The British Royal Family
For hundreds of years, the British Royal family has been famous all over the world. To this day, when a member of the family gets married, it sends the rest of the world into a frenzy. People around the world set their alarms to wake up in the middle of the night to watch the wedding on TV. Kate Middleton and Megan Markle are the most recent additions to the royal clan. These women weren’t related to the family before marrying into it, but this hasn’t always been the case. Here’s how the British Royals are secretly related to one another.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Queen Victoria is one of Britain’s most iconic monarchs. Thanks to the advice from her husband, Prince Albert, her reign saw the development of the U.K.’s constitutional monarchy. Albert told Victoria to be less partisan when dealing with Parliament. The couple’s relationship was more than marriage; they were also first cousins.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip
Queen Elizabeth is the current head of the House Of Windsor alongside her husband, Prince Phillip. They married in 1952 but met when Elizabeth was 13-years-old when she played tennis with Phillip. The two often ran into each other as children because Queen Victoria was the great-great-grandmother to both of them. Because of their connection to Denmark’s King Christian IX, they are second cousins.
King George V, Tsar Nicholas II, and Kaiser Wilhelm II
The idea of noble families being ripped apart by war is the plot of many literary tragedies, but it actually happened to Europe’s leading monarchies during World War I. Queen Victoria’s grandsons, King George V, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II shared an unbreakable bond. They shared a maternal grandmother with King George, and they looked a lot alike. The relationship broke during the war when Britain and Russia turned against Germany.
King George IV and Caroline of Brunswick
King George IV was forced to marry his first cousin, Caroline of Brunswick. His father told him that if he didn’t marry his cousin, he would be cut off financially. Even though King George was already married, he agreed to marry Caroline in 1795. The two disliked each other immediately, and a year later, they separated. Although they hated one another, they still had a daughter together who they named Charlotte. Sadly, she died in 1817, before she could take the crown.
King Henry VII and Catherine of Aragon
Henry VIII has six wives over countless generations. In 1509, he married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She was a distant relative of John of Gaunt. Before Catherine married Henry, she was married to his brother, Arthur, who was first in line for the throne. Their marriage ended six months after getting married when Arthur died in 1502. The two remained married until 1533 when Henry had their marriage invalidated so that they could marry Anne Boleyn.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla first met Prince Charles in the early 70s. When the two met, she said, “My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers, so, how about it?” After his divorce from Princess Diana, Prince Charles married Camilla in 2005. In her pickup line, Camilla referenced the relationship between King Edward VII and Alice Keppel. If Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel, is the illegitimate daughter of the two, it makes Charles and Camilla half-second cousins once removed. They also share another relative, the second Duke of Newcastle, Henry Cavendish.
King George VI and Elizabeth Boyes-Lyon
Before Elizabeth II held the throne, her father, King George VI, held it. His marriage to Elizabeth Boyes-Lyon might not have held up in court if it weren’t for his own brother’s marriage. George’s older brother, Edward, became king when their father died in 1936. Edward gave up the throne so that he could marry a U.S. divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The officials didn’t approve of Edward’s choice for a wife. Since Elizabeth came from a noble family, she was a better fit.
King William IV and Queen Adelaide
There are times where royals are more interested in taking the throne than they are in love. William IV was a young prince who was dating Irish actress, Dorethea Bland. When his niece, and the heir apparent, Princess Charlotte died in 1817, he wanted to secure his own place on the throne. He tried to find a wife to give him an heir, but he failed. He ended up marrying his third cousin, Adelaide. Sadly, his daughters died before becoming eligible for the crown. In their place, Queen Victoria carried on the family line.
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
Prince Edward is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II. He is 11th in line to take the throne, making his chances of doing so very bleak. Oddly enough, the number 11 means more to the couple. In 1993k, Prince Edward stated dating PR chief, Sophie Rhys-Jones, who was also his distant relative. The couple, who wed in 1999, are 11th cousins.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles married Diana Spencer before getting married to Camilla. Due to her persona and charity work, Princess Diana became famous in her own right. Time Magazine claimed in 1981 that the princess has more English royal blood in her veins than her husband did. After detailing the couple’s lineage, it was determined that they were 16th cousins, once removed.