Royal Family history: How did the Royal Family start? ‘Accident’ started modern royals


THE Royal Family has reigned over the UK for generations, with numerous Kings and Queens, many of them consigned to the history books with little attention. How did the Royal Family start?

Royal families exist all over the world, but none are quite as famous as the British royals. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland became the UK under their leadership, and eventually took over 25 percent of the planet. Since then, their power has markedly declined, but they remain in power.

How did the Royal Family start?

The Royal Family started with William the Conqueror, the Norman Duke who crossed the channel to dominate England.

He wasn’t the first King to reign in Britain but he established the roots of the modern royals.

When William I died in 1087, his eldest son, William II, took the throne.

Royal Family history how did royal family start UK King William I

Royal Family history: How did the Royal Family start? The ‘accident’ which lead to today’s royals (Image: GETTY)

Royal Family history: William I

Royal Family history: William I was the first King of England (Image: GETTY)

William II did not marry, meaning he had no viable heirs to pass his crown to, and he ultimately died following a hunting “accident” when out with his brother Henry I, who took his place.

The crown continued to pass down this complex family line, ending up with distant relative Edward III.

Edward III’s great-great-grandsons then fought in the 15th century War of the Roses which put infamous King Richard III on the throne.

Henry VII eventually took over from him, backed by his marriage to Mary of York, and produced Henry VIII, who created Protestantism via the 16th-century reformation.

Royal Family history: King Henry VIII

Royal Family history: King Henry VIII established the Protestant reformation (Image: GETTY)

Royal Family history: Royal Family

Royal Family history: The Royal Family tree (Image: GETTY)

Henry VIII also founded the rule of male primogeniture, which continues with the modern Royal Family.

His daughter, Elizabeth I took the throne after his son, Edward VI and united the Kingdom with Scotland.

Following a civil war and brief “invasion” from Dutch King William III, the Hanover house provided a 17th-century royal reboot.

Queen Victoria ended up on the throne from this house five generations later.

Royal Family history: King George III

Royal Family history: King George III was the first Hanoverian monarch (Image: GETTY)

The House of Windsor emerged from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the early 20th century, under Victoria’s children, who were members of this branch via her German husband, Prince Regent Albert.

They changed the name to Windsor amid high anti-German sentiment with the outbreak of the First World War.

Queen Elizabeth II was one of the first members of the Windsor family to take the name at birth.

She took over from her father, George VI, in 1952, who took over from his brother Edward VIII and has reigned since.

The Queen will eventually give way to Prince Charles, the oldest King-in-Waiting in British history.

Prince Charles will pass the throne to his son, Prince William, and Prince George following him.

Given the highly complicated history of the Royal Family from the beginning, it is unclear whether the line of succession will follow this path precisely.

There is also no way to rule out an eventual republic, although experts have deemed this unlikely in the UK.


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