upper hand for 120 years until they were knocked off the top spot by Mercia in 679 AD. Their King Offa (757-796) is claimed by some to be the first King of all England. It was only after King Egbert of Wessex defeated Mercia and the only remaining British stronghold in Cornwall that England was unified under Egbert who became the first of a long line of English monarchs. Egbert, married Redburga, a French princess and sister of Charlemagne, and they had Ethelwulf, a sweet baby boy, who became the second king of England.
Who is the longest reigning English Monarch?
Queen Elizabeth is the longest reigning of all English monarchs. She overtook queen Victoria, who reigned for 64 years, in 2015. Queen Elizabeth is currently also the longest reigning living monarch in the world.
ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort English monarchs. Reload page for original sort order. Resize your browser to full screen and/or zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Click the ➕ icon to reveal any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen to show as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table.
British Monarchy – Edward VIII
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David was born on the 23rd June 1894. He was the eldest son of George V and Mary of Teck. His father became King George V on 6th May 1910 and Edward, generally called David by the family, became Duke of Cornwall and Duke&hellip
Want a comprehensive British Monarch Timeline of (nearly) all kings and queens of England? Click here.
William II (Rufus) Timeline
In the eleventh century it was churchmen who wrote biographies of Kings. William was hated by the churchmen of the day – they disliked his preference for long hair, seeing it as a sign of an effeminate and low morals. They also disliked his fondness for gaiety and extravagance and his coolness towards religion. The biographies of William Rufus were therefore written by men who hated him and were often extremely biased.
Racism and the Monarchy: 10 Times the UK Royals Went a Little Too Far
The Queen's 90th birthday saw celebrations throughout London and parts of England, as well as military salutes throughout the United Kingdom at the weekend.
#1 But the extended BBC television coverage of the event found itself mired in controversy, following a seemingly "racist" anecdote about the monarch, recounted by the "Only Fools and Horses" actor David Jason:
David Jason talking about the Queen and her humorous light racism. pic.twitter.com/6w76n7FIgI
&mdash Hair & Makeup by&hellip (@ThomasRoose92) June 12, 2016
"She said she was talking to the family, and they were talking about an ambassador that came from another country, and she said 'actually, I thought that I was talking to a gorilla.' "
The comments were part of a somewhat fawning discussion, about the Queen's supposedly "dry" sense of humor, although it wasn't long before people were highlighting their apparently racist overtones.
Just saw that David Jason thing. Cheerful wee casually racist Royal anecdote Did he hit his head when he fell through the bar? Unreal.&mdash Paul (@pault1888) June 12, 2016
#patronslunch Oh dear David Jason you just dropped the teapot at the party! #CringeWorthy&mdash BeckyB (@ramblinrose70) June 12, 2016
Some monarchists were quick to rush to the defense of her Majesty, sharing a clip from the 1969 documentary "Royal Family," from which the comments seemed to originate. Though the clip does seem to back up David Jason's story.
This is &mdash of course &mdash not the first time that the British Royal family has found itself embroiled in accusations of racism.
In fact, it's been an unusually common occurrence over the years &mdash although admittedly Prince Phillip has skewed the average a bit.
Here are the other 9 times the Royals &mdash but mainly Prince Phillip &mdash went a little bit racist:
On a visit to a factory in Scotland, commenting on a tired looking fuse box, Prince Phillip said:
"It looks as though it was put in by an Indian."
Back in the 1990's, Prince Phillip once asked a Scottish driving instructor:
"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?"
In 2004, Princess Michael of Kent said to a table full of black New Yorkers:
"You need to go back to the colonies."
When Prince Philip met with the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, he mistook his traditional African garments for pyjamas, saying:
"You look like you're ready for bed."
Prince Harry once told the black comedian Stephen K. Amos that he didn't "sound like a black chap."
Back in 2009, during a visit from US President Barack Obama, Mr Obama told the Queen and Prince Philip: "I had breakfast with the prime minister I had meetings with the Chinese, the Russians&hellip," to which Prince Phillip responded:
"Can you tell the difference between them?"
In an ill-judged move, Prince Harry decided to attend a costume party dressed as a Nazi, complete with a swastika armband.
Here's Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi for the #bants, why do rich people think it's funny to dress up as fascists? pic.twitter.com/yQCnUXHTe4
&mdash Ryan Lunn (@ryanlunn_) February 23, 2016
When he met the 2009 multi-ethnic winners of Britain's Got Talent "Diversity", Prince Phillip asked:
Addressing a group of British students in China, Prince Phillip warned them against staying in the country for too long, or they might:
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10 Amazing Facts About The British Monarchy
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, which means we are a democracy but still have a king or queen. The current Royal family is the House of Windsor, who enjoy diplomatic responsibility despite holding no actual power. But before the English Civil-War, the Monarchy held absolute power in Britain. Today, all is peaceful and over 60 percent of British people are in favor of the British monarchy. The British monarch is also the head of state for 16 other countries that were once part of the British Empire. From the current Queen, to the bizarre legal issues involving the royals, and their incredible past – here are 10 amazing facts about the British monarchy.
The Queen Has Power But Can’t Use It
Theoretically the serving monarch does have some power. But they are unable to use it as the power is looked after, and used, by the current Prime Minister. These powers include granting Royal Pardons, honors, and even declaring war. So it’s probably a good thing that the Prime minister looks after that last one. These powers are collectively known as the Royal prerogative. So realistically the Queen has no actual power. She signs legislative bills into law, but she doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. She annually gives speeches, but those speeches are written for her by the government.
No One Knows How Wealthy They Are
We can’t be sure how wealthy the Royal family is as a whole, or even how wealthy the Queen is personally. But one thing is clear: they’re incredibly wealthy. Estimates of the Queens personal wealth vary massively. Forbes thinks it’s over 400 million dollars, but many others think it’s below 100 million dollars. Much of their physical wealth is tied to land, so it’s hard to value it. The former director of the Queens own bank (she doesn’t own the bank) estimated her wealth at around 50 million dollars. So it’s anyone’s guess how rich she is. But seeing as she’s an actual queen, we can assume she won’t be struggling financially any time soon.
They’re Pretty Inbred
Royal family members tend to only marry other Royal family members. Usually, they marry into other European royal families. But that’s been going on for so long that most European royals are closely related. And they have been closely related for quite some time, making most of the current European monarchs the product of incest. I mean, the current British monarch married and had children with her third cousin. Their great-great grandparents were literally the same people. It was Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. And that makes sense – Queen Victoria sent her children all over Europe to marry into new Kingdoms.
The Queen Can Only Enter Half Of Parliament
For constitutional reasons, the Queen isn’t allowed to enter the house of commons, which is the supreme chamber in the British Parliament. This is to make clear the separation of Monarchy and government. It actually goes back to the English civil war. The war started when the King entered the house of commons and attempted to arrest some of it’s members. This is what kicked off the war. The King obviously lost the war, and British Monarchs were from then on banned from ever entering the house of commons. It’s hard to know what would happen is she attempted to enter the house today. Maybe the British monarchy would be overthrown. No one really knows.
Minor royals are members of the Royal family who don’t really do anything regarding politics. People like the Queens grandchildren who aren’t the children of the heir to the throne. So Prince Charles’ children are not minor royals, but their cousins are. The British public are unsure what to do with the minor royals. Do we respect them, throw money at them, or ignore them? We currently do all three of these things. But recent polls show that a majority of British people are against giving money to these minor royals. Because right now they do regularly receive money. How much longer they can receive this money is unclear. British Dukes also received money until recently.
As mentioned earlier, members of the Royal family are constantly being sent around the world on official visits to other countries. They just visit people and talk about nothing much, and that’s considered diplomatic. And it should be considered diplomatic, the Queen is the head of state for Great Britain and the whole commonwealth. The Queen alone has been to over 130 different countries, and I’m sure that number increases quite a lot when you include other members of the royal family. That’s basically the main purpose of the royal family these days – we just fly them around the world to meet people they really don’t care about.
Some Former Colonies Have Rejected It
The goal for the British monarchy was always that the former colonies of the British Empire would continue to hold the Queen as their own head of state long after gaining independence. But quite a few of those former colonies simply dropped their connection to the British monarchy. Places like India, Pakistan, and South-Africa no longer have Queen Elizabeth as their head of state but remain part of the commonwealth. Some prominent politicians in other commonwealth countries like Australia and Jamaica have recently expressed interest in no longer having the British monarch as their head of state. But they usually say it should be changed after the current Queen dies, and before Charles is crowned King.
It Almost Collapsed In The 1990s
Although today the British monarchy is more popular than ever, there was a time when their position in society was far less than stable. And it wasn’t that long ago. The British public were angry at how the Royal family acted after the death of princess Diana in 1997. Her death triggered a bizarre mass-hysteria within the UK. But the Queen didn’t show much sorrow for her death. This is because the royals have been taught to show as little emotion as possible. As a result of this, republicanism was on the rise in Britain, and for a while it really looked like most people wanted to overthrow the British monarchy. But the controversy faded away.
The Queen Hates Tony Blair
Once again showing solidarity with the British public, the Queen also doesn’t like Tony Blair. Blair was the British Prime minister from 1997 to 2007. During his time in power, he changed House of Lords so that now most Lords don’t inherit their title through male bloodlines. They are appointed. I assume this is one of the reasons she doesn’t like him – Queens are known for being traditional. Tony Blair’s wife always refused to curtsy to Royals, which I’m sure caused them offense. It’s well known that she doesn’t like Tony Blair, but perhaps the real reason for this is unknown. Maybe it was the Iraq war. It could be anything.
They Changed Their Name
The House name of the Royal family is currently Windsor. But until 1917, it was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But this was such a German-sounding name that the Royal family were forced to change their name to Windsor during the first world war. They took their new name from Windsor castle, which has long been one of their residences.
The British Royal Family Tree
A comprehensive who's who of Queen Elizabeth's family, from her grandparents (the first Windsors) to little Archie Harrison and every cousin in between.
The House of Windsor as we know it today began in 1917 when the family changed its name from the German &ldquoSaxe-Coburg-Gotha.&rdquo Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V, was the first Windsor monarch, and today's working royals are the descendants of King George and his wife, Queen Mary. Below follow the line of succession and explore the many branches of the family over which the Queen presides.
King George V, 1865-1936
The grandson of Queen Victoria&mdashand grandfather to Queen Elizabeth&mdashGeorge V was born third in the line of succession and did not expect to become king. That changed after his elder brother Prince Albert Victor died in 1892. George ascended the throne after the death of his father in 1910, serving as King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India until his death in 1936.
Queen Mary, 1867-1953
Queen Elizabeth&rsquos grandmother Queen Mary was royal by birth (her great-grandfather was King George III). Despite technically being a princess of the German Duchy of Teck, she was born and raised in England. She was first engaged to marry Prince Albert Victor, the eldest son of Edward VII and her second cousin once removed, but after Albert&rsquos sudden death in 1892, Mary agreed to marry his brother, the future King George V. The couple married in 1893, and had six children, two of whom would become reigning monarchs. She died in 1953, one year after her son, Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI.
King Edward VIII, 1894-1972
The eldest son of George V and Queen Mary, Edward became king after his father&rsquos death in 1936, but threw the country into crisis months later when he proposed to Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. As monarch, Edward was head of the Church of England, which at the time did not allow divorced people with a living former spouse to remarry in the church, and thus the government opposed the marriage. Unable to marry Simpson and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated in December of 1936, and was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, Queen Elizabeth&rsquos father, who would go on to become King George VI. Edward&rsquos reign lasted just 326 days, one of the shortest in British history. After his abdication, he was named Duke of Windsor and married Simpson in 1937. They lived abroad until his death in 1972.
Princess Mary, 1897-1965
The only daughter of George V and Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth&rsquos aunt. During World War I, Mary devoted herself to charity work, visiting hospitals and launching fundraising campaigns to support British soldiers and sailors. She later trained as a nurse, and worked two days a week at the Great Ormond Street children&rsquos hospital in London. In 1922, Mary married Viscount Lascelles, who later became Earl of Harewood theirs was the first royal wedding to receive coverage in fashion magazines like Vogue. Those fans of the Downton Abbey movie will recognize Mary from her part in the plot.
Prince John, 1905-1919
The youngest child of George V and Queen Mary, John was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of four, and was sent to live at Sandringham House where he was cared for by his governess. He died in 1919 at the age of 13, following a severe seizure. His condition was not disclosed to the public until after his death.
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, 1900-1974
King George V and Queen Mary&rsquos third son, Henry was the first child of a British monarch to be educated at school, rather than be tutored at home, and ultimately attended Eton College. He served in the British military and had ambitions to command a regiment, but his career was interrupted by royal responsibilities following the 1936 abdication of his brother Edward VIII. He married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott in 1935, and the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Richard. Henry died in 1974 as the eldest surviving child of George V and Mary.
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, 1901-2004
The wife of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and Queen Elizabeth&rsquos aunt by marriage, Lady Alice was a direct descendant of Charles II through his illegitimate son, the nobleman James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. She married Prince Henry in 1935, days after the death of her father, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch. The couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Richard. Alice died at the age of 102 in 2004.
Prince George, Duke of Kent, 1902-1942
The fourth son of George V and Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth&rsquos uncle. Like his elder brother Henry, George was educated at school, and spent time in the Navy before becoming the first member of the royal family to work as a civil servant. In 1934, he married Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and the couple had three children: Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Michael. At the start of World War II, he returned to active military service in the Royal Navy and later the Royal Air Force. His death in 1942 in a military air crash marked the first time in more than 450 years that a member of the royal family died during active service.
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, 1906-1968
The wife of Prince George, and a princess of the Greek royal house, Princess Marina was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. (Prince Philip is her first cousin.) In 1932, she met Prince George during a visit to London, and the couple married two years later theirs was the first royal wedding to be broadcast by wireless radio. The couple had three children: Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Michael. Following her husband&rsquos death in 1942, Marina remained an active member of the royal family and carried out many royal duties across the world, even representing the Queen at some events. She died in 1968 at the age of 61.
King George VI, 1895 - 1952
Known publicly as Prince Albert until his accession, King George VI did not expect to inherit the throne because his elder brother Edward VIII was first in the line of succession.
As the second son of George V and Queen Mary, he was made Duke of York in 1920, after serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during World War I. In 1923, he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and the couple had two daughters: the future Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. Following Edward&rsquos abdication in 1936, Albert took the throne and assumed the name King George VI. The dissolution of the British Empire and formation of the British Commonwealth were finalized during George&rsquos reign, so he was both the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. George died in 1952 at the age of 56, and was succeeded by his daughter.
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, 1900 - 2002
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born into British nobility, the 9th of 10 siblings. In 1923, she married Prince Albert, the Duke of York, having turned down several previous proposals because she had misgivings about royal life. When her brother-in-law abdicated in 1936, Albert became King George VI and Elizabeth became the Queen consort of the United Kingdom. Upon her husband&rsquos death in 1952, her elder daughter Elizabeth ascended to the throne, and she became known as the Queen Mother. She remained active in public life up to and even after her 100th birthday in 2000 and died at 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.
Prince William of Gloucester, 1941-1972
As the eldest son of Prince Henry and Lady Alice, Prince William was highly educated, studying at Eton College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University. While he later held jobs in banking and in the British civil service, Queen Elizabeth&rsquos first-cousin was also a licensed pilot, and regularly competed in air show races. It was that passion eventually lead to his untimely death. In 1972, at the age of 30, Prince William died in an airplane crash.
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, 1944-
The younger son of Prince Henry and Lady Alice, Prince Richard initially had a career as an architect, but following the death of his older brother Prince William in 1972, he took on additional royal duties.
That same year, he married Birgitte van Deurs (1946-) whom he met at Cambridge University, and just two years after that, Richard inherited the title of Duke of Gloucester from his father Prince Henry. Now in his 70s, Richard remains active in public life and carries out regular royal duties for his first cousin, the Queen. He and his wife have three children together&ndashAlexander Windsor (1974-), Lady Davina Lewis (1977-) and Lady Rose Gilman (1980-)&ndashand six grandchildren (Xan Windsor, Lady Cosima Windsor, Senna Lewis, Tāne Lewis, Lyla Gilman and Rufus Gilman). The couple resides in Kensington Palace.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 1935-
The eldest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Prince Edward is directly related to both Prince Philip and the Queen. As a grandchild of George V and Queen Mary, he is the Queen&rsquos first cousin, and since his mother was a first cousin to Prince Philip, Edward is also Philip&rsquos first cousin once removed. Edward inherited the dukedom of Kent following his father&rsquos death in a 1942 military air crash. Nearly two decades later, he married Katharine Worsley, and the couple have three children together&ndashGeorge Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (1962-), Lady Helen Taylor (1964-), Lord Nicholas Windsor (1970-)&ndashand ten grandchildren (Lord Edward Windsor, Lady Marina Charlotte Windsor, Lady Amelia Windsor, Columbus Taylor, Cassius Taylor, Eloise Taylor, Estella Taylor, Albert Windsor, Leopold Windsor and Louis Windsor). Now in his 80s, Prince Edward regularly carries out royal duties on behalf of the Queen. He and his wife live on the grounds of Kensington Palace in the royal residence Wren House.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, 1936-
Like her two brothers, Princess Alexandra is directly related to both Prince Philip and the Queen. As the eldest daughter of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, she is both Queen Elizabeth&rsquos first cousin and Prince Philip&rsquos first cousin once removed. Princess Alexandra married the businessman Sir Angus Ogilvy in 1963, and the couple have two children&ndashJames Ogilvy (1964-) and Marina Ogilvy (1966-)&ndashand four grandchildren (Alexander Charles Ogilvy, Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, Zenouska Mowatt and Christian Mowatt). Alexandra is reportedly quite close with the royal couple, and while Sir Angus Ogilvy passed away in 2004, she continues to be an active working royal and resides in St James&rsquos Palace in London.
Prince Michael of Kent, 1942-
Like his brother Prince Edward and his sister Princess Alexandra, Prince Michael of Kent is directly related to both Prince Philip and the Queen.
As the youngest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, he is both Queen Elizabeth&rsquos first cousin and Prince Philip&rsquos first cousin once removed. In 1978, he married Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz in a civil ceremony in Austria, and the couple have two children together: Lord Frederick Windsor (1979-) and Lady Gabriella Windsor (1981-). Michael takes on fewer royal responsibilities than his siblings, but he does sometimes represent the Queen at events in Commonwealth countries outside of the United Kingdom. In recognition of this work, the Queen provided Prince Michael and his wife with an apartment at Kensington Palace for a number of years, but after that proved controversial, they now pay rent.
Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-
Elizabeth II is the current Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. Born third in the line of succession, Elizabeth became the presumptive heir to the throne in 1936, following the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII and the ascension of her father, George VI. In 1947, she became engaged to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, whom she had first met at the age of 13. The couple were married the same year at Westminster Abbey, and have four children together. After her father died in 1952, Elizabeth ascended to the throne. Currently in her 90s, she is both the longest-reigning and the longest-living British monarch in history, having reigned for more than 65 years. Her great-grandmother Queen Victoria, the second longest-reigning monarch, reigned for 63 years.
Princess Margaret, 1930 - 2002
Queen Elizabeth&rsquos younger sister Margaret was 22 when her sister took the throne, and shortly afterwards became engaged to air force officer Peter Townsend. Because Townsend was divorced, the Church of England would not approve the marriage, and Margaret was famously forced to choose between ending the relationship and losing her royal privileges. She broke off her engagement with Townsend, and in 1960 married society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was given the title Earl of Snowdon. The couple had two children together, and ultimately divorced in 1978 after a tempestuous 20-year marriage. Margaret died in 2002, at the age of 71.
Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, 1930-2017
Antony Armstrong-Jones, a.k.a. Lord Snowdon, was the husband of Princess Margaret, and brother-in-law to Queen Elizabeth. Armstrong-Jones was a fashion and society photographer when he met Margaret in 1958, and they married two years later in 1960. The couple had two children together &ndash David Armstrong-Jones (1961-) and Lady Sarah Chatto (1964-) &ndash and four grandchildren (Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Samuel Chatto and Arthur Chatto), but divorced in 1978. Armstrong-Jones married his second wife Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg that same year, and they remained married until 2000. Armstrong-Jones died in 2017 at the age of 86.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021
Prince Philip was best known as Queen Elizabeth&rsquos husband and consort, but he is also royal in his own right. He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but Philip and his family were exiled from Greece during his childhood, and so he studied in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom before eventually serving in the British Royal Navy. He married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, during the reign of her father George VI, and the couple have four children together. When he passed away in 2021 at the age of 99, Prince Philip was not only the the longest-serving consort of a reigning British Monarch, but also the longest-living male British royal in history.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, 1948-
The eldest child of Queen Elizabeth, and the heir apparent to the British throne, Prince Charles was born in 1948 in Buckingham Palace. He went on to be educated at a number of institutions including Cheam and Gordonstoun Schools (which his father attended before him) and Cambridge University, before serving in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.
In 1981, Charles married Diana Spencer, and the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, before divorcing in 1996. Charles later married his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. Having held the title since 1958, Charles is the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. He is also the first heir to the British throne ever to have a university degree.
Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-
Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961 into British nobility, as the third John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and Frances Roche's four children. She met Prince Charles when she was 16, and married him in July of 1981, becoming the Princess of Wales. Charles and Diana had two children together, Prince William and Prince Harry before divorcing in 1996. One year later, she tragically died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 1947-
The second wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Rosemary Shand is the eldest daughter of military officer and businessman Major Bruce Shand and his wife Rosalind Shand. She is also the granddaughter of nobleman Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe. In 1973, Camilla married her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles, and the couple had two children, Tom and Lisa, before divorcing in 1995. In 2005, Camilla married Prince Charles in a civil ceremony, and she became the Duchess of Cornwall.
Princess Anne, Princess Royal, 1950-
The second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Princess Anne is one of the hardest working members of the royal family. She is also an accomplished equestrian, and was even the first British royal to compete in the Olympic Games. In 1973, Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, and the couple had two children together before divorcing in 1992. Later that year, Anne married Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, her mother&rsquos former equerry. She currently resides in St James&rsquos Palace.
Captain Mark Phillips, 1948-
Princess Anne met her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where he was part of the British equestrian team and also competed individually. The couple married in 1973, and had two children together before divorcing in 1992.
Sir Timothy Laurence, 1955-
The second husband of Anne, Princess Royal. A retired Royal Navy officer, Timothy met Anne in 1986 while he was serving as equerry to Queen Elizabeth. After her divorce from Captain Mark Phillips in 1992, Anne and Timothy married, and although he received no title upon the marriage, in 2008 he was appointed as a personal aide-de-camp to the Queen.
Peter Phillips, 1977-
Peter Phillips is the only son of Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips, and the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth. Peter&rsquos parents reportedly turned down the Queen&rsquos offer of a royal title for their son, hoping instead to enable him to lead a more normal life. In 2008 he married Autumn Kelly, and the couple have two children together: Savannah Phillips (2010-) and Isla Phillips (2012-). He and Autumn have since separated.
Zara Tindall, 1981-
Zara Tindall is the younger child of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. That said, she does not hold a royal title. Her parents reportedly turned down the Queen&rsquos offer for one in hopes that Zara might lead a more normal life. Like her mother, Zara is an accomplished equestrian and Olympian, winning a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, and she has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to equestrianism. Zara married Mike Tindall, a former rugby player, in 2011, and the couple have three children together: Mia Tindall (2014-), Lena Tindall (2018-), and Lucas Tindall (2021-).
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, 1960-
The third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Prince Andrew served in the Royal Navy for many years, including during the Falklands War in 1982, and holds the ranks of commander and vice admiral. He married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and the couple had two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, before divorcing in 1996. In 2019, he stepped back from his working royal duties following enormous public criticism over his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Sarah, Duchess of York, 1959-
The former wife of Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson is widely known by the nickname &ldquoFergie.&rdquo Sarah had known Andrew since childhood, and became engaged to him in 1986. The couple married at Westminster Abbey later that year, and went on to have two daughters. Sarah and Andrew announced their separation in 1992, and were divorced four years later in 1996, though by all accounts they still have an amicable relationship.
Princess Beatrice of York, 1988-
Princess Beatrice is the oldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, and holds a place in the British line of succession even though she is not a working royal. The princess has a career outside the Palace, and currently works for a New York-based artificial intelligence company, but she also often attends major family events like Trooping the Colour and the annual Christmas church services. In July of 2020, she married her boyfriend Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private wedding ceremony in Windsor, and became stepmother to his son, Wolfie.
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 1983-
In July of 2020, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi married Princess Beatrice in a small private wedding ceremony in Windsor. He has a young son, Wolfie, from a previous relationship&mdashmaking Beatrice an instant stepmother.
Princess Eugenie, 1990-
The younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, and Queen Elizabeth&rsquos granddaughter. Eugenie attended St George&rsquos School with her elder sister Beatrice, and later graduated from Newcastle University. In October of 2018, Eugenie married her partner of seven years, Jack Brooksbank, in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Jack Brooksbank, 1986-
Jack Brooksbank first met Princess Eugenie in Verbier, Switzerland, while on a ski vacation. The pair dated for approximately seven years before marrying in October of 2018 in front of friends and family in St George&rsquos Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, 1964-
The youngest child and third son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Edward attended Cambridge University and later joined the Royal Marines, but dropped out after four months. In 1999 he married Sophie Rhys-Jones, and the couple have two children. Prince Edward is a full-time working royal and has recently taken over several responsibilities from his father, following Prince Philip&rsquos retirement from royal duties.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 1965-
Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones met Prince Edward while she was working in radio, and the couple dated for six years before marrying in 1999. They have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. While she previously had a career in public relations, Sophie is now a full-time working royal like her husband, and frequently supports the Queen, her mother-in-law, in her royal duties.
Lady Louise Windsor, 2003-
The elder child and only daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise is the youngest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. She and her brother James embarked on their first royal engagement in 2015, accompanying their parents to South Africa. You might also recognize her as one of the bridesmaids from Will and Kate&rsquos royal wedding in 2011.
James, Viscount Severn, 2007-
The younger child and only son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James is the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth. Both he and his older sister Louise embarked on their first royal engagement in 2015, accompanying their parents to South Africa.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 1982-
The elder son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, William is currently second in the British line of succession. After attending Eton College and St Andrew&rsquos University, he trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served in the Royal Air Force, eventually becoming a search-and-rescue pilot. He has since left the military and is now a full-time working royal. In 2011, he married his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Middleton, whom he met at St Andrew&rsquos, and the couple now have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 1982-
After growing up in Chapel Row near Newbury as the oldest daughter of Carole and Michael Middleton, Kate met Prince William at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After a long courtship, the couple married at Westminster Abbey in 2011 in a ceremony which was attended by celebrities, dignitaries, and royals from across Europe. She and William have three children together, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, and Kate now works as a full-time royal focusing on organizations which support young people and mothers, and that help to fight the stigma of mental health issues.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, 1984-
The younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry is currently sixth in the line of succession. After attending Eton College like his elder brother William, Harry trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and served in the British Army where he was twice deployed to Afghanistan, making Harry the first royal to serve in a war zone since his uncle Prince Andrew. In May of 2018, Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in a widely-watched royal wedding. A year and a half later, he and Meghan announced their decision to step back from their roles as working roles, and have since carved out space for themselves in the private sector, inking a deal with Netflix and signing with a speaking agency. In May of 2019, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor the family of three currently lives in Santa Barbara, California. The couple are expecting their second child, a girl, this summer.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 1981-
The Duchess of Sussex broke the mold of the expected royal bride, as a biracial, California-born actress. Markle, who divorced her first husband in 2013, was reportedly set up on a blind date with Harry in 2016, and the rest is history. They married in May 2018 at Windsor Castle, and Meghan spent a year and a half as a working royal before she and Harry decided to step back from their roles. She now lives in Santa Barbara, California with Harry and their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born in May 2019.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 2019-
The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6, 2019. He is currently seventh in the line of succession.
Prince George of Cambridge, 2013-
The first child and elder son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, George was born on July 22, 2013 and is currently third in the line of succession.
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, 2015-
The second child, and only daughter, of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Charlotte was born on May 2, 2015. She is currently fourth in the line of succession.
Prince Louis of Cambridge, 2018-
The third child, and second son, of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis was born on April 23, 2018. He is currently fifth in the line of succession.
Black British Royalty: The 3 women who paved the way for Meghan Markle
In less than 24 hours, Meghan Markle will officially make the transition from commoner to royalty, becoming Duchess of Sussex as she ties the knot with Britain’s Prince Harry.
If you think the Suits alum, whose mother is Black and father is White, is the first bi-racial woman to infiltrate the British Aristocracy, think again. This fascinating distinction is believed to date back to the 14th century!
Here’s a brief history of the other rarely discussed women of color who are the pre-cursor to Markle’s royal reign.
Philippa of Hainault
Circa 1336, Philippa of Hainault (1314 – 1369), wife of King Edward III of England, in fine regal attire. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Philippa of Hainault (June 24, 1314 – August 15, 1369) was a 14th century Queen of England — the Queen-Consort of Edward III to be exact and is rumored to have African ancestry. She was the daughter of the Count of Hainault in the Low Countries (now in Belgium), an area that had once been ruled by Moorish tribes. No contemporary images of Philippa exist those that we have show a very standard, narrow featured, Caucasoid woman, which is probably not what she actually looked like, but altering images in this way was standard practice in those times.
Philippa was reportedly an avid patron of the arts, a capable regent when her husband was away at war and a caring mother. She was known for her kindness and restraint, frequently interceding with her husband and successfully pleading for the lives of those who had been sentenced to die. Philippa also is known to be the “most royal” Queen-Consort of England due to four of her great-great-grandfathers all having been kings (of France, Aragon, Naples and Hungary).
Fast forward more than 400 years to Charlotte of Mecklenburg (May 19, 1744 – November 17, 1818). She was the Queen of Great Britain, consort of George III. Also a Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz – a small territory within the Holy Roman Empire – she was descended via six separate lines from Margarita de Castro, the daughter of Alfonso III of Portugal and his mistress, Mourana Gil, an African of Moorish descent, according to PBS.
It is often pointed out that there are distinct sub-Saharan aspects to portraits of Queen Charlotte, features that are unmistakably African. Queen Charlotte gave birth to 15 children with 13 of them surviving childhood and is has been stated that she is responsible for introducing the Christmas tree in English culture which is now of course a world-wide tradition.
Fun Fact: Nicknamed the “Queen City,” Charlotte, North Carolina is named after Queen Charlotte and there is a sculpture of her liking prominently located in the city’s international airport.
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 24: Emma Thynn, Viscountess Weymouth attends The Nelson Mandela Global Gift Gala at Rosewood London on April 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)
Emma Thynn may not be a household name like Meghan Markle, but she is definitely transforming the idea of British Aristocracy and has been since her marriage in 2013. Emma McQuiston was born in 1986 to an Oxford University educated Nigerian father and an English socialite mother. Her father is currently one of the wealthiest men in West Africa. When her husband, Ceawlin, Viscount Weymouth, assumes the title held at the moment by his 86-year-old father, Alexander, the current, and seventh, Marquess of Bath, Emma will become Britain’s first Black marchioness, according to Vanity Fair. In the ranks of British peerage, a marquess and marchioness are second only to a duke and duchess. This makes Thynn currently the highest ranking Black British Royal!
The celebrated chef, who is stylish to boot (she’s modeled for Dolce & Gabbana), presently has two sons John, 3 described as, “a sweet and precocious boy with caramel skin and loose black curls”, and Henry, 1. According to Vanity Fair, John will assume his father’s title and become the United Kingdom’s first marquess of color.
“I was made more ‘aware of myself,’ from the outside in, when I got engaged,” said Thynn to Vanity Fair about her racial identity. “I don’t want to not acknowledge the significance, because it has meant a lot to a lot of people. It was a moment in history that people got a lot of hope and encouragement from. But I didn’t do anything on purpose. I just have to appreciate that I’ve been written to personally, and seen it written about, and it’s been taken very seriously.”