Victoria, born in 1819, was the longest reigning British monarch and the figurehead of a vast empire.
She succeeded her uncle, William IV, in 1837 at the age of 18, and her reign spanned the rest of the century.
In 1840, she married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha with whom she had nine children.
Victoria never fully recovered from Albert's death in 1861 and she remained in mourning for the rest of her life.
1841 - 1910
Reign: 1901 - 1910
Edward was king from 1901 to 1910, having been heir to Victoria for nearly 60 years.
The eldest son of Victoria and her prince consort, Albert, he was subjected to a strict regime from an early age, as his parents were keen to ensure he was prepared to rule.
He attended both Oxford and Cambridge and briefly joined the Army. A liaison with an actress caused considerable scandal and Prince Albert visited his son to reprimand him.
Albert died two weeks later and Victoria held her son partly responsible for his death.
1865 - 1936
Reign: 1910 - 1936
The second son of the Prince of Wales, George was 18 when he entered the Royal Navy, but the death of his elder brother in 1892 meant he had to leave the career he enjoyed, as he was now heir to the throne.
He became king in 1910 and won widespread respect during World War I when he visited the front line, hospitals, factories and dockyards.
In 1917 anti-German feeling led him to adopt the family name of Windsor, replacing the Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
1895 - 1952
Reign: 1936 - 1952
George VI became king suddenly following the 1936 abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, who relinquished the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
A shy man who battled throughout his life with a nervous stammer, George VI worked hard to adapt to this unexpected role, particularly during the difficult years of World War II when he visited the Allied armies on several battle fronts.
He married minor Scottish aristocrat Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - better known later as the Queen Mother.
Queen Elizabeth II
Reign: 1952 -
Born in 1926, the first child of Albert, Duke of York, and his wife, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Elizabeth II initially had little prospect of succeeding to the throne.
But when her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936, her father became King George VI and she became heir. Her father died in 1952 while she was in Kenya with her husband, the former Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark - the Duke of Edinburgh.
She returned home immediately, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
The eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles - the Prince of Wales - is next in line to the throne.
After studying at Cambridge, he served with the Royal Navy and later married Lady Diana Spencer. The couple separated in 1992 and Diana died in a car crash five years later.
In 2005, the Prince married Camilla Parker Bowles, who uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles is well-known for his charity work, especially with the Prince's Trust, which helps thousands of disadvantaged youngsters.
The elder son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, William is second-in-line to the throne.
As a schoolboy he witnessed the breakdown of his parents' marriage, followed by the tragic death of his mother in a car crash in Paris.
After an education at the elite private school Eton, he went to study at St Andrews University, where he met his wife-to-be, Kate Middleton.
He went on to train as an officer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and in 2010 he qualified as an RAF search and rescue pilot.
Catherine Middleton was born into a middle-class family from Bucklebury, Berkshire.
The eldest of three children, she was educated at the exclusive Marlborough College in Wiltshire and went on to study art history at St Andrews University, where she shared accommodation with Prince William.
After graduating, she worked as an accessories buyer for High Street chain Jigsaw but later joined the family business Party Pieces.
Born in 1955, Kate's mother moved with her family to a semi-detached house in Norwood Green, London, when she was 11 years old.
After school, she worked as an air stewardess for British Airways where she met her husband-to-be Michael Middleton, a flight dispatcher.
After having three children, Carole set up a successful family business, Party Pieces, which provided the income to send her children to private school.
At first, Michael Middleton followed in the footsteps of his father training to become a pilot, but later switched to a career with ground crew.
After meeting his future wife, air stewardess Carol Goldsmith, through work, the couple moved in together in Slough.
They later headed to Bradfield Southend, Reading, before getting married and having three children. It was here that Carole set up the family's successful business, Party Pieces.
The couple later moved to suburban London
1935 - 2006
Dorothy Harrison, the daughter of a carpenter, was born into a working-class family that had little money or education.
However, according to relatives, the young shop assistant was full of ambition.
Once married to Ronald Goldsmith, Dorothy - known to some as "Lady Dorothy" - pushed for a better quality of life.
The couple managed to move from a condemned flat in west London to a council house and then on to buy their own home.
Mr Goldsmith did his national service
1931 - 2003
Ronald, who lost his father when he was just six, left school at 14 and dabbled in a number of jobs to make ends meet.
He was called up for National Service and was sent to Aqaba, Jordan.
On his return, he worked as a haulage driver and engineer for his brother-in-law in west London and met Dorothy, a sales assistant with bags of ambition.
Ron later set up in business as a builder.
Mr Middleton worked at Heathrow
World War II was declared on Peter's 19th birthday, and he joined the RAF.
After he was demobbed, he became a civilian pilot and married bank manager's daughter Valerie Glassborow. Valerie and her twin sister Mary had been brought up in Marseille and were bilingual.
Peter later landed a job as a pilot instructor based at Heathrow and moved his family to Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
The family left County Durham for London
1904 - 1976
Kate's great-grandfather, Thomas, was apprenticed to his maternal grandfather as a carpenter and became the first in the Harrison family to learn a trade.
He married Elizabeth Temple and, after serving in World War II, he and his wife moved from County Durham to the outskirts of London with their two daughters, Ruth and Dorothy - Kate's grandmother.
Virtually penniless, they lived in Southall, west London.
Mr Goldsmith served in the Royal Fusiliers
1886 - 1938
Charlie, who moved to Uxbridge from his family home in Southall, worked as a mechanic. He met his future wife Edith Chandler before serving in France with the Royal Fusiliers.
When Charlie died of asthma and acute bronchitis, Edith moved with her youngest children, including Ronald - Kate's grandfather - to a condemned flat. She worked on a production line to make ends meet before she died aged 81.
The Glassborow family spent time in Marseille
1889 - 1954
Frederick, a bank manager at the London and Westminster Bank, joined the Royal Navy in 1914.
Demobbed in 1919, Frederick returned to his bank job and met his wife-to-be Constance Robison, a bank manager's daughter from Leytonstone.
The couple had twin girls - including Kate's grandmother Valerie - and travelled to Valencia and Marseille with his work before heading back to the UK to settle in Leeds.
Mr Middleton, like his father, worked in Leeds
1878 - 1951
Kate's great-grandfather Noel was just 10 years old when he became an orphan, but he had been left enough money to be privately educated and to live a comfortable lifestyle.
He attended Clifton College in Bristol as a boarder before heading to Leeds University and qualifying as a solicitor.
He met and married aristocrat Olive Lupton and served in World War I in the Somme.
Ms Lupton attended the prestigious Roedean school
1881 - 1936
Olive Lupton, educated at the prestigious private school Roedean, came from an aristocratic Leeds family who had made their fortune as wool merchants in the 18th century.
Her paternal grandmother, Fanny, was directly descended from Sir Thomas Fairfax, a leading Parliamentarian general in the English Civil War.
Prince William is also descended from Fairfax through the Spencer line, making Kate and William fifteenth cousins.
Mr Middleton worked and married in Leeds
1807 - 1884
The son of a joiner and cabinet-maker from Wakefield, William climbed the social rankings when he qualified as a solicitor.
While working in Leeds, he met and married Mary Ward, the daughter of a milliner, with whom he had eight children.
When Mary died after a short illness at the age of 48, William married his sister-in-law - Sarah Ward.
The couple moved to a mansion in Chapel Allerton where they employed two servants.
Mr Harrison worked down the mines
1796 - 1866
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Kate's great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Harrison, worked as a coal miner and lived in the Newcastle suburb of Byker Hill with his wife Jane and their children.
After his wife's death from tuberculosis at the age of 50, he headed south to the pit villages of County Durham.
He died of liver failure in 1866 at the age of 70.
Source: Claudia Joseph's Kate: The Making of a Princess, William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services, BBC History