How Is Queen Elizabeth II Related to Queen Victoria?

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Left: Hulton Archive / Getty Images; Right: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

Question: How is Queen Elizabeth II related to Queen Victoria?

Queen Elizabeth II is obviously a member of the royal family, as was Queen Victoria. Both are long-ruling British queens who wielded their power in their own right, rather than being queens by marriage. So what exactly is their genealogical relationship? How is Queen Elizabeth II related to Queen Victoria?

And while we're at it—how is Prince Philip, Elizabeth's husband related to Queen Victoria?

Answer: Queen Elizabeth II is a great great granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

  1. Elizabeth's father was George VI (1895 - 1952). He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 - 2002) in 1925, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.
  2. George VI's father was George V (1865 - 1936), Elizabeth's grandfather. He married Mary of Teck (1867 - 1953) in 1893, a German princess raised in England.
  3. George V's father was Edward VII (1841 - 1910). Elizabeth's great grandfather. He married Alexandra of Denmark (1844 - 1925), a Danish princess. 
  4. Edward VII's mother was Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901), Elizabeth's great great grandmother. She married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819 - 1861) in 1840.

Prince Philip to Queen Victoria

Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip (1921 - ), Duke of Edinburgh, is a great great grandson of Queen Victoria, making Elizabeth and Philip third cousins through this relationship.

  1. Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenburg (1885 - 1969), was the daughter of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by the Rhine.  Philip's father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882 - 1944); is parents married in 1903.
  2. Princess Alice's mother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863 - 1950), Philip's maternal grandmother.  Princess Victoria was married to Prince Louis of Battenburg (1854 - 1921) in 1884.
  1. Princess Victoria of Hesse and by the Rhine was the daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (1843 - 1878), Philip's great-grandmother. Princess Alice was married to Louis IV (1837 - 1892), Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.  Another daughter of Princess Victoria and Grand Duke Louis IV was Alexandra, the last Tsaritsa of Russia, married to Nicholas II.
  2. Princess Alice's mother was Queen Victoria, Philip's great great grandmother.

More Facts About Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II

Until 2015, Queen Victoria had been the longest-ruling monarch in the history of England or the United Kingdom or Great Britain.  Then Queen Elizabeth outlived that record of 63 years, 216 days, on September 9, 2015.  George III of the United Kingdom ranks the third longest-reigning at 59 years, James VI is the fourth longest-reigning at almost 58 years (including his time ruling Scotland alone), Henry III of England ruled for just over 56 years, and Edward III of England reigned for more than 50 years.

Queen Victoria's first name was Alexandrina, and her second name was Victoria. Queen Elizabeth's birth name was Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.

Both became queen through chance.  Queen Victoria's father was fourth in line for the throne, but none of his older brothers had children.

 Queen Elizabeth's father unexpectedly became king when his brother abdicated.

Both remained active as monarch well into their elder years, living to celebrate Diamond Jubilees.  The Diamond Jubilee celebrations were different, though, as Victoria was in frail health, and Elizabeth in good health.  The celebration of Victoria's Jubilee was at a height of British power, and Elizabeth's a considerably less powerful nation.  This was reflected, for instance, in the finale of the 1897 celebration involving 165 ships in a royal naval review.  Heads of state of commonwealth nations traveled to London for Victoria's Jubilee; for Elizabeth's, members of the royal family visited those states.

Both lived long enough to have great-grandchildren.

Both were in loving and devoted marriages. Both designated their husband's title as Prince.

Both had to officially propose to their husbands, rather than the tradition of the man asking the woman, because of their royal status.  Queen Victoria had nine children, and Queen Elizabeth II had four children.

Both were noted for their love of dogs and horses.

Both had heirs who had scandalous affairs, and both queens were much more popular during their lifetimes than their heirs were.

Queen Victoria had more real power than Queen Elizabeth II has had, though still not as much royal power as many of their ancestors did, including their relative, Queen Elizabeth I.