King George V
Reigned January-December 1936
Abdicated. Never crowned.
King George VI
Reigned Before the Windsors:
King Edward VII (reigned 1901-1910)
The Hanoverians (reigned 1714-1901)
List of British Royal Dynasties:
Get the Latest News
More About the Windsors
About the Name Windsor
The royal family has little use for last names - after all, everyone knows who they are. Princess Diana did not take back her maiden name, Spencer, after her divorce; she continued to be known simply as Diana. The Queen signs official documents "Elizabeth R." The R stands for Regina, which means "queen." (Regina is not one of her given names; she was baptised Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.)
But the royal family does have a last name, and they do use it from time to time. This wasn't always the case. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, was a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, so her descendants were part of that dynasty. This, however, was not the family's last name. They didn't have one, because they didn't need one, so they didn't worry about it. Experts later worried about it for them and decided their name was probably Witten (or maybe even Wipper).
The royal family's official name, or lack thereof, became a problem during World War I, when people began to mutter that Saxe-Coburg-Gotha sounded far too German. King George V and his family needed a new, English-sounding name. After considering everything from Plantagenet to Tudor-Stuart to simply England, the king and his advisors chose the name Windsor.
To this day, the British royal family is known as the House of Windsor. When Princess Elizabeth (the current queen) served as a subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, she was called Elizabeth Windsor. Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece, whose family name was Mountbatten, and eventually she decreed that most of her descendants would be called Mountbatten-Windsor. Princess Anne used this name in 1973 when she married Captain Mark Phillips.
However, according to statements made by the queen, it appears that Windsor is still the official family name for any British royal who is styled Royal Highness. The queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has used the name Edward Windsor professionally. His wife, the Countess of Wessex, has been known professionally as Sophie Wessex.
The Order of Succession
Previously, males took precedence over their older sisters in the line of succession. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has given royal daughters the right to inherit the throne before their younger brothers. The previous line of succession has not been altered, however, meaning that Queen Elizabeth's younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, (and their children) continue to rank ahead of their older sister, Princess Anne, in the line of succession.
The current order of succession
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince George of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
James Windsor, Viscount Severn
Lady Louise Windsor
Princess Anne, the Princess Royal
Catholics and the Act of Settlement
The 1701 Act of Settlement made it illegal for a Roman Catholic, or anyone married to a Roman Catholic, to inherit the throne. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 removed the disqualification for those who marry Roman Catholics, but Roman Catholics still cannot succeed to the throne.
The royal family uses, but does not own, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St James's Palace, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and other residences. Balmoral and Sandringham are the queen's personal property.
Unless otherwise noted, these books are for sale at Amazon.com. Your purchase through these links will result in a commission for the owner of the Royalty.nu site.
Book categories: The Royal Family, Photos, British Royalty, Religion, Constitution, Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince of Wales, Diana, William & Harry, Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, Zara, Edward & Sophie, Fergie, Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon, George V, Queen Mother, Edward VII, George VI, Edward VIII, The Kents, Mountbattens, Others, Royal Collectibles, Royal Scandal, 20th Century, British History, Genealogy, Royal Travel, Castles & Palaces, Art, Recipes,Would-Be Royals, Miscellaneous, Collectibles, Fiction, DVDs, Royalty Magazines
Not in Front of the Corgis: Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains by Brian Hoey. What does the Queen watch on TV? Why doesn't she have a driving license? This book answers thousands of questions about what happens in the royal family away from the spotlight.
A Brief History of the House of Windsor: The Making of a Modern Monarchy by Michael Paterson. A look at the modern British royal family from King George V to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor by Penny Junor. This book promises an in-depth look at how the royal family really operates and how they behave behind closed doors.
On Duty with the Queen: My Time as a Buckingham Palace Press Officer by Dickie Arbiter. From escorting Prince Charles on far-flung trips to becoming one of Princess Diana's most trusted confidantes, Dickie Arbiter was catapulted into the media circus surrounding the world's most famous family.
Royal Family: Years of Transition by Theo Aronson. A study of the Windsor dynasty, both its major and minor members, during the 20th century.
Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family by Dennis Friedman. Updated edition. Traces the many problems of the royal family, from Queen Victoria's nursery to the rigid and traditional upbringing which awaits Prince George.
Bright Young Royals: Your Guide to the Next Generation of Blue Bloods by Jerramy Fine. A guide to single royals: who they are, where to find them, "how to win their hearts." Published in 2011.
The Regal Rules For Girls by Jerramy Fine. How to move to London, dress like Kate Middleton, party with Prince Harry, and behave at Royal Ascot. With essential English etiquette and lists of the best places to meet eligible Englishmen, this is a manual for any girl who wants to cross the pond in style.
The Women of Windsor: Their Power, Privilege & Passions by Catherine Whitney. Examines the lives of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne.
Wives of the Kings of England: From Hanover to Windsor by Mark Hichens. Discusses Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, the Duchess of Windsor, the Queen Mother, and others.
The British Monarchy for Dummies by Philip Wilkinson. Explains the origins of the monarchy, how it works, what the royals do all day, and more.
Britain's Royal Heritage: An A to Z of the Monarchy by Mark Alexander. Contains more than 2,000 entries on topics such as Maundy Money and the Coronation Ceremony.
On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry Into Some Strangely Related Families by Jeremy Paxman. With a mixture of popular history, direct reportage, and funny anecdotes, the author examines how the role of Britain's head of state has changed over the years.
The Book of Royal Useless Information by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague. A "funny and irreverent" look at British royalty, past and present.
Confessions of a Fake Sheik: "The King of the Sting" Reveals All by Mazher Mahmood. A journalist who poses as a wealthy sheikh talks about his encounters with famous people, including royals.
A Century of Royalty by Ed West. Photos of British royalty in the 20th century.
Royal Encounters by Paul Ratcliffe. The author shares his photographs of the royal family at social engagements and walkabouts, as well as his personal conversations with royals, including Princess Diana.
The Royal Scrapbook by Robert Opie. Over 1,000 images illustrating more than 100 years of royal events, beginning with Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and ending with Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.
The Queen's Year: A Souvenir Album by David Oakey. A season-by-season guide to the Queen's busy year, illuminating the traditions behind many royal events. Illustrated with new photos.
God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Heart of the Monarchy by Ian Bradley. Explores the spiritual dimension of monarchy in historical and contemporary times, and the debate on the future of the British monarchy. Diamond Jubilee edition.
Monarchy, Religion and the State: Civil Religion in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth by Norman Bonney. Argues that the next succession to the throne will require major national debates about traditional rituals which require professions of Protestantism by the new monarch.
Down With the Crown by Antony Taylor. British anti-monarchism and debates about royalty since 1790.
The Monarchy and the Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor. English constitutional history and theory. The author makes a case for the positive role that monarchy plays in modern democratic politics.
King and Country: Monarchy and the Future of King Charles III by Robert Blackburn. Unravels the tangled relationship between crown and state in Great Britain, examining how a monarchy can work in a democracy, the political powers of a British monarch and the nature of the royal prerogative, the case for republicanism, and the future of the monarchy.
The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy by Tom Nairn. A "powerful, analytical, and bitterly funny book" look at Britain's fixation on the Crown and its constitutional framework.
The Nature of the Crown: A Legal and Political Analysis edited by Maurice Sunkin and Sebastian Payne. Essays about the monarchy and constitutional law in Great Britain.
The Executive in the Constitution: Structure, Autonomy, and Internal Control by Alan Page and Terence Daintith.
Monarchy and the End of Empire: The House of Windsor, the British Government, and the Postwar Commonwealth by Philip Murphy. Argues that the monarchy's relationship with the Commonwealth, initially a means of strengthening imperial ties, became an impediment to British foreign policy.
The Rise, Decline and Future of the British Commonwealth by Krishnan Srinivasan. Am exploration of the British Commonwealth and its impact on the process of Britain adjusting to a world without Empire.
George V by Kenneth Rose. Biography of the British king, who lived 1865-1936. This book, winner of the Whitbread Prize, draws on letters and diaries of the royal family, intimates, and social observers of the time.
Darling Georgie; The Enigma of King George V by Dennis Friedman. The author of this biography suggests that George V's troubled relationship with his parents caused him to suffer extreme separation anxiety. His time in the Navy, sexual development, and years on the throne are also scrutinized.
George V: The Unexpected King by David Cannadine. For a man with conventional tastes and views, George V had a revolutionary impact, inventing the modern monarchy, with its emphasis on family values and duty.
Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy. Official biography of May of Teck, wife of King George V. Tells the story of her impoverished childhood, her very significant reign, and her old age as the much-admired Queen Dowager.
Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor by Anne Edwards. Biography of Princess May of Teck. Born into a family of impoverished nobility, she became queen, mother of two kings, and a symbol of British majesty.
The Lost Prince by Stephen Poliakoff. Screenplay of a British TV movie about Prince John, the epileptic son of King George V, who was shut away at age 12 to save the royal family from embarrassment. Includes a 70-page factual introduction. The movie is available on DVD.
The Kents: A Royal Family by Audrey Whiting. Out of print, but sometimes available at Alibris.
Katharine: A Biography of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent by Valerie Garner. The Duke of Kent is a grandson of King George V. This is a biography of his wife, who is said to have been coldly treated by the royal family. Sometimes available from Amazon.
Princess Alexandra by Paul James. Biography of a classic beauty who started life as something of an ugly duckling. From Alibris.
Princess Alexandra by Helen Cathcart. A lively and revealing biography written from personal knowledge. From Alibris.
Princess Michael of Kent by Peter Lane. About the wife of Queen Elizabeth's cousin Prince Michael of Kent. Out of print, but available at Alibris.
The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King by Princess Michael of Kent. About French king Henry II.
Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of Eight Royal Brides by Princess Michael of Kent. The stories behind the dynastic and political marriages of 18th and 19th century European princesses.
Cupid and the King by Princess Michael of Kent. Looks at the lives of five royal mistresses: Diane De Poitiers, Nell Gwyn, Madame de Pompadour, Marie Walewska, and Lola Montez.
The Queen of Four Kingdoms by Princess Michael of Kent. Historical fiction. At the age of 19, Yolande, daughter of a 15th century king of Aragon, marries Duke Louis II of Anjou, cousin of the King of France. She becomes her husband's regent and the saviour of France. (Book one of the Anjou trilogy.)
Agnès Sorel: Mistress of Beauty by Princess Michael of Kent. Tells the story of Agnes Sorel, official mistress of King Charles VII of France. This is the second book of the princess's Anjou trilogy.
Quicksilver: A Novel by Princess Michael of Kent. The final book of the Anjou trilogy is about merchant Jacques Coeur, who becomes trusted confidante of the Anjou royal family, particularly Yolande, Queen of the Four Kingdoms, and royal mistress Agnes Sorel.
Mountbatten: The Official Biography by Philip Ziegler. A biography of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, and Prince Charles's great uncle and close friend.
Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks. The author, daughter of Lord Mountbatten, grew up in England and India, was a bridesmaid in Princess Elizabeth's wedding to Prince Philip, and was a lady-in-waiting at the princess's side when she learned her father had died and she was queen.
Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers. About the mother of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip. Born deaf, Princess Alice led a dramatic, often tragic life, and ended her days as a nun.
Books About Prince Charles
The Royals by Kitty Kelley. An unflattering but very interesting look at the current royal family.
Dignified & Efficient: The British Monarchy in the Twentieth Century by Charles Douglas-Home and Saul Kelly. In moving portraits of the monarchs and their advisers, the authors examine the tasks of recent crowned heads and the virtues that enabled them to act for the common good.
The Quest for Albion: Monarchy and the Patronage of British Painting by Christopher Lloyd is an anthology of British paintings in the Royal Collection.
Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration edited by Jane Roberts. Specially commissioned photographs and detailed histories of the very best items in Britain's Royal Collection, including paintings and drawings by great masters; works of art by Fabergé and others; fine furniture, ceramics, sculpture, armor, and more. 450 color illustrations and photographs.
Unfolding Pictures: Fans in the Royal Collection by Jane Roberts, Prudence Sutcliffe, Susan Mayor. This lavishly illustrated book presents the most beautiful and historically interesting fans in the Royal Collection, along with the stories of their creation and biographical information on their owners.
Faberge in the Royal Collection by Caroline De Guitaut. A definitive guide to the British royal family's Faberge collection. Explains in detail the formation of the collection and the tastes of the principal royal collectors. 220 illustrations, 200 in color.
The Royal Train: The Inside Story by Brian Hoey. Examines every aspect of the royals' favorite form of transport, including the costs, refreshments, and the décor in the Queen's personal saloon.
Royal Tourism: Excursions Around Monarchy edited by Philip Long and Nicola J. Palmer. Explores the relationship between royalty and tourism past, present and future. (Not a travel guide.)
Eating Royally: Recipes & Remembrances From a Palace Kitchen by Darren McGrady. The author, who was Princess Diana's personal chef, shares recipes he served the royals. The book includes personal notes, photos, and memorabilia.
A Royal Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes From Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan and Edward Griffiths. Recipes accompanied by tips on presentation and entertaining from Deputy Master of the Royal Household Edward Griffiths. Includes illustrations and explanations of the tableware, floral arrangements, and other decorative items that adorn the royal table throughout the year.
Tea Fit for a Queen: Recipes & Drinks for Afternoon Tea by Historic Royal Palaces. Stories and anecdotes about British royals and their connection to the tradition of afternoon tea. Includes more than 40 recipes for everything from delicate finger sandwiches to Victoria sponge cake.
Chocolate Fit for a Queen: Delectable Chocolate Recipes From the Royal Courts to the Present Day by Historic Royal Palaces. With more than 35 recipes, this book includes chapters on Chocolate Cakes, Pastries and Tarts, and Drinks and Sauces, as well as anecdotes about royals and their connection to the history of chocolate.
The Royal Touch: Simply Stunning Home Cooking from a Royal Chef by Carolyn Robb. Recipes from a former personal chef to Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess by Jerramy Fine. The author spent her childhood writing love-letters to Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips. Years later she moved to London, but life there wasn't the Hugh Grant movie she hoped it would be.
Pets by Royal Appointment: The Royal Family and Their Animals by Brian Hoey. Cats, dogs, horses, even parrots have acted as faithful companions to the British royal family for generations. This book offers details and anecdotes about favorite royal pets past and present.
Literature and the Monarchy by Ewa Panecka. The traditional and modern concept of the office of Poet Laureate of England.
Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin. Humorous story about a fictional Prince and Princess of Wales who travel across the United States: riding freight trains, washing dishes, stealing art, fighting forest fires, and becoming enmeshed in a presidential campaign.
Blood Royal by Harold Robbins. Novel about a (fictional) modern Princess of Wales who shoots and kills her husband.
The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright. A young woman falls for a boy who turns out to be second in line to the British throne.
The Royal Factor by David Eckhoff. The Prime Minister replaces Britain's royal family with winners of a rigged reality show. Available for Kindle only.
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work. 2007 television series follows the royals through a year that includes over 4,000 official engagements, including the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen's tour of the United States. The two-DVD set includes 30 minutes of previously unseen footage.
Windsor Castle: A Royal Year. TV series produced for the BBC. For the first time ever, cameras go behind the scenes at Windsor Castle for a glimpse at life above and below stairs. Meet the Queen's housekeeper, grooms, fendersmiths, and military knights. Accompany Prince Philip as he tours the grounds. Includes over two hours not seen on the PBS broadcast, including exclusive new footage of the wedding of Charles and Camilla.
The Last Royals. Can kings and queens survive the challenges of the 21st century? This television documentary from National Geographic compares the British royal family with three other current royal families.
The Lost Prince. TV movie about George V's son Prince John, who was hidden from the world because he had epilepsy.
Edward and Sophie: A Royal Celebration. This 1999 BBC-produced video features a half hour interview with the royal couple, followed by over an hour of wedding coverage. Sometimes available at Amazon.