Monarchies are somewhat un-modern and are a concept from another time and place in history. That kind of luxe just ain’t for us here in the U.S., and we crave a different kind of buzz, or, at the very least, a different sort of government and figurehead. We prefer our federal republic and president, thank you very much.
Still, that doesn’t stop us from being transfixed by England’s royal family. Kate Middleton is largely responsible for our renewed interest in the British crew (we admit, we can’t stop clicking on every photo of her trip down under with William and Prince George), which waned a bit after the much-loved Princes Diana perished in a car accident in 1997. That lead us to dig up 9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Royal Family. Unless, of course, you are some sort of scholar who is well-versed in these sorts of things.
Do they have a last name? Will Kate be Queen? What in heck is Harry’s real name? And what are Prince William’s nicknames? We’ve gathered up quite a bit of monarchy intel:
2. Queen Elizabeth II is probably in love with being queen, to borrow a lyrical phrase from Lorde and “Royals,” since she has done it for so long. Liz is a “Queen Regnant,” meaning she reigns in her own right, having inherited the throne from her father, as opposed to being married to a King. She has had the second longest term of service in the monarchy’s history, serving for over 60 years.
3. When Billy and Kate, as we like to call them, got engaged, they let the Queen and Prince Philip know just two hours before the news became public. So modern of them, right? They do things their way!
4. The Ginger Kid aka Prince Harry has a given name of Henry Charles Albert David. But everyone calls him Harry. He doesn’t look like a Hank, which is often the nickname of dudes named Henry. Are we right or are we right?
5. Billy and Kate are reportedly 12th cousins, once removed, whatever that means. She actually has ties to some famous Americans. A report published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston traced Kate’s lineage, reporting that she is eighth cousins, seven times removed, with George Washington. She is also a cousin of Francis Scott Key, who penned “The Star-Spangled Banner” and there is also some sort of tie to Ellen DeGeneres. No, really. So Kate is firmly Team America in some ways. Go ahead, royal watchers — lay claim.
6. What in the hell is their last name? Do they actually have one? Well, yes, actually. The Queen — can we call her “Betsy” or “Beth,” even? — declared her descendants would have “Mountbatten-Windsor” as their surname, if needed. “Mountbatten” is Philip’s surname. Anyone whose style is “HRH (His or Her Royal Highness) Prince or Princess” does not require a surname, but they can use Mountbatten-Windsor if needed. Mostly, however, royals are known by their Royal house.
7. Prince William has enjoyed a plethora of interesting nicknames, among them Big Willie, P.Willie, Wills, Billy, Wombat, Prince of Wails, and His Naughtiness. Big Willie? Is someone trying to tell us something about the, er, crown jewels? And Wombat? Oh boy! His real name, though, is Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. And he is the Duke of Cambridge. SO. MANY. NAMES.
8. Big Willie — we can use his nicknames if we want– has a self-proclaimed, Harry Potter-like scar on his forehead? What happened? He was hit with a golf club as a child. OUCH! It was a total accident, caused by a friend. Oopsie! Of the wound, the Prince said, “That was for my Harry Potter scar, as I call it, just here. I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it – other times they don’t notice it at all.” It glows in the dark? What’s in his blood, besides the royal DNA? We can’t even…
9. “Middleton” is no longer Kate’s surname. She is now “Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.” And for those wondering, “Will Kate ever be Queen?” Well, it’s tricky. She will be a “Queen Consort” when William inherits the throne from his father, Prince Charles. A Queen Consort is the wife of a King.