I’ll have to admit, I am a little excited about the imminent royal wedding. Not so much the hoopla and the glamor and the “what will Kate’s dress look like?” hype, but just because we will be witnessing the continuation of a line that goes back nearly 1,000 years. I was a history major in college, and I’ve always had a special interest in British history, and I find this just cool. So here is my attempt, mostly from memory (with a few fill-in-the gaps from Wikipedia), to trace William’s lineage all the way back to William the Conqueror, who became King William I of England in 1066.
(Kings and Queens are of England or the United Kingdom, as appropriate, unless otherwise noted.)
William < Charles, Prince of Wales < Queen Elizabeth II < King George VI < King George V < King Edward VII < Queen Victoria < Edward, Duke of Kent < King George III < Frederick, Prince of Wales < King George II < King George I < Sophia, Electress of Hanover < Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia < King James I (a.k.a. King James VI of Scots) < Mary, Queen of Scots < King James V of Scots < Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots < King Henry VII < Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond < John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset < John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset < John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster < King Edward III < King Edward II < King Edward I < King Henry III < King John < King Henry II < Matilda, Holy Roman Empress < King Henry I < King William I “The Conqueror”
Now the Henry VII part is where things got a bit interesting. Henry VII claimed the throne by defeating the reigning king, Richard III, in battle. He then married Richard’s niece, Elizabeth of York, who actually had a better claim to the throne than either man. William’s lineage, traced that way, goes something like this:
William < blah blah blah < Margaret Tudor < Queen Elizabeth (of York) < Edward IV < Richard, Duke of York < Richard, Earl of Cambridge < Edmund, Duke of York < King Edward III