When people in the West talk about THE royal family, they’re usually referring to the British monarchy – not the Jordanian or Saudi monarchies.
At the same time, England’s royalty has a very close – and long – relationship with the Saudi royals and other monarchies throughout the world.
But who is the Duchess of Cambridge? Kate Middleton? What about Megan Markle?
Let’s take a look.
Who Is the Royal family and What Do They Actually Do?
Sustaining a royal family isn’t a cheap undertaking.
Once you factor security and living arrangements, the British royals cost about $307 million each year and this number tends to rise quite a bit annually. This money comes out of citizens’ pockets in the form of taxes.
Some argue that this is a minor inconvenience due to the large revenue from tourism. Indeed, people flock from all around the world to see Buckingham Palace and the royal grounds. Royal births and weddings are huge tourist booms for the U.K.
The Duchess of Cambridge aka. Kate Middleton aka. Princess Kate
Kate Middleton is known throughout the world as the official Duchess of Cambridge. It’s possible that Princess Kate could see the ultimate throne in her lifetime because her husband, Prince William, is second in line to become king.
The Duchess of Cambridge is an international fashion icon triggering what’s known as “the Kate Middleton effect” due to her refined style. This earned Princess Kate a slot on Time’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in both 2012 and 2013. Kate is currently expecting her third child with the Duke of Cambridge.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, actress Megan Markle is engaged to wed Prince Harry this spring. Although she isn’t a member of the family yet, Megan Markle made headlines after announcing her engagement due to her race. Her father is white and her mother is a descendent of enslaved African Americans in Georgia.
Her soon-to-be husband is fifth in line for the throne. They’ve been in a loving relationship since 2016 but kept things private for the first six months.
Prince William is second in line for the throne – just behind his father, Charles. After graduating from the prestigious University of St. Andrews, Prince William spent a gap year hanging out in Chile, Belize, and various parts of Africa.
He’s spent his fair share of time serving in the Royal Air Force and British Army where he trained as a cadet and helicopter pilot respectively. When Prince William isn’t taking part in royal duties like speaking on behalf of the kingdom, he often plays polo or football.
Prince Harry spent his gap year in Lesotho and Australia before training at the Royal Military Academy and entering the Blues and Royals. In fact, Prince Harry actually served in Afghanistan’s Helmand province for ten weeks before an Australian magazine blew his cover.
This prince is very active in many organizations and foundations. He launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and actively participates in Walking with The Wounded and the HALO Trust.
Queen Elizabeth II
Born in 1926, Queen Elizabeth II has seen her fair share of world events. She became the world’s oldest monarch after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died in 2015.
In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since the country gained independence from the kingdom in 1922. In addition to Ireland’s independence, this queen has seen several portions of the British monarchy fall throughout Africa and Asia.
Queen Elizabeth II fell in love with her husband, Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark, at the age of 13. The two officially became engaged in 1947.
Prince Phillip is married to the British Queen. His family was exiled from Greece when Prince Phillip was just a baby. Later in life, during World War II, Prince Phillip served the kingdom with the British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and Pacific regions.
There’s More Than One Royal Family
Although the United Kingdom’s royal family tends to get the most attention, several royal families exist throughout the world. Wherever there’s a monarchy, you’ll find a royal family.
No one seems to make more waves throughout the world than the Saudi royals. This family is notorious for their lavish lifestyles, and unruly or often criminal behavior. One Saudi princess recently had a French arrest warrant issued in her name for ordering a body guard to assault an interior decorator in Paris.
Additional royal families live in Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, Japan, Morocco, Thailand, Sweden, and several other countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.