From 1327 England and Wales have shared Kings and Queens
From 1603 England, Wales and Scotland have shared Kings and Queens
The Kings and Queens of England also ruled Ireland from 1254 to 1936 when the Republic of Ireland broke from the monarchy, Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom retained the monarchy.
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.
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.
Ruled while his father was on pilgrimage and succeeded after his death. Aethelbald scandalously married his father’s widow, Judith of France.
Did not marry
Became King of Wessex after the death of his brother, Aethelbald.
Married to Wulfthryth
Became King after the death of his brother, Aethelbert. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Married 1. Aelfgifu of Shaftesbury, 2. Aethelflaed of Damerham
Became King of England 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 and so his brother became King.
Did not marry
Succeeded to the throne after the murder of his brother because his nephews were considered too young to rule. He succeeded in driving the Vikings out of Northumbria.
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.
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.
Did not marry
Succeeded his father as King of England, but his succession was opposed by those that supported his younger half-brother Aethelred. He was murdered at Corfe Castle possibly on the orders of his step-mother, Aelfgifu of York.
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 of England 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.
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, Canute but the people chose to allow Aethelred II to return as their King.
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, Canute who believed he should be king.
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 Canute 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.
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. Canute was also King of Denmark and Norway and his son, Harthacanute acted as regent in Denmark.
Known as Harefoot because of his speed on the battlefield, he was given the throne of England by the Witan because Canute’s nominated successor, his half-brother Harthacanuet, had not returned from Denmark.
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.
Married Edith of Wessex
Was sent to Normandy to live with his mother’s family after King Canute 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Married 1. Edith of Scotland 2. Adeliza of Louvain
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 placed in the Tower of London to await Edward’s coronation. In June 1483 it was announced that Edward IV’s marriage was not legal and the brothers were illegitimate. They mysteriously disappeared soon afterwards and are known as the Princes in the Tower.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, an event known as the Glencoe Massacre. William and Mary did not have any children to succeed them.
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.
Married Sophia Dorothea of Celle estranged c. 1688
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Married Prince Philip of Greece
Succeeded her father and became Queen of Britain at the age of 26 years. She 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.
First published 2013; updated and republished May 12 2020 @ 13:40 – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2013-2020). Kings and Queens of England 827 – Present Day. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/kings-and-queens-of-england-871-present-day Last accessed April 13th, 2021