The British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people who are the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with official national terms for the family. Members of the Royal Family belong to, either by birth or marriage, the House of Windsor, since 1917, when George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This decision was primarily taken because Britain and her Empire were at war with Germany and given the British Royal Family's strong German ancestry; it was felt that its public image could be improved by choosing a more British house name. The new name chosen, Windsor, had absolutely no connection other than as the name of the castle which was and continues to be a royal residence. Although in the United Kingdom there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family, and different lists will include different people, those carrying the style Her or His Majesty (HM), or Her or His Royal Highness (HRH) are always considered members, which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch, the consort of the monarch, the widowed consorts of previous monarchs, the children of the monarch and previous monarchs, the male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, and the spouses and the widows of a monarch's and previous monarch's sons and male-line grandsons. On 30 November 1917, King George V issued Letters Patent defining who are members of the Royal Family. The present royal house (ruling family) is the House of Windsor and Elizabeth II is descended from William I (1066–1097), and before that from Egbert, King of Wessex 802–39. The monarch or sovereign (king or queen) originally had sole power but over time the sovereign’s powers have been reduced and, though the...
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