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An interactive guide to Prince William’s ancestry

Prince William, or to give him his full name, William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor, is the eldest son of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is second in line to the British throne, after his father. William was born on 21 June 1982 and met Catherine Elizabeth (‘Kate’) Middleton (born 9 January 1982), his bride-to-be, while studying at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

So far, two kings of England and two of Great Britain and Ireland have been named William.

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Image: By Prince_Harry_and_Kate_Middleton_at_the_Garter_Procession_2008.jpg: Nick Warner from Windsor, England 2007_WSJ_Prince_William.jpg: Alexandre Goulet – Fédération du scoutisme français derivative work: Bdell555 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Prince of Wales, Charles Phillip Arthur George Windsor, is the heir to the British throne. He was born on 14 November 1948 and is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer (Diana, Princess of Wales) in 1981 and they had two children, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis and Prince Henry Charles Albert David (known as Prince Harry, born in 1984).

Charles is a popular name among royal rulers, and is borne by two kings of England, Scotland, and Ireland, four Spanish monarchs, and seven Holy Roman emperors.

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Prince William’s grandmother is Elizabeth II, who became queen of the United Kingdom in 1952. The eldest daughter of George VI, she was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark ( Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh) in 1947 and they had four children: Prince Charles; Princess Anne (born 1950); Prince Andrew (born 1960), and Prince Edward (born 1964).

Elizabeth II has now reigned for over 59 years, so her length of time as queen has easily overtaken that of her namesake, Elizabeth I, who herself ruled for a very respectable 44 years and 127 days.

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George VI , the second son of George V, was born Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor on 14 December 1895: he was then known as Prince Albert , Duke of York. Following the abdication of his elder brother, Edward VIII, Albert became king in 1936, when he assumed the title George VI so as to emphasize continuity with his father and to restore confidence in the monarchy.

As Prince Albert, George had married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. When her husband the king died in 1952 and Elizabeth’s daughter succeeded to the throne, she took the title Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

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Prince William’s great-great-grandfather was George V. The second son of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, he was born George Frederick Ernest Albert Saxe-Coburg-Gotha on 3 June 1865. He became heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother, Prince Albert, in 1892, and succeeded his father as king in 1910.

George married Princess Mary of Teck in 1893 and their six children included Edward VIII and George VI. In 1917, with anti-German feeling running high during the First World War, George changed the name of the British royal house, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to the much more English-sounding Windsor.

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Born in 1841, Edward VII was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. As the son of our longest-serving monarch, he had to wait quite a while to become king. In fact, he was heir apparent for 59 years, 2 months, and 14 days, a record that his great-great-great grandson Prince Charles only recently overtook, on 21 April 2011. Edward eventually began his reign in 1901, the first British monarch of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 and they had six children, including the future George V.

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Well, if you stayed the distance, you’ve reached Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, William’s great-great-great-great grandma and grandpa. Victoria was the niece of William IV and the last British monarch of the house of Hanover. In 1840 she married her first cousin, Albert Francis Charles Augustus Emmanuel, a prince of the German house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha: the couple had nine children, including the future Edward VII.

Albert died at the early age of 42 and thereafter Victoria largely retired from public life. At an amazing 63 years and 7 months, Victoria’s was the longest reign in British history.

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