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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a walkabout on March 8, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert)

When one is both a watcher of all things royal family and a data geek, finding someone who can channel both areas of interest into displays that are clear, innovative and fun is someone worth watching. Such is Matt Baker of UsefulCharts.com. The Vancouver-based educator (he has a PhD in education) has turned his love of charts and diagrams into a business selling visually-based material. He’s created large wall charts that cover everything from “Evolution and Classification of Life” and “Writing Systems of the World” to an “Alternative Periodic Table” and historical timelines. Most importantly, it’s how he organizes and displays huge topics that should be of interest to anyone dealing with the complexity involved in royalty.

A European royal family tree

European Royal family tree usefulcharts.com genealogy British Royal family netflix The Crown characters UsefulCharts.com A few years ago, he tackled 1,200 years of European royal history. Starting with Emperor Charlemagne, his detailed chart includes the sovereigns of all the major European nations, past and present. Especially valuable for anyone interested in genealogical is how he interconnects dynasties, allowing a reader to easily trace back connections.

I stumbled across Matt Baker’s Twitter feed in 2016, and was immediately intrigued by his creations. I bought his “European royal family tree” last year and it’s since become one of my favourite royal research tools. Sure, reading about Gorm the Old or Queen Berengaria may have much to do with Queen Elizabeth II and her family, but that’s not the point: exploring history’s highways as well as byways can open up new lines of interest that may not be apparent.

And, importantly, the librarian in me likes the thick paper (100 lb. cardstock), the sharp printing quality, and his use of colour.

The fun part of Matt Baker’s website is that he can’t seem to stop creating charts and diagrams, which are added to his blog. He’s created a venn diagram of the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic languages. He’s charted Britain’s Stuart monarchs and what would have happened if James II wasn’t deposed. He’s even showed how closely the actors who play the royals in The Crown look like their real-life counterparts.

Now, he’s created a large family tree that shows the current line of succession to the British throne, from Prince Charles (No. 1) down to King Harald V of Norway (No. 75) and the rest of his family. By only numbering the first 25, Baker avoids the clutter that often affects other family trees. Also, it’s easy to find a list online for those really, really curious. (Created just before Prince Louis’s birth, it lists the then-unnamed baby in the line.) He kindly gave me permission to include it in this blog, though I do recommend you follow the link in this paragraph to his blog, where you can zoom in for greater clarity.

Follow him: @UsefulCharts and UsefulCharts.com (yeah, yeah, he’s got a YouTube channel and other social media accounts, but these are the two that link to everywhere).

Matt Baker may not be as royal-obsessed as some of us (cough, cough), but his interest in the royal family is invaluable for the wider royal watching community.

Matt Baker Useful Charts British royal family genealogy family tree Queen Elizabeth II line of succession