General Facts, History and Present of the British Royal Family

Elaboration, 2013

9 Pages, Grade: 1,3



1. General Facts
The Royal Coat of Arms and motto:

2. History
King William I:
King Henry VIII:

3. Present

Queen Elizabeth II:
Royal Children:
Royal Grandchildren:
The Royal Wedding:


1. General Facts


The Royal Family has to make sure that there is a strong unity within Great Britain. Every member of the Royal Family is able to participate in every event in the UK, such as openings of new buildings, acts of commemoration or the Olympic Games this summer. Today the head of the Royal Family nearly has no political power, but has more of a representative role. Furthermore the Queen is the Head of the Armed Forces. With that function she is the only one who can decide whether the country is at war or when the war is finished. Every British Monarch is Head of the Church of England which comprises the appointment of bishops. Every priest has to swear an oath not on the Pope like the Catholics or on God like Protestant priests, but on the Queen herself.


Usually a coronation of a British Monarch takes place after a few months of the previous king or queen. It is a happy ceremony and it would be out of place to be in a time of mourning for the late monarch. Westminster Abbey is the place where the coronations are being hold. It contains King Edward‘s chair, an old wooden chair and a stone which is placed underneath it which are a traditional part of a coronation ceremony. The stone actually belongs to Scotland and is hold at Edinburgh Castle. To every coronation it is brought to London and right after the ceremony the stone is taken back to Scotland. The coronation is performed by an Archbishop of Canterbury. It is an important ritual where a lot of guests including international politicians appear.

The typical type of clothing is a crimson surcoat, Parliament robe, a tunic and accessories like a gold scarf. Throughout the coronation the archbishop walks in all four corners of the church and has to ask "Sirs, I here present unto you ..., your undoubted King. Wherefore all you who are come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same?“ After the approval of the people the monarch has to swear an oath. After the oath the king or queen is rubbed with ointment and the crown jewels are delivered to him by the archbishop. He gets the orb, two scepters and at last the crown is placed on his or her head.

The Royal Coat of Arms and motto:

The shield is being hold by the English Lion on the left side. On the other side it is supported by the Scottish Unicorn. The unicorn is tethered because in earlier times a free unicorn was judged as a very dangerous and wild creature. The words “Dieu et mon droit” are engraved on the crest. It is French for “God and my right”. It was introduced and first used by Richard the Lionheart. It is used by the Queen and in court rooms. It is seen on many government documents, forms and also passports.

2. History


The beginnings of the Royal Family date back to 757 AD. The first king to be known was King Offa, who reigned from 757-796 AD. He was a Viking and the first Anglo-Saxon who called himself King of England. His territory included Kent, Sussex, East Anglia and the Midlands.

King William I:

Another important King was William I. also called William the Conqueror. In 1066 he killed King Harold II, who was the current King of England at that time, making William the new king. His most significant achievements were the construction of the Tower of England in 1078 and the Norman Cathedral at Winchester a year later. It is one of the oldest gothic churches in England. William died in 1087 of injuries after falling from his horse and with his death his reign ended.

King Henry VIII:

Henry VIII is one of the best known kings of England, especially because of his six wives. He was the second monarch of the House of Tudors. Henry was born in 1491 and died in 1547 at the age of 56. His father died in 1509 and he was made the new King of England. His first wife was Catherine of Aragon who he married in 1509. Their daughter Mary was born in 1516 and later became Mary I of England, the Bloody Mary. Still being married to Catherine of Aragon he met Anne Boleyn. Fascinated by her beauty and intelligence Henry grew interested in her. After 18 years of marriage, Henry wanted a divorce. He asked for permission to do so from the Pope, but his request was denied. As a result he started to abandon the Church of Rome and made himself head of the Church of England so it was under his control and not Rome’s.


Excerpt out of 9 pages


General Facts, History and Present of the British Royal Family
University of Frankfurt (Main)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
475 KB
England, Royal Family, Queen, Geschichte
Quote paper
Anne Sander (Author), 2013, General Facts, History and Present of the British Royal Family, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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