Talk:Descent of Elizabeth II from Cerdic

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Is "descent" used in this context by genealogists or something? Or is it a British English thing? Anyone I know (US) would say "descendants", and my "British English A to Zed" doesn't mention a difference. Niteowlneils 05:58, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I know that those in the U.S. do not use "descendants" to refer to ancestors! The page title is a normal use of the word: the page shows the descent of Elizabeth II from the early Kings in Britain. There's no U.S./U.K. language divide at work here<g>. - Nunh-huh 06:04, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It's her descent from a particular ancestor. The article should be something like Descent of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom from Egbert of England (or something with fewer words). RickK 06:00, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)

"Descent" is a standard geneaology term for a line of descent from an ancestor to a descendant. Descent of Elizabeth II is Descent of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom from Egbert of England with fewer words. Adam 06:07, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

OK, my bad, reading closer I should have said "ancestors". And I am familiar with usages such as "of British descent" and "line of descent", but never bare "descent" like this. So genealogists use "descent" to specify that the list is just a single branch of the full "ancestor" tree, I guess? Seems confusing to this layman to have a word with a 'down'-ish prefix mean 'up' the family tree. The closest def in my dictionary is "your family origins, especially in relation to the country where your family came from: Today about 65,000 people of Chinese descent live in Santa Clara County., which to me implies this use really is specific to genealogists. Anyway, sounds like there's nothing that would be better, so I guess this is fine. (impressed by the fast response, BTW) Niteowlneils 06:28, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Finally figured out what title I would have expected: "Royal lineage of Queen Elizabeth II". Niteowlneils 06:43, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The difference is that Elizabeth has many royal ancestors, and it would be possible to create an ascending family tree with many branches to show them all. But she only has one descent in the direct royal line from the House of Wessex (or rather, she may have more than one, but this is the most direct one). Adam 06:54, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Which is why the title needs a "from". RickK 19:43, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)

this article should show her own (agnatic) family, not this highly selective mix.

Where is the logic?[edit]

Maybe I don't understand this because I am from the U.S., but I don't get the logic of this chart. If you are going to have a chart showing the royal descent of Queen Elizabeth II from one particular monarch, wouldn't it make more historical sense for that monarch to be William I? Or at least a line of descent that includes him? She is in fact descended from William I, as he is the father of Henry I, who married the descendant of the Saxon kings. Or to put it another way, the Saxon kings get in on the act only because a woman descended from them married someone who was already King -- Henry I. Henry I was king (and ultimately, Elizabeth II is Queen) because of Henry I's father, not because of his wife. The Saxon kings are an important part of history, but in terms of the ancestry of the current monarch, they are sort of a footnote. Of course, there could be 2 charts, one showing the descent from William I and the other from the Saxons, or one chart showing both, it wouldn't be too difficult because William I himself (and his wife) would be the only names that would have to be added. But to have one chart showing the royal ancestry of the Queen without including William I makes no sense to me. Zeutron 01:05, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I have now edited the existing chart into a "mockup" of a new chart showing the Queen's descent from William I, with changes to the introductory paragraphs reflecting the deletion of the Saxon kings from the chart. It can be seen here. Some information still has to be added and some of the spacing needs to be fixed so things line up right. I am not sure how it should be linked to what already exists, or even whether it should "go live" at all. I would appreciate any comments here or on my talk page. Zeutron 01:03, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, call me dense, and I too am from the USA, but The Queen is descended from MANY folks, and the original chart here shows descent from an English king even before William I.
Charts showing her descent from William I are a dime-a-dozen and most folks with any knowledge of English history could draw one from memory, but this one shows an even more ancient ancestry and I, for one, find it more valuable for that reason. Her descent from William I is not especially unusual, for Marie Antoinette, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors and the present-day Kings of Spain, Sweden, Norway and Belgium, as well as the present-day Queens of the Netherlands and Denmark, the present Princes of Monaco and Liechtenstein, and the Grand Duke of Luxemburg are also descended from William I. I say leave this chart along -- it is more valuable as it stands. --StanZegel 03:08, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Surely most people alive today in the UK are probably descendants of Egbert? Morwen - Talk 10:11, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

A better line?[edit]

Please note that there is another article, Direct descent from William I to Elizabeth II, that shows the descent from William I along the senior primogeniture line (not for example through the illegitimate line of John of Gaunt) that addresses many of the points above. It also has additional sections showing the linkage of the Normans back further to Alfred and the other Saxon kings. NoSeptember 19:58, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


I think that this article needs a better, more concise name... Names can be general, but this is far too general. Charles 19:30, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Why does this page exist?[edit]

What is the benefit of having a page that basically just says, "look at the chart, but some of the early connections may not be authentic", then says, that there are breaks, but 'hereditary succession has never been broken', only to explain that for 550 years, this supposed inheritance and the actual crown resided in different people, and to additionally document the fact that any such inheritance has been redefined and otherwise manipulated, but in the end, Elizabeth happens to have this descent. At least as written, this is little more than genealogical trivia. Agricolae (talk) 23:15, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


There was a question above - "Surely most people alive today in the UK are probably descendants of Egbert?" If Eqbert is Queen Elizabeth's ancester 51 generations ago - well note that at that level Queen Elizabeth (and all of us) have have two to the power of 51 such ancesters - namely 2,251,799,813,685,248 ancesters. This is much more than the number of people living at that time (or indeed today). We know that we often have common ancesters - but clearly there are many more the further back you go. So the question is quite valid - the amount of common ancesters is enormous. For example - in 150 years (from Queen Victoria) there are more than 1000 people with Victoria as a common ancester - incluing the Queen and Prince Phillip. The point is, provided records were kept UK descendants we probably all have Eqbert as an ancester. Alan Davidson (talk) 02:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Various problems with page[edit]

This page is rife with problems. In fact, I still have doubts that the subject merits a page. That being said:

"This table shows the descent of Elizabeth II from Egbert, traditionally regarded as first King of England,"
He is not regarded as such, just the immediate founder of the dynasty that would become Kings of England.
"and before that from Cerdic, founder of the House of Wessex. Some of the links between Cerdic and Egbert are a little uncertain, and there is some doubt that Egbert was a descendant of Cerdic, or that Cerdic existed at all."
This needs to be discussed if it is to be mentioned. It is true that there are problems, but to just say so and then pretend that they are irrelevant is rather pointless.
"There are 39 generations between Egbert and Elizabeth, and a further 12 between Cerdic and Egbert."
Is the page about descent from Egbert or Cerdic? Focusing on Egbert is to highlight the possible problems that are left undiscussed.
"For Elizabeth's descent in the male line, see her patrilineal descent, which can be traced back to Conrad the Great."
Irrelevant to the point of the page.
"There are several breaks in the line of descent, but the hereditary succession has never been entirely broken."
What does this mean? There either is a line of descent or there isn't. "Never entirely broken" is like "never entirely pregnant". It either exists unbroken or it doesn't. Further, the line of descent shown is not one of hereditary succession, or it would not end with Elizabeth.
"When William the Conqueror, who had no hereditary claim, seized the English throne in 1066, the House of Wessex in the male line became extinct,"
This is untrue. The rule by the male line ended, (and there had been an earlier decades-long gap) but again, the name of this page indicates it is about descent, not rule, so the fact that the rule was broken does not mean the descent was broken.
"but continuity was re-established when Henry I married Matilda, a great-granddaughter of Edmund II."
This ignores the fact that William II and Henry I were also descended from Egbert. If, as is stated below, only the senior line counts, then the continuity is not re established. If non-senior lines count, then William I was the only ruler not representing Cerdic's line.
"In 1485 the throne was seized by Henry VII, who was a great-great-grandson of Edward III through an illegitimate descent, and whose family had been specifically excluded from the throne. Henry re-established the legitimate royal descent by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, so that his son Henry VIII had a sound hereditary claim."
This is completely irrelevant to the descent being shown. This page is not titled "Succession to the English crown".
"The line of descent, however, travels through the descendants of Lionel of Antwerp, who was the oldest son of Edward III."
The line of descent travels through all of the descendants. The line of descent shown on this page does not involve Lionel at all.
"The line of descent returned to the throne when James I ascended the throne of England, uniting England with Scotland, where he was known as James VI."
In the context of the earlier argument that the line of descent went through Lionel, this is contradictory.
"In 1603 the Tudor line became extinct when Elizabeth I died childless. But the throne passed to James I, a great-great-grandson of Henry VII."
Again, what does this have to do with the descent from Cerdic, since it isn't being traced through the Tudors at all?
"Again, in 1714 the Protestant Stuart line became extinct with the death of Queen Anne, but the throne passed to George I, a great-grandson of James I."
And the same again. Why is the throne being followed, when the page is about the descent?
"The Queen rules by virtue of her descent from the Electress Sophia of Hanover (shown as the final generations below) by the Act of Settlement, 1701, rather than by reason of her descent from any earlier Kings of England."
This rather suggests the whole page is irrelevant.
"In all, the descent from Cerdic to Elizabeth II encompasses fifty-one generations, making the line one of the longest recorded in the world."
This, and the millions of other descents of Elizabeth from Cerdic, and the descent from Cerdic to just about everyone else in Europe.
"The reason that the line of descent follows the monarchs of Scotland is that the male line is always followed first."
POV, and false. Were this the case, it would not lead to Elizabeth.
"Therefore, the son of St. Margaret, David I of Scotland, is followed as opposed to David's sister, who married Henry I of England. The line of David I is therefore a more senior line."
True, but so what? What does the senior line have to do with Elizabeth, who doesn't represent the senior line?

I now have to ask again, what is the point of this page? Is it to trace the senior line of Cerdic? If so, it may end up in some obscure Russian nobleman or a minor Devonshire Baronet or the Duke of Parma. If it is to show that Elizabeth holds some claim due to her descent from Cerdic, then the whole point is negated by indicating Elizabeth's claim is to descent from Sophia. If it is to show that the English crown has some linkage to descent from Cerdic, then it should be following the English crown. If it is just "Hey, here is a neat piece of genealogical trivia", then the need for the page should be reevaluated. The page just doesn't know what it wants to be, and as such is a mess of OR by synthesis, POV in the choice of content, contradictory reasoning and irrelevancy.

It needs to be cleaned up. I am not the person to do it, because I can't tell what the reason for the page is, but if no one else does it, I will either go at it with a hacksaw or propose it for deletion. Agricolae (talk) 17:44, 9 January 2009 (UTC)