The British royal
family was formerly widely defined to include many descendants of a monarch
. In modern times (from the creation of the House of Windsor
in 1917) it is more restricted, covering only two generations in the male line and one in the female. Members of royalty
normally have the title of Prince
and the prefix His or Her Royal Highness
, except the King and Queen, who have the prefix His or Her Majesty
. The wife of a born royal normally takes the female equivalent of his title and prefix, though the husband of one does not acquire any title by the marriage.
Being honoured as royalty is different from eligibility for the throne. The order of royal succession goes through all children, even those distant enough that they do not count as royal. The only disqualification is by religion, Roman Catholics or those married to them being ineligible for the throne. However, they retain their titles and royalty (such as Prince Michael).
The title of Prince or Princess is automatic from birth, and is the default style if they have no other. Adult princes are often given a royal dukedom, typically just before their marriage. They are then styled Duke rather than Prince: for example, Prince Andrew is officially HRH The Duke of York. There are a number of dukedoms that belong to the Crown: York, Kent, Gloucester, Albany, Edinburgh, Sussex, Cumberland, Clarence. These remain within the royal family, with the intention of being re-absorbed and re-granted rather than passing to ever more distant relatives.
The current Royal Family consists of five grandchildren of King George V, and part of their families. Living members are in bold in the following table under their official titles; those who do not count as royalty are in brackets, and further descendants of those children are not mentioned. Birth titles such as Prince Charles are also bracketed, where they have been superseded by later formal titles. Typically we have the individuals noded on E2 under the personal name, such as Prince Charles, whereas his titles and their histories are under Prince of Wales or Duke of Rothesay.
HRH Princess Margaret 1930-2002
- HM King George V 1865-1936
m. HM Queen Mary (Mary of Teck) 1867-1953
- HM King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor 1894-1972
(m. Mrs Wallis Simpson)
- HM King George V, formerly prince Albert, The Duke of York 1895-1952
m. (Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother 1900-2002
- HM Queen Elizabeth II 1926-
m. HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, formerly Lieut. Philip Mountbatten, 1921-
m.2 HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (in Scotland HRH The Duchess of Rothesay; formerly Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles) 1947-
- HRH The Prince of Wales, called in Scotland HRH The Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles), 1948-
m.1 HRH The Princess of Wales, formerly Lady Diana Spencer, subsequently Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997
- HRH Prince William of Wales 1982-
- HRH Prince Henry of Wales 1984-
- HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) 1950-
(m.1 Capt. Mark Phillips,
children Peter and Zara;
m.2 Rear Adm. Timothy Laurence)
- HRH The Duke of York (Prince Andrew) 1960-
(m. Sarah Ferguson, sometime HRH The Duchess of York)
- HRH Princess Beatrice of York 1988-
- HRH Princess Eugenie of York 1990-
- HRH The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward) 1964-
m. (Sophie Rhys-Jones) HRH The Countess of Wessex 1965-
- Lady Louise Windsor 2003-
(m. The Earl of Snowdon, formerly Anthony Armstrong-Jones,
children David and Sarah)
HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Mary) 1897-1965
(m. The Earl of Harewood,
HRH The Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry) 1900-1974
m. HRH Princess Alice, The Duchess of Gloucester 1901-2004
HRH The Duke of Kent (Prince George) 1902-1942
- HRH Prince William 1941-1972
- HRH The Duke of Gloucester (Prince Richard) 1944-
m. (Birgitte van Deurs) HRH The Duchess of Gloucester 1946-
(children Alexander, Davina, Rose)
m. Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent 1906-1968
HRH Prince John (1905-1919)
- HRH The Duke of Kent (Prince Edward) 1935-
m. (Katharine Worsley) HRH The Duchess of Kent 1933-
(children George, Helen, Nicholas)
- HRH Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy 1936-
(m. Rt Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy 1928-2004,
children James and Marina)
- HRH Prince Michael of Kent 1942-
m. (Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz) HRH Princess Michael of Kent
(children Frederick and Gabriella)
Prince Edward declined a royal dukedom on his marriage and became Earl of Wessex. His daughter Louise is entitled to be styled HRH Princess Louise, but is actually styled as if her father was not royal. Edward was declared next in line for the title Duke of Edinburgh, so perhaps when he inherits that Louise will be styled princess.
The Queen's husband was created Duke of Edinburgh for their marriage, but was not created a Prince until several years after her accession.
The style "Princess Michael" looks unusual, but is the normal style for wives of princes who are not dukes. The present Duchess of Gloucester was known as Princess Richard before her husband inherited his dukedom.
When The Prince of Wales married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April 2005, she was granted the prefix HRH but will be known as Duchess of Cornwall, using the Prince's second title Duke of Cornwall.
Some details checked at www.royal.gov.uk and the exhaustive www.thepeerage.com