Who’s who among the foreign royals at Westminster Abbey? Monarchs from across Europe, the Middle East and Japan unite to honour the Queen – including Letizia of Spain and Maxima of the Netherlands
- Foreign royals from around the world sat side-by-side in Westminster Abbey today to mourn the Queen
- Thanks to family ties that date back generations, many European royals have a close relationship to the Queen
- Princess Beatrix, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands sat in the front row
- Meanwhile Swedish, Danish and Norwegian royals all sat alongside one another for the service
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Kings and Queens from around the worlds sat side-by-side in Westminster Abbey today as they mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II during her state funeral.
Emperors, kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and other foreign dignitaries have descended on the British capital for Her Majesty’s state funeral.
And today, they filed into place in Westminster Abbey where they were seated in front of the Queen’s coffin for the service as her body was laid to rest today.
Thanks to family ties that date back generations, many European royals have a particularly close relationship to the Queen. Spain‘s reigning King Felipe even knew her as his ‘dear Aunt Lilibet’.
Kings and Queens from around the worlds sat side-by-side in Westminster Abbey today as they mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II during her state funeral (pictured: 1. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands 2. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands 3. King Willem-Alexander 4. Queen Silvia of Sweden 5. King Carl Gustaf of Sweden 6. Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark 7. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark 8. King Harald of Norway 9. Queen Sonja of Norway 10. Queen Sofía of Spain 11. King Juan Carlos of Spain 12. Queen Letizia of Spain 13. King Felipe of Spain 14. Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria 15. Princess Charlene of Monaco 16. Prince Albert of Monaco 17. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg 18. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg 19. Queen Mathilde of Belgium 20. King Philippe of Belgium 21. Prince Radu of Romania 22. Margareta of Romania 23. Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece 24. Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece 25. Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein 26. Hereditary Prince Alois)
Revealed: How the monarchies of Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg are related to the Queen. All the major royal houses of Europe will be represented at the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey today
1. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, who abdicated in 2013, attended alongside her son King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and daughter-in-law Queen Maxima.
The Dutch royals were also among the first to pay tribute to Her Majesty.
The official account for the Dutch Royal Family posted photos of the Queen, the new King Charles III and the new Queen Consort Camilla hosting Willem-Alexander and Máxima at Buckingham Palace on a state visit in October 2018.
The statement read: ‘We remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection.
‘Steadfast and wise, she dedicated her long life to serving the British people. We feel a strong bond with the United Kingdom and its royal family, and we share their sorrow at this time.
‘We are very grateful for our countries’ close friendship, to which Queen Elizabeth made such an unforgettable contribution.’
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, who abdicated in 2013, attended alongside her son King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and daughter-in-law Queen Maxima
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands arrived alongside Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander this afternoon for the state funeral
2. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Queen Maxima attended alongside her husband King Willem-Alexander and her mother-in-law Princess Beatrix.
The Queen is descendant from Princess Carolina through her paternal grandmother Queen Mary, wife of King George V.
She was dressed in a smart black ensemble for the occasion.
3. King Willem-Alexander
Sitting alongside Queen Maxima was her husband King Willem-Alexander.
The royal, who was the first to RSVP to the Queen’s funeral, is the Queen’s fifth cousin once removed thanks to an ancient connection in their family tree.
Willem-Alexander is a descendant of Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau, who was the daughter of William IV, Prince of Orange, and his wife Anne, the eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain and his consort Caroline of Ansbach.
4. Queen Silvia of Sweden
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 77, a German-Brazilian former flight attendant was in attendance and sat between her husband King Carl Gustaf and King Willem-Alexander
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 77, a German-Brazilian former flight attendant was in attendance and sat between her husband King Carl Gustaf and King Willem-Alexander.
Earlier this week, she was among the monarchs who travelled to Westminster Hall to pay tribute to the late Queen.
The Swedish royals looked solemn as they viewed Her Majesty’s coffin from the platform inside Westminster Hall on Sunday.
5. King Carl Gustaf of Sweden
At the age of 75 Carl is the longest reigning monarch in Swedish history, having took to the throne in 1973.
King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden is one of the European royals with the closest ties to the Queen.
He is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and was a third cousin of the late Monarch.
That is because the Swedish King is the great-grandson of Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, and is also related, on her mother’s side to Victoria’s eighth son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany.
Carl paid his condolences to his ‘dear relative’ following the Queen’s death.
‘The Queen served Her countries and the Commonwealth with an outstanding devotion and sense of duty. She has been a constant presence, not only in British society but internationally. In addition, she has always been a good friend to my family and a link to our shared family history,’ he said in a statement.
6. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was in attendance today alongside his mother Queen Margrethe (pictured together)(
Following Elizabeth II’s death, Margrethe II of Denmark has become the only living Queen in the world (pictured arriving at the state funeral today alongside Crown Prince Frederick)
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was in attendance today alongside his mother Queen Margrethe.
It was initially believed his wife Australian-born Princess Mary would be joining, but local media in Denmark has since reported she is no longer attending due to a UK Foreign Office error meaning only two royals from each state can attend.
7. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
The Queen of Denmark celebrated her Golden Jubilee at the weekend, but modified the event’s proceedings after the death of the Queen was announced.
Following Elizabeth II’s death, Margrethe II of Denmark has become the only living Queen in the world.
The 82-year-old is also now the second longest reigning monarch in the world, second only to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
She is also the world’s longest serving current head of state. While the Sultan of Brunei has been a monarch since 1967, he only became head of state in 1984 – when Brunei gained independence from the UK.
Both Queens are great-great granddaughters of Queen Victoria – making them third cousins – with Margrethe often looking up to Elizabeth like a big sister.
In May, Margrethe told the UK’s ITV news that Elizabeth, 14 years her senior, was a ‘huge inspiration’ to her as the only other living Queen.
‘[Queen Elizabeth] was 26 when she became Queen. When I was growing up, I hoped I wouldn’t be as young as that when my father died. It made an enormous impression on me. The fact that she was dedicating her life. I understood what that meant. This is for life. That is the whole point of my life. And I know she sees that too,’ she said.
‘When I was growing up, my mother and father said to me, “look at what they do in England” and I could see that it could be done and it was worthwhile and you could live a very full life with it, even with a heavy schedule and demanding job.’
She is also the first cousin of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf through Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Margaret of Connaught.
Margaret of Connaught was the daughter of Queen Victoria’s third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. She was also Queen Margrethe’ and Carl Gustav’s great-aunt.
In a statement she wished the new King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla her ‘deepest thoughts and prayers’ after Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at Balmoral.
Speaking on behalf of the Danish family she was ‘deeply moved’ by the sad news of her ‘beloved mother’s death’.
‘I send you and Camilla my warmest thoughts and prayers,’ she said.
‘She was a towering figure among the European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all. We shall miss her terribly.
‘Her 70 years of reign and service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth are an unprecedented and remarkable achievement.
‘We shall always remember her important contributions to their development and prosperity.’
8. King Harald of Norway
King Harald of Norway is a second cousin of Queen Elizabeth and 78th in line to the British throne. Harald V has ruled the Scandinavian country since January 1991, succeeding his father, Olav V.
Today, King Harald of Norway, walking with the aid of two crutches, looked dapper in military dress as he arrived for the funeral
King Harald of Norway is a second cousin of Queen Elizabeth and 78th in line to the British throne. Harald V has ruled the Scandinavian country since January 1991, succeeding his father, Olav V.
Harald V and the Queen shared the same great-grandparents, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The Queen’s grandfather King George V was the brother of Harald’s grandmother Princess Maude, who married King Haakon VII.
Paying tribute to Her Majesty, the King said: ‘Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and the members of the Royal Family on the loss of Queen Elizabeth.
‘For nearly a century, Her Majesty devoted her life to the service of the Commonwealth, following the British people through good days and bad, in times of happiness and sorrow. We also send our condolences to the British people.’
Earlier this week, he visited the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.
Today, King Harald of Norway, walking with the aid of two crutches, looked dapper in military dress as he arrived for the funeral.
9. Queen Sonja of Norway
Queen Sonja of Norway was in attendance alongside her husband King Harald, and sat alongside Queen Sofia of Spain.
10. Queen Sofía of Spain
The Spanish Royal family sat alongside one another today: With Queen Sofia, King Juan Carlos, Queen Letizia and King Felipe sitting side by side
King Juan Carlos was accompanied by a member of staff who appeared to hold his arm as they walked into the service today with his wife Queen Sofia
Queen Sofia of Spain was a third cousin of the Queen and a first cousin once removed of the Duke of Edinburgh.
She was in attendance today alongside her husband King Juan Carlos.
11. King Juan Carlos of Spain
King Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos, is a descendant of Queen Victoria. His grandmother, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, was the daughter of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice.
Juan Carlos, 83, who abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son Felipe VI, 53, has been living in Abu Dhabi since summer 2020 after becoming the target of several probes in Spain over his financial dealings.
There were questions over whether he would attend the funeral but he did attend today and sat among the mourners at Westminster Abbey.
He was accompanied by a member of staff who appeared to hold his arm as they walked into the service today with his wife Queen Sofia.
12. Queen Letizia of Spain
Queen Letizia of Spain, who worked as a journalist before she married King Felipe, was in attendance today and sat alongside her father-in-law
Queen Letizia of Spain, who worked as a journalist before she married King Felipe, was in attendance today and sat alongside her father-in-law.
She appeared pensive as they arrived for the event, with the mother-of-two opting for a black dress with a black fascinator with net detailing across her face for the occasion.
13. King Felipe of Spain
The Spanish King, who ascended the throne in 2014, was also be among the mourners at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
The Spanish King is related to the Queen on both sides of his family and referred to the monarch as ‘aunt Lilibet’.
His mother, Queen Sofia, was a third cousin of the Queen and a first cousin once removed of the Duke of Edinburgh.
He and his wife Queen Letizia have attended a number of events this week, like other foreign royals – including the reception at Buckingham Palace and visiting the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.
In a letter to King Charles posted on the Casa Real Twitter account following her death, King Felipe said he would ‘dearly’ miss his aunt.
He wrote: ‘Your Majesty, dearest Charles,
‘Deeply saddened by the sorrowful news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, your beloved mother.
‘I would like to offer Your Majesty and the British people, on my behalf and on the behalf of the Spanish government and people, our most heartfelt condolences.’
He continued: ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has undoubtedly witnessed, written and shaped many of the most relevant chapters in the history of our world during the last seven decades.
‘Her sense of duty, commitment and a whole life devoted to serving the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland set an example for all of us and will remain as a solid and valuable legacy for future generations.
‘Queen Letizia and I send Your Majesty and the whole family our love and prayers.
‘You are all in our hearts and thoughts. We will miss her dearly.’
14. Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria
Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria was in attendance today and sat alongside Princess Charlene of Monaco during the service today
As a boy, he was His Majesty Tsar Simeon II of the Bulgarians for three years before being deposed by the Soviets in 1946.
Half a century later, he ended up serving as prime minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005.
And today, he sat alongside monarchs from Spain and Monaco as he paid his respects to the Queen.
15. Princess Charlene of Monaco
Princess Charlene of Monaco, a South-African Olympic swimmer, was in attendance alongside her husband Prince Albert today
While their marriage has been plagued by controversy over the past year, the couple put on a united front and walked into the service arm-in-arm
Princess Charlene of Monaco, a South-African Olympic swimmer, was in attendance alongside her husband Prince Albert today.
Their marriage has been plagued by controversy over the past year with Albert admitting to two illegitimate children and Charlene spending a significant amount of time outside of Monaco.
The pair share seven-year-old twins Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco and Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès.
However they put on a united front today, and entered the service side-by-side with their arms intertwined.
16. Prince Albert of Monaco
Prince Albert of Monaco – who competed in bobsledding at the Winter Olympics five times from 1988 to 2002 -ascended to the Monaco throne after the death of his father, Prince Rainier III, on 6th April 2005.
Albert, who is the son of Grace Kelly, and Charlene put on a united front to pay tribute to Her Majesty at the service.
Through his father, Prince Rainer, Albert is 7th cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Their common ancestor is Johann Wilhelm Friso, Prince of Orange-Nassau.
17. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
Maria Teresa of Luxembourg sat between Prince Albert and her husband Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg today (pictured, Maria and Grand Duke Henri)
Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (L) arrived for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey
Maria Teresa of Luxembourg sat between Prince Albert and her husband Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg today.
She and her husband earlier visited the Queen’s coffin as it was lying in state at Westminster Hall.
18. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg and his wife Maria Teresa were also guests at today’s ceremony.
Henri, who came to power in 2000, is a relative of the Monarch via Leopold I, Prince Albert’s uncle.
Posting on Twitter after Her Majesty’s death, the Luxembourg royal family wrote: ‘Their Royal Highnesses are deeply moved and saddened by the news of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch deeply attached to the friendship between our two countries.
‘HRH the Grand Duke will send a message of condolence on behalf of the people of Luxembourg to the British Royal Family.’
19. Queen Mathilde of Belgium
Queen Mathilde of Belgium, dressed in elegant black mourning dress with a distinctive diamond necklace for the occasion, joined her husband today in London
Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Beligum were among the first to confirm their attendance for the State Funeral in London today
Queen Mathilde of Belgium, dressed in elegant black mourning dress with a distinctive diamond necklace for the occasion, joined her husband today in London.
She and her husband King Philippe were among the first to confirm their attendance.
They have also paid their respects to the royal family by visiting Westminster Hall earlier this week, and attending the Buckingham Palace reception last night.
Their daughter Princess Elisabeth, who will one day ascend the throne, last week represented her parents when she signed a book of condolence to the Queen in Brussels.
In a statement released shortly after the Queen’s death, the couple said: ‘[The Queen] was an extraordinary personality. We will always keep fond memories of this great Lady who throughout her reign showed dignity, courage and dedication.
‘Each of our meetings will remain forever etched in our memories. We extend our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and the British people. Rest in peace, Your Majesty, with your beloved husband.’
20. King Philippe of Belgium
The Queen’s distant cousin King Philippe of Belgium sat alongside his wife, Queen Mathilde.
The monarchs share several common ancestors, including Franz, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who was the grandfather of Queen Victoria and the father of King Leopold I of the Belgians.
They are also related via King Christian IX of Denmark, known as the ‘grandfather of Europe’ due to his far-reaching family tree. The Queen is King Christian IX’s great-great granddaughter. Philippe is his great-great-great-grandson.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attended the service without their four children.
21. Prince Radu of Romania
Prince Radu of Romania, a former actor, attended the service alongside his wife Margareta (pictured together)
Margareta, who was educated at a boarding school in Hampshire, is the eldest daughter of King Michael I of Romania and his wife Queen Anne, and was also in attendance
Prince Radu of Romania, a former actor, attended the service alongside his wife Margareta.
22. Margareta of Romania
Margareta, who was educated at a boarding school in Hampshire, is the eldest daughter of King Michael I of Romania and his wife Queen Anne.
She and her husband Prince Radu, a former actor, will attend the Queen’s funeral together.
Charles recently joined distant relative Margareta, head of the Romanian royal family, in Bucharest to visit Ukrainian refugees.
23. Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece
Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, attended today alongside her husband Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece (pictured)
In a statement last week, Crown Prince Pavlos thanked The Queen ‘for the kindness HM gave to my parents and family in times of need’
Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, attended today alongside her husband Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.
Upon hearing of the Queen’s death, Crown Princess Marie Chantal said: ‘A sad day today on hearing that Her Majesty the Queen passed. May she Rest In Peace and I am sure the heavens have a special place for her.
She taught us duty, honor, love and above all else courage. She ruled immaculately and was so loved. Thank you for your service and for showing my in-laws such kindness and love during their darkest days.’
24. Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
Prince Pavlos is the eldest son and second child of Constantine II, the last King of Greece from 1964 to 1973 and his wife, Anne-Marie of Denmark.
He is married to Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece.
In a statement last week he thanked The Queen ‘for the kindness HM gave to my parents and family in times of need.’
25. Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein was in attendance during the event today alongside Alois, the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein
Alois, the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein was the last European royal to confirm he would attend the Monarch’s ceremony. Aged 54, he has been regent of his country since 2004 ands has been raising his four children with his wife, Hereditary Princess Sophie, who was also in attendance
Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein was in attendance during the event today.
26. Hereditary Prince Alois
Alois, the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein was the last European royal to confirm he would attend the Monarch’s ceremony.
Aged 54, he has been regent of his country since 2004 and has been raising his four children with his wife, Hereditary Princess Sophie, who was also in attendance.
His father, Hans-Adam II, is the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein and an eighth cousin of Queen Elizabeth – making them one of the most distantly related royals in Europe.
They are both descendants of Ludwig, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.