10 Lesser Known But Fascinating Facts About British Monarchy

The British Monarchy also known as the Monarchy of the United Kingdom as it is also referred to is among the longest serving royal families. The royal lineage has continued for a long time, with descendants of the first Queen taking the throne in successions. The British monarchy has been very fruitful and productive, making a memorable mark in the world. The Queen is the Head of State of the British government and used to rule the world, although its ruling powers have been cut short. Still, it remains very popular and respected and is considered as one of those richest royal families in the world. British Monarchy is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories with either the King or the Queen as the title of the Monarch; Deep into the British monarchy’s history, one would find some interesting and fascinating facts about the royal family. Here are Some of the top 10 fascinating facts about British Sovereignty

1. The Royal family does not have surnames

Curiously but interestingly, as unconventional as that may sound but that’s the truth, the lineage of the royal family do not use surnames like the rest of the other people. Instead, they use surnames which represent their houses or dynasties. The first surname to be used was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which was up to the year 1917. In 1917, King George V declared that all male descendants of Queen Victoria should use the surname “Windsor”. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillips also chose a new surname for the descendants in 1960 – Mountbatten-Windsor, with Prince Philips himself using Mountbatten as his surname. The only people who were exempted were those with the style of Prince, Princess or Royal Highness. The full name of Prince Williams, the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales is Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, while his brother Prince Harry is called Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. [stock photo image by depositphotos]

2. The Royal family seems to love people with common names

This is portrayed by the names of the wives married by the Princes. So far, the British monarchy has had five Queen Catherine in its lineage. And by the time Prince William ascends into the kingdom throne, his wife Kate Middleton – commonly known as Princess Catherine will become the 6th Queen Catherine in the family’s history. The other ones in the same line have been Queen Catherine of Valois (wife to Henry V), Queens Catherine Howard, Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr (wives to Henry VIII) and Queen Catherine of Braganza who was wife to King Charles II. [stock photo image by depositphotos]

3. The current queen is the longest-serving British monarch

Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952 in February, becoming the 40th monarch in the royal family. Up till now, she is the longest-serving monarch in the British monarchy serving now for sixty-eight (68) years. The only one who came close is Queen Victoria who was in power for sixty-three (63) years. Other monarchs who reigned for over fifty four years include King George III – 59 years, King James VI of Scotland – 58 years and King Henry III – 56 years. [image via fanpop]

4. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall

Prince Charles of Wales was married to his first wife Princess Diana of Wales. They officially wedded but unfortunately, Princess Diana passed on. Later on, Prince Charles officially married Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Interestingly, Princess Camilla has opted not to use the title “Princess” due to her respect for the late Princess Diana. [Image by Keith Laverack via Flickr]

5. The Queen’s Tuesday meetings with the Prime Minister

As the Head of State, the Queen holds an audience with the Prime Minister every Tuesday of the week in order to keep close contact with him. This occasionally happens when she is in London. There’s a special relationship between the queen and whoever that is the Prime Minister irrespective of his or her political party, although the queen remains politically neutral, she plays a role in the mechanics of calling a general election. The Queen also abides by the advice of her ministers. There have been twelve British Prime Ministers during The Queen’s reign, They are: Winston Churchill 1951-55, Sir Anthony Eden 1955-57, Harold Macmillan 1957-63, Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64, Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-76, Edward Heath 1970-74, James Callaghan 1976-79, Margaret Thatcher 1979-90, John Major 1990-97, Tony Blair 1997-2007, Gordon Brown 2007-2010, David Cameron from 2010. [Image by Library and Archives Canada… via Flickr]

6. The Family History of the current royal family

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip who is the Duke of Edinburgh were officially married in Westminster in November 1947, five years before she became queen. Both of them are great, great-grandchildren of the first queen, Queen Victoria. Prince Philip is the son of Princess Alice, daughter to Queen Victoria. The Queen on the other side is the daughter of King Edward VII who was also a son to Queen Victoria. Furthermore, the royal family bore only a single sibling Princess Margaret. She was the Countess of Snowdon but unfortunately died from a stroke in 2002. [image via mostersandcritics.com]

7. The Queen as a public figure

Since becoming Queen, she has won several awards. The queen has already been accorded over 387, 000 honorary awards and other awards which has earned her great respect. In her association with the public, the royal family organizes different annual Royal Garden Parties. Thousands of guests attend each of the four parties and enjoy a great time with the royal family. This has catapulted the popularity of the royal family and has placed the British Monarchy more into the limelight, making it loved across the world. [image via Ben Murray]

Their wedding was the first one of a kind it the family’s history. The intriguing part of it was the vows. When Princess Diana was pronouncing the name of her husband during vows, the Princess stumbled for a moment. Some argue it was because of the length of Prince Charles’ name. More curiously, she promised all the part of the traditional vow except the section of obedience to her husband.

8. The intriguing wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

9. Fascinating British Monarchy laws

There are certain acts that are regarded as illegal by the British monarchy’s law that are interesting, for instance, Did you know it’s illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament? First, the British parliament building is regarded as Royal and therefore it is illegal for one to die inside it. Such is seen as a very suspicious act. Secondly, using a postage stamp with the image of the queen or king in the wrong fashion is regarded as treason and one can face huge life consequences. It is illegal to stand within one hundred yards of the reigning monarch when not wearing socks

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10. Kate Middleton “Catherine” was the oldest bride in the family

When Kate officially married Prince William, she became the oldest bride in the royal family at 29. The others elder than her like Duchess of Cornwall and Eleanor are not considered because they had both been divorced by their former husbands at the time of marriage. The youngest was Isabella of Valois who was married at age 6.

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The history of the British monarchy is undoubtedly full of fascinating facts, some unknown to many people; the royal family still is very respected and loved all over the world.

Amira Daniel
Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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