Descent of Elizabeth II from William the Conqueror

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This list shows the most senior line of descent of Elizabeth II, the current British Sovereign, 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).[citation needed] 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]

Individuals whose names are in bold reigned as monarchs in the United Kingdom and its predecessor states such as England and Scotland.

  1. William I of England
  2. Henry I of England
  3. Empress Matilda
  4. Henry II of England
  5. John, King 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

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
 Edward VII
 George V
 George VI    Edward VIII
 Elizabeth II

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. Cuthwulf
-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)*.

*NB Second line of descent from Llywelyn the Great through his natural daughter, Gwladus Ddu through her son, Roger de Mortimer. Medieval Wales did not discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate children.

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)

The descent from King Henry IV of England[edit]

Henry IV was a grandson of Edward III by Edward III's son, John of Gaunt. He became king by overthrowing his cousin, Richard II in 1399. When Henry IV died in 1413, the crown was passed to his eldest son, Henry V. When Henry V died in 1422, the crown passed to his only son, Henry VI. But that eldest line of Henry IV's died out when Henry VI was overthrown and killed in 1471. When Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, she became the first English monarch to be directly descended from Henry IV since 1471. There are 4 lines of descent from Henry IV to Elizabeth II. All 4 lines start with Henry IV's younger son Humphrey of Gloucester and granddaughter Antigone of Gloucester, and all 4 of them end with Elizabeth II's mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, grandmother Nina Cavendish-Bentinck, and great-grandfather Charles Cavendish-Bentinck.

Shortest paths of descent from Henry IV to Elizabeth II[edit]

Longest path of descent from Henry IV to Elizabeth II[edit]

1. Henry IV
2. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
3. Antigone of Gloucester, Countess of Tankerville
4. Richard Grey, 3rd Earl of Tankerville
5. Elizabeth Grey
6. Alice Ludlow
7. George Vernon
8. John Vernon
9. Elizabeth Vernon
10. Penelope Wriothesley
11. Henry Spencer, 1st Earl of Sunderland
12. Lady Dorothy Spencer
13. William Savile, 2nd Marquess of Halifax
14. Dorothy Savile
15. Charlotte Boyle
16. Lady Dorothy Cavendish
17. Lord William Cavendish-Bentinck
18. Charles Cavendish-Bentinck
19. Nina Cavendish-Bentinck
20. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
21. Elizabeth II