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The 10 Reigning Royal Houses in Europe



Following two World Wars and the downfall of most monarchies, Europe has been left with only 10 territories that follow a constitutional monarchial form of government where the Crown Heads are only ceremonial Sovereigns.

They do not have much political power, and they should be above politics. their government is handled by the prime minister. 

They reigned but never governed. 

However, their ceremonial role is formidable, they can dissolve parliament and declare war. And passports are issued in their names. the allegiance of the military is not to the country but to the monarch. 

Andorra and Vatican, the two recognized states in Europe, also followed an unusual type of government but their heads (an Archbishop and President of France for Andorra and the Pope for Vatican) are determined through election and not based on hereditary or dynastic succession.

The Pope (for the state of Vatican) is a lifetime job but he can resign if he wishes too just like the case of Pope Benedict XVI. He is elected through a Conclave participated by the so-called Princes of the Church or the Cardinals.   

The current European royal houses are also the last generation of the royal golden age where most Crown Heads are blood related. However, their heirs mostly married non-aristocratic commoners.

BELGIUM
King Philippe of the Belgians
With Queen Mathilde

Heir-apparent: Princess Elisabeth

Type: Kingdom
House : Royal House of the Belgians
Monarch: King Philippe
Reigning since: 2013
Consort: Queen Mathilde
Heir Apparent: Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant

The original royal house name of Belgium was Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and its first recognized monarch from whom the current Belgian royals directly descended was King Leopold I, maternal uncle of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and paternal uncle of Victoria's husband, Prince Albert.

He was the first husband of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the first cousin of Queen Victoria who died in 1817 while giving birth to a son. 

Leopold was elected King of Belgium in 1831 after the country officially separated from The Netherlands. 

He remarried Princess Louise of Orleans, a French princess, in 1832 and had four children. Upon the death of Leopold I, the throne passed to his eldest surviving son, Leopold II, then to his grandson, Albert I since Leopold II had no surviving sons.

The royal house name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was changed to the royal House of Belgium in 1920. The reigning monarch, King Philippe, ascended the Belgian throne in July 2013 when his father, King Albert II, abdicated.

In 1999, Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Belgian baron. Following the marriage, Philippe's father, King Albert II, elevated Mathilde's father to a Count, a nobility rank in Europe equivalent to a British Earl.

They have four children. Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eleonore. 

Blood relations with other European crown heads

Parents: Albert II and Princess Paola Ruffo de Calabria (an Italian aristocrat) 
Paternal grandparents: Leopold III and Princess Astrid of Sweden
Maternal grandparents: Fulco VIII, Prince Ruffo di Calabria and 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda and Luisa Gazelli dei conti de Rossana
Paternal great-grandparents: Albert I (first cousin of Queen Victoria) and Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria. Prince Carl of Sweden and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (daughter of King Frederick VIII of Denmark, the brother of Queen Alexandra of Denmark, King George I of Greece and Empress Marie of Russia).


DENMARK
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Heir-apparent: Crown Prince Frederick

Type: Kingdom
House: Glucksburg
Sovereign: Queen Margrethe II
Reigning since: 1972 
Consort (deceased): Henrik, Prince of Denmark
Heir Apparent: Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

Following her birth in 1940, Queen Margrethe II was not expected to inherit the Danish throne. She and her two younger sisters, Princesses Benedikte and Anne-Marie, were not in the line of succession because the Danish constitution followed a Salic law that prohibited women from succeeding to the throne.

The Heir-presumptive of her father was her uncle, Prince Knud. However, in 1953, the Danish constitution changed its law of succession, scrapping the Salic law, adopting the male-preference primogeniture succession, appointing Margrethe as her father's heir-presumptive. 

In January 1972, her father, King Frederik IX died, she ascended the Danish throne as Margrethe II. The Queen married Henrik de Laborde Monpezat in 1967 and together have two sons: Crown Prince Frederik, born in 1968, and Prince Joachim, born in 1969.

How she is blood-related to other European crown heads

Parents: King Frederick IX and Princess Ingrid of Sweden
Paternal grandparents: King Christian X and Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Maternal grandparents: King Adolf VI Gustaf of Sweden and Princess Margareta of Connaught
Paternal great-grandparents: King Frederick VIII and Princess Louise of Sweden/Grand duke Frederick Francis III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Grand duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia
Maternal great-grandparents: King Christian IX and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel/Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria) and Princess Louise of Prussia

LIECHTENSTEIN
Hans Adam II, the Sovereign Prince of Liectenstein
With wife, Princess Marie
Heir-apparent: Prince Alois

Type: Principality
House: Liechtenstein
Sovereign: Prince Hans Adam II
Reigning since: 1989 
Consort (deceased): Princess Marie of Liechtenstein
Heir Apparent: Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein

The principality of Liechtenstein was founded in 1608 by Prince Karl I. It is a German-speaking landlocked microstate located in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria. 

It is Europe's fourth-smallest nation with just 160 square kilometers of land area and more than 30,000 population. Its main source of income is in the financial sector and among the nations in the world which ranked higher in Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

Unlike other monarchies in Europe, Liechtenstein is a semi-constitutional monarchy where the Sovereign Prince has extensive power in the government.

However, the House of Liechtenstein remains Europe's most traditional royal court. It is still adopting the Salic law where heirs are exclusive to males. Women and her descendants still do not have dynastic succession rights.

And although it is not specified in the constitution, it is customarily that its direct heirs should marry into Europe's aristocracy (reigning or non-reigning aristocratic houses).

Prince Alois married Duchess Sophie of Bavaria in 1993, she is also an heiress to the Jacobite succession in the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland as her uncle, Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria has no children.

Prince Franz is a direct descendant of King Charles I of the United Kingdom.

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein have four children. Prince Joseph Wenzel, Princess Marie-Caroline, Prince Georg and Prince Nikolaus.

How he is blood-related to European crown heads

Prince Hans Adam II is not directly blood-related to any reigning crown heads of Europe but he descended from Europe's most distinguished princely and aristocratic families. 

He also married Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, a member of the House of Kinsky, a prominent Czech noble family whose roots originated from the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Parents: Franz Joseph II and Countess Georgina von Wilczek
Paternal grandparents: Prince Aloys (he renounced his place in the line of succession in favor of his son, Franz Joseph II) and Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria (older sister of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand of Austria who was assassinated in 1914, an event that precipitated World War I)
Maternal grandparents: Count Ferdinand von Wilczek and Countess Nora Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau from the House of Kinsky in Czech Republic (paternal aunt of Countess Marie)
Paternal great-grandparents: Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria (brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. He renounced his place in the line of succession to the Austrian throne in favor of his son Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was assassinated in Bosnia in 1914) and Princess Margaretha of Saxony.

LUXEMBOURG
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
with wife, Grand Duchess Maria Theresa
Heir-apparent: Prince Guillaume

Type: Grand Duchy
House: Nassau-Weilburg
Sovereign: Grand Duke Henri
Reigning since: 2000
Consort: Grand Duchess Maria Theresa
Heir Apparent: Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Luxembourg is the world's only remaining Grand Duchy. It was annexed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands as its province in 1815 through the Congress of Vienna following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

King William III of the Netherlands also became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. However, in 1890, following William's death, the Dutch throne was inherited by his only surviving child who became Queen Whilhelmina.

The Queen could not inherit the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg because its succession was restricted to male heirs. Thus, it was inherited by William III's third cousin, Prince Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg.

Adolph was succeeded by his son as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, William IV. However, the Grand Duke had no male heirs. To prevent a succession crisis, he made changes in the constitution by switching Salic law to male-preference primogeniture.

In 1907, he named his eldest daughter, Princess Marie-Adelaide. as heir-presumptive. She became the first Grand Duchess regnant of Luxembourg in 1912 at the age of 18. 

However, during World War I, she became unpopular when she supported Germany during the war. In 1919, she abdicated the throne, and because she did not marry and had no children, the Grand Duchy was inherited by her younger sister, Princess Charlotte.

Grand Duchess Charlotte married Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma but retained the royal house name of the Grand Duchy and that of their descendants to Nassau-Weilburg.

In 1964, Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated the throne in favor of her eldest child who became Grand Duke Jean, who also abdicated in October 2000 in favor of his eldest son, Henri, the reigning Grand Duke. Grand Duke Jean married the only daughter of King Leopold III of Belgium - Princess Josephine-Charlotte.

Grand Duke Henri married a Cuban commoner he met while studying in Switzerland, Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista. They have five children. Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Felix, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Sebastien.

The Luxembourgian throne changed its law of succession in 2011, from male-preference primogeniture to Absolute primogeniture to give equal rights to daughters of the Sovereign.

How he is blood-related to European crown heads

Parents: Grand Duke Jean and Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium
Paternal grandparents: Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma
Maternal grandparents: King Leopold III of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden (sister of Princess Martha, wife of King Olaf V of Norway)
Maternal great-grandparents: King Albert I (first cousin of Queen Victoria) and Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria/Prince Carl of Sweden and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (daughter of King Frederick VIII of Denmark)

MONACO
Albert, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco
with wife: Princess Charlene
Heir-apparent: Prince Jacques

Type: Principality
House: Grimaldi
Sovereign: Prince Albert II
Reigning since: 2005
Consort: Princess Charlene (born Charlene Wittstock)
Heir Apparent: Jacques, the Hereditary Prince of Monaco

Monaco is the second-smallest nation in the world after Vatican City. It is often recognized as one of the wealthiest places on earth but one which has a high cost of living. 

It is a constitutional monarchy with the Sovereign Prince as its head of state. Monaco is an independent state and has a separate foreign policy. It has only two small military units, and its national defense is provided by France. 

This princely house originated in Genoa, Italy, founded by Francisco Grimaldi, the Genoese leader of the Guelphs who, together with his stepson, Rainier, the Lord of Cagnes and Baron San Demetrio in the Kingdom of Naples, seized the castle in the rock of Monaco in 1297.

Francisco was childless, when he died, the lordship of Monaco was inherited by his stepson who became Rainier I. 

Monaco became a recognized independent sovereign state in 1861 and became a full voting member of the United Nations in 1993.

The reigning Sovereign Prince of Monaco is Albert II, who succeeded his father, Prince Rainier III, in April 2005. He married Charlene Wittstock, a South African Olympian swimmer, in 2011.

They have two children (fraternal twins) born on December 10, 2014: Jacques, the Hereditary Prince, and Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carlades

How he is blood related to European crown heads

As Prince Rainier III was the first European crown head to marry a non-aristocratic commoner, Prince Albert II has no royal or aristocratic blood from his mother's side.

Parents: Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly (a Hollywood actress)
Paternal grandparents: Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois (born Count Pierre de Polignac) and Princess Charlotte of Monaco
Maternal grandparents: John Kelly Sr. and Margaret Majer
Paternal great-grandparents: Count Maxence de Polignac and Susana dela Torre y Mier/Louis II, Prince of Monaco and Marie Juliette Louvet

NORWAY
King Harald V of Norway
King Harald V with wife, Queen Sonja
Heir apparent: Crown Prince Haakon
 
Type: Kingdom
House: Glucksburg
Sovereign: King Harald V
Reigning since: 1993
Consort: Queen Sonja
Heir Apparent: Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway

Norway officially separated from Sweden in 1904 and elected its first monarch, Prince Charles of Denmark, son of King Frederik VIII of Denmark (eldest son of King Christian IX and Queen Louise), and became King Haakon VII. 

King Haakon VII was the younger brother of King Christian X of Denmark and the older brother of Princess Ingeborg who married Prince Carl of Sweden. 

He married his first cousin, Princess Maud of Wales, the youngest daughter of his paternal aunt, Queen Alexandra, and King Edward VII of Britain. 

They had an only son, Prince Alexander who reigned in Norway as King Olaf V. Prince Alexander married Princess Martha of Sweden, daughter of Princess Ingeborg and sister of Queen Astrid of Belgium, making them second cousins.

The current Norwegian king, Harald V, is King Olaf V's youngest and only son. 

He married a commoner in 1968, Sonja Haraldsen, which caused controversy in Norway, and King Olaf V initially refused to grant his approval.

They have two children. Princess Martha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon. The Norwegian law of succession was changed to absolute primogeniture in 1990 but it was not done retroactively like in Sweden, thus Haakon still precedes his older sister in the line of succession,

How he is blood-related to other European crown heads

Parents: King Olaf V and Princess Martha of Sweden
Paternal grandparents: King Haakon VII and Princess Maud of Wales
Maternal grandparents: Prince Carl of Sweden and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark
Paternal great-grandparents: King Frederick VIII of Denmark and Princess Lovisa of Sweden/ King Edward VII of Britain and Princess Alexandra of Denmark (younger sister of King Frederick VIII)
Maternal great-grandparents: King Oscar II of Sweden and Princess Sophia of Nassau/King Frederick VIII of Denmark and Princess Lovisa of Sweden/

SPAIN
King Felipe VI of Spain
King Felipe VI and Queen Letezia
Heir-presumptive: Leonor, Princess of Asturias

Type: Kingdom
House: Bourbon
Sovereign: King Felipe VI
Reigning since: 2014
Consort: Queen Letezia
Heir Presumptive: Leonor, Princess of Asturias

Spain is one of the fewest countries in the world that regained its lost throne after its military leaders overthrew the monarchy. 

The Second Spanish Republic was declared on April 14, 1931 and King Alfonso XIII was deposed and went to live in exile in Italy with his family.

In 1934, seeing no hope of restoring the Spanish monarchy, the king's heir-apparent, Alfonso, Prince of Asturias, and his younger brother, Infante Jaime, renounced their claim to the Spanish throne.

In 1941, the deposed king named his third surviving son, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, as his heir, should the monarchy be restored. The king later died that year in Rome.

The Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936 and the country fell to the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. In February 1939, Franco was recognized as Spain's head of state.

Infante Juan made peace with Franco and negotiated to restore the Spanish monarchy to his family. Franco relented but refused to name Juan as the next monarch, viewing him as too liberal.

In 1969, Franco declared Juan's son, Prince Juan Carlos de Bourbon as his successor and named him Prince of Spain instead of Prince of Asturias. By then Juan Carlos already married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark and have three children: Elena, Cristina, and Felipe.

Juan Carlos became King of Spain upon Franco's death in November 1975 and guided Spain to its transition to a constitutional monarchy. For more than four decades, he was Europe's most popular monarch. 

But in 2010 his reign began attracting controversies due to the corruption charges against his daughter and son-in-law. King Juan Carlos's disastrous South African Safari adventure blew it off and his Spanish subjects became turning against him.

He abdicated in June 2014 in favor of his only son, now King Felipe VI.

Felipe VI is today's Europe's youngest monarch. He married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano in 2004, a TV News Anchor, making her the first commoner to become a Spanish consort.

They have two daughters. Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia. The Spanish law of succession remained unchanged and still follow the male-preference primogeniture, thus, Leonor is only an heir-presumptive.

How he is blood-related to European crown heads

Parents: King Juan Carlos and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Paternal grandparents: Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Princess Maria de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Maternal grandparents: King Paul of Greece and Princess Federica of Hanover
Paternal great-grandparents: King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (daughter of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, the brother of Prince Louis of Battenberg)/Prince Carlo of Two Sicilies and Princess Louise of Orleans
Maternal great-grandparents: King Constantine I of Greece and Princess Sophia of Prussia (granddaughter of Queen Victoria)/Crown Prince Ernest Augustus III of Hanover and Princess Viktoria Louise of Prussia (great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria)

SWEDEN
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia
Heir-apparent: Crown Princess Victoria

Type: Kingdom
House: Bernadotte
Sovereign: King Carl XVI Gustav
Reigning since: 1973
Consort: Queen Silvia
Heir Apparent: Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

Sweden is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the fifth largest country in the European continent. It is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia, comprising the Scandinavian and Kola peninsulas, mainland Finland and Karelia. 

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Its reigning monarch is King Carl XVI Gustav from the royal house of Bernadotte.

The House of Bernadotte was established in 1818 when the last monarch in the royal house of Holstein-Gottorp, Charles XIII, died without legitimate heirs.

He had an illegitimate son, Carl Lowenhielm but he was disqualified from succeeding the throne. One of Charles XIII's adopted sons, Jean Bernadotte, a French military general, was appointed his heir.

Jean Bernadotte changed his name to Charles John when he was named heir-presumptive in 1810. Following the death of Charles XIII in 1818, he ascended the Swedish throne as Charles XIV Johan. He had an only one child who succeeded him as king, Oscar I.

The wife of King Frederik VIII of Denmark, Princess Lovisa of Sweden, was a granddaughter of Oscar I through his eldest son, King Charles XV. 

The current Swedish king, Carl XVI Gustav, directly descended from King Oscar II, the younger brother and successor of King Charles XV who had no surviving son.

King Carl XVI Gustaf waited after the death of his grandfather, King Adolf VI Gustaf, to marry his non-aristocratic lover, Silvia Sommerlath. 

Had he married prior to the death of his grandfather, the current Swedish king would never ascend the throne and he would have been stripped of his royal titles and inheritance just like his two uncles, Prince Sigvard and Prince Carol Johan, and cousin Prince Lennard.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath got married in 1976, three years after he succeeded his grandfather. They have three children. Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. 

For a brief period following his birth in 1979, Prince Carl Philip was the crown prince.

However, the Swedish law of succession was changed to absolute primogeniture in January 1980 and it was done retroactively. Thus, Carl Philip was replaced by his older sister, Victoria, as heir-apparent.

How the king is blood-related to European crown heads

Parents: Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Vasterbotten and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Paternal grandparents: King Adolf VI Gustaf and Princess Margareta of Connaught 
Maternal grandparents: Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein
Paternal great-grandparents: King Gustaf V and Princess Victoria of Baden/Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria of Britain) and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia
Maternal great-grandparents: Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (fourth son of Queen Victoria of Britain, younger brother of Prince Arthur) and Princess Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont/Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein.

THE NETHERLANDS
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
Heir-apparent: Princess Catharina-Amalia

Type: Kingdom
House: Orange-Nassau
Sovereign: King Willem-Alexander
Reigning since: 2013
Consort: Queen Maxima
Heir Apparent: Catharina-Amalia, the Hereditary Princess of Orange-Nassau

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was established as an independent territory in Europe following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. 

It also awarded the province of Luxembourg with William, Prince of Orange as the first monarch of the independent Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

In 1840, King William I abdicated the throne in favor of his son, William, Prince of Orange who was briefly engaged to Princess Charlotte of Wales (daughter of the future King George IV of Britain who died in 1817 due to difficult childbirth).

The current Dutch monarch, King Willem-Alexander, is his direct descendant. The reigning monarch ascended the Dutch throne when his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated the throne in 2013. 

The Dutch royals have blood relation to the British royal family through Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, eldest daughter of King George II of Britain.

Princess Anne married William IV, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland, they were the grandparents of King William I, the first monarch under the independent Kingdom of the Netherlands, where the present-day Dutch royals directly descended.

Willem-Alexander married Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, an Argentinian investment banker, in February 2002. They have three daughters. Princess Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.

King Willem-Alexander became the first male monarch of The Netherlands in more than a hundred years since the reign of King William III in the 19th century.

The Dutch succession law was changed to absolute primogeniture succession in 1983 replacing the male-preference primogeniture with an Absolute succession. The king's eldest daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia, is the first Dutch princess to become the Princess of Orange. 

Absolute primogeniture, which is currently adopted by Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, stated that the heir-apparent should be the monarch's eldest child irrespective of gender.

How he is blood-related to other European crown heads

King Willem-Alexander directly descended from King George II of Britain through his eldest daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal who married William IV, Prince of Orange.

Parents: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg (German diplomat)
Maternal grandparents: Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Paternal grandparents: Claus Felix von Amsberg (member of German nobility) and Baroness Gosta von dem Bussche-Haddenbausen
Maternal great-grandparents: Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's mother, Queen Alexandrine)/Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld and Baroness Armgard von Cramm)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
The Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
Heir-apparent: Charles, the Prince of Wales

Type: Kingdom
House: Windsor
Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II
Reigning since: 1952
Consort: Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
Heir Apparent: Charles, the Prince of Wales

The United Kingdom is one of the oldest monarchies in Europe tracing back its origin to the Anglo-Saxon days. However, the current British royal family descended from William I, the Conqueror, a Norman duke who seized the English throne from the last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold II.

William I established his court in Windsor Castle on Christmas day in the 10th century. The current British monarch, Elizabeth II, however, directly descended from the Hanoverian tree whose first King, George I, the Prince of Hanover was called to inherit the British throne when the Catholic descendants of King Charles I, were barred from succeeding the throne after the death of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne.

Hanoverian royal house in Britain ended in 1837 when King William IV died without legitimate heirs. His successor was his niece, Victoria, but she could not reign in the state of Hanover in Germany because its succession was restricted only to male heirs.

Her uncle, Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, inherited the Hanoverian crown, while she reigned in the United Kingdom under the house name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, where her mother, Princess Victoria, and husband, Prince Albert, descended.

In 1917, Queen Victoria's grandson, George V, changed the royal house name to Windsor to save his kingdom during World War I as his subjects had bitter anti-German sentiments.

Queen Elizabeth II is the fourth Windsor monarch. She married her third cousin, and also her father's second cousin, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947.

Prince Philip is the last generation of European's royal Golden Age where consorts were born royals. He is the only consort of a reigning European crown head who was born royal. 

Prince Philip abandoned his Greek royal titles in 1947 to become a British subject for his marriage to his blood relation, then Princess Elizabeth. He adopted his maternal grandfather's Anglicized name, Mountbatten.

The current British ruling family

They have four children. Charles, the Prince of Wales, Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

How they are blood related to European crown heads

Queen Elizabeth II

Parents: King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Paternal grandparents: King George V and Princess Mary of Teck
Maternal grandparents: Claude Bowes-Lyon, 15th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck (great-granddaughter of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and British Prime Minister)
Paternal great-grandparents: King Edward VII and Princess Alexandra of Denmark/Francis, Duke of Teck in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, granddaughter of King George III and first cousin of Queen Victoria)

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Parents: Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg
Paternal grandparents: King George I of Greece (brother of Queen Alexandra of Britain, King Frederick VIII of Denmark and Empress Marie of Russia) and Grand duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia (granddaughter of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia)
Maternal grandparents: Prince Louis of Battenberg (brother of Prince Henry of Battenberg) later Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford-Haven, and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine
Paternal great-grandparents: King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel/Grand duke Konstantin of Russia and Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg
Maternal great-grandparents: Prince Alexander of Hesse and Countess Julia von Battenberg/Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Alice (second daughter of Queen Victoria).


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