Harold was the second son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex. His sister Emma was the wife of Edward the Confessor. His sister, Ælfgifu, and brothers, Gyrth and Leofwine, are also depicted on the Bayeux tapestry.
William was the great nephew of Emma of Normandy, wife of Æthelred the Unready and mother of the Edward the Confessor. Although illegitimate, as the only male heir, he succeeded his father. His half brothers, Odo and Robert, are also depicted on the Bayeux tapestry.