The current Royal Family, the House of Windsor, originated in 1917 when King George V proclaimed the last name of the family to be Windsor. However, the roots of the English monarchy trace back to the eighth and ninth centuries.
Centralized systems of government came into existence in England sometime between 700 and 900 A.D. Offa and Alfred the Great had begun to organize tribes under a single ruler, and Anglo-Saxon and Scottish kingdoms had monarchs by the time of the Norman invasion of 1066. William the Conqueror then became the English king, and his descendants ruled in the centuries that followed.
After the death of Queen Victoria, the Virgin Queen, in 1603, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were united. In 1801, Ireland was also included in the union to form the United Kingdom.
In 1917, King George V issued a royal proclamation that established the House of Windsor, giving family members an official last name. Previously, Royal Family members were only known by the kingdom or dynasty of their origin. The current Royal Family members all hail from the House of Windsor. They include Queen Elizabeth II, and in order of succession, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge.