Kings and Queens of England 827 – Present Day

 

Kings and Queens of England - Elizabeth IIThis timeline details all Kings and Queens of England from 827 to present day

Since 1327 England and Wales have shared the 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.

See also Kings and Queens of Scotland 843 – Present Day

HOUSE OF WESSEX
Son of Ealhmund of Kent
Married to Redburga, daughter of Charlemagne, King of the Franks (this may be legend)
Egbert was ruler of Kent and managed to gain the submission of all Kingdoms of England. This was short-lived but he retained control of Wessex until his death.
Son of King Egbert
Married to 1. Osburgh 2. Judith of France
Succeeded his father as King of Wessex. He faced repeated Viking invasions and raids. He took his youngest son, Alfred on a pilgrimage to Rome and on the way back married Judith of France, the 12 year old daughter of King Charles (the Bald) of France.
Son of King Aethelwulf and Osburgh
Ruled while his father was on pilgrimage and succeeded after his death. Aethelbald scandalously married his father’s widow, Judith of France.
Son of King Aethelwulf and Osburgh
Did not marry
Became King of Wessex after the death of his brother, Aethelbald.
Son of King Aethelwulf and Osburgh
Married to Wulfthryth
Became King after the death of his brother, Aethelberht. His reign saw repeated Viking invasions and he died from injuries sustained in the Battle of Meretum. His sons Aethelhelm and Aethelwold were considered too young to rule when Aethelwulf died.
Son of King Aethelwulf and Osburgh
Married to Ealhswith
Alfred succeeded his brother Aethelred as King of Wessex. He drove the Vikings out of Wessex and began to unite England. He also fortified many towns against future Viking attacks.
Son of King Alfred the Great and Ealhswith
Married 1. Ecgwynn, 2. Aelfflaed, 3. Eadgifu
Edward continued to drive out the Vikings and work towards uniting England. He took control of Mercia after the death of his sister, Aethelflaed, Lady of Mercia.
Son of King Edward the Elder and Ecgwynn
Did not marry
Achieved his father’s and grandfather’s aims and united England after taking Northumbria. He is generally recognised as the first King of all England
Son of King Edward the Elder and Eadgifu
Married 1. Aelfgifu of Shaftesbury, 2. Aethelflaed of Damerham
Became king after the death of his half-brother Aethelstan. His reign saw continued Viking raids and a struggle to maintain control of the whole Kingdom. He was murdered by a thief who had been exiled. After his death his two sons, Eadwig and Edgar were considered too young to rule.
Son of King Edward the Elder and Eadgifu
Did not marry
Succeeded to the throne after the murder of his brother. His nephews were considered too young to rule. He succeeded in driving the Vikings out of Northumbria.
Son of King Edmund and Aelfgifu of Shaftesbury
Married Aelfgifu
Became King after the death of his uncle Eadred. Eadred was not popular with the church due to his irreligious style of living. Mercia and Northumbria refused to accept his rule and England was split with Eadwig’s brother Edgar, becoming King of Mercia and Northumbria.
Youngest son of King Edmund and Aelfgifu of Shaftesbury
Married 1. Aethelflaed, 2. Wulfthryth, 3. Aelfthryth
Edgar succeeded his brother as King of England. He restored good relations between the monarchy and the church.
Son of King Edgar and Aethelflaed
Did not marry
Succeeded his father as king but his succession was opposed by those that supported his younger half-brother Aethelred becoming King. He was murdered at Corfe Castle possibly on the orders of his step-mother, Aelfgifu of York.
Son of King Edgar and Aelfhryth
Married 1. Aelfgifu of York, 2. Emma of Normandy
Succeeded after his half-brother was murdered. He was 12 years old when he became King and his mother acted as regent. He was known as the Unready, from the word ‘unread’ meaning poor counsel. He ordered the massacre of all Danes living in England which resulted in new Viking invasions. Aethelred chose to pay them vast sums of money to leave England but they always returned. He was deposed by Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013.
Son of Harald Bluetooth and Gyrid
Married to 1. Gunhilda, 2. Sigrid
After conquering much of the country he was declared King of England in December 1013. On his death he left the throne to his son, Cnut but the people chose to allow Aethelred II to return as their King.
Son of King Edgar and Aelfhryth
Married 1. Aelfgifu of York, 2. Emma of Normandy
Aethelred returned as king after Sweyn Forkbeard’s death in 1014. He faced a challenge from Forkbeard’s son, Cnut who believed he should be king.
Son of King Aethelred the Unready and Aelfgifu of York
Married Ealdgyth
Known as Ironside because of his bravery fighting successive Danish invasions, Edmund succeeded his father, Aethelred the Unready. He died soon after agreeing to split the Kingdom with Cnut of Denmark. He sent his son Edward into exile for his own safety. Edward was later summoned to return to England by Edward the Confessor
ANGLO SAXON AND DANISH
Son of the Danish King, Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunhilda
Married 1. Aelfgifu of Northampton, 2. Emma of Normandy
Had ruled northern England as part of peace terms since 1015 and took throne following death of Edmund II. After becoming king he married King Aethelred’s widow, Emma of Normandy. He appointed Godwin Earl of Wessex, making him the most powerful nobleman. Cnut was also King of Denmark and Norway and his son, Harthacnut acted as regent in Denmark. 
Son of King Cnut and Aelfgifu of Northampton
Married Aelfgifu
Known as Harefoot because of his speed on the battlefield, he was given the throne of England by the Witan because Cnut’s nominated successor, his half-brother Harthacnut, had not returned from Denmark.
Son of King Cnut and Emma of Normandy
Did not marry
Became king after the death of his half-brother King Harold I. He was not a popular ruler because he increased taxation.
Son of King Aethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy
Married Edith of Wessex
Was sent to Normandy to live with his mother’s family after King Cnut took the throne. He allegedly took a vow of celibacy and had no children. His childlessness led to the Norman Conquest as William of Normandy believed he had been promised the throne.
Son of Earl Godwin of Wessex and Gytha Thorkelsdottir
Married 1. Edith Swanneck (married by Danish handfasting ceremony) 2. Edith of Mercia
Harold claimed that Edward the Confessor had given him the throne on his deathbed. His rule was challenged by Harald Hardrada and William of Normandy. Harold defeated Hardrada but was killed during the Battle of Hastings against the forces of William.
Son of Edward the Exile and Agatha
Did not marry
Edgar was the grandson of King Edmund Ironside. He had been passed over in January 1066 in favour of Harold Godwinson. He was appointed king by the Witan after the death of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings.
HOUSE OF NORMANDY
Son of Robert of Normandy and Herleva
Married Matilda of Flanders
Nicknamed the Conqueror after defeating King Harold II at Battle of Hastings. Spent much of his reign dealing with rebellions in England and in Normandy. He commissioned the Domesday Survey to determine the wealth of England.
Son of King William I and Matilda of Flanders
Did not marry
King William II of England was not popular with the church due to his love of good living. He died while hunting in New Forest in mysterious circumstances.
Son of King William I and Matilda of Flanders
Married Edith of Scotland.
Became king following the death of his brother William II. He gained the nickname Beauclerc because he was a good administrator. He used a large chequered cloth to count income leading to finance being known as the Exchequer. His eldest son, William Aetheling drowned in the White Ship Disaster which led to a succession crisis.
Son of Stephen of Blois and Adela of Normandy (William I’s daughter)
Married Matilda of Boulogne
Gained approval of the nobility to be appointed King over Henry I’s daughter Matilda. Matilda was unhappy that she had been passed over despite her father’s wish that she be queen. She raised forces and the civil war against King Stephen is referred to as The Anarchy.
HOUSE OF PLANTAGENET
Son of King Henry I’s daughter Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou
Married Eleanor of Aquitaine
Succeeded as King of England over the sons of Stephen as part of the Civil War settlement. His views on church reform came into conflict with Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury who was assassinated in 1170. His later reign saw conflict with his sons and his wife over the succession of his vast dynasty.
Son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Married Berengaria of Navarre
Succeeded his father as King of England. However, throughout his 10 year reign he only spent around 6 months in the country. He embarked on the Third Crusade which earned him the nickname Lionheart. He was kidnapped on his return to England which cost the country a huge ransom. He died while on campaign in Aquitaine.
Youngest son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Married 1. Isabella of Gloucester, 2. Isabella of Angouleme
John succeeded following the death of his brother Richard. He faced increasing demands for reform from the nobility and was forced to sign Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215.
Son of King John and Isabella of Angouleme
Married Eleanor of Provence
Became King of England at the age of 9 years and ruled for 56 years. After reaching his majority he began a conquest of Wales that his son would complete. Like his father, Henry faced demands from the nobility for reform, specifically a number of advisers to be appointed to advise the King.
Son of King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence
Married 1. Eleanor of Castile, 2. Margaret of France
Nicknamed Longshanks because he was tall and the Hammer of the Scots because he fought in Scotland. He completed the conquest of Wales and built many castles. Edward also began taking control in Scotland during the succession crisis caused by the death of Margaret Maid of Norway. When his wife, Eleanor, died, Edward erected crosses along her funeral route including Charing Cross in London.
Son of King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile
Married Isabella of France
He was created the first Prince of Wales and eldest sons of the reigning monarch have been created Prince of Wales ever since. He continued his father’s Scottish campaign but was beaten at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Edward II came into conflict with the nobility who wanted more power and the removal of Edward’s favourites. He was deposed in favour of his son and imprisoned where he died.
Son of King Edward II and Isabella of France
Married Philippa of Hainault
Edward’s reign was dominated by the Hundred Years War with France. Edward’s eldest son, Edward, the Black Prince, died fighting in the war. Society changed following the drastic reduction in the population following the Black Death. Rivalry between Edward’s sons would lead to the Wars of the Roses.
Son of the Edward the Black Prince and Joan of Kent
Married 1. Anne of Bohemia, 2. Isabella of Valois
Became King of England and Wales at the age of 10 years when he succeeded his grandfather to the throne. The introduction of a Poll Tax in 1381 made him extremely unpopular. His unpopularity increased when he gave positions to his favourites. He was deposed by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle where he died.
HOUSE OF LANCASTER
Son of King Edward III’s son John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster
Married 1. Mary de Bohun, 2. Joan of Navarre
With the backing of many members of the nobility, Henry took the throne from Richard II. Henry’s reign was punctuated by conflict with the Welsh and Scots.
Son of King Henry IV and Mary de Bohun
Married Catherine of Valois
Henry succeeded his father as King of England and Wales. He continued the Hundred Years’ War with France and saw victory at Agincourt. He continued to make gains in France and died at the age of 25 years from a wound sustained while fighting in France.
Son of King Henry V and Catherine of Valois
Married Margaret of Anjou
Henry VI was just 9 months old when he became King of England, Wales and France. The French resented his position as King and French forces led by Joan of Arc tried to drive the English out but they did not succeed. As he grew older, Henry suffered bouts of madness that led to challenges to the throne known as the Wars of the Roses. Richard Duke of York was unable to gain support to replace the King but his son, Edward did. Henry managed to briefly regain the throne in 1470 but was soon deposed.
HOUSE OF YORK
Son of Richard Duke of York and Cecily Neville
Married Elizabeth Woodville
Edward of York took the throne from Henry VI. He alienated Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick by marrying Elizabeth Woodville and raising her family. He died after a brief illness at Easter 1483
Son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Did not marry
Edward was aged 12 when his father died. He was proclaimed King of England and his uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester was regent. Edward and his brother Richard were housed in the Tower of London when it was announced that Edward IV’s marriage was not legal and they were illegitimate. They mysteriously disappeared soon afterwards and are referred to as the Princes in the Tower.
Son of Richard Duke of York and Cecily Neville
Married Anne Neville
Appointed regent for young Edward V and became King after declaring the sons of Edward IV to be illegitimate. His place on the throne was challenged by Henry Tudor who defeated him at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
HOUSE OF TUDOR
Son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort
Married Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV
Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at Battle of Bosworth Field and claimed the throne founding the Tudor dynasty. His marriage to Elizabeth of York united the houses of York and Lancaster and ended the Wars of the Roses. Henry VII was a shrewd King and made England a wealthy country.
Son of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
Married 1. Catherine of Aragon, 2. Anne Boleyn, 3. Jane Seymour, 4. Anne of Cleves, 5. Kathryn Howard, 6. Katherine Parr
Succeeded his father as King of England. He famously married six times and beheaded two of his queens. He broke with Rome and made himself Head of the Church of England in order to obtain a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Henry took control of Ireland and made himself King of Ireland.
Son of King Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour
Did nor marry
Edward became King at the age of 10 years. His uncle Edward Seymour was regent until he was overthrown by John Dudley. Edward was a committed Protestant and introduced the Book of Common Prayer to all churches. He died after 6 years as King possibly from tuberculosis.
Daughter of Henry Grey and Frances Brandon, daughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary
Married Guildford Dudley
Jane became queen after being nominated as successor to Edward VI. She was chosen to succeed in order to avoid a return to Catholicism. She reigned for just 9 days before being imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mary initially spared her life but after a rebellion in her favour she was executed.
Daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
Married Philip II of Spain
Mary became Queen of England after taking control from Lady Jane Grey. She restored the religion of England to Catholicism. She was nicknamed Bloody Mary for killing Protestants. She also lost Calais, England’s last possession in France.
Daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
Did not marry
Elizabeth became queen after the death of her half-sister, Mary. She was nicknamed the Virgin Queen because she never married. Elizabeth ruled for 45 years, saw English victory in the Spanish Armada and had the American state of Virginia named after her by Walter Raleigh. She introduced the Elizabethan Poor Laws which sought to help those that genuinely could not work.
HOUSE OF STUART
Son of Henry Stuart and Mary Queen of Scots
Married Anne of Denmark
James was the grandson of Henry VIII’s elder sister Margaret and was King James VI of Scotland. He succeeded as King of England because Elizabeth had no children. He was the first Stuart monarch and survived the Gunpowder Plot attempt to assassinate him and the government.
Son of King James I and Anne of Denmark
Married Henrietta Maria of France
Charles succeeded his father as King of England. He caused conflict with the Church and Parliament due to his leanings towards Catholicism and his insistence on the Divine Right of Kings. His refusal to grant concessions to parliament led to the English Civil War He was executed by Parliament at the end of the war.
INTERREGNUM
Son of Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward
Married Elizabeth Bourchier
There was no monarch following execution of Charles I. Britain was declared a Commonwealth in May 1649 and in 1653 and Cromwell was appointed Head of the Commonwealth. Cromwell was a strict Puritan and imposed Puritanism on the country – music halls were closed and Christmas celebrations were banned.
Son of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth Bourchier
Married Dorothy Maijor
Richard succeeded his father as Head of the Commonwealth but he had little support from the military because he had never served in the army. Furthermore was not a leader like his father and was persuaded to resign the title by Parliament.
HOUSE OF STUART
Son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Married Catherine of Braganza
Became King of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. He was nicknamed the Merry Monarch for restoring music and dancing which had been banned by Oliver Cromwell. Charles was also famed for his extra-marital affairs. His reign saw the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. The Test Act, passed during Charles II’s reign, prevented Catholics from becoming MPs or holding public office.
Son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Married 1. Anne Hyde, 2. Mary of Modena
Despite being a Catholic, James succeeded his brother Charles as King of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The birth of his son, James Francis, meant a strong likelihood that Catholicism would return. In 1688 a number of MPs invited James’s son-in-law, William of Orange to Britain and take the throne with his wife Mary, an act that is known as the Glorious Revolution.
William III and Mary II6th February 1689 – 8th March 1702
William was the son of William of Orange and Mary, daughter of Charles I; Mary was the daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde
William and Mary were married
William and Mary ruled as joint monarchs until 28th December 1694 when Mary died. William then ruled alone until his death in 1702. Most of their reign was spent in conflict with those Catholic supporters of James II and his son, known as Jacobites. In Ireland the Battle of the Boyne saw the defeat of the Jacobite forces. In Scotland all highland chiefs were required to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary. When the Glencoe MacDonald clan chief missed the deadline the clan were massacred. William and Mary did not have any children to succeed them.
Daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde
Married Prince George of Denmark
Anne succeeded following the death of her brother-in-law. In 1707 the Act of Union formally united England, Wales and Scotland as Great Britain. Anne had seventeen pregnancies and her only surviving son had died in 1700. She was the last Stuart monarch.
HOUSE OF HANOVER
Son of Ernest Augustus of Hanover and Sophia of the Palatinate, granddaughter of James I
Married Sophia Dorothea of Celle
German George inherited the throne as the closest living Protestant relative of Queen Anne (Catholics had been barred from the succession by the Act of Settlement 1701). George was the grandson of James I’s daughter Elizabeth and could not speak a word of English. Catholics believed that James Stuart, son of King James II and Mary of Modena should be King and rallied behind his Jacobite cause.
Son of King George I and Sophia Dorothea of Celle
Married Caroline of Ansbach
George succeeded his father as King of Great Britain. He was the last King to personally lead troops into battle during the Seven Years War. His reign saw another Jacobite uprising for Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, which was put down at the Battle of Culloden.
Son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe Gotha
Married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
George succeeded his grandfather as King. He ruled for 60 years, longer than any other monarch at the time and 3rd longest reign to date. He suffered from bouts of insanity which have been attributed to the condition porphyria. He was very reluctant to concede defeat in the American War of Independence. In his later years his mental state led to his son taking over as regent. The period is known as The Regency.
Son of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Married Caroline of Brunswick
George lived a flamboyant lifestyle and was fond of entertaining, racing and gambling. He ordered the construction of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. When his father was considered mentally unfit to rule he became regent. The Catholic Relief Bill, passed at the end of his reign, allowed Catholics to become MPs and hold public office.
Son of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
William succeeded his brother George as King. He was nicknamed Sailor Billy after his time served in the navy. His reign saw the passing of the First Reform Bill in 1832. He had no surviving legitimate children to succeed him.
Daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (son of King George III) and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Victoria acceded the throne 3 weeks after her 18th birthday and reigned for 64 years, longer than any monarch at the time and 2nd longest reign to date. She is known as the Grandmother of Europe because she married her children to many European prince and princesses. She was devastated when her husband, Albert, died in 1861 and spent the rest of her life dressed in black.
HOUSE OF SAXE COBURG GOTHA
Son of Queen Victoria and Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Married Alexandra of Denmark
Edward was the only monarch of house Saxe Coburg Gotha. He was the longest serving Prince of Wales by the time of his accession and second longest serving Prince of Wales to date. His good relationship with the French President helped pave the way for the signing of the Entente Cordiale between Britain and France in 1904.
HOUSE OF WINDSOR
Son of King Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark
Married Mary of Teck
George V changed the royal name to Windsor during World War One to distance the monarchy from its German heritage. He refused to allow the Russian Royal Family sanctuary in Britain for fear of sparking a revolution. Ireland was partitioned and southern Ireland became a republic while northern Ireland became part of the United Kingdom.
Son of King George V and Mary of Teck
Married Wallis Simpson
Edward succeeded his father as King but he abdicated the throne in December 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson – a divorcee. He and his wife were exiled to France.
Son of King George V and Mary of Teck
Married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Reluctantly became King after the abdication of his brother. He suffered from a stammer and found public speaking difficult, though he was helped by therapist Lionel Logue. Remained in London during World War Two to show solidarity with the people during the Blitz. He died of lung cancer at the age of 57 years.
Daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Married Prince Philip of Greece
Succeeded her father at the age of 26 years and became the longest reigning monarch in 2015. To date she has been served by 12 different Prime Ministers of Britain and is the World’s most recognised woman.

 

Published Apr 20, 2013 @ 13:40 – Updated – Oct 10, 2019 @ 1:18 pm

 

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2013-2019). Kings and Queens of England 827 – Present Day. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/kings-and-queens-of-england-871-present-day Last accessed November 20th, 2019