Windsor’s house as we know it today, started in 1917 when the family changed its name from the German “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha”. Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, was the first Windsor monarch, and the working kings of today are the descendants of King George and his wife, Queen Mary. Follow the line of succession below and explore the many branches of the family over which the Queen and Prince Philip preside.
King George V, 1865-1936
Queen Victoria’s grandson and Queen Elizabeth-George V’s grandfather was born third in the line of successors and did not expect him to be king. That changed after his older brother, Prince Albert Victor died in 1892. George opened the throne after the death of his father in 1910 and served as King of the United Kingdom and the Emperor of India until his death in 1936.
Queen Mary, 1867-1953
Queen Elizabeth Queen Mary’s grandmother was royal by birth (her great-grandfather was King George III). Although technically a princess of the German Duchy of Teck, she was born and raised in England. She was first engaged to Prince Albert Victor, the eldest son of Edward VII and her second cousin once taken away, but after Albert’s sudden death in 1892, Mary agreed to marry his brother, the future King George V. The couple married in 1893, and had six children, of whom two would become reigning rulers. She died in 1953, a year after her son, Queen Elizabeth VI, Queen of Queen Elizabeth.
King Edward VIII, 1894-1972
The eldest son of George V and Queen Mary, Edward became king after his father’s death in 1936, but threw the country into crisis months later when he made a proposal to Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. As a monarch, Edward was the head of the Church of England, which at the time did not allow divorced people to remarry the church with a living former husband, so the government was opposed to marriage. Unable to marry Simpson and remain on the throne, Edward resigned in December 1936 and was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, the father of Queen Elizabeth, who would later become King George VI. Edward’s government lasted only 326 days, one of the shortest in British history. After his abdication, he became the 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 the aunt of Queen Elizabeth. During the First World War, Mary devoted herself to charity work, visiting hospitals and setting up fundraising campaigns to support British soldiers and sailors. She received her training as a nurse and worked two days a week at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. In 1922, Maria Viscount married Lascelles, who later became Count of Harewood; theirs was the first royal wedding to receive coverage in fashion magazines such as Vogue.
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 Sandringham House where he was cared for by his governor. He died in 1919 at the age of 13 after a serious attack. His condition was only revealed to the public after his death.
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, 1900-1974
King George V and Queen Mary’s third son, Henry was the first child of a British monarch to be educated at school, instead of being supervised at home and eventually going to Eton College. He served in the British army and had ambitions to govern a regiment, but his career was interrupted by royal responsibilities following the resignation of his brother Edward VIII in 1936. 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 oldest 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’s aunt, Lady Alice, was a direct descendant of Charles II through his illegitimate son, the nobleman James Scott, the first Duke of Monmouth. She married Prince Hendrik 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 the uncle of Queen Elizabeth. 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 beginning of the Second World War he returned to active military service with the Royal Navy and later with the Royal Air Force. His death in 1942 during a military plane crash was 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
Prince George’s wife, and a princess of the Greek royal family, Princess Marina was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, and the grand duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. (Prince Philip is her first cousin.) She met Prince George on a visit to London in 1932, and the couple got married two years later; it was the first royal wedding broadcast by wireless radio. The couple had three children: Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael. After the death of her husband in 1942, Marina remained an active member of the royal family and performed many royal duties throughout the world, even representing the Queen at some events. She died in 1968 at the age of 61.
King George VI, 1895 – 1952
Known as Prince Albert until his accession, King George VI did not expect him to inherit the throne because his elder brother Edward VIII was the first in the row of successors.
As the second son of George V and Queen Mary, he was appointed Duke of York in 1920, after serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1923 he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and the couple had two daughters: the future Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. After Edward’s abdication in 1936, Albert took the throne and took the name King George VI. The dissolution of the British Empire and the formation of the British Commonwealth were completed during George’s reign, so he was both the last emperor of India and the first leader 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 in the British nobility, the 9th out of 10 brothers and sisters. In 1923 she married Prince Albert, the Duke of York, who had rejected several earlier proposals because she had doubts about royal life. When her brother-in-law stepped down in 1936, Albert became King George VI and Elizabeth became the queen consort of the United Kingdom. After the death of her husband in 1952, her older daughter Elizabeth ascended to the throne and became known as the Queen Mother. She remained active in public life until after her 100th birthday in 2000 and died on 101, seven weeks after the death of her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret.
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, 1900 – 2002
As the eldest son of Prince Henry and Lady Alice, Prince William was highly educated and studied at Eton College, Cambridge University and Stanford University. While later working in banking and in the British civil service, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin was also a licensed pilot and regularly competed in air show competitions. It was that passion that eventually led to his premature death. In 1972, at the age of 30, Prince William died during a plane crash.
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, 1944-
The youngest son of Prince Hendrik and Lady Alice, Prince Richard, initially had a career as an architect, but after the death of his older brother Prince Willem in 1972, he was given additional royal duties.
That same year he married Birgitte van Deurs (1946-), whom he met at the University of Cambridge, and only two years later Richard inherited the title of Duke of Gloucester from his father, Prince Hendrik. Now, in the 1970s, Richard remains active in public life and regularly performs royal duties for his cousin, the Queen. He and his wife have three children – Alexander Windsor (1974-), Lady Davina Lewis (1977-) and Lady Rose Gilman (1980-) – and six grandchildren (Xan Windsor, Lady Cosima Windsor, Senna Lewis, Tāne Lewis, Lyla Gilman and Rufus Gilman). The couple lives in Kensington Palace.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 1935-
The oldest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Prince Edward is directly related to Prince Philip and the Queen. As the grandchild of George V and Queen Mary, he is the cousin of the queen, and since his mother was a cousin of Prince Philip, Edward is also the first cousin of Philip he has ever removed. Edward inherited the duchy of Kent after the death of his father in 1942 during a military aircraft accident. Almost twenty years later he married Katharine Worsley and the couple have three children together: George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (1962-), Lady Helen Taylor (1964-), Lord Nicholas Windsor (1970-) – and 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 the 1980s, Prince Edward regularly performs 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-
Just like her two brothers, Princess Alexandra is directly connected to both Prince Philip and the Queen. As the oldest daughter of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, she is both the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth and the first cousin of Prince Philip who has ever been removed. Princess Alexandra married the businessman Sir Angus Ogilvy in 1963 and the couple had two children – James Ogilvy (1964-) and Marina Ogilvy (1966 -) – and four grandchildren (Alexander Charles Ogilvy, Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, Zenouska Mowatt and Christian Mowatt) . Alexandra is said to be fairly close to the royal couple, and while Sir Angus Ogilvy died in 2004, she remains an active royal worker and lives in St. James’s Palace in London.
Prince Michael of Kent, 1942-
Just like his brother Prince Edward and his sister Princess Alexandra, Prince Michael of Kent is directly related to Prince Philip and the Queen.
As the youngest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, he was once both the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth and the first cousin of Prince Philip. In 1978 he married Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz at a civil ceremony in Austria, and the couple has two children together: Lord Frederick Windsor (1979-) and Lady Gabriella Windsor (1981-). Michael takes on fewer royal responsibilities than his brothers and sisters, but he sometimes represents the queen at events in Commonwealth countries outside the UK. In recognition of this work, the Queen has made an apartment in Kensington Palace available to Prince Michael and his wife for a number of years, but then it turned out to be controversial and now they are paying 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 presumed heir to the throne in 1936 after 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 met for the first time at the age of thirteen. The couple were married at Westminster Abbey that same year and had four children together. After her father died in 1952, Elizabeth ascended to the throne. At the moment, in the 1990s, it is both the longest-ruling and the longest-living British monarch in history, which has ruled for more than 66 years. Her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, the second longest reigning monarch, reigned for 63 years.
Princess Margaret, 1930 – 2002
Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Margaret, was 22 when her sister took the throne and was soon engaged to Air Force officer Peter Townsend. Because Townsend was divorced, the Church of England would not approve of 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 married photographer-photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960, who received the title Earl of Snowdon. The couple had two children together, and eventually divorced in 1978 after a heady 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 of Queen Elizabeth. Armstrong-Jones was a fashion and society photographer when he met Margaret in 1958 and she married two years later in 1960. The couple had two children together: David Armstrong-Jones (1961-) and Lady Sarah Chatto (1964-) – 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 in the same year and they remained married until 2000 Armstrong-Jones died in 2017 at the age of 86.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-
Prince Philip is best known as Queen Elizabeth’s husband and wife, but he is also royal in his own right. He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but Philip and his family were banned from Greece during his youth, so he studied in France, Germany and the United Kingdom before eventually serving in the British Royal Navy. He then married – Princess Elizabeth in 1947, during the reign of her father George VI, and the couple have four children together. Now, in the 1990s, Philip is not only the surviving consort of a reigning British monarch, but also the surviving male British royal in history.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, 1948-
Queen Elizabeth’s eldest child and the heir to the throne of the British throne, Prince Charles, were born in Buckingham Palace in 1948. He continued his education at a number of institutions, including Cheam and Gordonstoun Schools (which his father lived with him) and the University of Cambridge, before serving with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.
Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981, 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. Charles has been the longest in service to Prince of Wales in history since 1958. He is also the first heir to the British throne to ever have a university degree.
Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-
Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961 in the British nobility, as the third son of John Spencer, viscount Althorp and Frances Roche. She met Prince Charles when she was 16 and married him in July 1981, and became the Princess of Wales. Charles and Diana had two children together, Prince Willem and Prince Harry, before they split up in 1996. A year later, she died tragically 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 at a civil ceremony and 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 sport and was even the first British royal to participate in the Olympic Games. Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and the couple had two children together before divorcing in 1992. Later that year, Anne married Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, her mother’s former rider. She currently lives in the palace of St James.
Captain Mark Phillips, 1948-
Princess Anne met her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where he was part of the British equestrian team and also participated individually. The couple married in 1973, and had two children together before divorcing in 1992.
Sir Timothy Laurence, 1955-
Anne’s second husband, Princess Royal. A retired Royal Navy officer, Timothy, met Anne in 1986 when he served as a bachelor for Queen Elizabeth. After her divorce from Captain Mark Phillips in 1992, Anne and Timothy got married, and although he did not get a title at the wedding, he was named a personal aide-de-camp for the queen in 2008.
Peter Phillips, 1977-
Peter Phillips is the only son of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, and Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandchild. Peter’s parents allegedly rejected the Queen’s offer to reject a royal title for their son, hoping that instead he would lead a more normal life. In 2008 he married Autumn Kelly and the couple has two children together: Savannah Phillips (2010-) and Isla Phillips (2012-).
Zara Tindall, 1981-
Zara Tindall is the younger child of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and the oldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. That said, she has no royal title. Her parents reportedly rejected the Queen’s offer, hoping that Zara would lead a normal life. Like her mother, Zara is an accomplished rider and Olympian, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and has been named a member of the Order of the British Empire for her equestrian services. Zara married Mike Tindall, a former rugby player in 2011, and the couple have two children together: Mia Tindall (2014-) and Lena Tindall (2018-).
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, 1960-
Prince Andrew is the third child and the second son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He served in the Royal Navy for many years, including during the Falklands War in 1982, and holds the rank 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.
Prince Sarah, Duchess of York, 1959-
Prince Andrew’s former wife, Sarah Ferguson, is commonly known by the nickname “Fergie.” Sarah had known Andrew from childhood and became engaged to him in 1986. The couple got married in Westminster Abbey later in the year and had two daughters. Sarah and Andrew announced their divorce in 1992 and were divorced four years later in 1996, although they still have a friendly relationship in all respects.
Princess Beatrice of York, 1988-
The eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. Beatrice studied at St George’s School (the alma mater of the daughters Lady Davina Lewis and Lady Rose Gilman of prince Richard) and graduated in 2011 from Goldsmiths College in London.
Princess Eugenie, 1990-
The youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. Eugenie went to St George’s School with her older sister Beatrice and later graduated from Newcastle University. In October 2018, Eugenie married her seven-year partner, Jack Brooksbank, during a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Jack Brooksbank, 1986-
Jack Brooksbank met Princess Eugenie for the first time in Verbier, Switzerland, during a skiing holiday. The couple dates about seven years before being married in October 2018 in the presence of friends and family in the St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, 1964-
The youngest child and third son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Edward, studied at the University of Cambridge and later became a member of the Royal Marines, but stopped after four months. In 1999 he married Sophie Rhys-Jones, and the couple has two children. Prince Edward is a full-time working royal family and has recently taken over various responsibilities from his father, following the departure of Prince Philip from royal duties.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 1965-
Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones met Prince Edward during her radio work, and the couple dated six years before she married in 1999. They have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. While previously a career in public relations, Sophie is now a full-time working royal like her husband, and often supports the queen, her mother-in-law, in her royal duties.
Lady Louise Windsor, 2003-
The older child and only daughter of Prince Edward, Count of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise is Queen Elizabeth’s youngest granddaughter. She and her brother James started their first royal engagement in 2015 and accompanied their parents to South Africa. You could also recognize her as one of the bridesmaids of the royal wedding of Will and Kate in 2011.
James, Viscount Severn, 2007-
The youngest child and only son of Prince Edward, Count of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James is the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth. Both he and his older sister Louise started their first royal engagement in 2015 and accompanied their parents to South Africa.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 1982-
The eldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, William is currently second in the British series of successors. After his education at Eton College and St. Andrew’s University, he studied at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served in the Royal Air Force, where he eventually became a search and rescue pilot. He has since left the army and is now a full-time working royal. In 2011 he married his old girlfriend, Catherine Middleton, whom he met at St. Andrew’s, 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 eldest daughter of Carole and Michael Middleton, Kate met Prince William at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. After a long relationship, the couple got married at Westminster Abbey in 2011 in a ceremony attended by celebrities, dignitaries and royals from all over Europe. She and William have three children together, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and Kate now works as a full-time royal focused on organizations that support young people and mothers, helping to combat the stigma of mental health problems.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, 1984-
The youngest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry is currently sixth in the line of succession. After attending Eton College like his older brother William, Harry trained at the Royal Sandhurst Military Academy and served in the British Army where he was deployed to Afghanistan twice, making Harry the first ruler to serve in a war zone since his uncle Prince Andrew. In May of 2018, Harry married American actress Meghan Markle, and in October of the same year, they announced that they were expecting their first child.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 1981-
The Duchess of Sussex breaks the shape of the British royal family in more than one way. She is biracial and grew up in California, eventually became an actress and played the lead in the legal drama Suits. Markle, who divorced her first husband in 2013, is said to have a blind date with Harry in 2016 and they made their first official public appearance together in September 2017 at the Invictus Games. They married in Windsor Castle the following May and announced that they were expecting their first child in the spring of 2019.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 2019-
The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on 6 May 2019. He is currently seventh in the row of successors.
Prince George of Cambridge, 2013-
The first child and eldest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, George was born on July 22, 2013 and is currently the 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 in fourth place 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 the fifth in the line of succession.