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Windsor | A millennial dynasty

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Dear readers of R Magazine, echoing the recent coronation of Charles III, son of Philip of Edinburgh and Elizabeth II, Sovereign of the Commonwealth, let me tell you a little about the origins of the British Royal family.

King Charles III is a descendant of the Danish royal family Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksbourg, through his father Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark. Among them, King Christian V of Denmark in the 17th century, and more recently Queen Margarethe II since 1972. She is the last monarch of the House of Glücksbourg in Denmark. From now on, Denmark’s next monarchs will belong to the Maison de Laborde de Montepezat. Although the Glücksbourg name will be retained, agnatically, this will be the second royal house descended from the Bernadottes.

Charles III, Greece and Denmark

King Charles III would have been a prince of Greece and Denmark through his father, had he not had to renounce his Greek royal title. As his father was born in Corfu on June 10, 1921, he was born a Greek citizen, although the royal family is German-Danish.

Prince Charles is thus the descendant of George I, King of the Hellenes through his father, born Philip of Greece, and a descendant of the Hanover dynasty through George III of the United Kingdom. His coronation route was similar to that of his mother Elizabeth II, but with less lineage, since it was only his son William, Prince of Wales, who swore allegiance to him without the series of peers in the UK, unlike his mother.

A look back at the family tree of Charles III, descendant of the Romanovs

CAMBERLEY, ENGLAND – APRIL 14: King Charles III inspects the 200th Sovereign’s parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on April 14, 2023 in Camberley, England. The parade marks the end of 44 weeks of training for 171 Officer Cadets. It is the first time King Charles III has inspected Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst since becoming Monarch. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

 

The Coronation of Charles III of the United Kingdom on May 6, 2023

During this coronation, the symbolic sites of the procession were Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. We saw the line of succession respected with the future Prince of Wales, George of Wales, who obtained this title upon his grandfather’s accession to the throne and his father’s designation as heir to the Crown. Westminster Abbey is significant in that William the Conqueror was crowned here, and since then, all Kings of England have been crowned here.

Furthermore, we were able to witness the appearance of Prince William of Wales, the future King of England, and his family. Prince George (9 yo) was his grandfather’s page, with the new Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie Rys-Jones. Sophie Rys-Jones is Prince George’s aunt, who was previously known as Countess of Wessex. Prince Edward reclaimed the title from his father, who was made Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI of the United Kingdom, father of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and the late Queen Elizabeth II.

London’s must-see places

England’s royal palaces are run and maintained by the Crown Estate. Buckingham Palace is a state residence, but Balmoral Palace and Sandrigham Palace are personal residences of the monarch. The Crown Estate reports directly to the Minister of Exchequer, which in Great Britain corresponds to the Ministry of the Economy. Windsor Castle was built during the reign of William the Conqueror, and is open all year round from November 1 to October 31, 2023. The king wanted to keep the castles open to showcase the royal residences to the British people.

Let’s also mention Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace, where you can witness the changing of the guard. You can book your vacation with specialist tour operators if you wish to tour London, but make sure you do so in advance as the UK is no longer in the European Union, so there is a visa process to comply with.

The Windsor titles and the Mountbatten-Windsor name

To understand the new royal family, we need to keep in mind the 1960s proclamation giving the name Mountbatten-Windsor to Prince Philip’s descendants. This followed a decision by Elizabeth II that the name Mountbatten-Windsor should be borne by descendants in the agnatic line of Charles Windsor. As a result, Prince Archie of Sussex, grandson of King Charles III, was born Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and became a prince of the United Kingdom on September 9, 2023, on the accession of his grandfather.

I invite you to take a look at the British Royal Family’s website: https://www.royal.uk/royal-family-name, which explains the circumstances surrounding the dynasty’s name change due to the First World War. If you haven’t seen it yet, I leave you the pleasure of watching the procession on TV5 or TF1 in France, as the event was widely broadcast.

In this article, I wanted to give you an overview of the coronation of King Charles III to make intelligible this saga that began in 1066 and continues to the present day. In France, the crowned-heads specialist is Monsieur Stéphane Bern, a French and Luxembourg journalist who often covers royal events. I’ve tried to be concise in the historical part of this coronation, but if you’d like to know more about the Windsor family, read the writings of journalist and London correspondent Marc Roche, or the special issue of Point de Vue magazine. On Histoires Royales, you’ll find a beautifully detailed publication, and the British Monarchy website is a mine of information on the family’s history.

 

Webography:

Translated by Aurélia Muzembo

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