10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Royal Family

The British Royal family is among the longest-serving royal families in the world

Surprisingly or not, the British monarchy originates from Medieval times, but it’s still in the spotlight. The Royal family remains one of the favorite media topics, and the lives of British royalty still attract widespread attention from across the globe.

One of Europe’s oldest remaining royal families, the British royal family is one of the most iconic symbols of monarchy. Here are some of the lesser-known, but very much interesting facts about the British royal family.

No Surname

Before 1917, members of the British royal family had no surname. Officially, they still don’t have one, but today, most descendants of Queen Elizabeth II have the last name Mountbatten-Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth is the Longest Serving British Monarch

As of September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-serving British monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years. Elizabeth has also become longest-lived British monarch and longest-reigning Queen regnant in history. The Queen has recently become the longest-serving current head of state in the world.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Victoria is Queen Elizabeth’s Great-great-grandmother

Through her father, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth is the direct descendant of Queen Victoria.

The Queen’s Coronation Was First to be Televised

Queen’s Elizabeth’s coronation on June, 2 1953 was the first British royal coronation to be televised. However, earlier coronations were recorded on film.

Buckingham Palace is NOT the Official Royal Residence

Buckingham Palace is the principal palace of the British Monarch, but the official residence of the sovereign is St. James’s Palace in Westminster. St. James’s Palace was built in the 16 century by King Henry VIII.

The Sovereign is Immune to Prosecution

The British Monarch cannot be charged for any offence. While other members of the royal family do not enjoy such immunity, the Monarch cannot be prosecuted for criminal offences. It is based upon the concept of ‘Sovereign Immunity’ by which the ‘king can do no wrong’. The concept is present both in common law and the Bill of Rights.

Guards marching at Windsor Castle
Guards marching at Windsor Castle

Technically, the UK Doesn’t Have a Constitution

Unlike most other countries in the world, the UK has no single document that would serve as its constitution. The situation is a bit more complicated; various acts of Parliament can be collectively considered as a form of constitution, but there are also unwritten sources referred to as an ‘uncodified constitution’.

The Queen’s Husband is Not King

The wife of a king usually assumes the title of ‘Queen’ but the reverse is not true. Queen Elizabeth’s Husband, Prince Philip, has the title of ‘Duke of Edinburgh’. Prior to his marriage to Queen Elizabeth, his name was Philip Mountbatten and he was born as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

You’re Not Allow to Die Inside the Houses of Parliament

This may sound bizarre to you, but under British law, it’s illegal to die while inside the Houses of Parliament. To be sure, this is just one of several weird British Monarchy laws. Some of these laws date back to the 17th century.

Avoid the Presence of the Monarch If You’re Not Wearing Socks

It’s illegal to stand within one hundred yards of the reining monarch if not wearing socks. So, if you find yourself in such a situation, make sure you put your socks on.