The Current British Royal Family


BACKGROUND:
 
Queen Elizabeth II ascended the British throne in 1952 on the death of her father, George VI. She was born on April 21, 1926 but the official celebration of her birthday is on the second saturday of June during Royal Ascot party, making her the only world leader in the world with two birthday celebrations. She married her 3rd cousin (through Queen Victoria and 2nd cousin through King Christian IX of Denmark) Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

Early on, the Greek Prince renounced his Greek nationality, royal title and religion to qualify for a royal match. He adopted his maternal surname Mountbatten and was a first class lieutenant in the British Royal navy at the outbreak of world war II, he was created His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh by his father-in-law George VI.

Prince Philip currently is the oldest surviving great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria and the only husband of the sovereign who held a British peerage title after Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne. They married on November 20, 1947 at the historical Westminster Abbey where English sovereigns had been crowned for more than 500 years. Together they produced four children.

CHILDREN:
I. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (the heir apparent) - November 1948
II. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal - August 1950
III. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York - February 1960
IV. Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex - March 1964

THEIR FAMILIES:
Prince Charles- His official titles are: Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles and renfrew and Great Steward of Scotland. He first married in July 29, 1981 to Lady Diana Spencer, who bore him 2 sons Prince of William and Prince Harry. They were separated in December 1992 and divorced four years later on August 1996.

The Prince of Wales remarried in April 2005 to his long time mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, the divorced woman whom he had a brief affair in 1971 and carried out an extra marital relationship all through out his marriage to Diana. Camilla took the title Duchess of Cornwall, the Clarence

House spokesman announced that the new wife of the Prince of Wales avoided the Princess of Wales title as this title is much associated with Diana and the Buckingham Palace worried that this would cause a public outcry if it will be given to the woman whom the late Princess of Wales referred to as homewrecker which caused her much suffering.

Prince Charles, who is immune to criticism, regarded his second wife as his lifetime confidante. Though she is now the legal wife of the Prince, Camilla would not be crowned as Queen when Charles became King instead she would take the much lesser title as Princess Consort. Prince Charles received an annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall to support his expenses. When he is in Scotland he is known there as Duke of Rothesay.

Princess Anne(no official title, Her Royal Highness is known as the Princess Royal, but is not included in the British peerage, it's only a courtesy title traditionally granted to the monarch's eldest daughter and it's not hereditary). The Princess Royal's first marriage took place in 1973 to Captain Mark Phillips, a champion Equestrian, they have two children Peter and Zara.

In November 1992 their divorce became official and seven months later Princess Anne married Navy Commander Timothy Lawrence. His son, Peter, announced his engagement to Autumn Kelly, a Canadian born Roman Catholic, if Atumn remains a roman catholic on their wedding day, Peter would lose his place (he is 12th) in the line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Andrew-His official title are: Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Ralleagh. He married Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson in July 1986 but announced their separation on March 1992 following a rocky marriage which lead to their divorce three years later.

Fergie, as she is known informally to the public has a rather boisterous character compared to Diana, too blunt and vulgar according to royal palace insiders and unfit to become a member of the British royal family. In the book of Kitty Kelly "The Royals" she was described as a dull witted and slow learner, after finishing the secretarial course at the bottom of her class she complained bitterly that she barely know how to type.

She was a sports enthusiast and a good rider, but lack dedication to her royal duties, some observers commented that the Duchess of York bounced to her royal title too eagerly "like an excited labrador". However, Fergie remained close to Prince Andrew after their divorce, they often spotted taking vacations together with their daughters, it was even reported that she was occupying a suite at the Sunninghill Park, their former marital home and where Prince Andrew and their children presently staying.

Today, the Duchess of York through the years of receiving unfavorable comments from the press lead a peaceful life free from any controversies, she is still visible in the world of glamour but hardly attracts gossip instead generating praises for her tireless crusade in different charities. Their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are 5th and 6th respectively in line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Edward-His official title:Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn-he is destined to inherit his father's title the Duke of Edinburgh. He is the only child of Queen Elizabeth II who lead a smooth marriage by far, his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, whom he married in June 1999 was the former Sophie Rhys-Jones a career-oriented woman co-owner of RH-Jones, a PR relation's company in London.

They had a daughter, the Lady Louisse and both eagerly expecting a second child due on Christmas day of this year, 2007, but Hello!magazine reports recently confirmed that the Countess of Wessex will deliver through a caesarian-section earlier than expected-on December 21 (Note: The Countess give birth to a healty baby boy named James, Viscount Severn and would placed ahead of his elder sister in the line of succession).

There are controversies however attached to the couple, who are both accused of cashing their titles for their own benefits. In 2002 they both decided to give up their respective career in public relations and film productions respectively to devote more time on their royal duties, with both Edward's siblings dysfunctional married life, he is expected by the public to represent the monarchy well in terms of happy family life. The Wessexes decision not to grant their daughter and future children a royal title of a Princess or a Prince created debate within the royal circle.

Technically, Lady Louisse is a Princess and she may use this title in her adult life if she wants to, so far, she is the only granddaughter of Her Majesty in a male line who didn't hold a Princess title. This situation is very confusing in the traditional British royalty and nobility, as Earl, Prince Edward's eldest son would have a courtesy title of Viscount Severn but his other sons (if ever)would only assumed the "The Honorable"style. This will contradict however to his future status as a Duke, because Duke's sons will be known as "Lord"and not "The Honorable".

THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY WITH HRH STATUS:
1. Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester-first cousin to the Queen and the only child of Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester and Lady Alice, daughter of the 6th Duke of Beuccleaugh. He married the former Birgette Van Deura and has 3 children: Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina and Lady Rose.

2. Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent-first cousin to the Queen and the eldest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent(youngest son of George V who died in a plane crash during world war II at the age of 42)and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark(first cousin of Prince Philip and the last true blooded Princess married into the British royalty). He married Katharine Worsley and has 3 children: George, Earl of St.Andrews, Lady Helen and Lord Nicholas (he lost his place in the line of succession because he married a roman catholic)

3. Princess Alexandra-only daughter of Prince George and Princess Marina. She married The Honorable Angus Ogilvy and has 2 children, Marina and James.
4. Prince Michael of Kent-youngest son of Prince George and Princess Marina. He too, lost his place in the line of succession in 1978 because he married a German roman catholic woman Marie Christine Von Reibnitz, she became Princess Michael of Kent after their marriage, their children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella remain in the line of succession because they are in communion with the church of England.

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