What Is the History of the British Royal Family?


Quick Answer

Queen Elizabeth II traces her roots back to her 32nd great-grandfather, King Alfred. He ruled England from 871 to 899, according to BritRoyals.com. She is the oldest reigning British monarch in history. Reigning for over 63 years as of 2015, she is the second longest-reigning British monarch.

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Full Answer

Queen Elizabeth's husband is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He traces his royalty from his father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and from his third great-grandmother, Queen Victoria on his mother's side of the family. Their four offspring include Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Succession to the throne includes 100 individuals. Prince Philip, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte hold places one through four. Prince William's brother, Prince Henry is fifth in succession to the throne of the House of Windsor, as of 2015.

The official website of the British monarchy states that the monarch is the British head of state, but kings and queens no longer wield the authority to make or pass laws in Britain; that is the role of the elected Parliament. Queen Elizabeth generally interacts with the country's Parliament in a ceremonial manner. However, all bills require her royal assent to become law.

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