Who's Who in the Royal Family

The House of Windsor has ruled the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms since 1917. Learn about the members of the royal family here.

Queen Elizabeth II

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Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary became queen of England on Feb. 6, 1952, upon the death of her father, George VI. She is the third-longest-reigning monarch in the history of Britain. She endeared herself to the British public as princess during World War II, when she rolled up her sleeves and joined the war effort in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. As soon as her father's health declined in 1951, Elizabeth began picking up many of his duties as the heiress apparent. Her reign has been marked by milestones -- like being the first British monarch to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress -- and public turmoil, such as the divorce of her son Charles from Princess Diana.

Prince Philip

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The Duke of Edinburgh and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, born June 10, 1921, is originally a prince of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, whose members include the royal houses of Denmark and Norway, the deposed royal house of Greece. His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, whose ancestry was Greek and Russian. Philip served in the Royal Navy during World War II. He received the title of His Royal Highness from George VI the day before he married Elizabeth on Nov. 20, 1947. Because of Philip's surname, the male children of the couple use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret, born Aug. 21, 1930, was the second child of George VI and Elizabeth's younger sister. She was the Countess of Snowdon. After World War II, she wanted to marry Peter Townsend, an older divorced man, but the match was strongly discouraged and she inevitably ended the romance. Margaret would marry Antony Armstrong-Jones, a photographer who would be granted the title Earl of Snowdon, on May 6, 1960. However, the two divorced in 1978. Margaret, who was a heavy smoker like her father and thus develop lung ailments, died in London on Feb. 9, 2002, at age 71.

Prince Charles

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Charles, Prince of Wales, is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He was born on Nov. 14, 1948, and is first in line to the British throne -- he was just four years old when his mother assumed the throne. He founded The Prince's Trust, a charity to aid children, in 1976. He married Lady Diana Frances Spencer in a 1981 wedding viewed by some 750 million worldwide. Yet even though the marriage yielded two princes -- William and Harry -- the union became the stuff of tabloid fodder and the pair divorced in 1996. Charles would later admit that he had engaged in adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles, who he had known since 1970. Charles and Camilla married in 2005; she became Duchess of Cornwall.

Princess Anne

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Anne, Princess Royal, born Aug. 15, 1950, is the second child and only daughter of Elizabeth and Philip. On Nov. 14, 1973, Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, then a lieutenant in the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, in her own widely televised wedding. They had two children, Peter and Zara, yet divorced in 1992. The children have no title because the couple had turned down an earldom for Phillips. Months after her divorce, Anne married Timothy Laurence, then a commander in the Royal Navy. As with her first husband, Laurence received no title. She is an accomplished equestrian and devotes much of her time to charity work.

Prince Andrew

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Andrew, Duke of York, is the third child of Elizabeth and Philip. He was born on Feb. 19, 1960. He has had a career in the Royal Navy and participated in the Falklands War. Andrew married childhood acquaintance Sarah Ferguson, a descendant of the Stuart and Tudor houses, on July 23, 1986. They have two daughters, Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, and amicably divorced in 1996. Prince Andrew is the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
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The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the youngest child of Elizabeth and Philip, born March 10, 1964. Edward was in the Royal Marines, but his interests turned more toward theater and, later, television production. He married businesswoman Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999, in a televised wedding that was more casual than those of his siblings. They have two young children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. More »

Prince William of Wales

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Prince William of Wales is the older child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, born June 21, 1982. He is second in line to the throne behind his father. He serves in the Royal Air Force, in addition to having picked up much of the charity work championed by his late mother.

Prince William is married to Kate Middleton (officially known as Catherine, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge) and they have two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. 

If Prince Charles becomes king, William would become Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, and likely Prince of Wales.

Prince Harry

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Prince Henry of Wales, known as Prince Harry, is the younger child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and third in line to the throne behind his father and brother William. He was born Sept. 15, 1984. Harry was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment and served on the ground in Afghanistan before being pulled out over fears for his safety. Harry has been a favorite of the tabloids, with exploits ranging from smoking marijuana and drinking to showing up dressed in a German Afrika Korps uniform at a costume party. He has had an on again, off again relationship with Chelsea Davy, a native Zimbabwean.