List of English monarchs

Last updated

Royal Arms of England, 1399-1603 Royal Coat of Arms of England (1399-1603).svg
Royal Arms of England, 1399–1603

This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Wessex, one of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons from about 886, and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the English, his rule represents the start of the first unbroken line of kings to rule the whole of England, the House of Wessex. [1]

Kingdom of England historic sovereign kingdom on the British Isles (927–1649; 1660–1707)

The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Alfred the Great 9th-century King of Wessex

Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to c. 886 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from c. 886 to 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex. His father died when he was young and three of Alfred's brothers reigned in turn. Alfred took the throne after the death of his brother Æthelred and spent several years dealing with Viking invasions. He won a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 and made an agreement with the Vikings, creating what was known as Danelaw in the North of England. Alfred also oversaw the conversion of Viking leader Guthrum to Christianity. He successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and he became the dominant ruler in England. He was also the first King of the West Saxons to style himself King of the Anglo-Saxons. Details of his life are described in a work by 9th-century Welsh scholar and bishop Asser.

Heptarchy Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages

The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the 5th century until their unification into the Kingdom of England in the early 10th century.

Contents

The seven main Anglo-Saxon petty kingdoms to be unified as the early Kingdom of England British kingdoms c 800.svg
The seven main Anglo-Saxon petty kingdoms to be unified as the early Kingdom of England

Arguments are made for a few different kings deemed to control enough Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to be deemed the first king of England. For example, Offa of Mercia and Egbert of Wessex are sometimes described as kings of England by popular writers, but it is no longer the majority view of historians that their wide dominions are part of a process leading to a unified England. Historian Simon Keynes states, for example, that "Offa was driven by a lust for power, not a vision of English unity; and what he left was a reputation, not a legacy." [2] This refers to a period in the late 8th century when Offa achieved a dominance over many of the kingdoms of southern England, but this did not survive his death in 796. [3] [4]

Offa of Mercia 8th-century Anglo-Saxon King of Mercia

Offa was King of Mercia, a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 757 until his death in July 796. The son of Thingfrith and a descendant of Eowa, Offa came to the throne after a period of civil war following the assassination of Æthelbald. Offa defeated the other claimant, Beornred. In the early years of Offa's reign, it is likely that he consolidated his control of Midland peoples such as the Hwicce and the Magonsæte. Taking advantage of instability in the kingdom of Kent to establish himself as overlord, Offa also controlled Sussex by 771, though his authority did not remain unchallenged in either territory. In the 780s he extended Mercian Supremacy over most of southern England, allying with Beorhtric of Wessex, who married Offa's daughter Eadburh, and regained complete control of the southeast. He also became the overlord of East Anglia and had King Æthelberht II of East Anglia beheaded in 794, perhaps for rebelling against him.

Simon Douglas Keynes, is the current Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Trinity College.

In 829 Egbert of Wessex conquered Mercia, but he soon lost control of it. It was not until the late 9th century that one kingdom, Wessex, had become the dominant Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Its king, Alfred the Great, was overlord of western Mercia and used the title King of the Angles and Saxons, but he never ruled eastern and northern England, which was then known as the Danelaw, having earlier been conquered by the Danes from Scandinavia. His son Edward the Elder conquered the eastern Danelaw, but Edward's son Æthelstan became the first king to rule the whole of England when he conquered Northumbria in 927, and he is regarded by some modern historians as the first true king of England. [3] [4] The title "King of the English" or Rex Anglorum in Latin, was first used to describe Æthelstan in one of his charters in 928.

Danelaw historical name given to part of England ruled by the Danes

The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. Danelaw contrasts with West Saxon law and Mercian law. The term is first recorded in the early 11th century as Dena lage. Modern historians have extended the term to a geographical designation. The areas that constituted the Danelaw lie in northern and eastern England.

Scandinavia Region in Northern Europe

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.

Edward the Elder English king, son of Alfred the Great

Edward the Elder was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until his death. He was the elder son of Alfred the Great and his wife Ealhswith. When Edward succeeded to the throne, he had to defeat a challenge from his cousin Æthelwold, who had a strong claim to the throne as the son of Alfred's elder brother and predecessor, Æthelred.

The Principality of Wales was incorporated into the Kingdom of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, and in 1301 King Edward I invested his eldest son, the future King Edward II, as Prince of Wales. Since that time, except for King Edward III, the eldest sons of all English monarchs have borne this title.

Principality of Wales principality on the British Isles until the 16th century

The Principality of Wales existed between 1216 and 1536, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales during its height between 1267 and 1277. For most of its history it was "annexed and united" to the English Crown except for its earliest few decades. However, for a few generations, specifically the period from its foundation in 1216 to Edward I's completion of the conquest of Wales in 1284, it was de facto independent under a Welsh Prince of Wales, albeit one who swore fealty to the King of England.

The Statute of Rhuddlan, also known as the Statutes of Wales or as the Statute of Wales, provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of Wales from 1284 until 1536. The Statute introduced English common law to Wales but also permitted the continuance of Welsh legal practices within the Principality. The Statute was superseded by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 when Henry VIII made Wales unequivocally part of the "realm of England".

Prince of Wales British Royal Family Title

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth I without issue, in 1603, King James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, joining the crowns of England and Scotland in personal union. By royal proclamation, James styled himself "King of Great Britain", but no such kingdom was actually created until 1707, when England and Scotland united to form the new Kingdom of Great Britain, with a single British parliament sitting at Westminster, during the reign of Queen Anne.

A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. In a federation and a unitary state, a central (federal) government spanning all member states exists, with the degree of self-governance distinguishing the two. The ruler in a personal union does not need to be a hereditary monarch.

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".

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.

House of Wessex

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Alfred the Great
c. 886

26 October 899
Alfred - MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg 849
Son of Æthelwulf of Wessex
and Osburh
Ealhswith
Gainsborough
868
5 children
26 October 899
Aged about 50
Son of Æthelwulf of Wessex
Treaty of Wedmore
[5]
[6]
[7]
Edward the Elder
26 October 899

17 July 924
(24 years, 266 days)
Edward the Elder - MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg c.874
Son of Alfred
and Ealhswith
(1) Ecgwynn
c.893
2 children
(2) Ælfflæd
c.900
8 children
(3) Eadgifu
c.919
4 children
17 July 924
Aged about 50
Son of Alfred [8]

Disputed

There is some evidence that Ælfweard of Wessex may have been king in 924, between his father Edward the Elder and his brother Æthelstan, although he was not crowned. A 12th-century list of kings gives him a reign length of four weeks, though one manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says he died only 16 days after his father. [9] However, that he ruled is not accepted by all historians. Also, it is unclear whether—if Ælfweard was declared king—it was over the whole kingdom or of Wessex only. One interpretation of the ambiguous evidence is that when Edward died, Ælfweard was declared king in Wessex and Æthelstan in Mercia. [4]

Ælfweard was the second son of Edward the Elder, the eldest born to his second wife Ælfflæd.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaim
Ælfweard
c.17 July 924

2 August 924 [10]
(16 days)
Does not appear No image.svg c.901 [11]
Son of Edward the Elder
and Ælfflæd [11]
Does not appearUnmarried?
No children
2 August 924 [4]
Aged about 23 [lower-roman 1]
Son of Edward the Elder

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Æthelstan
924
King of the Anglo-Saxons (924–927)

King of the English (927–939)
27 October 939
(14–15 years)
Aethelstan1 of England.jpg 894
Son of Edward the Elder
and Ecgwynn
Does not appear Unmarried27 October 939
Aged about 45
Son of Edward the Elder [13]
[14]
Edmund I
27 October 939

26 May 946
(6 years, 212 days)
Edmund I - MS Royal 14 B V.jpg c.921
Son of Edward the Elder
and Eadgifu of Kent
(1) Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
2 sons
(2) Æthelflæd of Damerham
944
No children
26 May 946
Pucklechurch
Killed in a brawl aged about 25
Son of Edward the Elder [15]
[16]
[17]
Eadred
26 May 946

23 November 955
(9 years, 182 days)
Eadred - MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg c.923
Son of Edward the Elder
and Eadgifu of Kent
Does not appear Unmarried23 November 955
Frome
Aged about 32
Son of Edward the Elder [18]
[19]
[20]
Eadwig
23 November 955

1 October 959
(3 years, 313 days)
Eadwig - MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg c.940
Son of Edmund I
and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
Ælfgifu
No verified children
1 October 959
Aged about 19
Son of Edmund I [21]
[22]
[23]
Edgar the Peaceful
1 October 959

8 July 975
(15 years, 281 days)
New Minster Charter 966 detail Edgar.jpg c.943
Wessex
Son of Edmund I
and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury
(1) Æthelflæd
c.960
1 son
(2) Ælfthryth
c.964
2 sons
8 July 975
Winchester
Aged 31
Son of Edmund I [24]
[25]
[26]
Edward the Martyr
8 July 975

18 March 978
(2 years, 254 days)
Edward the Martyr - MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg c.962
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Æthelflæd
Does not appear Unmarried18 March 978
Corfe Castle
Murdered aged about 16
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [27]
[28]
(1st reign) [lower-roman 2]
Æthelred
Æthelred the Unready
18 March 978

1013
(34–35 years)
EthelUn.jpg c.968
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Ælfthryth
(1) Ælfgifu of York
991
9 children
(2) Emma of Normandy
1002
3 children
23 April 1016
London
Aged about 48
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [30]
[29]
[31]

House of Denmark

England came under the control of Sweyn Forkbeard, a Danish king, after an invasion in 1013, during which Æthelred abandoned the throne and went into exile in Normandy.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Sweyn
Sweyn Forkbeard
25 December 1013

3 February 1014
(41 days)
Sweyn Forkbeard.jpg c.960
Denmark
Son of Harald Bluetooth
and Gyrid Olafsdottir of Sweden
(1) Gunhild of Wenden
c.990
7 children
(2) Sigrid the Haughty
c.1000
1 daughter
3 February 1014
Gainsborough
Aged about 54
Right of conquest [32]
[33]
[34]

House of Wessex (restored, first time)

Following the death of Sweyn Forkbeard, Æthelred the Unready returned from exile and was again proclaimed king on 3 February 1014. His son succeeded him after being chosen king by the citizens of London and a part of the Witan, [35] despite ongoing Danish efforts to wrest the crown from the West Saxons.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(2nd reign)
Æthelred
Æthelred the Unready
3 February 1014

23 April 1016
(2 years, 81 days)
EthelUn.jpg c.968
Son of Edgar the Peaceful
and Ælfthryth
(1) Ælfgifu of York
991
9 children
(2) Emma of Normandy
1002
3 children
23 April 1016
London
Aged about 48
Son of Edgar the Peaceful [30]
[29]
[31]
Edmund Ironside
23 April 1016

30 November 1016
(222 days)
Edmund Ironside - MS Royal 14 B V.jpg c.990
Son of Æthelred
and Ælfgifu of York
Edith of East Anglia
2 children
30 November 1016
Glastonbury
Aged 26
Son of Æthelred [35]
[36]
[37]

House of Denmark (restored)

Following the decisive Battle of Assandun on 18 October 1016, King Edmund signed a treaty with Cnut (Canute) under which all of England except for Wessex would be controlled by Cnut. [38] Upon Edmund's death just over a month later on 30 November, Cnut ruled the whole kingdom as its sole king for almost twenty years.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Canute
Cnut the Great
18 October 1016

12 November 1035
(19 years, 26 days)
Knut der Grosse cropped.jpg c.995
Son of Sweyn Forkbeard
and Gunhilda of Poland
(1) Ælfgifu of Northampton
2 sons
(2) Emma of Normandy
1017
2 children
12 November 1035
Shaftesbury
Aged about 40
Son of Sweyn
Treaty of Deerhurst
[39]
[40]
Harold Harefoot
12 November 1035

17 March 1040 [lower-roman 3]
(4 years, 127 days)
Harold H.jpg c.1016
Son of Canute
and Ælfgifu of Northampton
Ælfgifu?
1 son?
17 March 1040
Oxford
Aged about 24
Son of Canute [42]
[41]
[43]
Harthacnut
17 March 1040

8 June 1042
(2 years, 84 days)
Hardeknut.jpg 1018
Son of Canute
and Emma of Normandy
Does not appear Unmarried8 June 1042
Lambeth
Aged about 24
Son of Canute [44]
[45]
[46]

House of Wessex (restored, second time)

After Harthacnut, there was a brief Saxon Restoration between 1042 and 1066.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Edward the Confessor
8 June 1042

5 January 1066
(23 years, 212 days)
Edward Confessor.jpg c.1003
Islip
Son of Æthelred
and Emma of Normandy
Edith of Wessex
23 January 1045
No children
5 January 1066
Westminster Palace
Aged about 63
Son of Æthelred [47]

House of Godwin

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Harold Godwinson
6 January 1066

14 October 1066
(282 days)
BayeuxTapestryScene13(crop2).jpg c.1022
Son of Godwin of Wessex
and Gytha Thorkelsdóttir
(1) Edith Swannesha
5 children
(2) Ealdgyth
c.1064
2 sons
14 October 1066
Hastings
Died in battle aged 44
Supposedly named heir by Edward the Confessor
Elected by the Witenagemot
[48]

Disputed claimant (House of Wessex)

After King Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings, the Witan elected Edgar Atheling as king, but by then the Normans controlled the country and Edgar never ruled. He submitted to King William the Conqueror.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(Title disputed)
Edgar Ætheling
15 October 1066

17 December 1066 [lower-roman 4]
(64 days)
Edgar the AEtheling.jpg c.1051
Son of Edward the Exile
and Agatha
Does not appear Unmarriedc.1126
Aged about 75
Grandson of Edmund Ironside
Elected by the Witenagemot
[49]
[50]

House of Normandy

In 1066, several rival claimants to the English throne emerged. Among them were Harold Godwinson, recognised as king by the Witenagemot after the death of Edward the Confessor, as well as Harald Hardrada, King of Norway who claimed to be the rightful heir of Harthacnut, and Duke William II of Normandy, vassal to the King of France, and first cousin once-removed of Edward the Confessor. Harald and William both invaded separately in 1066. Godwinson successfully repelled the invasion by Hardrada, but ultimately lost the throne of England in the Norman conquest of England.

After the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, William the Conqueror made permanent the recent removal of the capital from Winchester to London. Following the death of Harold Godwinson at Hastings, the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot elected as king Edgar the Ætheling, the son of Edward the Exile and grandson of Edmund Ironside. The young monarch was unable to resist the invaders and was never crowned. William was crowned King William I of England on Christmas Day 1066, in Westminster Abbey, and is today known as William the Conqueror, William the Bastard or William I.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
William I
William the Conqueror [51]
25 December 1066

9 September 1087
(20 years, 259 days)
Vilem1.jpg c.1028
Falaise Castle
Son of Robert the Magnificent
and Herleva
Matilda of Flanders
Normandy
1053
9 children
9 September 1087
Rouen
Aged about 59 [lower-roman 5]
Supposedly named heir in 1052 by Edward the Confessor
First cousin once removed of Edward the Confessor
Right of conquest
[52]
[53]
William II
William Rufus
26 September 1087 [lower-alpha 1]

2 August 1100
(12 years, 311 days)
William II of England.jpg c.1056
Normandy
Son of William the Conqueror
and Matilda of Flanders
Does not appear Unmarried2 August 1100
New Forest
Shot with an arrow aged 44
Son of William I
Granted the Kingdom of England over elder brother Robert Curthose
[54]
[55]
Henry I
Henry Beauclerc
5 August 1100 [lower-alpha 2]

1 December 1135
(35 years, 119 days)
Henry1.jpg September 1068
Selby
Son of William the Conqueror
and Matilda of Flanders
(1) Matilda of Scotland
Westminster Abbey
11 November 1100
2 children
(2) Adeliza of Louvain
Windsor Castle
29 January 1121
No children
1 December 1135
Saint-Denis-en-Lyons
Aged 67 [lower-roman 6]
Son of William I
Seizure of the Crown (from Robert Curthose)
[56]
[55]

House of Blois

Henry I left no legitimate male heirs, his son William Adelin having died in the White Ship disaster. This ended the direct Norman line of kings in England. Henry named his eldest daughter, the dowager Empress Matilda as his heir. Before naming Matilda as heir, he had been in negotiations to name his nephew Stephen of Blois as his heir. When Henry died, Stephen invaded England, and in a coup d'etat had himself crowned instead of Matilda. The period which followed is known as The Anarchy, as parties supporting each side fought in open warfare both in Britain and on the continent for the better part of two decades.

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Stephen
Stephen of Blois
22 December 1135 [lower-alpha 3]

25 October 1154
(18 years, 308 days)
Stepan Blois.jpg c.1096
Blois
Son of Stephen II of Blois
and Adela of Normandy
Matilda of Boulogne
Westminster
1125
6 children
25 October 1154
Dover Castle
Aged about 58
Grandson of William I
Appointment /usurpation
[55]
[57]

Disputed claimants

Empress Matilda was declared heir presumptive by her father, Henry I, after the death of her brother on the White Ship, and acknowledged as such by the barons. Upon Henry I's death, the throne was seized by Matilda's cousin, Stephen of Blois. During the ensuing Anarchy, Matilda controlled England for a few months in 1141—the first woman to do so—but was never crowned and is rarely listed as a monarch of England. [lower-roman 7]

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(Title disputed)
Matilda
Empress Matilda
7 April 1141

1 November 1141
(209 days)
Empress Mathilda.png 7 February 1102
Sutton Courtenay
Daughter of Henry I
and Edith of Scotland
(1) Henry V of the Holy Roman Empire
Mainz
6 January 1114
No children
(2) Geoffrey Plantagenet
Le Mans Cathedral
22 May 1128
3 sons
10 September 1167
Rouen
Aged 65
Daughter of Henry I
Seizure of the Crown
[58]
[57]

Count Eustace IV of Boulogne (c. 1130 – 17 August 1153) was appointed co-king of England by his father, King Stephen, on 6 April 1152, in order to guarantee his succession to the throne (as was the custom in France, but not in England). The Pope and the Church would not agree to this, and Eustace was not crowned. Eustace died the next year aged 23, during his father's lifetime, and so never became king in his own right. [59]

House of Anjou

King Stephen came to an agreement with Matilda in November 1153 with the signing of the Treaty of Wallingford, where Stephen recognised Henry, son of Matilda and her second husband Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, as the designated heir. The royal house descended from Matilda and Geoffrey is widely known by two names, the House of Anjou (after Geoffrey's title as Count of Anjou) or the House of Plantagenet, after his sobriquet. Some historians prefer to group the subsequent kings into two groups, before and after the loss of the bulk of their French possessions, although they are not different royal houses.

The Angevins ruled over the Angevin Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries, an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland. They did not regard England as their primary home until most of their continental domains were lost by John. Though the Angevin dynasty was short-lived, their male line descendants included the House of Plantagenet, the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

The Angevins formulated England's royal coat of arms, which usually showed other kingdoms held or claimed by them or their successors, although without representation of Ireland for quite some time. Dieu et mon droit has generally been used as the motto of English monarchs since being adopted by Edward III, [60] but it was first used as a battle cry by Richard I in 1198 at the Battle of Gisors, when he defeated the forces of Philip II of France, after which, he made it his motto. [60] [61]

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Henry II
Henry Curtmantle
19 December 1154 [lower-alpha 4]

6 July 1189
(34 years, 200 days)
Henry II of England.jpg Royal Arms of England (1154-1189).svg 5 March 1133
Le Mans
Son of Geoffrey V of Anjou
and Matilda
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Bordeaux Cathedral
18 May 1152
8 children
6 July 1189
Chinon
Aged 56 [lower-roman 8]
Grandson of Henry I
Treaty of Wallingford
[62]
[63]
Richard I
Richard the Lionheart
3 September 1189 [lower-alpha 5]

6 April 1199
(9 years, 216 days)
Richard coeurdelion g.jpg Royal Arms of England (1189-1198).svg
Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg
8 September 1157
Beaumont Palace
Son of Henry II
and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Berengaria of Navarre
Limassol
12 May 1191
No children
6 April 1199
Châlus
Shot by a quarrel aged 41 [lower-roman 9]
Son of Henry II
Primogeniture
[64]
[63]
John
John Lackland
27 May 1199 [lower-alpha 6]

19 October 1216
(17 years, 146 days)
John of England (John Lackland).jpg Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg 24 December 1166
Beaumont Palace
Son of Henry II
and Eleanor of Aquitaine
(1) Isabel of Gloucester
Marlborough Castle
29 August 1189
No children
(2) Isabella of Angoulême
Bordeaux Cathedral
24 August 1200
5 children
19 October 1216
Newark-on-Trent
Aged 49 [lower-roman 10]
Son of Henry II
Proximity of blood
[65]
[66]

Henry II named his son, another Henry (1155–1183), as co-ruler with him. But this was a Norman custom of designating an heir, and the younger Henry did not outlive his father and rule in his own right, so he is not counted as a monarch on lists of kings.


Disputed claimant

Louis VIII of France briefly won about half of England over to his side from 1216 to 1217 at the conclusion of the First Barons' War against King John. On marching into London he was openly received by the rebel barons and citizens of London and proclaimed (though not crowned) king at St Paul's cathedral. Many nobles, including Alexander II of Scotland for his English possessions, gathered to give homage to him. However, in signing the Treaty of Lambeth in 1217, Louis conceded that he had never been the legitimate king of England.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaim
(Title disputed)
Louis
Louis VIII the Lion
1216

22 September 1217
(1 year)
Louis8.png France Ancient Arms.svg 5 September 1187
Paris
Son of Philip II of France
and Isabella of Hainault
Blanche of Castile
Port-Mort
23 May 1200
13 children
8 November 1226
Montpensier
Aged 39
Right of conquest

House of Plantagenet

The House of Plantagenet takes its name from Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, husband of the Empress Matilda and father of Henry II. The name Plantagenet itself was unknown as a family name per se until Richard of York adopted it as his family name in the 15th century. It has since been retroactively applied to English monarchs from Henry II onward. It is common among modern historians to refer to Henry II and his sons as the "Angevins" due to their vast continental Empire, and most of the Angevin kings before John spent more time in their continental possessions than in England.

It is from the time of Henry III, after the loss of most of the family's continental possessions, that the Plantagenet kings became more English in nature. The Houses of Lancaster and York are cadet branches of the House of Plantagenet.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Henry III
Henry of Winchester
28 October 1216 [lower-alpha 7]

16 November 1272
(56 years, 20 days)
Henrytreti.jpg Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg 1 October 1207
Winchester Castle
Son of John
and Isabella of Angoulême
Eleanor of Provence
Canterbury Cathedral
14 January 1236
5 children
16 November 1272
Westminster Palace
Aged 65
Son of John
Primogeniture
[67]


[66]

Edward I
Edward Longshanks
20 November 1272 [lower-alpha 8]

7 July 1307
(34 years, 230 days)
Eduard2.jpg Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg 17 June 1239
Palace of Westminster
Son of Henry III
and Eleanor of Provence
(1) Eleanor of Castile
Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas
18 October 1254
16 children
(2) Margaret of France
Canterbury
10 September 1299
3 children
7 July 1307
Burgh by Sands
Aged 68
Son of Henry III
Primogeniture
[68]
[69]
Edward II
Edward of Caernarfon
8 July 1307 [lower-alpha 9]

20 January 1327
(19 years, 197 days)
Edward II - British Library Royal 20 A ii f10 (detail).jpg Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg 25 April 1284
Caernarfon Castle
Son of Edward I
and Eleanor of Castile
Isabella of France
Boulogne Cathedral
24 January 1308
4 children
21 September 1327
Berkeley Castle
Murdered aged 43 [lower-roman 11]
Son of Edward I
Primogeniture
[71]
[72]
Edward III
25 January 1327 [lower-alpha 10]

21 June 1377
(50 years, 148 days)
Edward III of England (Order of the Garter).jpg Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg
Royal Arms of England (1340-1367).svg
13 November 1312
Windsor Castle
Son of Edward II
and Isabella of France
Philippa of Hainault
York Minster
25 January 1328
14 children
21 June 1377
Sheen Palace
Aged 64
Son of Edward II
Primogeniture
[73]
[72]
Richard II
22 June 1377 [lower-alpha 11]

29 September 1399
(22 years, 100 days)
Richard II King of England.jpg Royal Arms of England (1395-1399).svg 6 January 1367
Bordeaux
Son of Edward the Black Prince
and Joan of Kent
(1) Anne of Bohemia
14 January 1382
No children
(2) Isabella of Valois
Calais
4 November 1396
No children
14 February 1400
Pontefract Castle
Aged 33
Grandson of Edward III
Primogeniture
[74]
[75]

House of Lancaster

This house descended from Edward III's third surviving son, John of Gaunt. Henry IV seized power from Richard II (and also displaced the next in line to the throne, Edmund Mortimer (then aged 7), a descendant of Edward III's second son, Lionel of Antwerp).

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Henry IV
Henry of Bolingbroke
30 September 1399 [lower-alpha 12]

20 March 1413
(13 years, 172 days)
Illumination of Henry IV (cropped).jpg Royal Arms of England (1340-1367).svg 3 April 1367
Bolingbroke Castle
Son of John of Gaunt
and Blanche of Lancaster
(1) Mary de Bohun
Arundel Castle
27 July 1380
7 children
(2) Joanna of Navarre
Winchester Cathedral
7 February 1403
No children
20 March 1413
Westminster Abbey
Aged 45
Grandson / heir male of Edward III
Usurpation  / agnatic primogeniture
[76]
[77]
[75]
Henry V
21 March 1413 [lower-alpha 13]

31 August 1422
(9 years, 164 days)
Henry5.JPG Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 16 September 1386
Monmouth Castle
Son of Henry IV
and Mary de Bohun
Catherine of Valois
Troyes Cathedral
2 June 1420
1 son
31 August 1422
Château de Vincennes
Aged 36
Son of Henry IV
Agnatic primogeniture
[78]
[79]
[80]
(1st reign)
Henry VI
1 September 1422 [lower-alpha 14]

4 March 1461
(38 years, 185 days)
King Henry VI.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
Son of Henry V
and Catherine of Valois
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son
21 May 1471
Tower of London
Allegedly murdered aged 49
Son of Henry V
Agnatic primogeniture
[81]
[80]

House of York

The House of York inherited its name from the fourth surviving son of Edward III, Edmund of Langley, first Duke of York, and claimed the right to the throne through Edward III's second surviving son, Lionel of Antwerp.

The Wars of the Roses (1455–1485) saw the throne pass back and forth between the rival houses of Lancaster and York.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(1st reign)
Edward IV
4 March 1461 [lower-alpha 15]

3 October 1470
(9 years, 214 days)
EdwardIVofEngland-Yorkist.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 28 April 1442
Rouen
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
Aged 40
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Edward III
Seizure of the Crown
Cognatic primogeniture
[82]

House of Lancaster (restored)

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(2nd reign)
Henry VI
3 October 1470

11 April 1471
(191 days)
King Henry VI.jpg Royal Arms of England (1470-1471).svg 6 December 1421
Windsor Castle
Son of Henry V
and Catherine of Valois
Margaret of Anjou
Titchfield Abbey
22 April 1445
1 son
21 May 1471
Tower of London
Allegedly murdered aged 49
Son of Henry V
Seizure of the Crown
[81]

House of York (restored)

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(2nd reign)
Edward IV
11 April 1471

9 April 1483
(11 years, 364 days)
EdwardIVofEngland-Yorkist.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 28 April 1442
Rouen
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Elizabeth Woodville
Grafton Regis
1 May 1464
10 children
9 April 1483
Westminster Palace
Aged 40
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Edward III
Seizure of the Crown
Cognatic primogeniture
[82]
Edward V
9 April 1483

25 June 1483 [lower-roman 12]
(78 days)
King Edward V from NPG.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 2 November 1470
Westminster
Son of Edward IV
and Elizabeth Woodville
Does not appear UnmarriedDisappeared mid-1483
London
Allegedly murdered aged 12
Son of Edward IV
Cognatic primogeniture
[83]
[84]
[80]
Richard III
26 June 1483 [lower-alpha 16]

22 August 1485
(2 years, 58 days)
King Richard III from NPG.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 2 October 1452
Fotheringhay Castle
Son of Richard of York
and Cecily Neville
Anne Neville
Westminster Abbey
12 July 1472
1 son
22 August 1485
Bosworth Field
Killed in battle aged 32 [lower-roman 13]
Great-great-grandson of Edward III
Titulus Regius
[85]
[86]

House of Tudor

The Tudors descended in the female line from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of John of Gaunt (third surviving son of Edward III), by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford. Those descended from English monarchs only through an illegitimate child would normally have no claim on the throne, but the situation was complicated when Gaunt and Swynford eventually married in 1396 (25 years after John Beaufort's birth). In view of the marriage, the church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate via a papal bull the same year. [87] Parliament did the same in an Act in 1397. [88] A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, King Henry IV, also recognised the Beauforts' legitimacy, but declared them ineligible ever to inherit the throne. [89] Nevertheless, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunt's other descendants, the Royal House of Lancaster.

John Beaufort's granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort was married to Edmund Tudor. Tudor was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tudur (anglicised to Owen Tudor) and Catherine of Valois, the widow of the Lancastrian King Henry V. Edmund Tudor and his siblings were either illegitimate, or the product of a secret marriage, and owed their fortunes to the goodwill of their legitimate half-brother King Henry VI. When the House of Lancaster fell from power, the Tudors followed.

By the late 15th century, the Tudors were the last hope for the Lancaster supporters. Edmund Tudor's son became king as Henry VII after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, winning the Wars of the Roses. King Henry married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, thereby uniting the Lancastrian and York lineages. (See family tree.)

With Henry VIII's break from the Roman Catholic Church, the monarch became the Supreme Head of the Church of England and of the Church of Ireland. Elizabeth I's title became the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Henry VII
22 August 1485 [lower-alpha 17]

21 April 1509
(23 years, 243 days)
King Henry VII from NPG.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 28 January 1457
Pembroke Castle
Son of Edmund Tudor
and Margaret Beaufort
Elizabeth of York
Westminster Abbey
18 January 1486
8 children
21 April 1509
Richmond Palace
Aged 52
Great-great-great-grandson of Edward III
Right of conquest
[90]
Henry VIII
22 April 1509 [lower-alpha 18]

28 January 1547
(37 years, 282 days)
Hans Holbein, the Younger, Around 1497-1543 - Portrait of Henry VIII of England - Google Art Project.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 28 June 1491
Greenwich Palace
Son of Henry VII
and Elizabeth of York
(1) Catherine of Aragon
Greenwich
11 June 1509
1 daughter
(2) Anne Boleyn
Westminster Palace
25 January 1533 [lower-roman 14]
1 daughter
(3) Jane Seymour
Whitehall Palace
30 May 1536
1 son
3 further marriages
No more children
28 January 1547
Whitehall Palace
Aged 55
Son of Henry VII
Primogeniture
[91]
[92]
Edward VI
28 January 1547 [lower-alpha 19]

6 July 1553
(6 years, 160 days)
Portrait of Edward VI of England.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 12 October 1537
Hampton Court Palace
Son of Henry VIII
and Jane Seymour
Does not appear Unmarried6 July 1553
Greenwich Palace
Aged 15
Son of Henry VIII
Primogeniture
[93]

Disputed claimant

Edward VI named Lady Jane Grey as his heir in his will, overruling the order of succession laid down by Parliament in the Third Succession Act. Four days after his death on 6 July 1553, Jane was proclaimed queen—the first of three Tudor women to be proclaimed queen regnant. Nine days after the proclamation, on 19 July, the Privy Council switched allegiance and proclaimed Edward VI's Catholic half-sister Mary queen. Jane was executed for treason in 1554, aged 16.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(Title disputed)
Jane
10 July 1553

19 July 1553
(Overthrown after 9 days)
Streathamladyjayne.jpg Arms of Grey Family.svg October 1537
Bradgate Park
Daughter of the 1st Duke of Suffolk
and Frances Brandon
Guildford Dudley
The Strand
21 May 1553
No children
12 February 1554
Tower of London
Executed aged 16
Great-granddaughter of Henry VII
Devise for the Succession
[94]
[95]

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Mary I
Bloody Mary
19 July 1553 [lower-alpha 20]

17 November 1558
(5 years, 122 days)
Maria Tudor1.jpg Royal Arms of England (1554-1558).svg 18 February 1516
Greenwich Palace
Daughter of Henry VIII
and Catherine of Aragon
Philip II of Spain
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
No children
17 November 1558
St James's Palace
Aged 42
Daughter of Henry VIII
Third Succession Act
[96]
(Jure uxoris)
Philip
25 July 1554 [lower-roman 15]

17 November 1558
(4 years, 116 days)
Philip, King of England.jpg Royal Arms of England (1554-1558).svg 21 May 1527
Valladolid
Son of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire
and Isabella of Portugal
Mary I of England
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
No children
3 other marriages
7 children
13 September 1598
El Escorial
Aged 71
Husband of Mary I
Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain
N/A
Coat of arms of Mary I Coat of Arms of England (1554-1558).svg
Coat of arms of Mary I

Under the terms of the marriage treaty between Philip I of Naples (Philip II of Spain from 15 January 1556) and Queen Mary I, Philip was to enjoy Mary's titles and honours for as long as their marriage should last. All official documents, including Acts of Parliament, were to be dated with both their names, and Parliament was to be called under the joint authority of the couple. An Act of Parliament gave him the title of king and stated that he "shall aid her Highness … in the happy administration of her Grace's realms and dominions" [97] (although elsewhere the Act stated that Mary was to be "sole queen"). Nonetheless, Philip was to co-reign with his wife. [98]

As the new King of England could not read English, it was ordered that a note of all matters of state should be made in Latin or Spanish. [98] [99] [100] Coins were minted showing the heads of both Mary and Philip, and the coat of arms of England (pictured right) was impaled with Philip's to denote their joint reign. [101] [102] Acts which made it high treason to deny Philip's royal authority were passed in England (see Treason Act 1554) and Ireland. [103] In 1555, Pope Paul IV issued a papal bull recognising Philip and Mary as rightful King and Queen of Ireland.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
Elizabeth I
17 November 1558 [lower-alpha 21]

24 March 1603
(44 years, 128 days)
Elizabeth I Rainbow Portrait.jpg Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace
Daughter of Henry VIII
and Anne Boleyn
Does not appear Unmarried24 March 1603
Richmond Palace
Aged 69
Daughter of Henry VIII
Third Succession Act
[104]

House of Stuart

Following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 without issue, her first cousin twice removed, King James VI of Scotland, succeeded to the English throne as James I in the Union of the Crowns. James was descended from the Tudors through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII and wife of James IV of Scotland. In 1604, he adopted the title King of Great Britain. However, the two parliaments remained separate until the Acts of Union 1707. [105]

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
James I
24 March 1603 [lower-alpha 22]

27 March 1625
(22 years, 4 days)
JamesIEngland.jpg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 19 June 1566
Edinburgh Castle
Son of Lord Darnley
and Mary I of Scotland
Anne of Denmark
Oslo
23 November 1589
7 children
27 March 1625
Theobalds House
Aged 58
Great-great-grandson / heir general of Henry VII [106]
Charles I
27 March 1625 [lower-alpha 23]

30 January 1649
(23 years, 310 days)
King Charles I after original by van Dyck.jpg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace
Son of James I
and Anne of Denmark
Henrietta Maria of France
St Augustine's Abbey
13 June 1625
9 children
30 January 1649
Whitehall Palace
Executed aged 48
Son of James I
Cognatic primogeniture
[107]

Interregnum

No monarch reigned between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Between 1649 and 1653, there was no single English head of state, as England was ruled directly by the Rump Parliament with the English Council of State acting as executive power during a period known as the Commonwealth of England. After a coup d'etat in 1653, Oliver Cromwell forcibly took control of England from Parliament. He dissolved the Rump Parliament at the head of a military force and England entered a period known as The Protectorate, under Cromwell's direct control with the title Lord Protector.

While not officially monarchs, the holder of the office of Lord Protector passed from Oliver Cromwell to his son Richard. Richard lacked both the ability to rule and confidence of the Army, and he was forcibly removed by the English Committee of Safety under the leadership of Charles Fleetwood in May 1659. England again lacked any single head of state during several months of conflict between Fleetwood's party and that of George Monck. Monck took control of the country in December 1659, and after almost a year of anarchy, the monarchy was formally restored when Charles II returned from France to accept the throne of England. This was following the Declaration of Breda and an invitation to reclaim the throne from the Convention Parliament of 1660.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeath
Lords Protector
Oliver Cromwell
16 December 1653

3 September 1658 [108]
(4 years, 262 days)
Oliver Cromwell by Robert Walker.jpg Arms of the Protectorate (1653-1659).svg 25 April 1599
Huntingdon [108]
Son of Robert Cromwell
and Elizabeth Steward [109]
Elizabeth Bourchier
St Giles [110]
22 August 1620
9 children [108]
3 September 1658
Whitehall
Aged 59 [108]
Richard Cromwell
3 September 1658

7 May 1659 [111]
(247 days)
RichardCromwell.png Arms of the Protectorate (1653-1659).svg 4 October 1626
Huntingdon
Son of Oliver Cromwell
and Elizabeth Bourchier [111]
Dorothy Maijor
May 1649
9 children [111]
12 July 1712
Cheshunt
Aged 85 [112]

House of Stuart (restored)

After the Monarchy was restored, England came under the rule of Charles II, whose reign was relatively peaceful domestically, given the tumultuous time of the Interregnum years. Tensions still existed between Catholics and Protestants. With the ascension of Charles's brother, the openly Catholic James II, England was again sent into a period of political turmoil.

James II was ousted by Parliament less than three years after ascending to the throne, replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband (also his nephew) William III during the Glorious Revolution. While James and his descendants would continue to claim the throne, all Catholics (such as James and his son Charles) were barred from the throne by the Act of Settlement 1701, enacted by Anne, another of James's Protestant daughters. After the Acts of Union 1707, England as a sovereign state ceased to exist, replaced by the new Kingdom of Great Britain.

NamePortraitArmsBirthMarriagesDeathClaimRef.
(Recognised by Royalists in 1649)
Charles II
29 May 1660 [lower-alpha 24]

6 February 1685
(24 years, 254 days)
Charles II of England.jpeg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 29 May 1630
St James's Palace
Son of Charles I
and Henrietta Maria of France
Catherine of Braganza
Portsmouth
21 May 1662
No children
6 February 1685
Whitehall Palace
Aged 54
Son of Charles I
Cognatic primogeniture
English Restoration
[113]
[114]
James II
6 February 1685 [lower-alpha 25]

23 December 1688
(Overthrown after 3 years, 321 days)
James II (Gennari Benedetto).jpg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 14 October 1633
St James's Palace
Son of Charles I
and Henrietta Maria of France
(1) Anne Hyde
The Strand
3 September 1660
8 children
(2) Mary of Modena
Dover
21 November 1673
7 children
16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Aged 67
Son of Charles I
Cognatic primogeniture
[115]
Mary II
13 February 1689 [lower-alpha 26]

28 December 1694
(5 years, 319 days)
Mary II - Kneller 1690.jpg Royal Arms of England (1689-1694).svg 30 April 1662
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II
and Anne Hyde
William III of England
St James's Palace
4 November 1677
No children
28 December 1694
Kensington Palace
Aged 32
Daughter of James II
Offered the Crown by Parliament
[116]
William III
William of Orange
13 February 1689 [lower-alpha 26]

8 March 1702
(13 years, 24 days)
Portrait of William III, (1650-1702).jpg Royal Arms of England (1694-1702).svg 4 November 1650
The Hague
Son of William II of Orange
and Mary of England
Mary II of England
St James's Palace
4 November 1677
No children
8 March 1702
Kensington Palace
Aged 51
Grandson of Charles I
Offered the Crown by Parliament
[117]
[116]
Anne
8 March 1702 [lower-alpha 27]

1 May 1707 [118]
(5 years, 55 days)
(Queen of Great Britain until
1 August 1714)
(12 years, 147 days)
Anne1705.jpg Royal Arms of England (1603-1707).svg 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II
and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
No surviving children
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
Aged 49
Daughter of James II
Cognatic primogeniture
Bill of Rights 1689
[119]
After the Acts of Union 1707 Flecha tesela.svgSee List of British monarchs.

Acts of Union

The Acts of Union 1707 were a pair of Parliamentary Acts passed during 1706 and 1707 by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland to put into effect the Treaty of Union agreed on 22 July 1706. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (previously separate sovereign states, with separate legislatures but with the same monarch) into the Kingdom of Great Britain. [120]

England, Scotland, and Ireland had shared a monarch for more than a hundred years, since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones from his first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head. There had been attempts in 1606, 1667, and 1689, to unite England and Scotland by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early eighteenth century that the idea had the support of both political establishments behind it, albeit for rather different reasons.

Timeline of English monarchs

Anne, Queen of Great BritainMary II of EnglandWilliam III of EnglandJames II of EnglandCharles II of EnglandRichard CromwellOliver CromwellCharles I of EnglandJames VI and IElizabeth I of EnglandPhilip II of SpainMary I of EnglandLady Jane GreyEdward VI of EnglandHenry VIII of EnglandHenry VII of EnglandRichard III of EnglandEdward V of EnglandEdward IV of EnglandHenry VI of EnglandEdward IV of EnglandHenry VI of EnglandHenry V of EnglandHenry IV of EnglandRichard II of EnglandEdward III of EnglandEdward II of EnglandEdward I of EnglandHenry III of EnglandJohn, King of EnglandRichard I of EnglandHenry the Young KingHenry II of EnglandEmpress MatildaStephen, King of EnglandHenry I of EnglandWilliam II of EnglandWilliam I of EnglandEdgar the ÆthelingHarold GodwinsonEdward the ConfessorHarthacnutHarold HarefootCnut the GreatEdmund IronsideÆthelred the UnreadySweyn ForkbeardÆthelred the UnreadyEdward the MartyrEdgar the PeacefulEadwigEadredEdmund IÆthelstanHouse of Orange-NassauCommonwealth of EnglandHouse of StuartTudor DynastyHouse of YorkHouse of LancasterHouse of PlantagenetAngevin kings of EnglandHouse of BloisNormansHouse of KnýtlingaHouse of WessexList of English monarchs

Titles

The standard title for all monarchs from Æthelstan until the time of King John was Rex Anglorum ("King of the English"). In addition, many of the pre-Norman kings assumed extra titles, as follows:

In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie ("King of England"). The Empress Matilda styled herself Domina Anglorum ("Lady of the English").

From the time of King John onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie.

In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title (now usually rendered in English rather than Latin) King of Great Britain. The English and Scottish parliaments, however, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707 under Queen Anne (who was Queen of Great Britain rather than king). [lower-roman 16]

See also

Notes

  1. Ælfweard is buried at Winchester. [12]
  2. Æthelred was forced to go into exile in mid-1013, following Danish attacks, but was invited back following Sweyn Forkbeard's death in 1014. [29]
  3. Harold was only recognised as Regent until 1037, when was recognised as king. [41] .
  4. After reigning for approximately 9 weeks, Edgar Atheling submitted to William the Conqueror, who had gained control of the area to the south and immediate west of London. [49]
  5. William I is buried at the Abbey of Saint-Étienne (French: Abbaye aux Hommes) in France.
  6. Henry I is buried at Reading Abbey.
  7. Matilda is not listed as a monarch of England in many genealogies within texts, including Carpenter, David (2003). A Struggle for Mastery. p. 533.; Warren, W.L. (1973). Henry II. p. 176.; and Gillingham, John (1984). The Angevin Empire. p. x..
  8. Henry II is buried at Fontevraud Abbey.
  9. Richard II was buried at Rouen Cathedral. His body currently lies at Fontevraud Abbey.
  10. John is buried at Worcester Cathedral.
  11. The date of Edward II's death is disputed by historian Ian Mortimer, who argues that he may not have been murdered, but held imprisoned in Europe for several more years. [70]
  12. Edward V was deposed by Richard III, who usurped the throne on the grounds that Edward was illegitimate. He was never crowned. [83]
  13. The body of Richard III was exhumed and reburied in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.
  14. Edward Hall and Raphael Holinshed both record an earlier secret wedding between Henry and Anne, which was conducted in Dover on 15 November 1532.
  15. Philip was not meant to be a mere consort; rather, the status of Mary I's husband was envisioned as that of a co-monarch during her reign. (See Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain.) However the extent of his authority and his status are ambiguous. The Act says that Philip shall have the title of king and "shall aid her Highness ... in the happy administration of her Grace's realms and dominions", but elsewhere says that Mary shall be the sole Queen.
  16. After the personal union of the crowns, James was the first to style himself King of Great Britain, but the title was rejected by the English Parliament and had no basis in law. The Parliament of Scotland also opposed it. [121] (See also Union Flag.)

Coronations

  1. William II was crowned on 26 September 1087.
  2. Henry I was crowned on 5 August 1100.
  3. Stephen was crowned on 22 December 1135.
  4. Henry II was crowned on 19 December 1154 with his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  5. Richard I was crowned on 3 September 1189.
  6. John was crowned on 27 May 1199.
  7. Henry III was crowned on 28 October 1216.
  8. Edward I was crowned on 19 August 1274 with Queen Eleanor.
  9. Edward II was crowned on 25 February 1308 with Queen Isabella.
  10. Edward III was crowned on 1 February 1327.
  11. Richard II was crowned on 16 July 1377.
  12. Henry IV was crowned on 13 October 1399.
  13. Henry V was crowned on 9 April 1413.
  14. Henry VI was crowned on 6 November 1429.
  15. Edward IV was crowned on 28 June 1461.
  16. Richard III was crowned on 6 July 1483 with Queen Anne.
  17. Henry VII was crowned on 30 October 1485.
  18. Henry VIII was crowned on 24 June 1509 with Queen Catherine.
  19. Edward VI was crowned on 20 February 1547.
  20. Mary I was crowned on 1 October 1553.
  21. Elizabeth I was crowned on 15 January 1559.
  22. James I was crowned on 25 July 1603 with Queen Anne.
  23. Charles I was crowned on 2 February 1626.
  24. Charles II was crowned on 23 April 1661.
  25. James II was crowned on 23 April 1685 with Mary of Modena.
  26. 1 2 Mary II and William III were crowned on 11 April 1689.
  27. Anne was crowned on 23 April 1702.

Related Research Articles

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The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling, and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 (new) pence. From the 16th century until decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 (old) pence. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The Royal Mint also commissions the coins' designs.

Westminster Abbey Church in London

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

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James Francis Edward Stuart British prince

James Francis Edward Stuart, nicknamed The Old Pretender, was the son of King James II and VII of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his second wife, Mary of Modena. He was Prince of Wales from July 1688 until, just months after his birth, his Catholic father was deposed and exiled in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II's Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Catholics from the English then, subsequently, British throne.

Duke of Cornwall title in the Peerage of England

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The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents that they claimed the English crown. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture. The reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499.

Speech from the throne

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The Acts of Supremacy are two acts passed by the Parliament of England in the 16th century that established the English monarchs as the head of the Church of England. The 1534 Act declared Henry VIII of England and his successors as the Supreme Head of the Church, replacing the Pope. The Act was repealed during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I. The 1558 Act declared Queen Elizabeth I and her successors the Supreme Governor of the Church, a title that the British monarch still holds.

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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.

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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.

Abdication voluntary or forced renunciation of sovereign power

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Royal Succession Bills and Acts

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