Descent of Elizabeth II from William the Conqueror

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This list shows the most senior line of descent of Elizabeth II from William I. Each person on the list is the son or daughter of the person above him or her on the list. There are many other more junior lines of descent of the family, but the crown, in theory at least, only descends through the most senior line (a major exception being the exclusion of the genealogically senior Jacobite succession by the Act of Settlement 1701).[1] Owing to extinct lines, large parts of entire royal houses (Lancaster, Tudor, Stuart) are bypassed in the current most senior line. The numbers can be used to calculate the number of generations between two individuals on this list.

The senior direct royal line[edit]

  1. William I of England
  2. Henry I of England
  3. Empress Matilda
  4. Henry II of England
  5. John of England
  6. Henry III of England
  7. Edward I of England
  8. Edward II of England
  9. Edward III of England
  10. Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence
  11. Philippa Plantagenet, 5th Countess of Ulster
  12. Roger de Mortimer, 4th Earl of March
  13. Anne de Mortimer
  14. Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
  15. Edward IV of England
  16. Elizabeth of York
  17. Margaret Tudor
  18. James V of Scotland
  19. Mary, Queen of Scots
  20. James VI of Scotland and I of England
  21. Elizabeth of Bohemia
  22. Sophia of Hanover
  23. George I of Great Britain
  24. George II of Great Britain
  25. Frederick, Prince of Wales
  26. George III of the United Kingdom
  27. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
  28. Victoria of the United Kingdom
  29. Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  30. George V of the United Kingdom
  31. George VI of the United Kingdom
  32. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Monarchs not in the direct line of descent from William I to Elizabeth II[edit]

There are 23 monarchs not in the direct line of descent from William I to Elizabeth II. The generation number corresponds to the generation number in the direct line.

Note that the phrase "died without issue" in the context of monarchs means "died without children".

Gen Monarch Reason Line passed through
2 William II died without issue. younger brother, Henry I
3 Stephen son and daughter bypassed by Treaty of Wallingford daughter of Henry I
5 Richard I died without legitimate issue younger brother, John
11 Richard II murdered and his throne usurped
by his cousin Henry IV
uncle, Lionel, Duke of Clarence
11 Henry IV established House of Lancaster
12 Henry V from House of Lancaster grand-uncle, Lionel, Duke of Clarence
13 Henry VI from House of Lancaster great grand-uncle, Lionel, Duke of Clarence
16 Edward V allegedly murdered in the Tower sister, Elizabeth of York
15 Richard III killed in battle niece, elder brother's daughter, Elizabeth of York
14 Henry VII from a junior branch of the family consort, Elizabeth of York, is from the senior branch.
Their marriage ended the War of Roses and united the houses.
17 Henry VIII his children died without issue sister, Margaret Tudor Scottish throne
18 Edward VI died without issue aunt, Margaret Tudor Scottish throne
18 Mary I died without issue
18 Elizabeth I died without issue
21 Charles I Protestant Stuart line dies out sister, Elizabeth, Electress Palatine, and her daughter Sophia, Electress of Hanover, House of Hanover
22 Charles II Protestant Stuart line dies out aunt, Elizabeth, Electress Palatine, and her daughter Sophia, Electress of Hanover, House of Hanover
22 James II Roman Catholic king deposed
23 Mary II Protestant Stuart line dies out grand-aunt, Elizabeth, Electress Palatine, and her daughter Sophia, Electress of Hanover, House of Hanover
23 William III Protestant Stuart line dies out
23 Anne Protestant Stuart line dies out
27 George IV daughter dies in childbirth (grandchild stillborn) younger brother, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
27 William IV died without legitimate issue
31 Edward VIII abdicated, died without issue younger brother, George VI

Monarchs of each generation[edit]

This table shows the generation of each monarch based on their descent from William I via the royal line.

The generational jump between Henry VII and Henry VIII is an interesting case shown on this list. Henry VIII is the son of Henry VII (generation 14 through an illegitimate junior line of John of Gaunt) as well as the son of Elizabeth of York (generation 16 through the senior Lionel, Duke of Clarence line). Henry VIII is counted as generation 17 because the royal line passes through his mother, who is of the senior line.

  1. William I
  2. William IIHenry I, siblings
  3. StephenEmpress Matilda, cousins
  4. Henry II
  5. Richard IJohn, siblings
  6. Henry III
  7. Edward I
  8. Edward II
  9. Edward III
  10. none (Prince of Wales predeceased his father, but left legitimate issue)
  11. Richard IIHenry IV, cousins
  12. Henry V
  13. Henry VI
  14. Henry VII
  15. Edward IVRichard III, siblings
  16. Edward V
  17. Henry VIII
  18. Edward VIMary IElizabeth I, siblings
  19. Lady Jane Grey
  20. James I
  21. Charles I
  22. Charles IIJames II, siblings
  23. Mary IIWilliam IIIAnneGeorge I, cousins & siblings
  24. George II
  25. none (Prince of Wales predeceased his father, but left legitimate issue)
  26. George III
  27. George IVWilliam IV, siblings
  28. Victoria
  29. Edward VII
  30. George V
  31. Edward VIIIGeorge VI, siblings
  32. Elizabeth II

Genealogical relationships to Elizabeth II[edit]

The closest relationships between Elizabeth and each king or queen of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom are given below. Here, the relationship is counted backwards from Elizabeth.

Note that the closest relationship deviates from the senior direct royal line starting with George III's children. In the junior collateral line, the Queen's grandmother, Mary of Teck was only three generations from George III through her mother, while her consort George V was four generations. These junior lines become more frequent the further back you go. For instance, Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, brings in a closer descent to the Seymour monarchs, Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey.

This process will continue in the future. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, if he becomes king, will add lines to Charles II and James II, from whose illegitimate children he is descended through his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Monarch Relation to Elizabeth II Note on Closest Relationship
William I of England 22nd Great-Grandfather
William II of England 21st Great-Granduncle
Henry I of England 21st Great-Grandfather
Stephen of England 20th Great-Grandfather
Matilda of England 20th Great-Grandmother
Henry II of England 19th Great-Grandfather
Richard I of England 18th Great-Granduncle
John of England 18th Great-Grandfather
Henry III of England 19th Great-Grandfather
Edward I of England 18th Great-Grandfather
Edward II of England 18th Great-Grandfather
Edward III of England 17th Great-Grandfather 6th Great-Grandfather of James I (through Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley)
Richard II of England 16th Great-Granduncle
Henry IV of England 17th Great-Grandfather 16th Great-Grandfather of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon through Humphrey of Gloucester
Henry V of England 16th Great-Granduncle Son of Henry IV
Henry VI of England ½-14th Great-Granduncle Half-brother of Edmund Tudor, the father of Henry VII
Edward IV of England 14th Great-Grandfather Father of Elizabeth of York, the wife of Henry VII and shares all his descendents
Edward V of England 13th Great-Granduncle Son of Edward IV
Richard III of England 14th Great-Granduncle Brother of Edward IV
Henry VII of England 13th Great-Grandfather 2nd Great-Grandfather of James I
Henry VIII of England 12th Great-Granduncle Son of Henry VII
Edward VI of England 1st Cousin, 12 times Removed Grandson of John Seymour, the 11th Great-Grandfather of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Jane of England 10th Great-Grandaunt Sister of Catherine, the 9th Great-Grandmother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Mary I of England 1st Cousin 13 times Removed Granddaughter of Henry VII
Elizabeth I of England 1st Cousin 13 times Removed Granddaughter of Henry VII
James I of England 9th Great-Grandfather Great-Grandfather of George I
Charles I of England 8th Great-Granduncle Son of James I
Charles II of England 1st Cousin 9 times Removed Grandson of James I
James II of England 1st Cousin 9 times Removed Grandson of James I
William III of England 1st Cousin 9 times Removed Grandson of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, the 7th Great-Grandfather of Mary of Teck
Mary II of England 2nd Cousin 8 times Removed Great-Granddaughter of James I
Anne of Great Britain 2nd Cousin 8 times Removed Great-Granddaughter of James I
George I of Great Britain 6th Great-Grandfather
George II of Great Britain 5th Great-Grandfather Grandfather of George III
George III of the United Kingdom 3rd Great-Grandfather Great-Grandfather of Mary of Teck
George IV of the United Kingdom 2nd Great-Granduncle Son of George III
William IV of the United Kingdom 2nd Great-Granduncle Son of George III
Victoria of the United Kingdom 2nd Great-Grandmother
Edward VII of the United Kingdom Great-Grandfather
George V of the United Kingdom Grandfather
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom Uncle Son of George V
George VI of the United Kingdom Father
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Family tree[edit]

This tree shows the descent of all British monarchs from William I, and their relationships with each other. Only branches that led to a monarch are shown. The direct royal line can be followed as the leftmost line.

                           
 William I
 
             
 Henry I    William II    Adela of Normandy
   
   
 Matilda  Stephen
 
 
 Henry II
 
       
 John    Richard I
 
 
 Henry III
 
 
 Edward I
 
 
 Edward II
 
 
 Edward III
 
                   
 Lionel of Antwerp  Edmund of Langley  Edward the Black Prince  John of Gaunt
       
             
 Philippa of Ulster  Richard of Conisburgh  Richard II  Henry IV  John Beaufort (earl)
       
       
 Roger de Mortimer    Henry V  John Beaufort (duke)
       
       
 Anne de Mortimer    Henry VI  Margaret Beaufort
     
       
 Richard, Duke of York  
   
         
 Edward IV    Richard III  
   
         
 Elizabeth of York  Edward V  Henry VII
   
                         
 Margaret Tudor  Henry VIII  Mary Tudor
     
                 
 James V of Scotland  Edward VI  Mary I  Elizabeth I  Lady Frances Brandon
   
   
 Mary, Queen of Scots  Jane
 
 
 James I
 
       
 Elizabeth Stuart    Charles I
   
               
 Sophia of Hanover  Mary Stuart  James II  Charles II
     
           
 George I  William III  Mary II  Anne
 
 
 George II
 
 
 Frederick, Prince of Wales
 
 
 George III
 
             
 Edward, Duke of Kent  George IV  William IV
 
 
 Victoria
 
 
 Edward VII
 
 
 George V
 
       
 George VI    Edward VIII
 
 
 Elizabeth II

Shortest paths of descent from William the Conqueror[edit]

The following eight lines of descent are from Adela of Normandy, daughter of William the Conqueror.
We can see that Queen Elizabeth II is a 22nd great-granddaughter of William the Conqueror.

The next two lines of descent are from Henry I of England.

Descent of Elizabeth II from other British royal lines[edit]

The generation numbering of the primary list above is maintained in the lines below for comparison purposes. The last person listed on each of the lines below is an English monarch listed on the primary list above, and the line continues from that point down to Elizabeth II following the primary list above.

The descent from the Saxon kings[edit]

The descent from the Kings of Scotland[edit]

Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, married into the Scottish royal family by marrying James IV of Scotland. Her great-grandson James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English crown as James I of England. Elizabeth II thus also descends from Kenneth MacAlpin, the semi-legendary first King of Scotland.

-5. Kenneth MacAlpin (Kenneth I)
-4. Constantine I
-3. Donald II
-2. Malcolm I
-1. Kenneth II
0. Malcolm II
1. Bethoc
2. Duncan I
3. Malcolm III
4. David I (the Saint)
5. Henry of Scotland, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon
6. David of Scotland, 8th Earl of Huntingdon
7. Isobel of Huntingdon
8. Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale
9. Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale
10. Robert I (the Bruce)
11. Marjorie Bruce
12. Robert II
13. Robert III
14. James I
15. James II
16. James III
17. James IV
18. James V
19. Mary
20. James VI of Scotland (James I of England)

Following the same line of descent through the Scottish royal line but changing at the mother of David I, instead of the father leads back to Egbert the first King of England. This duplicates the descent through the West Saxon royal line, but the generation numbering is different.

The Official Royal website says that Her Majesty is 38th in direct line of descent from Egbert (c. 775-839), King of Wessex from 802 and of England 827 to 839. They are referring to this line of descent that goes through the Scottish Kings. This line is senior to the line through the English Plantagenet Kings because it is through a son of Saint Margaret of Scotland (David I) and not a daughter (Edith of Scotland).

-6. Egbert, first King of England
-5. Aethelwulf
-4. Alfred the Great
-3. Edward the Elder
-2. Edmund I
-1. Edgar
0. Ethelred II (Ethelred the Unready)
1. Edmund II (Edmund Ironside)
2. Edward the Exile
3. Saint Margaret of Scotland
4. David I (the Saint)

From Egbert, it is possible to trace Queen Elizabeth's ancestry back to Cerdic, the original Anglo-Saxon conqueror who invaded the country and established the kingdom of Wessex. The historical record is less reliable in that period. At over 50 generations this bloodline is one of the longest known in the western world.

-18. Cerdic, 1st King of Wessex
-17. Creoda
-16. Cynric, King of Wessex
-15. Ceawlin, King of Wessex
-14. Cuthwine
-13. Cutha Cathwulf
-12. Ceolwald of Wessex
-11. Coenred of Wessex
-10. Ingild of Wessex
-9. Eoppa
-8. Eafa
-7. Ealhmund of Kent
-6. Egbert First King of England

The descent from the Danish Kings of England[edit]

King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark invaded England in 1013, drove out King Æthelred the Unready, and was proclaimed King of England by the Witenagemot. Sweyn reigned in England till his death in 1014. King Aethelred then regained the throne and was succeeded by his son Edmund II Ironside in 1016. However, Edmund died in 1016. The House of Denmark was restored under Sweyn's son Canute and ruled England for the next 26 years. Sweyn's male line ended in 1042, and the English throne reverted to the House of Wessex. Sweyn's descendants through his daughter Estrid continued to rule Denmark. James III of Scotland married one of his descendants, Margaret of Denmark, introducing Sweyn's bloodline into the Scottish royal blood line, and when James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne in 1603, the English royal bloodline as well.

1. Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Norway and England
2. Estrid Svendsdatter of Denmark
3. Sweyn II of Denmark
4. Eric I of Denmark
5. Canute Lavard, Duke of Schleswig
6. Valdemar I of Denmark
7. Valdemar II of Denmark
8. Eric IV of Denmark
9. Sophia of Denmark, Queen consort of Sweden
10. Ingeborg of Sweden
11. Gerhard IV, Count of Holstein-Plön
12. Ingeborg, Countess of Oldenburg
13. Christian V, Count of Oldenburg
14. Dietrich, Count of Oldenburg
15. Christian I of Denmark
16. Margaret of Denmark
17. James IV of Scotland
18. James V of Scotland
19. Mary, Queen of Scots
20. James VI of Scotland (James I of England)

The descent from King Stephen of England[edit]

Stephen of Blois was the grandson of William the Conqueror through his mother Adela of Normandy. In 1135, on the death of Henry I of England, he claimed the English throne, even though Henry had designated his daughter, Empress Matilda, as heir. Matilda asserted her claim, leading to a protracted war (the Anarchy). The conflict ended when Stephen recognized Matilda's son Henry as his successor. Stephen died in 1154, and was succeeded by Henry II of England. Stephen's bloodline was re-introduced to the English royal bloodline through Isabella of France, wife of Edward II of England; she was descended from Stephen through his daughter Marie I, Countess of Boulogne.

1. Stephen of England
2. Marie I, Countess of Boulogne
3. Maud of Boulogne, Duchess of Brabant
4. Henry II, Duke of Brabant
5. Matilda of Brabant, Countess of Artois
6. Blanche of Artois, Queen Regent of Navarre
7. Joan I of Navarre, Queen consort of France
8. Isabella of France, Queen consort of England
9. Edward III of England

The descent from native princes of Wales[edit]

In 1282, Edward I of England conquered the Principality of Wales and incorporated it into the Kingdom of England. These two lines show the descent from two most powerful Welsh princes, Rhys ap Gruffydd (of Deheubarth) and Llywelyn the Great (of Gwynedd).

The descent from the Irish kings[edit]

The descent from the High Kings of Ireland, also Munster and Leinster[edit]

-5. Brian Boru
-4. Tadc mac Briain
-3. Toirdelbach Ua Briain
-2. Muirchertach Ua Briain
-1. Mor Ua Briain
0. Derbforgaill ingen Murchada
1. Murchad mac Diarmata
2. Donnchada mac Murchada
3. Enna mac Donnchada
4. Diarmaid Mac Murchadha
5. Aoife MacMurrough
6. Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke
7. Isabel Marshal
8. Isabella of Gloucester and Hertford
9. Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale
10. Robert I of Scotland
11. Marjorie Bruce
12. Robert II of Scotland
13. Robert III of Scotland
14. James I of Scotland
15. James II of Scotland
16. James III of Scotland
17. James IV of Scotland
18. James V of Scotland
19. Mary, Queen of Scots
20. James VI of Scotland (James I of England)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stuart Genealogical Tree". Jacobite Heritage. Retrieved 2013-08-17.