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How Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip Are Actually Related To Each Other

How Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip Are Actually Related To Each Other
August 2, 2020 - 07:30 / Lucas Anderson

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are known for their longevity and popularity as monarch and consort of the U.K. But did you know that they were actually related before they got married? Read on to find out their relation and learn how they descend from two famous common royal ancestors.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip share impressive longevity as a married couple going back to their 1947 royal wedding — between then Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Denmark and Greece.

But the now nonagenarian British royals are actually blood relatives, even though Philip was born into Danish and Greek royalty. Here's how they are related to each other, and how they descend from their common ancestors.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are related (beyond marriage)

It turns out that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are second cousins once removed, as well as third cousins through another relation. In both cases, the ancestors are quite well known. Their closer relation is through King Christian IX of Denmark, while Queen Victoria is the common relative for their third cousinship.

King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906), Elizabeth and Philip's closest common ancestor.

The Danish king was Elizabeth's great-great grandfather, through the marriage of his daughter, Alexandra, to King Edward VII—Elizabeth's great-grandfather. Christian was also Philip's great-grandfather through his paternal line, making the prince a second cousin once removed of Elizabeth.

How Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip descend from Queen Victoria

If you're still following, the royals are also both great-great-grandchildren of none other than Queen Victoria. Elizabeth, of course, descends from the royal line of kings who succeeded Victoria, making Victoria her great-great-grandmother (through Edward VII, George V, and her father George VI).

Philip, meanwhile, is the son of Princess Alice of Battenberg. She was the daughter of Princess Victoria of Battenberg, a daughter of Queen Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice. This connection to Victoria makes Elizabeth and Philip third cousins: Both descend from a child of Queen Victoria (Edward and Alice) three generations on.

Below is a photo of Philip's four generations of maternal ancestors: His mother is seated as a baby, along with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria, Princess Alice, Princess Victoria, and baby Alice, 1900.

So there it is. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are both second cousins once removed and third cousins, and King Christian IX and Queen Victoria are their closest common ancestors. Intermarriage among various European royal families was quite common in previous centuries, leading to many interconnected and distantly-related rulers and royals.

The royal couple celebrates their 73rd wedding anniversary on November 20, 2020.