The Beale family tree: Ian and Cindy are back! How do they fit into the iconic EastEnders family?

 The Beale family tree — The Beale family in EastEnders
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The Beales were at the heart of EastEnders for years, going right back to the very first episode.

But lately, the Beales have been a bit lacking with just Kathy and Bobby remaining on Albert Square.

Never fear, though! Because Ian Beale is back in Walford — and so is his first wife, Cindy! Who we all thought was dead.

Oh, and by the way. Cindy Beale just happens to also be the mysterious Rose Knight — the missing wife of newcomer George and mum to his two girls, Gina and Anna.

We know, it's a bit complicated! So here's a rundown on how the family all fits together.

Beale Family in EastEnders
Beale Family in EastEnders

Lou Beale

Matriarch Lou was fierce and feisty and not afraid to say what she thought. She was married to Albert and had six kids including Martin Fowler's mum, Pauline, and Pauline's twin brother Pete.

Pete Beale

EastEnders Pete Beale
EastEnders Pete Beale

Way before EastEnders began, Pete Beale was married to Pat Harris — who later became Pat Wicks/Pat Butcher/Pat Evans.

He had two sons with Pat — Simon and David who were both later adopted by Pat's husband Brian Wicks.

After his divorce, Pete married Kathy Hills (now Kathy Beale, obviously).

Kathy Beale

Kathy Beale gets a surprise visitor!
Kathy Beale gets a surprise visitor!

Kathy was married to Pete Beale for many years and together they had son Ian.

Kathy was later married to Phil Mitchell — dad to her son, Ben Mitchell. And in her time living in South Africa, she married Gavin Sullivan — the biological dad of Sharon Watts and Zack Hudson.

Ian Beale

Ian Beale doesn't know where to turn
Ian Beale doesn't know where to turn

Ian's one of EastEnders' most iconic characters. He's been in the show since the very first episode and he's had a LOT of memorable storylines.

In fact it's hard to know where to start from his many stints as a businessman running the fish and chip shop, among many others, his mental health battles, his marriages, his feud with Phil Mitchell, his terribly bad decisions... Ian's been in the thick of the action on Albert Square for years.

He's been married five times, first to Cindy, then Mel, Laura, Jane and Sharon — some lasting longer than others. He nearly married Denise Fox (we reckon she had a lucky escape, there!) and he had three children — Lucy, Peter and Bobby.

Peter Beale

Thomas Law as Peter Beale in EastEnders
Thomas Law as Peter Beale in EastEnders

Peter and his twin Lucy were born on December 9, 1993 (remember that date — it's important!) to dad Ian and mum Cindy.

Peter's well and truly following in his dad's footsteps, having a shaky relationship with morals and always putting himself first. He fled Albert Square after cleaning out gran Kathy's bank account and went on to live in France with his dad (and his mum - who everyone - including Peter - thought was dead).

Peter has a son, Louis, with former girlfriend Lauren Branning. Louis is named after his great-great-grandmother, Lou Beale.

Lucy Beale

Lucy Beale
Lucy Beale

Lucy Beale was Peter's twin sister who was murdered back in April 2016, becoming the focus of a whodunnit mystery that kept EastEnders fans gripped.

Lucy wasn't always the nicest character — she was a Beale, after all — and she also made some very bad decisions (the whole cocaine thing, that affair with Max...) but she really didn't deserve to die the way she did.

And who was it who killed her?

It was her little brother, Bobby...

Bobby Beale

EastEnders Bobby Beale
EastEnders Bobby Beale

EastEnders fans were shocked when young Bobby Beale was revealed to be Lucy's killer.

The troubled tween bumped off his sis because she was causing so much trouble for their family and his adoptive mum, Jane, helped him cover up his crime.

Since he murdered poor Lucy, and shoved Jane down the stairs, Bobby's done a stint behind bars and he's now a completely reformed character.

Sweet Bobby — whose biological mum Laura died when he was a baby — doesn't seem capable of murder now, and he's working hard to put it all behind him.

Cindy Beale/Rose Knight

Cindy Beale returns to Albert Square
Cindy Beale returns to Albert Square

How can we do Cindy justice in a few lines?! She's been away from Walford far longer than she ever lived there and yet she lives on as an EastEnders legend and now she's back!

Cindy arrived in Albert Square and struck up a romance with Simon Wicks — Ian's half-brother. But she was soon fed up with his womanising and swapped him for Ian.

One night, though, she rekindled her affair with Simon and fell pregnant, letting Ian think baby Steven was his.

When Ian found out, he was devastated and Cindy left Walford for a while. Ian missed her though, and they got back together and had the twins, Peter and Lucy. But things were soon rocky again and Cindy, knowing Ian wouldn't want her to take the kids, felt trapped. So, she hired a hitman to shoot and kill her husband! WHAT?!

Ian survived but the marriage, not surprisingly, didn't. Cindy went on the run.

When she came home, she had a new fiance, Nick, and she was pregnant again. But she was soon behind bars for attempted murder and when she gave birth to Cindy Jr, she tragically died.

Or so we thought! Now we know Cindy was in witness protection after grassing on her cellmate.

And since she was in jail, she's lived in Marbella as Rose Knight, married George and had two more daughters — Gina and Anna.

Steven Beale

EastEnders Steven Beale
EastEnders Steven Beale

Troubled Steven had a difficult childhood, with questions over his paternity. Eventually, he went to live in New Zealand with his biological dad Simon.

When he returned, it was with a bang! He stalked Ian, pretended to be Cindy, and eventually held Ian hostage. He tried to kill himself and accidentally shot Ian's wife, Jane, making her unable to conceive a child. He also tried to kill his grandmother, Pat.

See? Troubled!

When he came back to Walford once more, after Lucy's death, he was even more dangerous. He got first Lauren Branning pregnant — she had an abortion — then Abi Branning.

He faked a brain tumour, and set fire to Beales restaurant, but ran into the flames when he thought Lauren was inside. After a scuffle with Max, Steven died in hospital. His death caused Lauren and Abi to reject their dad in a dramatic confrontation on the roof of The Vic. Lauren was injured in the fall, and Abi died shortly after giving birth to her daughter, also called Abi.

Cindy Williams Jr

Mimi Keene as Cindy Williams Jr in EastEnders.
Mimi Keene as Cindy Williams Jr in EastEnders.

Cindy Junior turned up out of the blue in Walford as a teenager, and quickly made herself at home. Yes, she was trouble, but compared with the rest of Cindy's kids, she was an angel.

Cindy was full of energy and mischief. She had a brief romance with TJ Spraggan and had his baby, Beth. But Cindy's heart was with Liam Butcher and she eventually moved to Germany with him. Beth lives with TJ and his family in Milton Keynes.

Gina and Anna Knight

Gina Knight and Anna Knight arrive in the Queen Vic
Gina Knight and Anna Knight arrive in the Queen Vic

We don't know much about Cindy's other daughters yet — they've only been in Walford a short while. But we do know older daughter Gina (named after Cindy's sister, Gina, who raised Cindy Jr) is full of anger about her mum's disappearance while Anna is the more forgiving and caring sister, who had been secretly hunting for their mum before Cindy's return to the Square.

EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One. Check our TV Guide for more information.