Kings and Queens of England 871 – Present Day

Elizabeth IIThis timeline details all Kings and Queens of England from 871 to present day

Since 1327 England and Wales have shared a monarch

Since 1603 England, Wales and Scotland have shared a monarch

England and Ireland shared a monarch from 1254 to 1936 when the Republic of Ireland broke from the monarchy, Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom retained the monarchy.

Drove the Vikings out of Wessex and began to unite England.
Son of Alfred the Great, continued to drive out the Vikings and work towards uniting England.
Son of Edward the Elder United England and is recognised as the first King of all England
Son of Edward the Elder
Son of Edward the Elder
Eldest son of Edmund
Youngest son of Edmund
Son of Edgar by his first wife. Murdered at Corfe Castle by supporters of his younger half-brother, Aethelred
Son of Edgar by his second wife. He was known as the Unready. Faced with new Viking invasions he chose to pay vast sums of money. He was deposed by Sweyn Forkbeard but returned after his death
Sweyn Forkbeard 1013 – 1014
After conquering much of England was declared King in December 1013. On his death he left the throne to his son, Canute but the people chose to allow Aethelred to return.
Known as Ironside because of his bravery fighting successive Danish invasions, succeeded his father, Aethelred the Unready
Son of the Danish King, Sweyn Forkbeard, had ruled N England as part of peace terms since 1015, took throne following death of Edmund II
Known as Harefoot, son of Cnut
Son of Cnut
Son of Aethelred the Unready. Took a vow of celibacy so had no children.
Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, claimed Edward gave him the throne on his deathbed.
Nicknamed the Conqueror after defeating Harold II at Battle of Hastings
Son of William I, died while hunting in New Forest in mysterious circumstances
Son of William I, became King after the death of his brother
Nephew of Henry I, appointed King over Henry I’s daughter Matilda – a move that led to civil war
Son of Henry I’s daughter Matilda and Geoffrey of Monmouth
Son of Henry II, nicknamed Lionheart due to his involvement in the crusades
Youngest son of Henry II
Son of John
Son of Henry III. Conquered Wales and built many castles
Son of Edward I. First Prince of Wales. Eldest sons of the reigning monarch have been created Prince of Wales ever since. Was deposed in favour of his son.
Son of Edward II. The Hundred Years War with France began and saw the death of the heir to the throne, the Black Prince
Son of the Black Prince
Son of Edward III’s son John of Gaunt took the throne from Richard II who died in Pontefract castle
Continued the Hundred Years War with victory at Agincourt
Suffered bouts of madness that led to challenges to the throne known as the Wars of the Roses
Took the throne from Henry VI
Aged 12 when his father died Edward and his brother Richard mysteriously died in the Tower of London
Appointed regent for young Edward V became King after the princes in the Tower disappeared
Defeated Richard III at Battle of Bosworth Field and claimed the throne
Famously married six times, beheaded two of his queens and changed religion to Anglican
Edward VI 1547 – 1553
Sickly son of Henry VIII died after 6 years as King
Lady Jane Grey 1553
Queen for just 9 days. Protestant great niece of Henry VIII given throne to avoid return to Catholicism
Mary I 1553 – 1558
Nicknamed Bloody Mary for killing Protestants
Elizabeth I 1558 – 1603
Nicknamed the Virgin Queen as never married
James I 1603 – 1625
Grandson of Henry VIII’s elder sister was also King James VI of Scotland
Charles I 1625 – 1649
Executed by Parliament at the end of the English Civil War
Oliver Cromwell 1649 – 1658
No monarch following execution of Charles I. Britain was declared a Commonwealth and Cromwell was its Head
Richard Cromwell 1658 – 1660
Richard was not a leader like his father and the monarchy was restored
Charles II 1660 – 1685
Nicknamed the Merry Monarch for restoring music and dancing which had been banned by Oliver Cromwell
James II 1685 – 1688
Showed openly Catholic tendencies and was replaced by his daughter and son-in-law
William III and Mary II 1688 – 1702
Ruled as joint monarchs until 1694 when Mary died. William ruled alone until his death in 1702
Queen Anne 1702 – 1714
Anne had seventeen pregnancies and her only surviving son died in 1700 so the crown passed to the Hanoverians
George I 1714 – 1727
German George could not speak English
George II 1727 – 1760
The last King to lead troops into battle
George III 1760 – 1820
Ruled for 60 years. Suffered bouts of insanity
George IV 1820 – 1830
Flamboyant son of George III built the Royal Pavilion in Brighton
William IV 1830 – 1837
Nicknamed Sailor Billy after his time served in the navy
Married her children to many European prince and princesses
Edward VII 1901 – 1910
Only monarch of house Saxe Coburg Gotha
George V 1910 – 1936
Changed the royal name to Windsor during World War One to distance the monarchy from its German heritage
Edward VIII 1936
Abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson – a divorcee
Became King after the abdication of his brother
Became the longest reigning monarch in 2015


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2015-2017). Kings and Queens of England 871 – Present Day. Available: Last accessed December 12th, 2017


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