Whether this be another case of “fake news” or in fact genuine, the claim is now being made that according to records in the respected “Burke’s Peerage,” British Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant, the 43rd great-granddaughter, of the Muslim prophet Mohammad. An online article link sent to us by a reader states, “Queen Elizabeth has begun claiming she is a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and has instructed BBC News to begin pushing this idea in the Muslim world, according to BBC staff.” This appeared in an editorial on yournewswire.com. Before relegating this as mere nonsense, it does appear that one of the Queen’s many ancestors may have been from Spain, which suffered under Muslim control for several hundred years before Christian rulers Ferdinand and Isabella regained control of the Iberian Peninsula.
From a political perspective, it makes practical sense to make such a claim. Britain has a large and fast growing Muslim population that has little or no real regard for British Christian royalty and its Christian heritage. It has been estimated that by the year 2020 there will be more British citizens worshiping in Muslim houses of worship than in Christian. To convince them that the British royal family is a legitimate heir of the prophet Muhammad might be being considered as a way to unite the nation behind the royal family.
British-Israel, in contrast, has long taught that the royal family is instead descended from King David of ancient Israel. This was also the view of Queen Victoria in the nineteenth century. Lady Jane Ellice, an ardent British-Israelite, was the last living of Victoria’s bridesmaids (died 1903), and it was through her influence that the Queen was introduced to our teaching. British and American newspapers of the era also commented on the Queen’s descent from David.
An article in the British newspaper St. James Gazette published September 6th, 1899 was reprinted in the B.I. journal, Banner of Israel, on November 15th of that year. The Gazette article stated, “Much of the Kaiser’s conviction regarding the divine origin of his authority is attributable to his firm belief that he is descended—through Queen Victoria—in an unbroken line from the Biblical King David, and that he therefore belongs to the same family as the founder of Christianity. He had just had sent to him from Windsor a copy of the Royal family tree, preserved there as a very sacred object by the Queen. This shows the name of King David engrossed at the root of the tree, with that of the Queen near the top. According to this tree, the reigning House of England is descended from King David through the eldest daughter of Zedekiah, who, with her sister, fled to Ireland in charge of the prophet Jeremiah, then a very old man, to be married to Heremon, who was then king of Ulster. In 1869, a Rev. Glover, a clergyman of the Church of England, who had devoted the greater portion of his life to the study of genealogy, addressed the Queen on the subject, and informed her that he had discovered her to be descended in an unbroken line from King David. Her Majesty sent for him to Windsor, and to his astonishment informed him that what he thought he had been the first to discover had been known to herself and the Prince Consort for very many years. It is interesting to note in this connection, by the way, that previous to the great revolution the Kings and Dauphins of France were wont to describe themselves as ‘first cousins’ of the Almighty: ‘Les cousins du bon Dieu.’”
Similarly, the American newspaper, The New York Herald, published an article titled, “Tracing Queen Victoria’s Descent” on August 27th, 1899 stating, “The possible descent of Queen Victoria from King David was first entered upon in the present day by the Rev. F.R.A. Glover, M.A., in England…He did not, however, attempt to give the genealogy links, nor enter into the proofs in detail. Since then the whole subject of Her Majesty’s Jewish ancestry has been further examined by various students and writers on our Israelitish origin. J.C. Stephens has compiled a genealogical chart, showing the connection between the House of David and the Royal Family of Britain. This gives the descent from Abraham to Zedekiah in full, as found in Matthew. It then gives twelve generations only between Heremon, B.C. 580, and Victoria, A.D. 1819, thus, of course, omitting a great number of links. The descent of the Royal Family from the royal line of Judah is, however, no new discovery. The Saxon Kings traced themselves back to Odin, who was traced back to his descent from David, as may be seen in a very ancient manuscript in the Herald’s College, London; and in Sharon Turner’s ‘History of the Anglo-Saxons.’ The full and complete genealogy of Victoria from David does not appear to have been ever printed, but in its compilation reliable works of reference have been used.”
Comprehensive research since that time has produced the complete genealogy of 100 generations from King David in the book, “The Royal House of Britain An Enduring Dynasty,” by Rev. W.M.H. Milner, now in its 15th edition and available from the Covenant Publishing Company in England (www.covpub.co.uk). This is a beautiful 48-page large-format hardbound book full of interesting information. Canadian B.I. Association (www.migrations.info) has available a brochure available for a small donation, “Our Ancient Throne” including a fascinating chart listing the lines of descent from Abraham to Queen Victoria.
The genealogy list supposedly linking the British royal family to the prophet Mohammad matches the British-Israel genealogy up to the time of Richard Plantagenet in the fifteenth century. The Muslim list then continues with Richard’s father, while the B.I. genealogy follows the line of his mother, Anne. Here is how the lists compare:
- Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (1411-1460) – son of:
- Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (1375-1415) – son of:
- Isabella Perez of Castille (1355-1392)– daughter of:
- Maria Juana de Padilla (d. 1361)–
- [several generations here omitted]
- Hasan ibn Ali, grandson of Mohammad
- Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (1411-1460) – son of:
- Anne de Mortimer, Countess of Cambridge (1390-1411), daughter of:
- Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March (1374-1398), son of:
- Philippa of Clarence, 5th Countess of Ulster (1355-1382)
- [numerous generations here omitted]
- David the Psalmist
There are serious problems in using the Muslim genealogy. Even if the descent of Queen Elizabeth from Mohammad were true, Hasan ibn Ali was founder of the Shi’a Muslim sect, which constitutes only approximately 10% of all Islamists worldwide, predominantly in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and, Yemen. The vast majority of the Moslem world is Sunni. According to the bbc.com website, “Shi’a was a movement – literally “Shiat Ali” or the “Party of Ali”. They claimed that Ali was the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad as leader (imam) of the Muslim community following his death in 632…The name “Sunni” is derived from the phrase “Ahl al-Sunnah”, or “People of the Tradition”. The tradition in this case refers to practices based on what the Prophet Muhammad said, did, agreed to or condemned.”
The same source warns, “In countries which have been governed by Sunnis, Shi’a tend to make up the poorest sections of society. They often see themselves as victims of discrimination and oppression. Sunni extremists frequently denounce Shi’a as heretics who should be killed.” Proclaiming Queen Elizabeth as the Shi’a successor could possibly cause the anger and resentment of the vast majority of Muslims in Britain, rather than being a source of unifying the country. In addition, Shi’a Islam is itself divided into three contentious branches today: the Zaidis, Ismailis and Ithna Asharis (Twelvers or Imamis). Unity and peace among Islamic branches in Britain and elsewhere in the foreseeable future has a bleak prospect.
Tracing the royal line through Richard Plantagenet’s father, Richard of Conisburgh is shaky. Rumors of the latter man’s illegitimacy were widespread at the time, and it is strongly suspected even today that his real father may have been John Holland, Duke of Exeter, or someone else. Richard of Conisburgh had a tragic life and was executed in A.D. 1415 for his role in the Southampton plot to kill the king. His mother Isabella was well-known at the time as “a woman with loose morals.” Richard of Conisburgh was not even mentioned in the wills of his father or brother, nor was he provided with an income to support himself. G.L. Harriss, of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, has speculated this could be proof that Richard of Conisburgh was not the son of the Duke of York, Richard Plantagenet. If so, there is no basis for the claim that the Queen is a direct descendant of Mohammad.
In summary, the British-Israel genealogy for the British royal family is much more viable than that of a supposed Muslim ancestry, but in our current environment of political correctness it will take a diligent effort on our part to get our message out and ensure that truth will prevail.