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Queen Cousins: How Queen Elizabeth Is Related To Margrethe Of Denmark

How Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe Are Related
October 25, 2020 - 07:25 / Lucas Anderson

Queen Elizabeth II of the UK and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark are in an exclusive class as the only currently-reigning queens of sovereign states. Did you know that the two monarchs are actually related to each other, too? Read on to learn their relation and their common ancestors.

Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margrethe II are today's only queens regnant. The UK and Danish monarchs have both had long reigns, combining for over 100 years on their respective thrones.

Did you know that Europe's only two Queens are related to each other? This is how they're related and who their common ancestors were.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe: Related?

Yes, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe are related: they are 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 share 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 and Queen Margrethe: Related - Third Cousins

Queen Elizabeth then descends 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).

The Queens of the UK and Denmark are third cousins

Queen Elizabeth II, 94, has reigned since 1952, while her third cousin, Margrethe II, 80, ascended the throne in 1972. The Queens are known to have a strong relationship, sharing many visits over the years.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe: Related - Third Cousins

Queen Elizabeth is 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 extends to Prince Philip, her husband. Click here to learn how the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are related.