I was saddened yesterday to hear the news that Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, had died at Balmoral Castle, Scotland. Even though the queen was 96, I was still shocked by the news – she was the only monarch I’ve known, and I admired her immensely.
My thoughts are with the family.
Here is an excerpt from my book Illustrated Kings and Queens of England on Queen Elizabeth II, which I have edited accordingly:
Elizabeth II (1926-2022)
Rule: 1952 – 8 September 2022
Marriages: Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (died 2021).
Issue: Charles III (married Lady Diana Spencer and divorced in 1996, married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005); Anne, Princess Royal (married Mark Phillips and divorced him in 1992, married Timothy Laurence in 1992); Andrew, Duke of York (married Sarah Ferguson, and divorced in 1996); Edward, Earl of Wessex (married Sophie Rhys-Jones).
Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, the home of her maternal grandfather Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She was known to her family as “Lilibet”. Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were educated at home by governesses including Marion Crawford, known as “Crawfie”. She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, in November 1947 after he had renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, taken on the surname Mountbatten and converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism. The couple had been corresponding since Elizabeth was thirteen. They went on to have four children.
Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms on 6 February 1952, after the death of her father George VI. Her other titled included Paramount Chief of Fiji, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, marking her seventieth year as monarch. She died at the age of 96 on 8 September 2022. She was the longest living monarch (Queen Victoria is in second place, having lived to eighty-one years and 243 days) and broke Queen Victoria’s record of longest reigning monarch (sixty-three years 216 days) in September 2015. Her eldest son Charles, who became King Charles III on her death on 8th September 2022, was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.
Elizabeth II’s reign saw the continuation of the dissolution of the British Empire and the subsequent formation of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Elizabeth II had links to the Tudors. She was descended from Margaret Tudor, Henry VII’s eldest daughter. Here is the line of descent:
- Henry VII, King of England (1457-1509) m. Elizabeth of York
- Margaret Tudor (1489-1541) m. James IV, King of Scotland
- James V, King of Scotland (1514-1542) m. Marie de Guise
- Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) m. Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
- James VI, King of Scotland/James I, King of England (1566-1625) m. Anne of Denmark
- Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia (1596-1662) m. Frederick V of the Palatinate
- Sophia of Hanover (1630-1714) m. Elector Ernest Augustus
- George I, King of Great Britain (1660-1727) m. Sophia Dorothea of Celle
- George II, King of Great Britain (1683-1760) m. Caroline of Ansbach
- Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707-1751) m. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
- George III, King of the United Kingdom (1738-1820) m. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
- Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820) m. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
- Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1819-1901) m. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
- Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1841-1910) m. Alexandra of Denmark
- George V, King of the United Kingdom (1865-1936) m. Mary of Teck
- George VI, King of the United Kingdom (1895-1952) m. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
- Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom (1926-2022) m. Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Prince of Greece and Denmark)
AND she was descended from Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, through Mary’s daughter, Catherine Carey. Here is that line of descent:
- Mary Boleyn (d. 1543) m. William Carey
- Catherine Carey (c.1524-1569) m. Sir Francis Knollys
- Lettice Knollys (1543-1634) m. Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
- Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601) m. Frances Walsingham
- Frances Devereux (1599-1674) m. William Seymour, Duke of Somerset
- Jane Seymour (1637-1679) m. Charles Boyle, 3rd Viscount Dungarvan
- Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington (d. 1704) m. Juliana Noel
- Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1695-1753) m. Dorothy Savile
- Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle (1731-1754) m. William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
- Dorothy Cavendish (1750-1794) m. William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, Prime Minister
- Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Charles Bentinck (1780-1826) m. Anne Wellesley (Lady Abdy)
- Reverend Charles Cavendish-Bentinck (1817-1865) m. Carolina Louis Burnaby
- Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck (1862-1938) m. Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
- Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900-2002) m. King George VI
- Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022 ) m. Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Prince of Greece and Denmark)
The Prince William and The Prince Harry have Boleyn blood twice over as they are descended from Mary Boleyn through their father, King Charles III, AND their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Click here to read more about that.