• Two of Europe's Queens were related
  • Do you know how they happen to be related?
  • Learn about the connection here

Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margrethe II were facinating Queens. The UK and Danish monarchs have both had long reigns, combining for over 100 years on their respective thrones.

Did you know that these two European Queens were related to each other? This is how they were related and who their common ancestors were.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe: Related?

Yes, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe were related: they were third cousins. But fair warning: tracing out precisely what that means can be a task. Your third cousin is a child of your parent's second cousin. That second cousin, meanwhile, is a child of your parent's first cousin.

More simply put: for the Queens to be third cousins, they shared a great-great grandparent — and descend from separate children of that great-great-grandparent.

In their case, they actually share two: Queen Victoria as well as King Christian IX of Denmark. The Danish King fathered children who separately passed down rule to the present British and Danish monarchs. For Margrethe, it's easy to follow. 

She descends from the three Danish Kings who succeeded Christian IX, including his son Frederick VIII—whose sister, Alexandra of Denmark, married King Edward VII of the UK and became royal consort.

Queen Elizabeth then descended from Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, her great-grandparents. It's a similar story for Queen Victoria, as Edward VII was her son, while his brother Prince Arthur is a great-grandfather of Queen Margrethe.

Recap: Queen Elizabeth descends from Edward VII (son of Queen Victoria) and Alexandra (daughter of Christian IX), while Queen Margrethe descends from Arthur (son of Queen Victoria) as well as Frederick (son of Christian IX).

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The Queens of the UK and Denmark are third cousins

Queen Elizabeth II reigned from 1952 until her death in 2022, while her third cousin, Margrethe II ascended the throne in 1972. The Queens were known to have a strong relationship, sharing many visits over the years.

Queen Elizabeth was also a second cousin of King Harald of Norway, and a third cousin of King Felipe of Spain and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden. Not only that, but her interlinked family background extended to Prince Philip, her late husband. Click here to learn how the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are related.