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British Royal Family facts for kids

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Royal family on the balcony
The British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family.

Those who at the time are entitled to the style His or Her Royal Highness (HRH), and any styled His or Her Majesty (HM), are normally considered members, including those so styled before the beginning of the current monarch's reign. By this criterion, a list of the current royal family will usually include the monarch, the children and male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, and all their current or widowed spouses.

Some members of the royal family have official residences named as the places from which announcements are made in the Court Circular about official engagements they have carried out. The state duties and staff of some members of the royal family are funded from a parliamentary annuity, the amount of which is fully refunded by the Queen to the Treasury.

Since 1917, when King George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, members of the royal family belong, either by birth or by marriage, to the House of Windsor. Senior titled members of the royal family do not usually use a surname, although since 1960 Mountbatten-Windsor, incorporating Prince Philip's adopted surname of Mountbatten, has been prescribed as a surname for Elizabeth II's direct descendants who do not have royal styles and titles, and it has sometimes been used when required for those who do have such titles. In 2014 the royal family were regarded as British cultural icons, with young adults from abroad naming the family among a group of people that they most associated with UK culture.


Elizabeth, Philip, Charles and Anne
Princess Anne with her parents and elder brother Charles in October 1957
The Royal Family on Christmas Day 2017 (5)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in December 2017

This is a list of members of the royal family as of 2018:

Family members not using a royal style

There are a few immediate family members (a spouse and the children and grandchildren of its current full or deceased members) using no royal style who sometimes appear in listings:

  • Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn (the Queen's grandchildren through her son Prince Edward)
  • VAdm Sir Timothy Laurence (the Queen's son-in-law)
  • Peter and Autumn Phillips (the Queen's grandson and granddaughter-in-law)
    • Savannah Phillips (the Queen's great-granddaughter)
    • Isla Phillips (the Queen's great-granddaughter)
  • Zara and Mike Tindall (the Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law)
    • Mia Tindall (the Queen's great-granddaughter)
  • The Earl and Countess of Snowdon (the Queen's nephew and niece-in-law)
  • Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto (the Queen's niece and nephew-in-law)
    • Samuel Chatto (the Queen's great-nephew)
    • Arthur Chatto (the Queen's great-nephew)
  • Sarah, Duchess of York (the Queen's former daughter-in-law)

Family tree of members

In other Commonwealth realms

As the royal family is shared by other Commonwealth realms, its members will often also conduct official and non-official duties outside the United Kingdom, on behalf of the relevant state.

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