British Royals

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13 Key Moments in the Reign of Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II is such an institution that it’s easy to forget she wasn’t supposed to have become queen at all. Born in 1926, Elizabeth was the daughter of King George V’s second son, and had little expectation of succeeding to the throne until her uncle, King Edward VIII, more

Why Royal Guests Have Always Been a Royal Pain

Every summer, Queen Elizabeth I and her massive court set out on a months’ long progress, with a mile-long train of dozens of carriages, carts and over a thousand horses. For this elaborate summer vacation, no regular inn would suit the Virgin Queen. Instead, Elizabeth stayed at more

The Real-Life Rivalry That Inspired 'The Favourite'

In the Oscar-winning period piece The Favourite, two clever, ambitious ladies-in-waiting in early 18th-century England compete for the favor—and romantic affections—of a mercurial and unstable Queen Anne. The outlandish, profanity-laden and darkly comic film doesn’t stick to the more

7 Surprising Facts about Royal Births

Five months after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, married at Windsor Castle, royal watchers around the world were thrilled with the announcement that the couple was expecting a child in the spring of 2019. On May 6, 2019, Meghan gave birth to a more

Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign: Then and Now

She’s one of the most iconic figures in world history: a queen whose reign has outlasted all other British monarchs and most other world leaders, too. But though she stands for the continuity and tradition of the English monarchy, Elizabeth II’s reign has been anything but more

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has since 1952 served as reigning monarch of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and numerous other realms and territories, as well as head of the Commonwealth, the group of 53 sovereign nations that includes many former British more

How Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking Helped Cause World War I

If you were a royal in the late part of the 19th century, there’s a good chance you were related to Queen Victoria—and if Victoria was your grandmother, you were pretty much guaranteed a glamorous royal wedding to a prince or princess of her choosing. “Victoria’s descendants more

A radical queer play, in 1594

Edward II&rsquos story was well established in the British consciousness by the time Marlowe wrote his play, but the work, first performed 200 years after the king's death, cemented his queer narrative. It made clear that Gaveston and Edward II were having sex&mdashand suggested that their relationship went deeper. &ldquoI think the play sets up Gaveston as an alternative to his wife, Isabella,&rdquo Stewart says. &ldquoAnd that seems to me quite radical.&rdquo

In other words, in 1594, there was a political play centered on fully fledged queer relationships that was deemed respectable enough to be played at royal court. Granted, it does end with Edward being sodomized with a red-hot poker&mdashhardly the empowering, pro-queer narrative we might hope for&mdashbut there are notes of something new. (And in writing that scene, Marlowe was also hewing to history as he knew it.)

Not unlike how some contemporary artists use queerness as an entry point to question and disrupt larger societal norms, Marlowe sought "to undermine all sorts of closed social orthodoxies: intellectual, textual, sexual, political, religious," Haber says. In Marlowe's Edward II, there is the seedling of a queer sensibility.

Edward II enjoyed some brief popularity for a few decades, before eventually fading into relative obscurity&mdashonly to reemerge with a glorious vengeance in the modern era. Stewart notes that the play begins its comeback in the 1890s, when Oscar Wilde was being tried for homosexuality. In the 1920s, Bertolt Brecht famously adapted it, although his version is much more focused on the characters&rsquo political machinations than making the play&rsquos sexual undertones explicit.

As our conceptions of sexuality have evolved rapidly over the past 150-odd years, it&rsquos hardly surprising that we&rsquove seen the reemergence of Edward II. "It couples [Edward&rsquos relationships with men] with a story of persecution and torture that is sadly familiar to 20th- and 21st-century LGBTQ people," explains Jeffrey Masten, a professor at Northwestern currently editing a new edition of Edward II.

In 1970, on the heels of the Stonewall riots in New York, Edward II found itself at the center of a major moment for queer visibility in popular culture. The first same-sex kiss on British television took place during the BBC's broadcast of the play, starring none other than Ian McKellen.

In the Guardian, McKellen&rsquos costar Timothy West remembered him portraying Edward as &ldquounapologetically gay,&rdquo an artistic choice which caused &ldquosomething of a stir.&rdquo

It was likely the weight of Marlowe, a revered, centuries-old playwright, that allowed a queer kiss to be broadcasted. &ldquoI think there&rsquos a way in which the performance of &lsquohistory&rsquo here becomes a route toward progress,&rdquo Masten explains.

It was a play by Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary of Shakespeare it was the Prospect Theatre Company. Highly respectable! It might&rsquove been run by a gaggle of gays, but that wasn&rsquot the point. &mdashIan McKellen

Or in McKellen&rsquos words, &ldquoIt was a play by Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary of Shakespeare it was the Prospect Theatre Company. Highly respectable! It might&rsquove been run by a gaggle of gays, but that wasn&rsquot the point.&rdquo

In 1991, against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis, pop culture gave us another, far more radical Edward II. It came from director Derek Jarman, who was on record as disapproving of Ian McKellen&rsquos softer brand of protest. Jarman's film is far more sexually explicit than McKellen&rsquos chaste onscreen kiss, instead opening on Edward and Gaveston lounging on a bed, while two naked men go at it behind them. It also makes the analogy to 1990s homophobia literal, rendering Edward&rsquos army as group of gay rights protesters, complete with posters reading &ldquoGet your filthy hands off our bodies.&rdquo The film is still heralded as one of the cornerstones of the New Queer Cinema movement.

Edward II&rsquos cultural profile has also, at times, reflected our culture's deep homophobia. In Braveheart, for instance, Edward is portrayed as a weakling and Mel Gibson&rsquos William Wallace cuckolds the King, impregnating his wife. History tells us that Edward was strong and almost certainly fathered all of his children&mdashyet in Gibson's testosterone-fueled flick, Prince Edward is reduced to a pitiful stereotype, trumped by his heterosexual foe.

Have any British royals done what Meghan and Harry are trying to do?

In short, no. In British royal history, you’re usually all-in or all-out as a working royal &mdash especially if you still continue to have an official title and to engage in royal activities at some level, as Harry and Meghan intend to &mdash with rare exceptions. And financially, it’s complicated: the Sussexes have stated financial independence as a goal, and to that end, they have decided to forego the perk of the Sovereign Grant, an allocation that funds royal activities and salaries for the office. But they currently still appear to be on the receiving end of funds from Harry’s father in the form of income from the Duchy of Cornwall. “Obviously, a lot of things are paid for by the Duchy of Cornwall,” Koenig notes. “How are they going to finance their lives? Who’s going to cover all of that? Those questions haven’t been answered yet.”

Prince Harry

Prince Henry of Wales, known as Prince Harry, is the younger child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and third in line to the throne behind his father and brother William. He was born Sept. 15, 1984. Harry was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment and served on the ground in Afghanistan before being pulled out over fears for his safety. Harry has been a favorite of the tabloids, with exploits ranging from smoking marijuana and drinking to showing up dressed in a German Afrika Korps uniform at a costume party. He had an on again, off again relationship with Chelsea Davy, a native Zimbabwean. His wedding to Meghan Markle, a biracial American actress, is scheduled for May 19, 2018.

4 The Death Of A Princess

On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris. The news of her sudden death caused shock around the world. The royal family was on their summer break in Scotland. Apart from a short statement, little was heard from the royals about the tragedy.

In London, crowds flocked toward her home, Kensington Palace. People laid flowers and wept openly in the streets, and there was a growing mood of anger toward the royals. Some people began to turn their attention to Buckingham Palace, where the flag was still flying at full mast. To some, this was symbolic of how Diana had been treated in life.

In reality, the queen&rsquos flag, called the Royal Standard, is never flown at half-mast, as it represents the monarchy itself, which is continuous. [7] When a monarch dies, there is instantly another to take their place. There was no Royal Standard flying from Buckingham Palace at that time, as the queen wasn&rsquot in residence. Instead, it was the Union Jack, which is only flown at half-mast when a royal styled as &ldquoHRH&rdquo dies. Diana, as ex-wife of Prince Charles, had lost her HRH status in their divorce.

The media picked up on the public mood, and stories about the coldness of the royal family began to appear along with scenes of public anger. Headlines screamed, &ldquoWhere is the Queen?&rdquo The Royal family stayed on holiday, and the flag stayed at full mast.

The night before the funeral, the queen made an unexpected speech on TV and paid tribute to Diana. Finally, on the morning of the funeral&mdashwithout announcement&mdashthe flag was lowered to half-mast and stayed there until midnight as a last-minute mark of respect.

Start Your The Crown Season 3 Prep With Our Royals History Watch List

Like many people, I fell down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while watching The Crown. So what’s a history nerd to do? Pull together a chronological watch list to help sort out the history of the monarchy in dramatic order, naturally.

As a lover of costume dramas, I was well versed in period films and TV series depicting the British royal family long before Claire Foy and Matt Smith captivated the world with their performances as the young Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in The Crown.

But after watching the Netflix series over the holiday break, there were so many lingering questions of aristocratic family trees that I found myself down a rabbit hole of a different kind. I was bingeing all the royals dramas fit to screen in a way that I hadn’t consumed details about the monarchy since William and Kate’s wedding.

It all started innocently enough, with an Amazon watch list reminder that I had wanted to see the Golden Globe-nominated and Madonna-directed W.E. from 2011, a (now) star-studded and aesthetically stunning if overly sympathetic story told from the viewpoint of Wallis Simpson (played by Bloodline’s Andrea Riseborough), and the 90s-era namesake in New York for whom she becomes an obsession (played by Three Billboards’ Abbie Cornish). If only for the fashion, the vintage barware goals, the celebration of intimate house parties, and the additional cameos (Dunkirk’s James D’arcy! Stranger Things’ David Harbour! Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac! Call the Midwife’s Judy Parfitt!), W.E. is not only a way to keep the storyline of The Crown season one contemporary while waiting for season three — it’s as good a jumping off point as any for drawing you into this watch list in entirety, moving backwards or forwards.

With a base of the Kings and Queens of Britain & Ireland timeline and IMDB as my guide, here’s a stab at putting the best of the big screen narratives about the royals into chronological order —with a few extra credit titles for good measure.

The Fascinating History Behind the British Royal Family&rsquos Favorite Ring

Royals from Prince Charles to Meghan Markle wear this defining jewel.

Since the mid-1970s, Prince Charles has worn the same gold signet ring on his left pinky finger that bears the crest of the Prince of Wales. The importance of this ring is underscored in The Crown, where his character often appears sheepishly twirling the jewel, perhaps because it signifies the promise that, one day, he will be crowned king. Last worn by his uncle, the Duke of Windsor, who was the Prince of Wales before he ascended the throne, the ring dates back 175 years. It&rsquos Charles&rsquos power piece&mdashand it never comes off.

It&rsquos not just Prince Charles who is loyal to the signet ring. While the style is often considered a gentleman&rsquos ring, it&rsquos favored by royal women, too: Princess Diana wore a signet ring given to her by Charles before their wedding, and Meghan Markle and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, both have their own symbolic signet rings.

Naturally it&rsquos a style that&rsquos been prevalent in royal families for centuries, but it&rsquos especially symbolic to Prince Charles, who was given his signet ring by his mother when she gave him the title of Prince of Wales. The jewel is engraved with a crown with feather and the phrase &ldquoich dien,&rdquo which translates to &ldquoI serve,&rdquo a reminder of his service to the country. Since marrying Camilla, he&rsquos worn it stacked with his wedding band just as his wife does with hers.

Even Kate Middleton&rsquos family started wearing signet rings after the Queen bestowed them with an official Coat of Arms before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married. It was a sort of &lsquowelcome to the family&rsquo gesture. The Middletons didn&rsquot waste any time getting their newly appointed crest emblazoned on signet rings that are frequently worn by Kate&rsquos parents and her siblings Pippa and James.

Signet rings date as far back as 3500 B.C. when Mesopotamians wore cylindrical seals that they stamped in clay or wax to approve documents. In the Middle Ages, the rings were also used as a sealed signature which identified a person&rsquos coat of arms and political allegiance. Once a person died, their signet ring was usually destroyed to avoid any forgeries. Through the 19 th century, the style was mainly worn by royalty, aristocrats, and government officials whose status and heritage were engraved in a gold or silver ring. But by the 20 th century, the ring&rsquos purpose as a source of security was no longer required, and more gentlemen adopted the tradition of wearing signet rings, which are also called &lsquogent&rsquos rings.&rsquo

You don&rsquot need to be a royal or marry into an aristocratic family to get your own family crest or coat of arms. The Rebus jewelry store in London has stacks of old books with family crests and symbols that anyone can adopt. The Rebus team will even help you track down a similar likeness to your family name or origins and engrave it on gold or silver rings, or they will help you design your own insignia.

The signet ring is a style that has taken off recently as people look for more personalized pieces. Some new styles have a vintage spirit and are engraved with initials, while other contemporary versions are framed in diamonds. Here are some of the best new signet rings that can define your status.


Rank Name [b] Portrait Relation Lifespan [c] Duration
By To From To (days) (years, days)
1 Princess Alice,
Duchess of Gloucester
Marriage Prince Henry,
Duke of Gloucester
25 December 1901
29 October 2004
37,564 102 years, 309 days
2 Queen Elizabeth
The Queen Mother
Marriage George VI
4 August 1900
30 March 2002
37,128 101 years, 238 days
3 Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh
Marriage Elizabeth II
[20] [21]
10 June 1921
[20] [21]
9 April 2021
36,463 99 years, 303 days
4 Princess Alice
of Albany
Blood Prince Leopold,
Duke of Albany
25 February 1883
3 January 1981
35,741 97 years, 313 days
5 Elizabeth II Blood George VI
[15] [24]
21 April 1926
[15] [24]
Present 34,766 95 years, 67 days
6 Princess Augusta
of Cambridge
Blood Prince Adolphus,
Duke of Cambridge
19 July 1822
5 December 1916
[26] [27]
34,472 94 years, 139 days
7 Prince Arthur,
Duke of Connaught
and Strathearn
Blood Victoria
1 May 1850
16 January 1942
33,497 91 years, 260 days
8 Princess Louise Blood Victoria
18 March 1848
3 December 1939
33,496 91 years, 260 days
9 Augusta,
Duchess of Cambridge
Marriage Prince Adolphus,
Duke of Cambridge
25 July 1797
6 April 1889
33,492 91 years, 255 days
10 Prince George William
of Cumberland *
Blood Prince Ernest Augustus
of Cumberland *
[6] [34]
25 March 1915
8 January 2006
33,162 90 years, 289 days
11 Marie,
Duchess of Cumberland
and Teviotdale
Marriage Prince George,
Duke of Cumberland
and Teviotdale
14 April 1818
9 January 1907
[35] [36]
32,411 88 years, 270 days
12 Victoria Louise,
Princess Ernest Augustus
of Cumberland *
Marriage Prince Ernest Augustus
of Cumberland *
[37] [38] [39]
13 September 1892
11 December 1980
32,230 88 years, 89 days
13 Katharine,
Duchess of Kent
Marriage Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent
22 February 1933
Present 32,267 88 years, 125 days
14 Princess Patricia
of Connaught
Blood Prince Arthur,
Duke of Connaught
and Strathearn
17 March 1886
12 January 1974
32,077 87 years, 301 days
15 Princess Beatrice Blood Victoria
14 April 1857
26 October 1944
31,971 87 years, 195 days
16 Queen Mary Marriage George V
26 May 1867
24 March 1953
31,348 85 years, 302 days
17 Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent
Blood Prince George,
Duke of Kent
[50] [51]
9 October 1935
[50] [51]
Present 31,308 85 years, 261 days
18 Prince George,
Duke of Cambridge
Blood Prince Adolphus,
Duke of Cambridge
26 March 1819
17 March 1904
31,037 84 years, 357 days
19 Victoria Adelaide,
Duchess of Albany *
Marriage Prince Charles Edward,
Duke of Albany *
31 December 1885
3 October 1970
30,956 84 years, 276 days
20 Princess Alexandra
of Kent
Blood Prince George,
Duke of Kent
[56] [57]
25 December 1936
[56] [57]
Present 30,865 84 years, 184 days
21 Princess Beatrice
of Edinburgh
Blood Prince Alfred,
Duke of Edinburgh
20 April 1884
13 July 1966
30,033 82 years, 84 days
22 Victoria Blood Prince Edward,
Duke of Kent
and Strathearn
[60] [61]
24 May 1819
[60] [61]
22 January 1901
[61] [62]
29,828 81 years, 243 days
23 George III Blood Frederick,
Prince of Wales
4 June 1738
29 January 1820
[63] [64]
29,823 81 years, 239 days
24 Princess Mary,
Duchess of Gloucester
and Edinburgh
Blood &
Born to George III
Married to
Prince William Frederick,
Duke of Gloucester
and Edinburgh
[65] [66]
25 April 1776
30 April 1857
[66] [67]
29,589 81 years, 5 days
25 Queen Alexandra Marriage Edward VII
1 December 1844
20 November 1925
[70] [71]
29,573 80 years, 354 days
26 Princess Alexandra
of Cumberland *
Blood Prince Ernest Augustus,
Duke of Cumberland
and Teviotdale *
[72] [73]
29 September 1882
[72] [73]
30 August 1963
29,554 80 years, 335 days
27 Prince Ernest Augustus,
Duke of Cumberland
and Teviotdale
Blood George III
5 June 1771
18 November 1851
[75] [76]
29,385 80 years, 166 days

All persons are listed by their British titles although some are better known by other titles actually used at their linked articles.

The strangest rules the Royal Family must follow

There is, in fact, several rules that must be strictly adhered to. Some of these rules are enforced more strictly than others, but each has a purpose.

Should a rule be broken, as we have seen in the past, the punishment is unclear. Whether or not Queen Elizabeth will lay down the law personally remains to be seen.

Here are the 10 strangest rules the Royal Family has to follow

1. No Politics

The Royal Family are forbidden from engaging in the democratic process and sharing their political views. Queen Elizabeth is the Head of State and the Church of England, so she must remain completely neutral when it comes to politics.

No doubt everyone would be very interested in hearing what she thinks of Boris Johnson.

2. When Queen Elizabeth is finished eating, everyone is finished eating

This one must be annoying when the Queen's appetite is small. When dining as a family, the Royals must keep an eye on Queen Elizabeth and ensure that once she's done eating, they stop too.

3. Traveling abroad? Pack all black

When traveling abroad or on Royal duties, every member of the Royal Family must ensure that they have packed an all-black outfit. The reason? Well, should the unfortunate situation arise where there is a sudden death, the Royals will have appropriate clothing for the occasion? A grim rule, but one that makes sense nonetheless.

4. Heirs cannot travel together

Another somewhat morbid rule, this one certainly makes sense. Two heirs to the throne are forbidden from traveling together by plane. This means that once Prince George turns 12, he and his dad will have to fly everywhere separately.

5. No driver's licence? No problem

Queen Elizabeth is the only person in the whole of the UK who is not legally required to have a driver's licence or registration plates on her car when she gets behind the wheel. Nothing bad could possibly come of it!

6. No PDA

Public displays of affection are frowned upon by the Royal Family. Even holding hands in public is discouraged.

William and Kate in Pakistan

7. It's all in the bag

If Royal handlers are at an event and want to know how Queen Elizabeth is getting on, they simply keep an eye on her bag. The Queen uses her bag as a way of signaling her wishes at Royal functions, and her handlers will be able to tell what she wants through her bag placement.

British royal family

The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family. Many members support the Queen in undertaking public engagements and often pursue charitable work and interests. The royal family are regarded as British cultural icons.

Those who at the time are entitled to the style His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) (an honour in the gift of the monarch), and any styled His or Her Majesty (HM), are normally considered members, including those so styled before the beginning of the current monarch's reign. By this criterion, a list of the current royal family will usually include the monarch, the children and male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, and all of their current or widowed spouses.

Some members of the royal family have official residences named as the places from which announcements are made in the Court Circular about official engagements they have carried out. The state duties and staff of some members of the royal family are funded from a parliamentary annuity, the amount of which is fully refunded by the Queen to the Treasury. [1] The royal family is supported by a number of British royal households, as well as the employees of the occupied royal palaces and the Duchy of Cornwall.

Since 1917, when King George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, members of the royal family have belonged, either by birth or by marriage, to the House of Windsor. Senior titled members of the royal family do not usually use a surname, although since 1960 Mountbatten-Windsor, incorporating Prince Philip's adopted surname of Mountbatten, has been prescribed as a surname for Elizabeth II's direct descendants who do not have royal styles and titles, and it has sometimes been used when required for those who do have such titles.

Watch the video: Η Μηχανή του Χρόνου. Τατόι - Η συναρπαστική ιστορία του πρώην βασιλικού κτήματος


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