The Lineage Of The British Royal Family

Published October 21, 2021
Updated February 1, 2024

A fascinating look at the history and the lineage of the British royal family.

Here’s a little education on the current Royal Family – the house of Windsor – with some trivia and tidbits on the family that has reigned over the United Kingdom for over 1200 years. See below for a chart depicting the history and lineage of the British royal family:

Lineage Of The British Royal Family

Fun Facts About The Lineage Of The British Royal Family

British Royal Family Facts

Things you might not know about the Royal Family:

  • The Royal Family’s reign spans 37 generations and 1209 years.
  • All of the monarchs are descendants of King Alfred the Great, who reigned in 871. Some of those included Henry VIII (who founded the Church of England and beheaded two of his six wives), and Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, under whose rule England prospered in the Golden Age.
  • Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, are distantly related. They both share the same great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria.
  • The current reigning family invented their own surname. Originally, the family went by the name of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but phobia of the name sounding too German meant it was dropped. Instead, the surname Windsor was adopted during WW1. Queen Elizabeth then sanctioned the future descendants to be dubbed Mountbatten-Windsor, combining her husband’s original family name.
  • Queen Lizzie likes to be called “Your Majesty” or “Ma’am,” even by friends.
  • The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 means no member of the British Royal family is allowed to marry under the age of 25 without consent from the monarch.
  • The Royal family disliked US President Jimmy Carter because he kissed the Queen Mother on the lips at their first meeting.
  • The longest reign by any monarch has been Queen Elizabeth II (1952 – present), who has reigned for nearly 70 years.
  • Queen Elizabeth II served in the armed forces and was the first female member of the family to do so.
  • Princess Diana and her mother were born in same room of the same house.
  • The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, competed in the 1976 Olympics in equestrian.
  • Prince Charles wife, Camilla, is the descendant of Alice Keppel, a former mistress of Charles’ great-great-grandfather, Edward VII. The trait runs in the family since, incidentally, Camilla was Charles’ infamous mistress, which led to his divorce from the beloved Princess Diana.
  • In 1936, Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry a twice-divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson. He was succeeded by younger brother, and Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.
  • In 1992, Prince Charles was recorded telling his then mistress Camilla that he wanted to be her tampon.

If you enjoyed this post about the lineage of the British Royal Family, be sure to see this post about Queen Elizabeth II serving as a mechanic during World War 1! Then, check out these living descendants of other famous people you may know.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.