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History of the British Monarchy

 
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The history of the English Crown up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603 is long and eventful. The concept of a single ruler unifying different tribes based in England developed in the eighth and ninth centuries in figures such as Offa and Alfred the Great, who began to create centralised systems of government. Following the Norman Conquest, the machinery of government developed further, producing long-lived national institutions including Parliament. The Middle Ages saw several fierce contests for the Crown, culminating in the Hundred Years War. The conflict was finally ended with the advent of the Tudors, the dynasty which produced some of England's most successful rulers and a flourishing cultural Renaissance. The end of the Tudor line with the death of the 'Virgin Queen' in 1603 brought about the Union of the Crowns with Scotland.

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    King Arthur, Man or Myth
  King Arthur, Man or Myth
King Arthur was a legendary British leader of the late fifth and early sixth centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. The details of Arthur's story are...
 
    Offa, First King of the English
  Offa, First King of the English
Offa (son of Thingfrith, son of Eanulf), King of Mercia, was one of the leading figures of Saxon history. He obtained the throne of Mercia in 757, after the murder of his cousin, King Aethelbald, by Beornraed. After spending fourteen years in consoli...
 
    Alfred the Great, 1st King of Wessex
  Alfred the Great, 1st King of Wessex
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English king to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King...
 
    William I, The Conqueror
  William I, The Conqueror
William of Normandy ruled as the Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087 and as King of England from 1066 to 1087. William invaded England, won a victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known...
 
    Henry I of England
  Henry I of England
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England. He succeeded his elder brother William II as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy in 1106. He was called Beauclerc for his scholarly i...
 
    Henry II, King of England
  Henry II, King of England
Henry II ruled as King of England (11541189), Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry...
 
    King Richard I, The Lionheart
  King Richard I, The Lionheart
While Richard Plantagenet is revered as one of the great warrior kings of England, he is perhaps best known as "the absent king." This is due to the fact that during his reign from 1189-1199, he spent a total of six months in England. This aside Rich...
 
    King John of England
  King John of England
John reigned as King of England from April 6, 1199, until his death. He succeeded to the throne as the younger brother of King Richard I (known as "Richard the Lionheart"). John acquired the nicknames of "Lackland" and "Soft-sword." He was a Plantage...
 
    Henry III, King of England
  Henry III, King of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for fifty-six years from 1216 to his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready. E...
 
    King Edward I of England, Longshanks
  King Edward I of England, Longshanks
Edward I, popularly known as "Longshanks" because of his 6 foot 2 inch (1.88 m) frame and the "Hammer of the Scots" (his tombstone, in Latin, read, Hic est Edwardus Primus Scottorum Malleus, "Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots"), achieved fame as...
 
    Edward II of England
  Edward II of England
Edward II, called Edward of Carnarvon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. He was the seventh Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II. Interspersed between the strong reigns of his father Edwa...
 
    King Edward III of England
  King Edward III of England
Edward III was 14 when he was crowned King and assumed government in his own right in 1330. In 1337, Edward created the Duchy of Cornwall to provide the heir to the throne with an income independent of the sovereign or the state. An able soldier, and...
 
    Edward the Black Prince
  Edward the Black Prince
In the whole range of English history there is no name so completely wrapped up in the idea of English chivalry as that of Edward the Black Prince. Born on the 15th of June 1330, the son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, he was only in his sixt...
 
    John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
  John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called "John of Gaunt" because he was born in Ghent, then known as Gaunt in English...
 
    Richard II of England
  Richard II of England
Richard II was the son of Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales, and Joan "The Fair Maid of Kent". He was born in Bordeaux and became his father's successor when his elder brother died in infancy. He was deposed in 1399 and died the next year....
 
    Henry IV of England
  Henry IV of England
Henry IV was the King of England and France and Lord of Ireland from 1399 to 1413. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence the other name by which he was known, "Henry (of) Bolingbroke". His father, John of Gaunt, was the third and o...
 
    Henry V of England
  Henry V of England
Henry V of England was one of the great warrior kings of the Middle Ages. He was born at Monmouth, Wales, and reigned as King of England from 1413 to 1422. Henry was son of Henry of Bolingbroke, later Henry IV, and Mary de Bohun, who died before B...
 
    Richard III of England
  Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England from 1483 until his death. He was the last king from the House of York, and his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth marked the culmination of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. After the death o...
 
    Henry VII, Founder of Tudor Dynasty
  Henry VII, Founder of Tudor Dynasty
Henry VII, King of England, Lord of Ireland (August 22, 1485 April 21, 1509), was the founder of the Tudor dynasty. After the failure of the revolt of his cousin, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, Henry VII became the leading Lancastrian c...
 
    Henry VIII of England, Tudor
  Henry VIII of England, Tudor
Henry VIII was King of England and Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) from 22 April 1509 until his death. He was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father, Henry VII. He is famous for having been married six times and for wi...
 
    Elizabeth I, Queen of England
  Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Elizabeth I was born in 1533 to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Although she entertained many marriage proposals and flirted incessantly, she never married or had children. Elizabeth, the last of the Tudors, died at seventy years of age after a very succ...
 
    Edward VI of England
  Edward VI of England
Edward VI became King of England, King of France (in practice only the town and surrounding district of Calais) and Ireland on 28 January 1547, at just nine years of age. Edward, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was the third monarch of the Tu...
 
    James VI and I, King of Scots and England
  James VI and I, King of Scots and England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death. The kingdoms of England and Scotland were individual soverei...
 
    Charles I of England
  Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. He famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England. As he was an advocate of the Divine Right of Kings, many in England feare...
 
    James II of England, VII of Scotland
  James II of England, VII of Scotland
King James II of England and VII of Scotland was the last Catholic monarch to rule over England, Scotland, and Ireland. His reign, from 1685 to 1688, culminated with the Glorious Revolution, in which Protestants deposed him in favor of Mary II and Wi...
 
    William III of Orange, King of England
  William III of Orange, King of England
William III (Dutch: Willem III) was a sovereign Prince of Orange by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange (Dutch: Willem III van Oranje) over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From...
 
    George I of Great Britain
  George I of Great Britain
George I was the first Hanoverian King of Great Britain and King of Ireland, from 1 August 1714 until his death. He was also the Archbannerbearer (afterwards Archtreasurer) and a Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. George I was extremely unpopul...
 
    Mary II, Queen of England
  Mary II, Queen of England
Mary II, born in 1662, was the daughter of James II and Anne Hyde. She was married to William of Orange as a matter of Charles II's foreign policy; she and William had no children. Mary died of smallpox in 1694. William III (William of Orange), born...
 
    Queen Anne of Great Britain
  Queen Anne of Great Britain
Queen Anne became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her brother-in-law, William III of England and II of Scotland. Her Catholic father, James II and VII, was deemed by the English Parliament to have abdicated when he...
 
    King George II of Great Britain
  King George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland. He was the last British monarch to have been born outside of Great Britain, and was famous for his numerous conflicts with his father and, subsequently, with his son. As King, he exercised little contr...
 
    British Empire : Timeline
  British Empire : Timeline
The British Empire was the first genuinely global empire, an empire that ranged, at times, from the American colonies in the West, Australia and New Zealand in the East, Canada and her dominions in the North and huge chunks of Africa in the South, in...
 
    George III, King of Great Britain
  George III, King of Great Britain
Britain's King George III was the 18th century monarch who lost the fight to keep control over the American colonies. The third monarch of the Hanover house and the first to be born in England, he held the throne from 1760 until 1820, a reign second...
 
    Victoria, Queen of England
  Victoria, Queen of England
Victoria was the daughter of Edward, the Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg. She was born in Kensington Palace in London on May 24th, 1819. In 1837 Queen Victoria took the throne after the death of her uncle William IV. Due to her secl...
 
    Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death on 6 May 1910. He was the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which was renamed the House of Windsor by...
 
    King George V, Great Britain and Ireland
  King George V, Great Britain and Ireland
George V, king of Great Britain and Ireland (191036), second son and successor of Edward VII. At the age of 12 he commenced a naval career, but this ended with the death (1892) of his elder brother, the duke of Clarence, which made him the eventual...
 
    Queen Elizabeth II
  Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, subsequently King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Five weeks later she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the chapel at Buckingham Palace. Her M...
 
         



 
 
         
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