Queen Elizabeth II: who are current royal families in Europe, how are they related to the British monarchy?

The Queen, who was the longest serving British monarch, died on 8 September 2022

The royal family continue to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II who was, among other things, their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

The late monarch died on Thursday 8 September, after doctors raised concerns for her health.

The UK is going through a period of national mourning, which will end after the Queen’s state funeral on Monday 19 September.

The royal family will stay in mourning until a week later, Monday 26 September, as announced as King Charles III.

The British royal family are, however, not the only royals who are mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. Other European monarchs are also grieving the loss of the late Queen.

But, just how are those European monarchs related to the late Queen Elizabeth II?

Advertisement

Here’s what you need to know.

Queen Elizabeth II was related to other European monarchs - here’s how.

Who are the monarchs across Europe?

Belgium

Philippe, King of Belgium (reigned from 2013 to present)

In a message posted on the official Twitter profile of the Belgian Royal Palace, Phillipe and his wife Mathilde praised Queen Elizabeth II’s "extraordinary personality" and "dignity, courage, and devotion."

Advertisement

King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Denmark

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (reigned from 1972 to present)

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is now Europe’s longest serving monarch and only reigning queen after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She celebrated 50 years on the throne over the weekend of 10 and 11 September, but celebrations were toned down out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II.

In a letter of condolence to King Charles III, Margrethe called Queen Elizabeth “a towering figure among the European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all. We shall miss her terribly.”

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

Advertisement

Luxembourg

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (reigned from 2000 to present)

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the Grand Duke and his wife, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, said they were “deeply moved” by the news of her death and said she was a “monarch deeply attached to the friendship between [our] two countries”.

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Monaco

Prince Albert II of Monaco (reigned from 2005 to present)

Advertisement

Prince Albert and his wife Princess Charlene attended a church service in memory of Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday 10 September and also sent a tribute to the “great” monarch to the British royal family.

Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (reigned from 2013 to present)

In an official statement from the Dutch royal household, Dutch royals spoke of their "deep respect and great affection" for Queen Elizabeth II after her passing.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Advertisement

Norway

King Harald V of Norway (reigned from 1991 to present)

King Harald sent a message to King Charles III shortly after the death of the late Queen to say “my family and I are deeply saddened to receive the news”.

King Harald V of Norway.

Spain

King Felipe VI of Spain (reigned from 2014 to present)

Advertisement

The closeness between the British and the Spanish royal families was hinted at after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2021, when King Felipe sent the Queen a note addressed to his Aunt Lilibet.

King Felipe sent a message to the British royal family in the wake of the Queen’s death and said: “Her Majesty has undoubtedly witnessed, written and shaped many of our most relevant chapters in this history of our world during the last seven decades.”

King Felipe VI of Spain.

Sweden

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (reigned from 1973 to present)

King Carl issued a statement praising Queen Elizabeth’s “sense of duty” and “outstanding dedication” shortly after her death.

Advertisement

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

How were the monarchs related to the Queen?

Belgium

King Philippe and Queen Elizabeth II were third cousins once removed. They are descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

This is because Christian’s six children with Louise married into other European royal families.

The pair also share a common ancestor of Franz, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. As progenitor of a line of Coburg princes who, in the 19th and 20th centuries, ascended the thrones of several European realms, the Duke is a patrilineal ancestor of the royal houses of the United Kingdom as well as Belgium, Bulgaria and Portugal.

Advertisement

Denmark

Queen Margrethe II and Queen Elizabeth II were third cousins, both through King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The Danish King fathered children who separately passed down rule to Queen Margrethe II and Queen Elizabeth II. They are both also great-great-granddaughters of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Luxembourg

Grand Duke Henri and Queen Elizabeth II were also third cousins, once removed. They are descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

The Duke is a descendant of Christian IX, and he’s also related to the British Royal Family via Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.

Advertisement

Albert’s father Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the brother of Henri’s great-great-great grandfather, Leopold I.

Monaco

Prince Albert II and Queen Elizabeth II were seventh cousins, twice removed. They are descendants of Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, and Landgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

The royal descendants of John Willem Friso, Prince of Orange currently occupy all the hereditary European royal thrones, with Friso and his wife, Landgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, being common ancestors of all the European monarchs.

Due to the intermarriage of the European royal houses, many monarchs are descended from Friso in more than one way.

Netherlands

Advertisement

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Elizabeth II were fifth cousins, twice removed. They are descendants of Friedrich II Eugen, Duke of Wurttemberg, and Princess Frederica of Brandenburg-Schwedt.

The connection between the pair actually dates back to an 18th century princess, Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau. While Queen Elizabeth II’s paternal grandmother, Queen Mary, was a descendant of the princess, King Willem-Alexander’s connection is via Princess Carolina’s son, Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg.

The Duke of Wurttemberg is also an ancestor of each monarch.

Norway

King Harald V of Norway and Queen Elizabeth II are second cousins both through King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra and Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

King Harald V was the late Queen’s closest royal relative to the late Queen to sit on another European throne.

Advertisement

The monarchs shared the same great-grandparents, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, with the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, and Harald’s grandmother, Queen Maud, being siblings.  They are both descended from Christian IX.

Spain

King Felipe VI and Queen Elizabeth II are third cousins, once removed. They are the descendants of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The ties between the monarchs come from King Felipe VI’s mother’s and father’s side of the family. Spain’s former King and Queen, Juan Carlos and Sofia, who are Felipe’s parents, are great-great grandchildren of Queen Victoria, as was Queen Elizabeth II.

Sweden

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Elizabeth II are third cousins. They are descendants of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Advertisement

This makes King Carl one of the European royals with the closest ties to the late Queen.

The King of Sweden is descended from the third and fourth sons of Queen Victoria, Princes Arthur and Leopold, while Queen Elizabeth was the granddaughter of King Edward VII, Victoria’s eldest son and heir.