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A. Definition of British Royal Family The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with official national terms for the family.[1] Members of the Royal Family belong to, either by birth or marriage, the House of Windsor, since 1917, when George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This decision was primarily taken because Britain and her Empire were at war with Germany and given the British Royal Family's strong German ancestry, it was felt that its public image could be improved by choosing a more British house name. The new name chosen, Windsor, had absolutely no connection other than as the name of the castle which was and continues to be a royal residence. Although in the United Kingdom there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family, and different lists will include different people, those carrying the style Her or His Majesty (HM), or Her or His Royal Highness (HRH) are always considered members, which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch, the consort of the monarch, the widowed consorts of previous monarchs, the children of the monarch and previous monarchs, the male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, and the spouses and the widows of a monarch's and previous monarch's sons and male-line grandsons. Members and relatives of the British Royal Family historically represented the monarch in various places throughout the British Empire, sometimes for extended periods as viceroys, or for specific ceremonies or events. Today, they often perform ceremonial and social duties throughout the United Kingdom and abroad on behalf of the UK, but, aside from the monarch, have no constitutional role in the affairs of government. This is the same for the other realms of the Commonwealth though the family there acts on behalf of, is funded by, and represents the sovereign of that particular state, and not the United Kingdom.

B. History of British Royal Family

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth on February 6, 1952. As of today she has reigned for 59 years, 9 months and 9 days59 years, 9 months and 9 days, and she will celebrate the Diamond (60th) Jubilee of her reign in 2012, including an official Jubilee Weekend on 2nd-5th June. She is head of the British Royal Family, has 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, and is 85 years, 6 months and 25 days85 years, 6 months and 25 days old. Her first great-grandchild was born on 29 December 2010. She is the 32nd great-granddaughter of King Alfred the Great who was the first effective King of England 871-899. On 21st December 2007 she became the oldest reigning British monarch having outlived her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who died 22nd January 1901 aged 81 years, 7 months and 29 days. On 12th May 2011 Queen Elizabeth II became the 2nd longest reigning monarch in over 1,200 years of British History. She will have to reign until 10th Sept 2015 when she will be 89 years old to reign longer than her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 216 days from 1837-1901. See British Kings & Queens by Length of Reign. Her eldest son Prince Charles who was 62 years old on 14th November 2010 is currently the longest waiting and 2nd oldest ever heir apparent, and would by that time be the oldest heir apparent at 66 years old. See British Kings & Queens by Age of Ascent. The Queen's husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is 90 years, 5 months and 6 days90 years, 5 months and 6 days old, and celebrated his 90th birthday on 10th June 2011. He is the longest ever serving Royal Consort and oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch.

On 29th April 2011 the Queen's grandson Prince William, who is 2nd in line to the throne, married Catherine (Kate) Middleton in Westminster Abbey. They are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations. Great Britain was formed 304 years ago by the Act of Union between England and Scotland on 1st April 1707. More about Great Britain As well as the United Kingdom, she is Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, where she is represented by Governors-General. The sixteen countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth Realms, and their combined population is 134 million. She is Head of the Commonwealth of Nations comprising 54 member states in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The aims of the Commonwealth include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace. The 2.1 billion people in the member states account for almost a third of the current world population. Her reign of over more than half a century has seen 12 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, and numerous Prime Ministers in the Commonwealth Realms of which she is (or was) also Head of State; between them she has had a total of 140 Prime Ministers during her reign. There have been 12 US Presidents during her reign.

The Royal Family Name

People often ask whether members of the Royal Family have a surname, and, if so, what it is. Members of the Royal Family can be known both by the name of the Royal house, and by a surname, which are not always the same. And often they do not use a surname at all. Before 1917, members of the British Royal Family had no surname, but only the name of the house or dynasty to which they belonged. Kings and princes were historically known by the names of the countries over which they and their families ruled. Kings and queens therefore signed themselves by their first names only, a tradition in the United Kingdom which has continued to the present day. The names of dynasties tended to change when the line of succession was taken by a rival faction within the family (for example, Henry IV and the Lancastrians, Edward IV and the Yorkists, Henry VII and the Tudors), or when succession passed to a different family branch through females (for example, Henry II and the Angevins, James I and the Stuarts, George I and the Hanoverians). Just as children can take their surnames from their father, so sovereigns normally take the name of their 'House' from their father. For this reason, Queen Victoria's eldest son Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (the family name of his father Prince Albert). Edward VII's son George V became the second king of that dynasty when he succeeded to the throne in 1910.

In 1917, there was a radical change, when George V specifically adopted Windsor, not only as the name of the 'House' or dynasty, but also as the surname of his family. The family name was changed as a result of anti-German feeling during the First World War, and the name Windsor was adopted after the Castle of the same name. At a meeting of the Privy Council on 17 July 1917, George V declared that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'.

The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V. It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen's descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor. This reflected Prince Philip's surname. In 1947, when Prince Philip of Greece became naturalised, he assumed the name of Philip Mountbatten as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. The effect of the declaration was that all The Queen's children, on occasions when they needed a surname, would have the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon marriage), that surname is MountbattenWindsor.

The surname Mountbatten-Windsor first appeared on an official document on 14 November 1973, in the marriage register at Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. A proclamation on the Royal Family name by the reigning monarch is not statutory; unlike an Act of Parliament, it does not pass into the law of the land. Such a proclamation is not binding on succeeding reigning sovereigns, nor does it set a precedent which must be followed by reigning sovereigns who come after. Unless The Prince of Wales chooses to alter the present decisions when he becomes king, he will continue to be of the House of Windsor and his grandchildren will use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

Family tree of members


In the United Kingdom Public role and image Members of the Royal Family participate in hundreds of public engagements yearly throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, as formally recorded in the Court Circular, to honour, encourage and learn about the achievements or endeavours of individuals, institutions and enterprises in a variety of areas of life. As representatives of HM The Queen, they often also join the nation in commemorating historical events, holidays, celebratory and tragic occurrences, and may also sponsor or participate in numerous charitable, cultural and social activities. Their travels abroad on behalf of the UK (called State Visits when the sovereign officially meets with other heads of state) draw celebrity-like attention to amicable relations within and between the Commonwealth and other nations, to British goods and trade, and to Britain as a historical, vacation, and tourist destination. Their presence, activities and traditional roles constitute the apex of a modern "royal court," and provide a distinctly British and historical pageantry to ceremonies (e.g. Trooping the Colour) and flavour to public events (e.g. Garden Parties, Ascot). Throughout their lives they draw enormous media coverage in the form of photographic, written and televised commentary on their activities, family relationships, rites of passage, personalities, attire, behaviour, and public roles. Senior members of the Royal Family often drive themselves instead of having a driver.[4] In a lengthy interview conducted by PBS prior to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in August 1997,[5] Max Hastings, editor of the Daily Telegraph between 1986 and 1995, discussed the impact of Andrew Morton's and Jonathan Dimbleby's biographies of, respectively, Diana, Princess of Wales and HRH The Prince of Wales on subsequent news coverage of the Royal Family in the UK. Funding Members of the Royal Family carry out public duties; these individuals receive an annual payment known as a Parliamentary Annuity, the funds being supplied to cover office costs. These amounts are repaid by HM The Queen from her private funds. 8

Though always voluntarily subject to the Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes, HM The Queen agreed to pay taxes on income and capital gains from 1992, although the details of this arrangement are both voluntary and secret. At the same time it was announced that only HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh would receive civil list payments. Since 1993, HM The Queen's personal estate (e.g. shareholdings, personal jewellery, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle) will be subject to Inheritance Tax, though bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt. Royal styles and titles

Members of the Royal Family in the Royal box at Westminster Abbey during the coronation of Elizabeth II. The style His Majesty or Her Majesty (HM) is enjoyed by a king, a queen regnant, a queen consort, and a queen dowager. Use of the style His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness (HRH) and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess are governed by Letters Patent issued by George V on 30 November 1917 and published in the London Gazette on 11 December 1917. These Letters Patent state that henceforth only the children of the Sovereign, the children of the sons of the Sovereign, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales would "have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour." They further state, "the grandchildren of the sons of 9

any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes." Under these conventions, HM The Queen's children, the children of HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of York and HRH The Earl of Wessex would all be titled Princes or Princesses and styled Royal Highness, as would be the eldest son of HRH The Duke of Cambridge. However, upon HRH The Earl of Wessex's marriage in 1999, it was announced that his children would always be styled as an earl's children. The Duke of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent enjoy the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and the style Royal Highness as male-line grandchildren of HM King George V. However, none of their children (being merely great-grandchildren of a monarch) have royal titles. For example, the children of Prince Michael of Kent are known as Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor, the courtesy titles as children of a duke. They are not entitled to any royal title. The children of HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Alexandra, and the late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, are not entitled to any royal title since princesses do not transmit their titles to their children. An exception to this rule was when HM King George VI issued Letters Patent such that his heiress presumptive, HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, could transmit her title to her children. HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon's son enjoys the courtesy title Viscount Linley as the son and heir of The Earl of Snowdon, while her daughter enjoys the courtesy title Lady. The children of HRH The Princess Royal and of HRH Princess Alexandra have no titles, because Mark Phillips and Sir Angus Ogilvy did not accept hereditary peerages upon marriage. Women marrying sons and male-line grandsons of a Sovereign are normally styled Her Royal Highness followed by the feminised version of her husband's highest title. The wives of royal peers are known as "HRH The Duchess of ..." or " HRH The Countess of ..." Thus, the wives of HRH The Duke of Cambridge, HRH The Earl of Wessex, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and HRH The Duke of Kent are "HRH The Duchess of Cambridge," "HRH The Countess of Wessex," "HRH The Duchess of Gloucester," and "HRH The Duchess of Kent," respectively. Before their divorces, 10

Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York enjoyed the respective titles and styles of "HRH The Princess of Wales," and "HRH The Duchess of York". However, when a woman marries a prince who does not hold a peerage, she is known as HRH Princess [Her husband's Christian name], followed by whatever territorial or titular designation. For example, the former Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz enjoys the title and style of "HRH Princess Michael of Kent," and not "HRH Princess Marie-Christine of Kent." Similarly, the former Birgitte Eva van Deurs was titled "HRH Princess Richard of Gloucester" from her wedding until her husband succeeded to his father's dukedom in 1974. The widows of princes remain HRH. However, under HM The Queen's 21 August 1996 Letters Patent, a divorced wife of a Prince of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland "shall not be entitled to hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness." There has been one exception to the convention that wives of princes take their husband's rank. In Letters Patent dated 28 May 1937, King George VI specifically denied the style HRH to the wife of HRH The Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII. Therefore, the former Wallis Warfield Simpson was known as "Her Grace The Duchess of Windsor," not "HRH The Duchess of Windsor." Another exception was made in the case of the last blue-blood to marry into the British Royal Family: Princess Marina who, being a Princess of Greece and Denmark by birth, reverted to her own princely style ("HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent") after being widowed, rather than a dowager's style "HRH The Dowager Duchess of Kent". Her sister-in-law (born The Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott) was given special dispensation by HM The Queen to use a similar style when she was widowed (HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester) despite not being herself a princess, rather than the more usual dowager's style, "HRH The Dowager Duchess of Gloucester". Following on a reluctance by the public to universally support the second wife of HRH The Prince of Wales, it was announced by Clarence House that, should the Prince become King, his wife HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will not be known as HM The Queen but will take the lesser title of HRH The Princess Consort. Out of


respect for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, it was also announced that HRH would not be known as The Princess of Wales. The daughters and male-line granddaughters of the Sovereign do not lose their royal titles upon marriage. Men who marry the daughters and the male-line granddaughters of the Sovereign, however, do not acquire their wives' royal rank and the style HRH. Peerages

The British Royal Family in 1880.

Female consorts of the British sovereign have not been created peers or peeresses. Male consorts, however, have sometimes been granted dukedoms. Prince George of Denmark, the husband of the future Queen Anne, was created Duke of Cumberland in 1683. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was given the style Royal Highness before his marriage. In 1857, Queen Victoria granted him title of Prince Consort; however, Prince Albert was not made a British peer. Prince Philip, husband of the present Queen, was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style Royal Highness the day before his wedding (which occurred prior to her accession).


Generally, the sons of the Sovereign are awarded peerage dignities to mark either adulthood or marriage. Originally, younger sons of the Sovereign were not styled Princes (except the Prince of Wales); thus, to indicate their exalted rank, peerage dignities were conferred upon them. From the time of Edward III, nearly every son of a Sovereign surviving into adulthood became a Duke. Certain dukedoms were granted more often than others, including the dukedoms of York, Albany and Clarence. Normally, a peerage once awarded to a member of the Royal Family is not thereafter granted to any person outside the Royal Family (though some exceptions do exist). The Dukedom of York is generally created for the second son of the Sovereign. The first creation was in 1384; the dukedom merged in the Crown in 1461. Every Duke thereafter has either died without heirs or succeeded to the Crown, and so has not been able to leave the Royal Family. The pattern of awarding the dukedom to the second-eldest son of the Sovereign was upset by George I, who gave the Dukedom of York and Albany to his younger brother. The Dukedom of York and Albany was next granted by George II to the second son of his son, who had predeceased him. York and Albany featured one last time as a dukedom in 1784, when George III granted it to his second son. Thereafter, the dukedom has always borne the designation York, rather than York and Albany. The current duke is The Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II. The Dukedom of Albany served a function similar to the Dukedom of York in Scotland. The dukedom was created in 1398 for Robert Stewart, brother of King Robert III. It was at the time the only dukedom other than the Dukedom of Rothesay. It was created thrice more in Scotland: twice for the second son of a Sovereign, and once for a brother of a Sovereign. It was last created in 1881, for the fourth son of Queen Victoria; the dukedom was then suspended under the Titles Deprivation Act after its holder fought on the side of Germany during World War I. It is therefore considered neither available nor desirable for regrant. There are several other dukedoms that have been used for members of the Royal Family. Clarence was first used as a dukedom in 1362, most of the time being granted to the third son of the Sovereign. Among the dukedoms granted to still


younger sons of the Sovereign are Cambridge, Connaught, Cumberland, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Kent and Sussex others in the Scottish peerage have included Ross and Kintyre. Some of those dukedoms were used for younger brothers, nephews and other kinsmen of Sovereigns. The dukedom of Windsor was also a Royal dukedom, being granted to Edward VIII after he abdicated so that he could marry against the tenets of the Church of England. Often, sons of the Sovereign were granted titles associated with England and Scotland, later with Ireland, and most recently with Wales. Thus, the Dukedom of Strathearn (named after a place in Scotland) has been held with the Dukedoms of Connaught (named after an Irish province), Kent and Cumberland (both named after English places). This pattern continues in the present Royal Family. The current Duke of York, for example, is also Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh; the subsidiary titles are associated with Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively. The convention of granting dukedoms to senior members of the Royal Family was broken most recently in 1999, when The Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex. The Earldom of Wessex had not been created earlier by an English or British Sovereign since 1066. It has been suggested that the Dukedom of Edinburgh will eventually be granted to The Earl of Wessex. The current dukedom will descend to The Prince of Wales, however, and not to the Earl of Wessex. Should The Prince of Wales become Sovereign, or should he already be Sovereign when the dukedom passes to him, the dukedom would merge in the Crown and then only become available for a regrant. The highest peerage dignity belonging to a Prince may be used as a part of the title of that Prince's children. Thus, the unmarried son of The Prince of Wales is Prince Harry of Wales; the daughters of the Duke of York are Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York; the children of the Earl of Wessex are Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn. (In the last case, Lady Louise and Lord Severn are always (and without exception) referred to as such, at the wishes of their parents and by order of The Queen, but are nonetheless thought by some experts to legally retain their princely titles (i.e. Princess Louise of Wessex and Prince James of Wessex))


Sovereigns, especially Charles II, have sometimes granted peerage dignities to illegitimate children. James Scott became Duke of Monmouth in 1663. Many more creations, mostly earldoms, followed in the 1670s: Charles FitzCharles became Earl of Plymouth, Charles FitzRoy Duke of Southampton, Henry FitzRoy Earl of Euston, George FitzRoy Earl of Northumberland, Charles Beauclerk Earl of Burford and Charles Lennox Duke of Richmond and Lennox. Many of the earls who were sons of Charles later became Dukes. Of the current Dukes, four are male-line descendants of Charles in the illegitimate line: the Duke of Richmond, Lennox and Gordon, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of St Alban's.