In Depth

A guide to the Royal Family tree

The monarchy is under huge strain as Prince Harry and Meghan break away

The year has only just begun but 2020 has already proved particularly dramatic for the Royal Family.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s decision to step back as senior royals has dominated the headlines, deflecting some attention from Prince Andrew’s links to the disgraced billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

With the Queen due to turn 94 this year and rumours swirling about the health of her husband Prince Philip, the House of Windsor is facing an uncertain future.

Here is a brief guide to the famous family’s members.

The Queen and Prince Philip

Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 at Westminster Abbey. During the ceremony her husband Prince Philip, now the longest serving royal consort in history, was the first to pledge his allegiance to the new Queen.

The pair married six years earlier, also at Westminster Abbey. The marriage was not without controversy as Philip had no financial standing, was foreign-born and had sisters who had married German noblemen with Nazi links.

Vanity Fair notes that the Queen has been a “steady, stoic leader for some 63 years”, the longest reign in British history. The Duke of Edinburgh, meanwhile, has committed his career to animal conservation causes.

Commenting on their relationship, the Queen’s former private secretary Lord Charteris says: “Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being. He’s the only man who can. Strange as it may seem, I believe she values that.”

Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles, first in line to the throne and the Prince of Wales, made Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, his second wife, after the very public collapse of his first marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles is also heavily committed to environmental causes, but sparked some controversy with the so-called “black spider memos”, a series of letters he sent to British ministers in 2004 and 2005 expressing his views on political issues. Royals are supposed to remain politically neutral.

Camilla works to raise awareness of rape and sexual abuse, literacy, animal welfare and poverty. She is an active campaigner for sufferers of bone-weakening disease osteoporosis, from which her mother, who died in 1994, suffered. Camilla divorced her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, in 1995.

The Cambridges

Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, having originally met while flatmates at the University of St Andrews.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have three children: Prince George (now six), Princess Charlotte (four) and Prince Louis (one).

William, who is second in line to the throne, is an advocate for sufferers of HIV/Aids, an issue close to the heart of his mother, Princess Diana. He has also spoken extensively about environmental issues and mental health, drawing on the experience of losing his mother aged 15. Alongside his brother Prince Harry, he initiated the mental health awareness campaign Heads Together in April 2016.

Kate’s charity work focuses mainly on issues surrounding young children, addiction and art. In 2012 and 2013, Time magazine selected her as one of its “100 Most Influential People in the World”, while the media use the term the “Kate effect” to describe her impact on fashion trends. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the c

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Paul Grover

The Sussexes

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently dominating headlines following their decision to step down from their royal duties. The couple married in 2018 and have the titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The couple now plan to split their time between Canada and Britain. Their son Archie (eight months) is expected to be educated in Canada in a break from royal tradition, according to reports.

Like his brother William, Harry is vocal about his support for mental health causes and is a patron of various charities that champion war veterans and de-mining efforts. Harry also served with the British Army in Afghanistan.

Before marrying Harry, Meghan was an actor, appearing most prominently in the US drama series Suits. She is a passionate supporter of gender equality charities and social movements.

The couple have had a number of run-ins with the media over perceived invasion of privacy, especially relating to Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas.

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Princess Anne and family

Princess Anne is the second child and only daughter of the Queen and Prince Philip.

Known for her charitable work, she is patron of more than 200 organisations and also became the first royal to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games when she competed in the three-day event equestrian discipline in 1976.

The Princess Royal, as she is known, has been married twice. She wed Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, divorcing in 1992, and married Timothy Laurence later that year.

She has two children with Phillips; Peter Phillips (42) and Zara Tindall (38). The latter has also represented Great Britain in equestrianism at the Olympics and is married to former England rugby player Mike Tindall.

Prince Andrew and family
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: Princess Eugenie of York arrives with her father Prince Andrew, Duke of York, ahead of her wedding to Mr. Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12,

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2018 WPA Pool

The media glare on Prince Harry and Meghan has distracted somewhat from the scandal that engulfed Prince Andrew (pictured above) in late 2019.

The Queen’s second youngest, and some claim favourite, child’s link to the late billionare sex offender Jeffrey Epstein resulted in a car-crash BBC interview and the Duke of York’s suspension from royal duties.

He has since stood aside from all 230 of his patronages, including the London Metropolitan University, the Foundation for Liver Research and the Children’s Foundation.

Andrew served in the Falklands War and his only marriage – to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York – ended in a high-profile divorce in 1996. The pair have two children: Princess Beatrice of York, who is 31, and Princess Eugenie (pictured above), 29.

Prince Edward and family

Prince Edward is the youngest of the Queen’s four children and has had a career in television and documentary production.

The Earl of Wessex joined the Royal Marines after graduating from Jesus College, Cambridge, but dropped out three months into the year-long training course causing some controversy in the British press.

He then founded television production company Ardent Productions, but was accused of using his royal connections for financial gain.

Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones, Countess of Wessex, in 1999 and the couple have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, who is 12.

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