Weird History
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14 Facts About The British Royal Family We Just Learned Today That Made Us Say 'Whoa'

Updated April 9, 2021 42.5k votes 8.5k voters 1.1m views14 items

List RulesVote up the royal family tidbits that made you spit out your tea.

To those who live outside the United Kingdom and its associated commonwealths, the British royal family may seem like a curious anachronism. A dynasty of monarchs in the 21st century, you say? In an age of smartphones and privatized space flight? How quaint! Yet there's no denying the popular appetite for odd and interesting facts about the British royal family.

History fans on Reddit are fond of sharing trivia about the British royals, and the following list includes some fascinating information. These are some of the most intriguing British royal family facts.

  • 1

    If Royal Succession Laws Had Not Been Changed, A 25-Year-Old German Woman Would Be Heir To The English Throne

    From Redditor u/nokia621:

    TIL in 2011, it was discovered that a 25-year-old German woman who works for an online furniture company is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and could have been Queen of England if it wasn't for a technicality that has now been fixed.*

    Source

    *[EDITOR'S NOTE: While Redditor u/nokia621 is generally correct, this point requires a couple of clarifications. First, the word "discovered" is inaccurate. Felicitas Catharine Malina Johanna von Reiche, the 25-year-old German woman mentioned, was already aware of her connection to the British Royal Family via her descent from Wilhelm II, the last German emperor and King of Prussia (this was not "discovered" by any kind of surprise genealogy test). Second, von Reiche would technically be the heir apparent, and her mother, 52-year-old Friederike Thyra Marion Wilhelmine Dorothea von der Osten, would be the Queen. As der Osten explains in the Telegraph article linked in the Source above, "I have always been aware of my place as descendant of Queen Victoria and that, if different succession rules had been observed, I could have had a right to the British throne."]

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  • 2

    The British Royal Family May Be Descendants Of The Viking Rollo, The First Ruler Of Normandy

    From Redditor u/cro-maat:

    TIL that Norse Viking warrior Rollo is an ancestor of the present-day British royal family, as well as an ancestor of all current European monarchs and a great many pretenders to abolished European thrones.

    Source

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  • 3

    King George V Was Euthanized

    From Redditor u/vanillagurilla:

    TIL King George V's death was actually the result of euthanasia; after a brief illness, his personal physician administered a shot of a gram of cocaine and a 3/4 gram of morphine, resulting in his death. This was done in part for the news to make the morning papers as opposed to the evening edition.

    Source

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  • 4

    The Marathon Is 26.2 Miles Because Of The British Royal Family

    From Redditor u/429300:

    TIL the reason the marathon is 26.2 miles long is due to the British Royal Family. At the 1908 London Olympics the race was started from Windsor Castle to accommodate a younger member [of the royal family], and an extra 385 yards was needed so as to finish at the royal box in the White City Stadium.

    Source

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