Royal Family tree: Is Queen Elizabeth II related to King Henry VIII?

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Queen Elizabeth II has had dozens of titles conferred on her during her long reign, among them the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, a role that hands her a British institution rooted in the monarchy. Tudor monarch King Henry VIII, one of the country’s most infamous leaders, founded the church after breaking away from Catholicism. Centuries later, the Queen has emerged as another landmark ruler who honours the former King’s religious practices. But people have long questioned whether the two have any direct relation. 

Is Queen Elizabeth II related to King Henry VIII?

The Queen is another monarch who has become famous, having spent the longest on the throne of any other.

Her namesake follows Queen Elizabeth I, ruler of Elizabethan England who presided over the Age of Enlightenment and British passage into what would eventually become the United States.

However, there is no direct relationship between the two famed queens, as the latter Queen’s nickname suggests, she had no children.

While there is no direct line between the two, the modern royals have a distant connection to the Tudors.

They owe their existence to Queen Margaret of Scotland, grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots, and King Henry VIII’s sister.

Writing on question and answer site Quora, Robert Stedall, an author of books on Tudor and Irish history, explained how the Scottish Queen fits in with the Windsor family.

He said by his reckoning the Queen has 1/32,768th part of Queen Margaret’s blood.

Mr Stedall wrote: “Elizabeth II is descended from Henry VIII’s sister, Queen Margaret of Scotland the grandmother of Mary Queen of Scots.

“Mary’s son, James I of England had a daughter, Elizabeth ‘the Winter Queen’ who married Frederick V, the Elector Palatine.

“Their youngest daughter, Sophia, b. 1630 married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, and was nominated to succeed Queen Anne to provide an English Protestant succession.

“Although she died before Queen Anne, her son, George Lewis, Elector of Hanover, became George I and is a direct ancestor of Prince William.”

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“By my calculations, this makes Henry VIII, the Queen’s 14 x great uncle, at which level she has a 1/32,768th part of Queen Margaret’s blood.”

The Queen’s regnal name directly follows her distant Tudor relation, but not because of her.

When asked which name she would go with in 1952, she allegedly wanted “My own of course — what else?”.

But she could have ended up with an entirely different name when she took the throne.

The Queen’s full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, and monarchs may use any of these names with their title.

Kings and queens have done so in the past, notably the Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII.

He was known to his friends as David but became Edward as a matter of choice.

If she wanted, the Queen could have become Queen Alexandra or Mary instead of Elizabeth.

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