Yet even with the amount of media coverage, there are still things we don’t know about them, which, honestly, is probably for the better. Not only that, they are keeping up with the times. They now have their own website, Twitter, and YouTube channel. Just a shame we never got a Royal Family Harlem Shake… But you already knew that about the Royal Family.
From peculiar royal decrees to pretty neat genealogical ties to famous people across the Atlantic Ocean, here’s 12 Things You Need To Know About The Royal Family.
12. Rich, But Not That Rich
You may think royalty means you can have whatever you want and do whatever you want, not only because of your status, but because of your bulging wallet. Well, this is kind of true, but the royal family is far from the richest in the UK. In fact, with a rough net worth of $550 million, the Queen is about 257th on the list of richest people in the UK.
11. The Royal Fish Decree
According to law, any ‘royal fish’ – whales, sturgeon or dolphin – caught within the waters surrounding the UK automatically belong to the Royal Family. Enacted by Edward II sometime during his reign in the 13th century, it declared just that.
10. Double Birthday Fun
There are some people who have a birthday right near Christmas, and to them, sometimes it’s almost like having two birthdays. However Queen Elizabeth actually does have two birthdays. No, she wasn’t born twice, that’s impossible. In fact, she celebrates one on her actual birth date – on April 21st – and another ‘official birthday’ held sometime in May or June.
9. Long Live The Queen
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch of the UK to date, having served the role for nearly 64 years. She is followed closely by Queen Victoria, who ruled for 63 years and 216 days, and King George III, who reigned for 59 years and 96 days. Man, I know people who have a hard enough time keeping a job for a few weeks, let alone for over 60 years.
8. Smart Cookie
In 2001, Prince William enrolled at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland after taking a tour of Belize, Chile and multiple countries in Africa, volunteering his time to help those in need. When he graduated in 2005, he received a Scottish Master of Arts degree, as well as an upper second-class honours in geography.
7. Another Smart Cookie
And William isn’t the only one to hold high academic honours within the family. His wife Kate Middleton also attended the University of St. Andrew’s at the same time as him – in fact, it’s where they met.
6. A Progressive Family
In 2013, it was agreed that the UK would adopt a more progressive approach to the usual male-preference primogeniture, thus making it an absolute primogeniture. Basically what that means is that now, regardless of gender, if you are in line to inherit the throne, you very well could.
5. No Real Last Name
To be honest, I have always wondered what the Queen’s last name is. When I was younger I just assumed it was “The Second.” Well, turns out that with being Queen, you can pretty much make your last name whatever. It started when her father changed it from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor.
4. Hefty Staff
If you’ve ever seen Buckingham palace close up, or even in the movies, you’ll know that it’s freaking huge. Boasting over 830,000 sq. ft. of floor space, 775 rooms, and roughly 800 staff members to keep it all in line, it lives up to its status as a palace.
3. She’s Seen Them Come, She’s Seen Them Go
Not only has Queen Elizabeth II been the longest reigning monarch of the UK, she has also lived to see six different Popes elected to the papacy. Now that may not seem like much considering there have been 266 popes since 33. Yes, the year 33.
2. If That Is Your Real Name…
Sometimes people change their names because they aren’t happy with what they were given. Some people change it because it’s related to some heinous acts of the past. Well, the royal family is no different. In fact, many of the monarchs of the UK have used names other than their own.
1. Ties to America
This was actually discovered quite recently. Other than the fact that America claimed independence from England in 1776, there is evidence pointing towards the Duchess of Cambridge being distantly related to the founder of the United States, George Washington, as well as Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote the Star Spangled Banner.