->''Thy choicest gifts in store\\
On her be pleased to pour,\\
Long may she reign!\\
May she defend our laws,\\
And never give us pause\\
To sing with heart and voice:\\
"God save the Queen!"''
-->--'''God Save the Queen''', third verse

On 8 February 1960, the Queen confirmed that she and her children would continue to be known as the House and Family of Windsor. Though the Royal House is named Windsor, it was decreed, via a 1960 Order-in-Council, that those male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip who were not Princes or Princesses of the United Kingdom should have the personal surname Mountbatten-Windsor. In practice all of their children, in honour of their father, have used Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname (although Prince William has "Wales" on his military uniform, reflecting the long-standing tradition that when a surname is required, as for military service, a royal will use his most prestigious title as if it were a surname). Since becoming Queen, she is Elizabeth II, all other names are not used officially. There was a minor flap about her being the first Elizabeth to rule over Scotland (thus making her Elizabeth I there, if that rule were to be believed), but the Royal Family decided that when Scotland and England had different numbers of rulers of the same name, they would follow the higher one whether it was Scottish or English. As it happens, that is the rule that had (accidentally) been followed since the Act of Union 1707. A consequence of this is that if there were to be another King James, he would be James VIII (since James II of England was James VII of Scotland).

The Windsors were also monarchs of Ireland (till 1949 or 1937, depending on how one interprets the Irish constitution), India (till 1950), and Pakistan (till 1956). As noted below, the family was originally known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the name of the ducal house to which Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, belonged; this family also holds the monarchy of UsefulNotes/{{Belgium}} and is descended from the late medieval Wettin Dukes of Saxony (the ones who, most famously, protected Martin Luther during the Reformation). George V later changed the name during UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne to appease anti-German sentiment (his Belgian cousins did the same).

The House of Windsor, then, from [[AnachronicOrder most recent death to earliest]]:

!!'''[[UsefulNotes/HMTheQueen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom]]'''
'''Born''': 21 April 1926 [[note]]Her 'Official Birthday' is in June in the UK, May in Canada [[/note]]
'''Parents''': ''King'' George VI and ''Lady'' Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
'''Reigned''': Since 6 February 1952
'''Consort''': ''Prince'' Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The current monarch, and '''[[BritishRoyalFamily her family]]'''. Elizabeth is quite popular, to the point that some of the nations of the commonwealth have actually ''rejected'' movements towards republicanism, prefering to retain her as their Head of State (even if only a ceremonial one). She is the longest-living British monarch in history, and has a chance of toppling QueenVicky's record as longest-reigning British monarch.

!!'''Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother'''
'''Lived''': 4 August 1900 –- 30 March 2002
'''Parents''': Claude Bowes-Lyon, ''14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne'' and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck
'''Consort''': George VI

Pre-marital name Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, having been born the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Better known as "The Queen Mum", she [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2002/apr/01/guardianobituaries.queenmother lived for over 100 years]] and died with a bank overdraft of ten million pounds, an impressive feat in these modern times--and an amusing one, since the press and the bank seemed to treat it as a kind of national joke once revealed rather than an indication of trouble. Well known for her dry wit and being a particularly loveable figure. ''SpittingImage'' gave her a Birmingham accent--despite being ethnically [[UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} Scottish]]--and she was invariably caricatured as being mad keen on horse-racing and [[LadyDrunk gin]]. Which isn't actually that far wrong; by a conservative estimate, she had ten drinks a day minimum.[[note]]Gin and Dubonnet at noon, red wine with lunch a few hours later, a port and martini at six, and two glasses of champagne at dinner, plus a nightcap. Note that these sorts of drinking habits have not historically been uncommon for the British aristocracy, or indeed any aristocracy; it's simply that, unlike others of her era, she managed to live until 2002.[[/note]] [[labelnote:Also...]]Upon being told by a nervous host, "I've heard you like gin," she said, "Make it a double." Upon being presented with a Nebuchadnezzar--the equivalent of 20 bottles--of champagne, she said, "I suppose I'll just finish it off myself."[[/labelnote]] Then-Prince Albert had to propose to her three times before she said yes; she was afraid of the restrictions of royal life, but eventually decided he was worth it and agreed to marry him. It was her popularity that swung the decision in her husband's favour during the abdication crisis; Albert's younger brother Prince George was under serious consideration but it was ultimately decided that with Elizabeth beside him, Bertie could handle the job. (As noted below, Prince Albert chose "George" as his regal name when he was crowned, and so became King George VI.)\\
She earned longstanding devotion from the Blitz Generation for her and George VI's refusal to flee the country during UsefulNotes/{{WWII}}; when asked to send her children to Canada for safekeeping, she famously replied, "The girls won't leave without me, I won't leave without the King and [[InItsHourOfNeed the King will never leave]]". After Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Blitz, she quipped, "Finally. Now I can look the East End in the face."[[note]]The East End was the most devastated by aerial bombing during the war.[[/note]] She also a cruise liner named after her[[note]]the Cunard ocean liner RMS ''Queen Elizabeth'', sister ship and running mate to RMS ''Queen Mary'' (which, incidentally, was named after her mother-in-law)[[/note]]. After her death it was discovered that she owned an impressive library of ska music. She has been played by Sylvia Syms in ''Film/TheQueen'' (2006), Juliet Aubrey in ''[[BertieAndElizabeth Bertie & Elizabeth]]'' (2002) and HelenaBonhamCarter in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech''.

!!'''Diana, Princess of Wales'''
'''Lived''': 1 July 1961 –- 31 August 1997
'''Parents''': John Spencer, ''8th Earl Spencer'' and Frances Shand Kydd
'''Consort''': ''Prince'' Charles, Prince of Wales

Pre-marital name Lady Diana Spencer. You've almost certainly heard of her, often as the technically incorrect 'Princess Diana'.[[note]]inspiring numerous cartoons in which she and WonderWoman received each other's outfits back from the cleaners, &c.[[/note]] She was a member of the [[BlueBlood ancient and venerable Spencer family]] (making her a distant relative of Sir WinstonChurchill)[[note]]For our ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' fans: she's also a distant relative of Caterina Sforza[[/note]], and a member of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloane_Ranger the Sloane Rangers]], a 1980s group of young Tory upper-crust and professionals. She married Charles in 1981 and bore him two children, cheated on him with half the army list and the England rugby captain, divorced him, and then hooked up with Dodi al Fayed. She was killed in a car crash in 1997; since then numerous [[ConspiracyTheory conspiracy theories]] have arisen. The details of her death and the latest conspiracy theories are regularly featured in the Daily Express up to this day.

!!'''Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon'''
'''Lived''': 21 August 1930 –- 9 February 2002
'''Parents''': ''King'' George VI and ''Lady'' Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
'''Consort''': Antony Armstrong Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon

The Queen's little sister and in many ways her [[FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling complete]] [[SiblingYinYang opposite]]. In 1953 she wanted to marry her father's equerry, Group Captain Peter Townsend ([[TheWho not that one]]). The only problem was that he was divorced, and at this time such a marriage would have been a Very Big Deal Indeed. She eventually decided against marrying Townsend and, years later, married a society photographer named Antony Armstrong-Jones (who was made the Earl of Snowdon on his marriage to her); ironically, they themselves divorced in 1978 after years of bitter acrimony and mutual recriminations. Famously a good-time girl in her younger days - one of her closest friends was PeterSellers - the rumour of her having an affair with Mick Jagger is 'unconfirmed'.[[note]]If true, it would appear that Jagger has a thing for high-placed women named Margaret: he also had an 'unconfirmed' affair with Margaret Trudeau, wife of then-[[CanadianPolitics Canadian PM]] [[BunnyEarsLawyer Pierre Elliott Trudeau]].[[/note]] Margaret died shortly before her mother in 2002. She once said that her greatest regret in life was not having been allowed to attend school; it has been remarked that her great tragedy was to be born with frightening intelligence and no outlet for it whatsoever. No wonder she drank.

!!'''George VI of the United Kingdom'''
'''Lived''': 14 December 1895 –- 6 February 1952
'''Parents''': ''King'' George V and ''Princess'' Mary of Teck
'''Reigned''': 11 December 1936 –- 6 February 1952
'''Consort''': ''Lady'' Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Father of the current queen, husband of the late Queen Mum. Last King of Ireland and last Emperor of India. A well meaning but painfully shy and socially awkward man (rather like his grandson Charles) who led Britain through World War II. Had the misfortune to suffer a dreadful stammer which required considerable therapy, and coaching during public addresses, by Australian speech expert Lionel Logue. Only came to the throne due to the abdication of Edward VIII (which would partly explain the shyness, as he was never groomed and trained for kingship). Until then he had been known as Prince Albert, Duke of York, and remained "Bertie" to the family. One of England's most beloved monarchs due to his steadfast leadership during the War, including his famous [[InItsHourOfNeed refusal to leave the country]] during the Blitz. Creator/ColinFirth plays him in the 2010 film ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'', about him and his speech therapist. James Wilby played him in the 2002 feature ''[[BertieAndElizabeth Bertie & Elizabeth]]'', which was part of the celebration of Her Majesty's 50th year as Queen. Samuel West played him in the movie ''Hyde Park on Hudson''.

!!'''Edward VIII of the United Kingdom'''
'''Lived''': 23 June 1894 –- 28 May 1972
'''Parents''': ''King'' George V and ''Princess'' Mary of Teck
'''Reigned''': 20 January 1936 –- 11 December 1936
'''Consort''': Wallis Simpson

Elder brother of George VI and uncle of Elizabeth II. Much more forceful than his brother, caused a constitutional crisis by his desire to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. [[AbdicateTheThrone Abdicated]] after less than a year on the throne and became Duke of Windsor. Pathologically hated by quite a number of people, largely due to his being, by all accounts, both selfish and an absolute jerk. Often accused of latent (or less than latent) fascist sympathies. Despite his regnal name, the family consistently called him David. He is played by Guy Pearce in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech''.\\
It was this anomaly in the succession that inspired the 1930s setting for Ian [=McKellen's=] film adaptation of Shakespeare's ''Richard III''. Other elements of the story appear in the film; Richard's regime is unmistakably fascist, while Edward IV's wife is given an American accent.

!!'''George V of the United Kingdom'''
'''Lived''': 3 June 1865 –- 20 January 1936
'''Parents''': ''King'' Edward VII and ''Princess'' Alexandra of Denmark
'''Reigned''': 6 May 1910 –- 20 January 1936
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Mary of Teck

Father of Edward and George, grandfather of Elizabeth II. Solid, reliable, conservative monarch, by no means intellectually brilliant but a steady capable hand (rather like Elizabeth II in fact). Led Britain through UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne. Infamously denied his cousin (Nicholas II of Russia) asylum. Tragic personal life includes the premature death of a brother (Prince Albert Victor), and his youngest son (Prince John). Technically the first Windsor - he changed the family name from the bulky "Wettin von Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" during the war to appease anti-German sentiment (particularly after the name "Gotha" became infamous due to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotha_G.IV German bombers of the same attacking London]]), despite ironically being as German as his cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. When H.G. Wells referred to Britain's "alien and uninspiring court" before the name shift, George is said to have responded "[[ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne I may be uninspiring, but I'll be damned if I'm an alien!]]"[[note]]Supposedly, the Kaiser retaliated to this by commissioning a performance of ''The Merry Wives of Wettin von Saxe-Coburg and Gotha''.[[/note]] Masterminded the royal family's media image.\\
Famous for having last words that may or may not be a BeamMeUpScotty: during his terminal illness, one of his advisors is supposed to have said that he would soon be well enough to visit Bognor Regis. George's response? "[[PrecisionFStrike Bugger Bognor]]."\\
He allegedly looked [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tsar_Nicholas_II_%26_King_George_V.JPG freaking identical to his cousin Nicholas II]], but historians are rather disagreeing on the matter.[[note]] During the celebrations of George's wedding to Mary, at which Nicholas was in attendance, guests are reported to have congratulated Nicholas on his marriage and asked George how he was enjoying his stay in England.[[/note]]
Was originally a SpareToTheThrone, his elder brother Albert Victor died of influenza shortly before his wedding to...

!!'''Queen Mary'''
'''Lived''': 26 May 1867 –- 24 March 1953
'''Parents''': Francis, ''Duke of Teck'' and ''Princess'' Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
'''Consort''': George V

Her full name being hugely bulky,[[note]] Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes[[/note]] her family was technically a junior branch of the royal family of Württemberg in southwestern Germany, but she was born and raised in Britain--which is why Victoria thought her a suitable wife for her grandson, as she was thoroughly English but also of royal blood. She was originally intended to marry Albert Victor, but when he died and she and George hit it off, the Royal Family decided WhyWasteAWedding Thus she ended up the Queen Mum to the Queen Mum. She was a kleptomaniac and a fanatic jewel collector. Has a cruise liner named after her[[note]]RMS ''Queen Mary'', a Cunard liner and, as noted above, running mate to RMS ''Queen Elizabeth'', named after then-Queen Consort Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon[[/note]].

!!'''Queen Alexandra'''
'''Lived''': 1 December 1844 –- 20 November 1925
'''Parents''': ''King'' Christian IX of Denmark and ''Princess' Louise of Hesse-Kassel
'''Consort''': Edward VIII

Wife of Edward VII, she was a Danish princess before she married into the British royal family. Despite being closely related to German royalty, she was not a fan of Kaiser Wilhelm and firmly supported the British in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI--indeed, relations between Prussia and Denmark often led to tension within the family, particularly as Kaiser Wilhelm was her nephew (his father Frederick III was married to Edward's elder sister Victoria). Other than that, she was most notable for her charitable work, for her status as a fashion icon, for her deafness, and for being the great-grandmother of the current queen. Oh, and for Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Corps, formed in 1902, which served with distinction in both World Wars and was eventually folded into the British military itself.

If you've ever seen a Victorian play where a female character affects a fake limp, you can thank Alexandra for that. A post-partum bout with rheumatic fever left her lame in one leg; within days the "Alexandra Limp" had become fashionable.

!!'''Edward VII of the United Kingdom'''
'''Lived''': 9 November 1841 –- 6 May 1910
'''Parents''': ''Prince'' Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and ''Queen'' Victoria
'''Reigned''': 22 January 1901 –- 6 May 1910
'''Consort''': ''Princess'' Alexandra of Denmark

Great grandfather of Elizabeth II. Lent his name to TheEdwardianEra. Prior to his coronation, known as Albert Edward, and called "Bertie" by the family even after he became King. In his fifty-nine years as Prince of Wales, he earned a reputation as a [[CigarChomper cigar smoking]] (he apparently once lit up from a church candle during a service), womanising, gambling, and generally [[BoisterousBruiser lively]] playboy, and was widely expected to be [[SketchySuccessor utterly incapable of reigning properly]], but surprised everyone by being a pretty good king. A famous Francophile--he had loved France, the French, and French culture ever since coming with his mother and father on their only state visit abroad (to Paris in 1855), and regularly holidayed at the resort of Biarritz in the French Basque Country[[note]]This caused a minor scandal, as when HenryCampbellBannerman died in 1908, the King was in Biarritz and had HerbertHenryAsquith come to France to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kissing_hands kiss hands]] rather than go up to London himself[[/note]]--paved the way for the British alliance with France (and ultimately Russia). As Prince of Wales, he also started the traditions of the British monarch and royals making public "make-a-speech-cut-the-ribbon-and-kiss-the-babies"-type public appearances and going on numerous state visits to strengthen Britain's ties with foreign states;[[note]]The former led to the latter; after laying the cornerstone for the Canadian Parliament at Ottawa during his visit in 1860, he went down to the United States, visiting WashingtonDC--hopping over to Virginia to pay his respects to GeorgeWashington--UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}, and UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity.[[/note]] in other words, it's fair to say he invented the modern role of the British monarch and royal family (since those two things occupy more of a modern royal's public exposure than anything else). However, his smoking (twelve cigars daily, plus twenty cigarettes) soon caught up to him, and he died of heart disease after nine years on the throne in 1910. His funeral was noted by Barbara Tuchman in ''The Guns of August'' to be the greatest assemblage of royalty in history. He was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, until Charles beat Edward's record on 20 April 2011. Probably the only Windsor to actually enjoy being a monarch; the others seem to regard it largely as a duty.

!!Depictions in fiction


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'', of course.
* ''Film/BertieAndElizabeth'': Equally obvious.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Edward VII (as the Prince of Wales) turns up as a character in the {{Flashman}} series, notably in ''Flashman and the Tiger'' (1999). Specifically, the tale depicts the Royal Baccarat Scandal of 1890, when Edward testified in court against card sharp Sir William Gordon-Cumming, 4th Baronet (1848-1930).


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* {{ITV}} aired a twelve-part biographic miniseries on Edward VII in 1975, titled fittingly ''Edward the Seventh''. Incidentally, the title role was played by Timothy West, whose son Samuel would later play George VI in ''Hyde Park on Hudson''.
* Edward VIII appears while Prince of Wales in the 1923-set Series 4 [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas Special]] of ''Series/DowntonAbbey'', in which his dalliance with Freda Dudley Ward gets the Crawleys caught up in a mess. The Crawleys fix it, and so the Prince (at Mrs Dudley Ward's insistence) attends and opens Lady Rose's ball (which he is only too happy to do, as although he is unaware of how the Crawleys have saved his reputation, he rather liked Rose's father's reception for him in [[TheRaj India]] and rather likes the look of Rose herself).
** George V (and Queen Mary) also shows up briefly, when Rose is presented. He even talks to Rose, mentioning her father's service.
* ''Series/CallTheMidwife'': Chummy, coming from an upper-class background (her father was a colonial civil servant in India and later knighted), has met a few of the royals, and manages to get Princess Margaret to formally open the Poplar Community Centre in Series 3 (1959). We only see Princess Margaret from the back, though, and she has no lines (although she clearly talks to Chummy, we don't hear what they say).

We go back any further, we're into the [[TheHouseOfHanover Hanover dynasty]].