List of British monarchs

Last updated
United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Both Realms).svg
Royal coat of arms (common version on the left; Scottish version on the right) [lower-alpha 1]

There have been 13 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on 1 May 1707. England and Scotland had been in personal union since 24 March 1603. On 1 January 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged, which resulted in the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the secession of southern Ireland in the 1920s.



Queen Anne became monarch of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on 1 May 1707. She had ruled England, Scotland, and the Kingdom of Ireland since 8 March 1702. She continued as queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death. Her total reign lasted 12 years and 147 days.

During the reign of Queen Anne, Parliament settled the rules of succession in the Act of Settlement 1701, defining Sophia of Hanover (granddaughter of James VI and I) and her non-Catholic descendants as the future royal heirs. The Crown passed from Queen Anne to Sophia's son King George I as Sophia had already died. Queen Anne and King George I were second cousins as both were great-grandchildren of James VI and I. For a family tree that shows George I's relationship to Anne, see George I of Great Britain § Family tree.

House of Stuart
Anne [2]
1 May 1707 [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 3]

1 August 1714 [lower-alpha 2]
(7 years, 93 days)
(Queen of England and Scotland from
8 March 1702) [lower-alpha 4]
(12 years, 147 days)
Dahl, Michael - Queen Anne - NPG 6187.jpg Royal Arms of Great Britain (1707-1714).svg 6 February 1665 [lower-alpha 2]
St James's Palace
Daughter of James VII and II
and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683 [lower-alpha 2]
5 children
until 28 October 1708
1 August 1714 [lower-alpha 2]
Kensington Palace
Aged 49
Daughter of James VII and II
Bill of Rights 1689
House of Hanover
George I [3]
George Louis
1 August 1714 [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 5]

11 June 1727 [lower-alpha 2]
(12 years, 315 days)
King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (3).jpg Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg 28 May 1660 [lower-alpha 2]
Son of Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg
and Sophia of the Palatinate
Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
21 November 1682 [lower-alpha 2]
2 children
div. 28 December 1694
11 June 1727 [lower-alpha 2]
Aged 67
Great-grandson of James VI and I
Act of Settlement 1701
George II [4]
George Augustus
11 June 1727 [lower-alpha 6] [lower-alpha 7]

25 October 1760
(33 years, 126 days)
George II by Thomas Hudson.jpg Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg 30 October 1683 [lower-alpha 2]
Herrenhausen Palace
Son of George I
and Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Herrenhausen Gardens
22 August 1705 [lower-alpha 2]
8 children
until 20 November 1737
25 October 1760
Kensington Palace
Aged 76
Son of George I
George III [5]
George William Frederick
25 October 1760 [lower-alpha 8]

29 January 1820
(59 years, 97 days)
Allan Ramsay - King George III in coronation robes - Google Art Project.jpg Until 1801:
Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1801-1816).svg
From 1816:
Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg
24 May 1738 [lower-alpha 2]
Norfolk House
Son of Prince Frederick
and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
St James's Palace
8 September 1761
15 children
until 17 November 1818
29 January 1820
Windsor Castle
Aged 81
Grandson of George II
George IV [6]
George Augustus Frederick
29 January 1820 [lower-alpha 9]

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
Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
St James's Palace
8 April 1795
1 daughter
until 7 August 1821
26 June 1830
Windsor Castle
Aged 67
Sons of George III
William IV [7]
William Henry
26 June 1830 [lower-alpha 10]

20 June 1837
(6 years, 360 days)
William IV in 1833 by Shee cropped.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
Victoria [8]
Alexandrina Victoria
20 June 1837 [lower-alpha 11]

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 Prince Edward, 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
until 14 December 1861
22 January 1901
Osborne House
Aged 81
Granddaughter of George III
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Edward VII [9]
Albert Edward
22 January 1901 [lower-alpha 12]

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
Son of Victoria
House of Windsor [lower-alpha 13]
George V [11]
George Frederick Ernest Albert
6 May 1910 [lower-alpha 14]

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
Son of Edward VII
Edward VIII [12]
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
20 January 1936 [lower-alpha 15]

Abdicated 11 December 1936
(327 days)
His Majesty King Edward VIII in Garter Robes (cropped).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
28 May 1972
Aged 77
Sons of George V
George VI [13]
Albert Frederick Arthur George
11 December 1936 [lower-alpha 16]

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
Elizabeth II [14]
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
6 February 1952 [lower-alpha 17]

8 September 2022 [15]
(70 years, 215 days)
Queen Elizabeth II in Coronation Robes.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom.svg 21 April 1926
Daughter of George VI
and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Philip Mountbatten
Westminster Abbey
20 November 1947
4 children
until 9 April 2021
8 September 2022
Balmoral Castle
Aged 96
Daughter of George VI
Charles III [16]
Charles Philip Arthur George
since 8 September 2022 [15]
(127 days)
Prince of Wales (enthroned) 2022.jpg Arms of the United Kingdom.svg 14 November 1948
Buckingham Palace
Son of Elizabeth II
and Philip Mountbatten
(1) Diana Spencer
St Paul's Cathedral
29 July 1981
2 sons
div. 28 August 1996
(2) Camilla Parker Bowles
Windsor Guildhall
9 April 2005
Age 74
Son of Elizabeth II


Comparative reigns of the British monarchs
Charles IIIElizabeth IIGeorge VIEdward VIIIGeorge VEdward VIIQueen VictoriaWilliam IVGeorge IVGeorge IIIGeorge II of Great BritainGeorge I of Great BritainAnne, Queen of Great BritainList of British monarchs

See also


  1. There are two versions of the current Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The common version is on the left, while the Scottish version is on the right. In the shield of the common version, England is represented in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland is represented in the second quarter, and Northern Ireland is represented in the third quarter. In the shield of the Scottish version, the Royal Arms of England and the Royal Arms of Scotland are exchanged. [1]
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Old Style date
  3. Anne was crowned on 23 April 1702.
  4. see List of English monarchs
  5. George I was crowned on 20 October 1714.
  6. Date of start of reign given in Old Style calendar; date of death in New Style. (Duration of reign takes this into account.)
  7. George II was crowned on 11 October 1727 O.S..
  8. George III was crowned on 22 September 1761 N.S..
  9. George IV was crowned on 19 July 1821.
  10. William IV was crowned on 8 September 1831.
  11. Victoria was crowned on 28 June 1838.
  12. Edward VII was crowned on 9 August 1902.
  13. George V changed the name of the British royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor on 17 July 1917. [10] This change was made in response to anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I. Descendants of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II belong to the House of Windsor by Royal Command (9 April 1952 Declaration by Queen Elizabeth II to her Privy Council) although under the usual rules of genealogy they are, by paternal descent, also members of the Glücksburg branch of the House of Oldenburg (the ruling House of Denmark and of the former Kingdom of Greece). Accordingly, King Charles III is the first monarch of the House of Windsor who is a patrilineal descendant of the Glücksburg dynasty, instead of descending from Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the male line as was the case with the previous monarchs of the House of Windsor.
  14. George V was crowned on 22 June 1911.
  15. Edward VIII was not crowned.
  16. George VI was crowned on 12 May 1937.
  17. Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Act of Settlement 1701</span> United Kingdom law disqualifying Catholic monarchs

The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that settled the succession to the English and Irish crowns to only Protestants, which passed in 1701. More specifically, anyone who became a Roman Catholic, or who married one, became disqualified to inherit the throne. This had the effect of deposing the descendants of Charles I, other than his Protestant granddaughter Anne, as the next Protestant in line to the throne was Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James VI and I from his most junior surviving line, with the crowns descending only to her non-Catholic heirs. Sophia died shortly before the death of Queen Anne, and Sophia's son succeeded to the throne as King George I, starting the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of the United Kingdom</span> Function and history of the British monarchy

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. The current monarch is King Charles III, who ascended the throne on 8 September 2022, upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Windsor</span> Royal house of the Commonwealth realms

The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In 1901, a line of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha succeeded the House of Hanover to the British monarchy with the accession of King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1917, the name of the British royal house was changed from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor because of anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during the First World War. There have been five British monarchs of the House of Windsor since then: George V, Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II, and Charles III. The children and male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip also genealogically belong to the House of Oldenburg since Philip belonged to the Glücksburg branch of that house.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom</span> National coat of arms of the United Kingdom

The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the royal arms for short, is the arms of dominion of the British monarch, currently King Charles III. These arms are used by the King in his official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the royal arms are used by other members of the British royal family, by the Government of the United Kingdom in connection with the administration and government of the country, and some courts and legislatures in a number of Commonwealth realms. A Scottish version of the royal arms is used in and for Scotland. The arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, the Royal Standard.

The Five Guinea was a machine-struck gold coin produced from 1668–1753. Measuring 37 millimetres in diameter and weighing between 41 and 42 grams, it was the largest regularly produced gold coin in Britain. Although the coin is commonly known as the "Five guinea" piece, during the 17th and 18th centuries it was also known as a Five-pound piece, as the guinea was originally worth twenty shillings — until its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings by a Royal Proclamation in 1717 the value fluctuated rather in the way that bullion coins do today.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Guinea (coin)</span> British gold coin minted between 1663 and 1814

The guinea was a coin, minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1814, that contained approximately one-quarter of an ounce of gold. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, from where much of the gold used to make the coins was sourced. It was the first English machine-struck gold coin, originally representing a value of 20 shillings in sterling specie, equal to one pound, but rises in the price of gold relative to silver caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings. From 1717 to 1816, its value was officially fixed at twenty-one shillings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal Standard of the United Kingdom</span> Flags used by the British Monarchy

The Royal Standards of the United Kingdom refers to either one of two similar flags used by King Charles III in his capacity as Sovereign of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. Two versions of the flag exist, one for general use in Scotland and the other for use elsewhere.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal arms of England</span> National arms of England

The royal arms of England are the arms first adopted in a fixed form at the start of the age of heraldry as personal arms by the Plantagenet kings who ruled England from 1154. In the popular mind they have come to symbolise the nation of England, although according to heraldic usage nations do not bear arms, only persons and corporations do. The blazon of the arms of Plantagenet is: Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure, signifying three identical gold lions with blue tongues and claws, walking past but facing the observer, arranged in a column on a red background. Although the tincture azure of tongue and claws is not cited in many blazons, they are historically a distinguishing feature of the arms of England. This coat, designed in the High Middle Ages, has been variously combined with those of the Kings of France, Scotland, a symbol of Ireland, the House of Nassau and the Kingdom of Hanover, according to dynastic and other political changes occurring in England, but has not altered since it took a fixed form in the reign of Richard I of England (1189–1199), the second Plantagenet king.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom</span> British royal regalia

The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, originally the Crown Jewels of England, are a collection of royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London which include the coronation regalia and vestments worn by British monarchs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crown Estate</span> British Royal Family-owned Estate

The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporation sole, making it "the sovereign's public estate", which is neither government property nor part of the monarch's private estate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Great Seal of the Realm</span> National seal of the Realm

The Great Seal of the Realm or Great Seal of the United Kingdom is a seal that is used to symbolise the Sovereign's approval of state documents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Succession to the British throne</span> Law governing who can become British monarch

Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, gender, 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 Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">English claims to the French throne</span>

From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England and Ireland 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, except for Calais and the Channel Islands. 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demise of the Crown</span> British and Commonwealth legal term for transfer of Crown

Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms for the transfer of the Crown upon the death of the monarch. The Crown transfers automatically to the monarch's heir. The concept evolved in the kingdom of England, and was continued in Great Britain and then the United Kingdom. The concept also became part of the constitutions of the British colonies, and was continued in the constitutions of the Commonwealth realms, until modified within those realms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal cypher</span> Monogram-like device of a countrys reigning sovereign

In modern heraldry, a royal cypher is a monogram or monogram-like device of a country's reigning sovereign, typically consisting of the initials of the monarch's name and title, sometimes interwoven and often surmounted by a crown. Such a cypher as used by an emperor or empress is called an imperial cypher. In the system used by various Commonwealth realms, the title is abbreviated as 'R' for 'rex' or 'regina'. Previously, 'I' stood for 'imperator' or 'imperatrix' of the Indian Empire.


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  2. "Anne (r. 1702–1714)". 30 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
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  4. "George II (r. 1727–1760)". 31 December 2015. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
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  6. "King George IV (r. 1820–1830)". 31 December 2015. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  7. "William IV (r. 1830–1837)". 15 January 2016. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  8. "Victoria (r. 1837–1901)". 31 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. "Edward VII (r. 1901–1910)". 11 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  10. "No. 30186". The London Gazette . 17 July 1917. p. 7119.
  11. "George V (r. 1910–1936)". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. "Edward VIII (Jan–Dec 1936)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  13. "George VI (r. 1936–1952)". 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. "Her Majesty The Queen". Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. 1 2 "Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces". BBC News. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  16. "The King". The Royal Family. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 9 September 2022.