List of British monarchs

Last updated
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Both Realms).svg
The Royal Arms since the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, featuring the arms of England in both the first and fourth quarters, Scotland in the second and Ireland in the third. In Scotland a separate version is used (shown right), whereby the Arms of Scotland take precedence. [1]

There have been 12 monarchs of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom (see Monarchy of the United Kingdom) since the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on 1 May 1707. England and Scotland had been in personal union under the House of Stuart since 24 March 1603.

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707–1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom Function and history of the British monarchy

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.

Contents

On 1 January 1801, Great Britain merged with the Kingdom of Ireland (also previously in personal union with Great Britain) to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After most of Ireland left the union on 6 December 1922, its name was amended on 12 April 1927 to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Kingdom of Ireland Historical kingdom on the island of Ireland between 1542 and 1801

The Kingdom of Ireland was a client state of England and then of Great Britain that existed from 1542 until 1800. It was ruled by the monarchs of England and then of Great Britain in personal union with their other realms. The kingdom was administered from Dublin Castle nominally by the King or Queen, who appointed a viceroy to rule in their stead. It had its own legislature, peerage, legal system, and state church.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Historical sovereign state from 1801 to 1927

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.

Irish Free State Sovereign state in northwest Europe (1922–1937), Dominion status to 1922, succeeded by Ireland

The Irish Free State was a state established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. That treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independence between the forces of the self-proclaimed Irish Republic, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and British Crown forces.

House of Stuart (1707–1714)

Anne had been Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland since 8 March 1702, and so became Queen of Great Britain upon the Union of England and Scotland. (Her total reign was 12 years and 21 weeks.)

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Before the Acts of Union 1707 Flecha tesela.svgSee List of English monarchs, List of Scottish monarchs
Anne
1 May 1707

1 August 1714
(7 years, 92 days)
Anne1705.jpg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II and VII
and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
No surviving children
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
Aged: 49 years, 176 days
Daughter of James II and VII
Cognatic primogeniture
Bill of Rights 1689
[2]

House of Hanover (1714–1901)

The Hanoverian succession came about as a result of the Act of Settlement 1701, passed by the Parliament of England, which excluded "Papists" (i.e. Roman Catholics) from the succession. In return for access to the English plantations in North America and the West Indies, the Hanoverian succession and the Union were ratified by the Parliament of Scotland in 1707.

Act of Settlement 1701 Former United Kingdom law disqualifying Catholic monarchs

The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English and Irish crowns on Protestants only. The next Protestant in line to the throne was the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England. After her the crowns would descend only to her non-Roman Catholic heirs.

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Papist historical and derogatory name for Roman Catholics or Catholicism

Popery is a pejorative term used to label the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, practices and adherents. However, in early use it was not always considered offensive, as the term could refer to a partisan backing the side of the pope on a particular issue. In English the word gained currency during the English Reformation, as it was used to denote a person whose loyalties were to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, rather than to the Church of England. First used in 1522, papist derives from Latin papa, meaning "pope".

After the death of Anne, with no living children, her second cousin, George Louis, was the closest heir to the throne who was not Catholic. George was the son of Sophia of Hanover—granddaughter of James VI and I through his daughter Elizabeth. [lower-roman 1]

Sophia of Hanover Princess of the Palatinate, Electress of Hanover, heir presumptive and ancestor of British monarchs following the Act of Settlement 1701

Sophia of Hanover was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698. As a Protestant granddaughter of James I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701. After the Acts of Union 1707, she became heir presumptive to the unified throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. She died less than two months before she would have become queen succeeding her first cousin once removed, Queen Anne, and her claim to the throne passed on to her eldest son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, who ascended as George I on 1 August 1714.

James VI and I 16th/17th-century king of England and Scotland

James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia Czech queen

Elizabeth Stuart was Electress of the Palatinate and briefly Queen of Bohemia as the wife of Frederick V of the Palatinate. Due to her husband’s reign in Bohemia lasting for just one winter, Elizabeth is often referred to as the "Winter Queen".

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
George I
George Louis
1 August 1714 [lower-alpha 1]

11 June 1727
(12 years, 315 days)
King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg 28 May 1660
Leineschloss
Son of Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg
and Sophia of Hanover
Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
21 November 1682
2 children
11 June 1727
Osnabrück
Aged 67 years, 30 days
Great-grandson of James VI and I
Act of Settlement
Eldest son of Sophia of Hanover
[3]
George II
George Augustus
11 June 1727 [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 3]

25 October 1760
(33 years, 126 days)
George II by Thomas Hudson.jpg Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg 30 October 1683
Herrenhausen
Son of George I
and Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach
22 August 1705
Herrenhausen
8 children
25 October 1760
Kensington Palace
Aged 76 years, 361 days
Son of George I [4]
George III
George William Frederick
25 October 1760 [lower-alpha 4]

29 January 1820
(59 years, 97 days)
Allan Ramsay - King George III in coronation robes - Google Art Project.jpg Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg 4 June 1738
Norfolk House
Son of Prince Frederick
and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
St James's Palace
8 September 1761
15 children
29 January 1820
Windsor Castle
Aged 81 years, 239 days
Grandson of George II [5]
George IV
George Augustus Frederick
29 January 1820 [lower-alpha 5]

26 June 1830
(10 years, 149 days)
George IV 1821 color.jpg Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg 12 August 1762
St James's Palace
Son of George III
and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(1) Maria Fitzherbert
Park Lane
15 September 1785
No verified children
(2) Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
St James's Palace
8 April 1795
1 daughter
26 June 1830
Windsor Castle
Aged 67 years, 318 days
Son of George III [6]
William IV
William Henry
26 June 1830 [lower-alpha 6]

20 June 1837
(6 years, 360 days)
William IV.jpg Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg 21 August 1765
Buckingham Palace
Son of George III
and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Kew Palace
13 July 1818
2 daughters
20 June 1837
Windsor Castle
Aged 71 years, 303 days
[7]
Victoria
Alexandrina Victoria
20 June 1837 [lower-alpha 7]

22 January 1901
(63 years, 217 days)
Queen Victoria 1843.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1).svg 24 May 1819
Kensington Palace
Daughter of the Duke of Kent and Strathearn
and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
St James's Palace
10 February 1840
9 children
22 January 1901
Osborne House
aged 81 years, 243 days
Granddaughter of George III [8]

Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1901–1917) and Windsor (from 1917)

Due to his father Albert, Prince Consort, being of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward VII inaugurated a new royal house when he succeeded his mother Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover, in 1901. George V changed the name of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor on 17 July 1917, [9] during the First World War, because of wartime anti-German sentiment in the country.

Albert, Prince Consort Husband of Queen Victoria

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the husband of Queen Victoria.

History of the United Kingdom during the First World War History of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was one of the Allied Powers during the First World War of 1914–1918, fighting against the Central Powers. The state's armed forces were reorganised—the war marked the founding of the Royal Air Force, for example—and increased in size because of the introduction, in January 1916, of conscription for the first time in the country's history as well as the raising of what was, at the time, the largest all-volunteer army in history, known as Kitchener's Army, of more than 2,000,000 men. The outbreak of war has generally been regarded as a socially unifying event, although this view has been challenged by more recent scholarship. In any case, responses in Great Britain in 1914 were similar to those amongst populations across Europe.

Anti-German sentiment

Anti-German sentiment is defined as an opposition to or fear of Germany, its inhabitants, its culture and the German language. Its opposite is Germanophilia. The sentiment largely began with the mid-19th century unification of Germany, which made the new nation a rival to the Great Powers of Europe on economic, cultural, geopolitical and military grounds.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Edward VII
Albert Edward
22 January 1901 [lower-alpha 8]

6 May 1910
(9 years, 105 days)
King Edward VII by Sir (Samuel) Luke Fildes.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1).svg 9 November 1841
Buckingham Palace
Son of Victoria
and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Alexandra of Denmark
St George's Chapel
10 March 1863
6 children
6 May 1910
Buckingham Palace
aged 68 years, 178 days
Son of Victoria [10]
George V
George Frederick Ernest Albert
6 May 1910 [lower-alpha 9]

20 January 1936
(25 years, 260 days)
King George V 1911.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1).svg 3 June 1865
Marlborough House
Son of Edward VII
and Alexandra of Denmark
Mary of Teck
St James's Palace
6 July 1893
6 children
20 January 1936
Sandringham House
aged 70 years, 231 days
Son of Edward VII [11]
Edward VIII
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
20 January 1936 [lower-alpha 10]

11 December 1936
(Abdicated after 326 days)
Edward VIII Portrait - 1936.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1).svg 23 June 1894
White Lodge
Son of George V
and Mary of Teck
Wallis Simpson
Château de Candé
3 June 1937
No children
28 May 1972
Neuilly-sur-Seine
aged 77 years, 340 days
Son of George V [12]
George VI
Albert Frederick Arthur George
11 December 1936 [lower-alpha 11]

6 February 1952
(15 years, 58 days)
King George VI.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1).svg 14 December 1895
Sandringham House
Son of George V
and Mary of Teck
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Westminster Abbey
26 April 1923
2 daughters
6 February 1952
Sandringham House
aged 56 years, 54 days
[13]
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
6 February 1952 [lower-alpha 12]

Present
(67 years, 101 days)
QEII.png Arms of the United Kingdom.svg 21 April 1926
Mayfair
Daughter of George VI
and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Philip of Greece and Denmark
Westminster Abbey
20 November 1947
4 children
Living
Age 93 years, 26 days [lower-roman 2]
Daughter of George VI [14]

Timeline of British monarchs

Elizabeth IIGeorge VIEdward VIIIGeorge VEdward VIIQueen VictoriaWilliam IV of the United KingdomGeorge IV of the United KingdomGeorge III of the United KingdomGeorge II of Great BritainGeorge I of Great BritainAnne, Queen of Great BritainHouse of WindsorHouse of Saxe-Coburg and GothaHouse of HanoverHouse of StuartList of British monarchs

See also

Succession to the British throne Law governing who can become British monarch

Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex, legitimacy, and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line. The Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are in "communion with the Church of England". Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible.

The demise of the Crown is the legal term for the end of a reign by a king, queen regnant, or emperor, whether by death or abdication.

This page links to lists of monarchs that have reigned the various kingdoms and other states that have existed in the British Isles throughout recorded history.

Notes

  1. For a family tree showing King George I's relationship to Queen Anne, see George I of Great Britain § Family tree.
  2. Updated daily according to UTC

Coronations

  1. King George I was crowned on 20 October 1714.
  2. King George II was crowned on 11 October 1727 with Queen Caroline.
  3. Dates of start of reign and coronation given in Old Style calendar; date of death in New Style. (Duration of reign takes this into account.)
  4. King George III was crowned on 22 September 1761 with Queen Charlotte.
  5. King George IV was crowned on 19 July 1821.
  6. King William IV was crowned on 8 September 1831 with Queen Adelaide.
  7. Queen Victoria was crowned on 28 June 1838.
  8. King Edward VII was crowned on 9 August 1902 with Queen Alexandra.
  9. King George V was crowned on 22 May 1911 with Queen Mary.
  10. King Edward VIII was not crowned.
  11. King George VI was crowned on 12 May 1937 with Queen Elizabeth.
  12. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953.

Related Research Articles

Acts of Union 1707 Acts of Parliament creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain

The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".

House of Hanover German royal dynasty

The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.

Commonwealth realm sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II or her successors as its monarch

A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm is independent from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom coat of arms

The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the British royal family; and by the British Government in connection with the administration and government of the country. In Scotland, there exists a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of which is used by the Scotland Office. The arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, known as the Royal Standard.

Duke of Rothesay

Duke of Rothesay is a dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. It was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the title mandated for use by the heir apparent when in Scotland, in preference to the titles Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales, which are used in the rest of the United Kingdom and overseas. The Duke of Rothesay also holds other Scottish titles, including those of Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. The title is named after Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, but is not associated with any legal entity or landed property, unlike the Duchy of Cornwall.

The Regency Acts are Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed at various times, to provide a regent in the event of the reigning monarch being incapacitated or a minor. Prior to 1937, Regency Acts were passed only when necessary to deal with a specific situation. In 1937, the Regency Act 1937 made general provision for a regent, and established the office of Counsellor of State, several of whom would act on the monarch's behalf when the monarch was temporarily absent from the realm. This Act forms the main law relating to regency in the United Kingdom today.

English claims to the French throne Wikimedia list article

From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England also claimed the throne of France. The claim dates from Edward III, who claimed the French throne in 1340 as the sororal nephew of the last direct Capetian, Charles IV. Edward and his heirs fought the Hundred Years' War to enforce this claim, and were briefly successful in the 1420s under Henry V and Henry VI, but the House of Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, was ultimately victorious and retained control of France. Despite this, English and British monarchs continued to prominently call themselves kings of France, and the French fleur-de-lis was included in the royal arms. This continued until 1801, by which time France no longer had any monarch, having become a republic. The Jacobite claimants, however, did not explicitly relinquish the claim.

Royal Arms of Scotland coat of arms

The royal arms of Scotland is the official coat of arms of the King of Scots first adopted in the 12th century. With the Union of the Crowns in 1603, James VI inherited the thrones of England and Ireland and thus his arms in Scotland were now quartered with the arms of England with an additional quarter for Ireland also added. Though the kingdoms of England and Scotland would share the same monarch, the distinction in heraldry used in both kingdoms was maintained. When the kingdoms of Scotland and England were united under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain, no single arms were created and instead, the royal arms as used in either Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom would continue to differ.

Treaty of Union

The Treaty of Union is the name usually now given to the agreement which led to the creation of the new state of Great Britain, stating that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", At the time it was more often referred to as the Articles of Union.

Royal Succession Bills and Acts

Royal Succession Bills and Acts are pieces of (proposed) legislation to determine the legal line of succession to the Monarchy of the United Kingdom.

References

  1. "Coats of arms". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  2. "Anne (r. 1702–1714)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  3. "George I (r. 1714–1727)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. "George II (r. 1727–1760)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. "George III (r. 1760–1820)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. "King George IV (r. 1820–1830)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  7. "William IV (r. 1830–1837)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  8. "Victoria ( r. 1837–1901)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. "No. 30186". The London Gazette . 17 July 1917. p. 7119.
  10. "Edward VII (r.1901–1910)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  11. "George V (r. 1910–1936)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. "Edward VIII (Jan–Dec 1936)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  13. "George VI (r.1936–1952)". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. "Her Majesty The Queen". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.