British Royal Family Tree
Interactive British Royal Family Tree, from Alfred the Great to Queen Elizabeth II. Zoom in to look at close relationships, and zoom out to look at a network of generations and marriages. You can drag and lock royals to a specific position and get a better look at particular connections or relations. You may also hover over the names to get a more information on each family member. A bit tangled? Pull it, shake it, play with it, reload it! Scroll down to read more about this visualization.
Key of British Royal Houses
Kings and Queens of England
Following the rise and fall of different English Kings in different dynasties is not easy. This tree is quite detailed, but the crown not always falls in the hands of a direct descendant.
Here is a chronological list of Kings and Queens of Enlgand with Family Name, and reign dates.
- Alfred the Great: House of Wessex, 871
- Edward the Elder: House of Wessex, 899 - 924
- Ælfweard: House of Wessex, 924 - 924
- Æthelstan: House of Wessex, 924 - 939
- Edmund I: House of Wessex, 939 - 946
- Eadred: House of Wessex, 946 - 955
- Eadwig: House of Wessex, 955 - 959
- Edgar the Peaceful: House of Wessex, 959 - 975
- Edward the Martyr: House of Wessex, 975 - 978
- Æthelred: House of Wessex, 978 - 1013
- Sweyn: House of Denmark, 1013 - 1014
- Æthelred: House of Wessex, 1014 - 1016
- Edmund Ironside: House of Wessex, 1016
- Canute: House of Denmark, 1016 - 1035
- Harold Harefoot: House of Denmark, 1035 - 1040
- Harthacnut: House of Denmark, 1040 - 1042
- Edward the Confessor: House of Wessex, 1042 - 1066
- Harold Godwinson: House of Godwinson, 1066
- Edgar Ætheling: House of Wessex, 1066
- William I: House of Normandy, 1066 - 1087
- William II: House of Normandy, 1087 - 1100
- Henry I: House of Normandy, 1100 - 1135
- Stephen: House of Blois, 1135 - 1154
- Matilda: 1141
- Henry II: House of Plantagenet, 1154 - 1189
- Richard I: House of Plantagenet, 1189 - 1199
- John: House of Plantagenet, 1199 - 1216
- Louis the Lion: House of Plantagenent, 1216 - 1217
- Henry III: House of Plantagenent, 1216 - 1272
- Edward I: House of Plantagenent, 1272 - 1307
- Edward II: House of Plantagenent, 1307 - 1327
- Edward III: House of Plantagenent, 1327 - 1377
- Richard II: House of Plantagenent, 1377 - 1399
- Henry IV: House of Lancaster, 1399 - 1413
- Henry V: House of Lancaster, 1413 - 1422
- Henry VI: House of Lancaster, 1422 - 1461
- Edward IV: House of York, 1461 - 1470
- Henry VI House of Lancaster, 1470 - 1471
- Edward IV: House of York, 1471 - 1483
- Edward V: House of York, 1483
- Richard III: House of York, 1483 - 1485
- Henry VII: House of Tudor, 1485 - 1509
- Henry VII: House of Tudor, 1509 - 1547
- Edward VI: Hoouse of Tudor, 1547 - 1553
- Jane: 1553
- Mary I: House of Tudor, 1553 - 1558
- Elizabeth I: House of Tudor, 1558 - 1603
- James I: House of Stuart
- Charles I: House of Stuart, 1625 - 1649
- Charles II: House of Stuart, 1660 - 1685
- James II: House of Stuart, 1685 - 1688
- Mary II: House of Stuart, 1689 - 1694
- William III: House of Stuart, 1689 - 1702
- Anne: House of Stuart, 1702 - 1707
- George I: House of Hanover, 1714 - 1727
- George II: House of Hanover, 1727 - 1760
- George III: House of Hanover, 1760 - 1820
- George IV: House of Hanover, 1820 - 1830
- William IV: House of Hanover, 1830 - 1837
- Victoria: House of Hanover, 1837 - 1901
- Edward VII: House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, 1901 - 1910
- George V: House of Saxe-Couburg and Gotha then Windsor: 1910 - 1936
- Edward VIII: House of Windsor: 1936
- George VI: House of Windsor: 1936 - 1952
- Elizabeth II: House of Windsor: 1952 - Present
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This interactive Royal Family Tree summarizes the most important individuals in British Royal History. If you would like to learn more about their genealogy, understand their beginnings, and read more about royal biographies, I suggest you read this book from Amazon Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (updated) by Weir, Alison (2009) Paperback.
Prominent Royal Houses of England
The House of Wessex, also known as the House of Cerdic (Cerdicingas in Old English), refers to the family that initially ruled a kingdom in southwest England known as Wessex,
Anglo-Saxon England, when the Wessex family reigned, was a fascinating period. This is the time when the British monarchs fought the Viking raids. It is also the period when England was unified.
It is a bit difficult to follow. The names are not familiar. They are quite strange and similar. Some have strange letters and you need a session of old English to learn how to pronounce them. Try for example "Æthelstan", at first it is hard to know if it is a male or a female. To make things worse, monarchs tend to die and marry relatives or name children after a sibling or dead family member. It took a lot of checking but the links are correct.
William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy, by his mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status made him known also as William the Bastard. This situation also caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as anarchy and struggle characterized the first years of his rule. He inherited Normandy but later became a candidate to rule England when his first cousin once removed Edward the Confessor died childless. William was the first Norman King in England.
In case you just realized you want to learn more about the British Royal Family, as much as the history that surrounds them; I suggest you go to the nearest history museum and find how the British Royals affected your local history. You can check museums and prices at Tiqets. If you are not sure where to go, Tiqets will give you different suggestions and prices. For more information Click Here!
The Plantagenets were a huge powerful family not just in England but throughout Europe. The first Plantagenet was King Henry II, whose father owned vast lands in Anjou, an area as big as Normandy. This is why sometimes this is also called the House of Anjou or Angevin dynasty. Henry’s wife Eleanor ruled the even larger territory to the south called Aquitaine. Plantagenet Kings were thus the richest family in Europe and ruled England and half of France. Source: Plantagenet Dynasty.
Their name came from planta genista, the Latin for yellow broom flower, which the Counts of Anjou wore as an emblem on their helmets.
With the Plantagenets, England changed, althogh this was not caused by the monarchs. The Plantagenet Kings were forced to negotiate compromises such as the Magna Carta. "These constrained royal power in return for financial and military support. The king was no longer just the most powerful man in the nation, holding the prerogative of judgement, feudal tribute and warfare. He now had defined duties to the realm, underpinned by a sophisticated justice system.
Wars of the Roses
The “Wars of the Roses” was far longer and deadlier than the Tudor’s dispute. But it did not include the Religious conflict displayed by their Tudor descendants.
Fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, the wars were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster.
"The Plantaganet King Henry VI was a weak king, married to an ambitious French princess, Margaret of Anjou. At this time, there was a complex series of rivalries and jealousies at court between powerful noble families. The Queen and her circle of nobles were known as Lancastrians after Henry’s surname of Lancaster. The party of nobles who opposed the Queen and the Lancastrians was led by Richard, Duke of York, Henry’s cousin, who was also descended from King Edward III and therefore also had a claim to the throne of England. They were known as Yorkists." Historic UK. This resulted in a series of civil wars that lasted 30 years. As noted on the list above, the throne changed hands several times until a new Royal Dynasty emerged.
For more information on the troubled times surrounding the confrontations between the Houses of Lancaster and York, I invite you to read and understant their struggle on this Amazon book The Wars of the Roses (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks). It is an accurate and academic depiction for those who love history in great detail.
House of Tudor
The Tudor dynasty was marked by Henry VIII’s break with the papacy in Rome (1534) and the beginning of the English Reformation. The king became the head of the Anglican church.
The succession conflict that also starts with Henry VIII is captivating. This tree shows in detail Henry VIII, his 6 wives and his descendants. Knowing how after all his desire to have a male heir, two of his daughters become Queens, is incredible. The length of Queen Elizabeth’s I reign is quite astonishing too. The fact that Mary Queen of Scots, whom Elizabeth despised, eventually carries on with the succession line is also an amazing twist of history. Talk about fate and will of each Monarch.
Elizabeth's reign was marked by a war with Spain. It was also known by her lack of husband. This resulted in her being called the Virgin Queen. Her long reign is known as Elizabethan era and the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare.
House of Stuart
The Stuarts were the first Kings of the United Kingdom. They are the product of marriages between the English Monarchy and Scotish Monarchy. The Stuart dynasty reigned in England and Scotland from 1603 to 1714, a period which saw a flourishing Court culture but also much upheaval and instability, of plague, fire and war.
It was an age of intense religious debate and radical politics. Both contributed to a bloody civil war in the mid-seventeenth century between Crown and Parliament (the Cavaliers and the Roundheads), resulting in a parliamentary victory for Oliver Cromwell and the dramatic execution of King Charles I.
There was a short-lived republic, the only time that the country had experienced such an event. The Restoration of the Crown was soon followed by another 'Glorious' Revolution. Source: The Stuarts
House of Hanover
Kings by accident of birth, the Hanoverians ushered in a new style of royal rule which, allied with political and societal changes already underway in England, led to a new form of government.
George I succeeded to the throne on the death of his Stuart cousin, Queen Anne, in 1714. Never overly fond of his new realm, he divided his time between England and Hanover. His son, George II, was far more proactive when he became king in 1727 although much of the day to day politics had passed to parliament. George occupied himself with foreign affairs and became the last British king to lead his troops into battle.
George IV reigned for another ten years, marked by decadence and scandals over his private life. He was succeeded by his popular brother, William IV, in 1830. Despite fathering a nursery of illegitimate children who lived to adulthood, William and his wife, Adelaide, lost their own sons and daughters very early on and knew that one day the throne would pass to the king’s niece, Victoria. Source: House of Hanover
The chances by which Queen Victoria inherited the throne are quite interesting as well. Unfortunately only during those "heir deficient times", is when women can take power. The fact that she also withheld control for so long, and that she had 10 children is worthy of admiration.
This British Royal family tree was made because of a personal interest in Queen Victoria and her descendants. It was interestin to find out who did Queen Victoria choose, as the partners of her children. She wanted her descendants to rule throughout Europe. Make Europe’s Monarchies part of a big happy family. She wanted to bond them so there would be lasting peace. But all this was a failed dream. While she was still alive, conflict kept rising. Years later, her descendants were major players in World War I.
What is fascinating about this interactive family tree is that it shows the network of relationships between Queen Victoria and Albert her husband. It shows the royal family tree of Queen Victoria, her descendants and the royal weddings of their offspring.
Queen Victoria’s progeny and their conflicting relationships make Royal Genealogy even more captivating.
Queen Victoria embodies everything you could expect from a monarch: family, power, connections, drama, and politics. This is all incrdibly told in this Amazon book Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria.
House of Windsor
It is quite interesting that even though we can trace Queen Elizabeth’s II family tree, more than a thousand years. Her maternal lineage can only be traced 6 generations back. No matter how interrelated are European monarchies, there is always new blood coming in.
The current House of Windsor was actually Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but due to the dislike of German heritage during World War I, it was changed to Windsor. The future presumptive monarch, Prince Charles could name the new house to Mountbatten, but only time will tell.
I always enjoyed looking at the branches and intersections of Royal Family trees. Nevertheless, they never gave me enough information. I also noticed that trees tend to focus on males, many times disregarding blood connections from females. This tree shows both sides, male and female, since both are likely to produce a new heir.
This tree additionally includes a different color for each royal house. They are always mentioned but sometimes hard to keep track. I also included the coat of arms when you hover over the nobility member. This is not as accurate. Since they change as each line is added to the tree and females sometimes bring their own coat of arms.
I had more leads and connections, mainly with the Scottish family tree. They were deleted to improve navigation. I tried not to make it too complicated to understand. At some point I intended to include all European family trees. For ease and decluttering I plan to make one of the Spanish Royal Family and another one of French Royalty. They are equally interesting and worth depicting.
I am currently looking into my own genealogy tree, but it is a time consuming effort. I still don't know if I am connected to Royalty, but I managed to find my ethnic origins through a DNA analysis. For that I used this kit available on Amazon AncestryDNA: Genetic Ethnicity Test, Ethnicity Estimate, AncestryDNA Test Kit. It is a great way to fill in the blanks, because it does not only have data from around the world, it is an information source that keeps updating with more connections, and maps.
Resources for British Royal Family
As guides I used my old Larousse Encyclopedia, Useful charts and an article I found on Reddit about How inbred are Europe's monarchs.
For the data I used Britroyals website. For Pictures and more information I have used Wikipedia.
Most pedigrees are shown as trees but I believe they are more like networks, if you go far enough. Therefore, the look and interactivity was inspired by Force simulations article, which included a fun family Tree of the Simpsons. I made and published a tree. This is a more convoluted version, but the royals can be locked in position by the user. Since I wanted a sticky force layout where the nodes could be set in a specific position, I used the code from an answer I found on JSFiddle. I found the code for the tooltip with an image in a Competa blog.
I hope to make the interactive version of the French and Spanish Family trees in the near future. They are equally interesting and engaging.
I share this and other thoughts about this visualization on this article I wrote on Medium.
Inspiration for Royal Family Genealogy
I have always liked history and I have always had an interest in European Monarchs. British monarchy has continuously been on top of this list. Not just because they are still ruling, but because they have had several women in power. Of course I was also attracted to British Royalty due to the glamour and fashion projected by Lady D. Role currently filled by Katherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Merkle the Duchess of Sussex.
The intrigue of who will be the heir, and who will they marry, and if the couple can have children, is present throughout British history. All these are definitely intriguing questions each generation.
I once found myself sleepless one night. I had nothing to do, and ended up watching an old movie. You can still find it on Amazon, it is called Alfred the Great. I would have never planned on watching it, but it definitely caught my attention. Battles, religion, geography, love, all in one intriguing phase of British History.
With this visualization I wanted to find out: Are kings and queens related? Is the first born always the monarch? What happens with royalty siblings? Is there a direct line from Alfred the Great to Queen Elizabeth? Who is chosen as a monarch when the king has no children or heirs?
Made by Luz K. Molina with D3.js.