Why was the Windsor-1 Royal family tree. removed from Wikitree?

+9 votes

Until the recent wedding of Prince harry to Megan Markle, the Windsor family tree was  public and available on Wikitree. Now since the publicity of the American Commoner marrying a Royal, the tree of Queen Elizabeth II and her lines have been made private and no longer available. Even Megan Markle and her father Thomas Markle's trees were available last week, but now have been either taken down or made unavailable. Last week I was able to trace my relationship to Megan mMarkle, her father Thomas, and her mother's English ancestry.

Up until last week, I was able to trace my lineage to my Cousin Prince Charles and validate that Megan Markle is indeed descended from Royalty. 
Now all that info has been removed.
Even the Windsor-1 Queen Elizabeth II has been removed from Wikitree Connections.
This is an outrage. The Royal family and ALL celebrities that place themselves in the public eye have no right to claim privacy on Wikitree.
All their lineage is already in the public domain. 
Does anyone know at what point in the Windsor line, the tree is still accessible? What is the explanation behind this?
WikiTree profile: Queen Elizabeth II Windsor
in Genealogy Help by Christine Zakary G2G6 Mach 1 (10.3k points)

2 Answers

+13 votes
All profiles of living people who are not WikiTree members were made private because of the GDPR. An exception for notables may be made in the future.

Her father is open: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sachsen-Coburg_und_Gotha-4
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (475k points)
Thank you. yes, a Wikitree exception for Notables definitely needs to be applied here. There is nothing secret to protect about the Windsor living Royals lineage. Even the lineage of recent addition  Megan Markle has been already publicized in the magazines and evening news. Also, Megan Markle as a Hollywood actress and TV Star, also cannot claim privacy. In general,  Notables are persons who have already lost their Privacy and their info is readily available elsewhere, such as Documentaries, History Books, Biographies, Magazines, TV interviews, etc. Shutting off access on Wikitree makes no sense but only does harm to our geealogists
+9 votes
It was not removed. The privacy had to ve changed to unlisted due to new regulations but the profiles and their data are still here.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Dale; can you share the details of when this decision was announced? I had a recent death in my family and there ere several weeks when I couldn't check Wikitree's announcements in my yahoo email. Thanks
Dale, that's a much more honest answer.

This is Chris's site, and if you don't like it, don't use it.

A little less grand language than "The WikiTree Pledge," but more accurate.
Thank you Dale. Because this new policy happened close to the recent Royal wedding, some people will make a connection thinking that pressure came from the Royal family due to recent research on Megan Markle's real lineage. But TV shows, the evening news and magazines have already published that Megan was not as "common" as portrayed, so it's not a secret anymore
Nathan, to clarify, upcoming changes were also announced in several of the weekly newsletters that have come out.  If you aren't receiving those, you might want to check your settings (under the My WikiTree drop down menu) and make sure you haven't opted out.  

To be clear we generally make a very concerted effort to involve the community in any major decisions that affect the site, however, in this particular case, while we did look at feedback from members, this was not something that could be a community decision.

Chris looked at this from all possible angles after listening to our feedback, your feedback, and any other professional opinions he sought. The changes made were not made lightly or easily and have weighed heavily on him for awhile now.  He does his best to be as open and transparent as possible and ultimately do what is best for WikiTree.

The flippant remarks about Chris and about the changes are really not appreciated or helpful.   This has not been easy for anyone, especially not for him.  If WikiTree is broken for you now, there are other sites you can try.  But here, we are focused on moving forward in the best ways possible. Onward and upward.
Dale; Thank you for the link. The policy change was posted 2 days after my husband's death. I missed quite a  Wikitree policy discussion. I'll now spend time reading the comments that others have contributed. Again, I say that Notables and Celebrities already have this lineage info made public. Living Notables and Celebrities have lost their privacy. Also want to add that we in America live under more open laws and that Wikitree  is an American owned operation. Europe is becoming more restrictive to open sharing. Even individuals sharing an option that runs contrary to accepted doctrine, can wind up in a European jail. I hope that Wikitree stands up against the EU's attack on knowledge and sharing info. This is an issue of Freedom of speech . As an American, I can't support  laws that are contrary to American ideals of open and free speech. I respectfully hope that Wikitree will eventually reopen the info living of Notables and Celebrities
Hi Eowyn; I checked the Drop Down menu under My Wikitree and I don't see any listing for Newsletters or settings. Could you share what item under the My Wikitree drop down menu, will give me access to the Newsletter?

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, Christine. Wishing you peace and comfort.
Christine --

If you go to the My WikiTree menu, there is a selection for Settings, which is near the bottom (the menu is in alphabetical order).
Thank you Julie

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