The legacy of English Royalty is a complex and fascinating one. There have been 62 Kings and Queens of England and Britain throughout about 1200 years.
Legacy of English Kings
EGBERT 827 – 839
The first ruler to establish a reliable and broad dominion over all of Anglo-Saxon England was Egbert (Ecgherht). In 802, when he returned from captivity at Charlemagne’s court, he reclaimed his Wessex kingdom.
AETHELWULF 839 – 858
Egbert’s son and Alfred the Great’s father, who reigned as King of Wessex.
AETHELBALD 858 – 860
Athelbald, Aethelwulf’s heritage, was born around 834.
AETHELBERT 860 – 866
Following the death of his brother Athelbald, he ascended to the throne.
AETHELRED I 866 – 871
Aethelred took over after his brother Aethelbert.
ALFRED THE GREAT 871 – 899 – son of AETHELWULF
Alfred established Saxon Christian dominance over Wessex first, then most of England, with decisive triumphs at Edington, Rochester, and London.
EDWARD (The Elder) 899 – 924
Inherited from Alfred the Great, his father. Edward reunited the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia after his sister Aethelflaed of Mercia passed away.
ATHELSTAN 924 – 939
Athelstan, son of Edward the Elder, expanded his kingdom’s borders during the Battle of Brunanburh in 937.
EDMUND 939 – 946
He fought alongside his half-brother Athelastan at the Battle of Brunanburh two years prior, and at the tender age of 18, succeeded him as king.
EADRED 946 – 955
Edward the Elder’s third wife, Eadgifu, gave birth to Eadred, who succeeded his brother Edmund after the latter’s untimely passing.
EADWIG 955 – 959
Eadwig, the eldest son of Edmund I.
EDGAR 959 – 975
The youngest son of Edmund I.
EDWARD THE MARTYR 975 – 978
Edgar’s eldest son, Edward, was crowned king at the young age of 12.
AETHELRED II THE UNREADY 978 – 1016
Aethelred was given the moniker “unready” or “badly advised” because he was unable to organize a defense against the Danes.
EDMUND II IRONSIDE 1016 – 1016
The son of Aethelred II.
CANUTE THE DANE 1016 – 1035
Following the passing of Edmund II, Canute was crowned king of all of England.
HAROLD I 1035 – 1040
He is additionally known as Harold Harefoot in honor of his agility and hunting prowess.
HARTHACANUTE 1040 – 1042
The son of Cnut the Great and Emma of Normandy.
EDWARD THE CONFESSOR 1042-1066
Harthacanute died, and Edward returned to the House of Wessex to control the English crown.
HAROLD II 1066
Following the passing of Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwin was crowned king, despite having no royal ancestry. He was the last Saxon King of England.
Legacy of NORMAN KINGS
WILLIAM I(The Conqueror) 1066- 1087
The first Norman king of England, William I (1028–1087, often known as William the Conqueror), ruled from 1066 until 1087.
WILLIAM II (Rufus) 1087-1100
William was an unpopular king who was known for his cruelty and luxury.
HENRY I 1100-1135
Henry Beauclerc was the fourth and youngest son of William I.
The repeated raids by the Scots and the Welsh nearly brought down Stephen, who was a very weak king.
Legacy of PLANTAGENET KINGS
HENRY II 1154-1189
King Henry of Anjou was a capable leader. He expanded his French holdings until he controlled the majority of France. He was a skilled soldier.
RICHARD I (The Lionheart) 1189 – 1199
Henry II had a third son named Richard. By the time he was 16 years old, he was commanding his army and quelling uprisings in France.
JOHN 1199 -1216
John Lackland was the fourth child of Henry II.
Legacy of HENRY III 1216 -1272
When Henry became king, he was just 9 years old. Being raised by priests, he developed a passion for the church, art, and education. He was a weak man who was easily swayed by his wife’s French relatives and was controlled by churchmen.
Legacy of Monarchs of England and Wales
EDWARD I 1272 – 1307
A statesman, attorney, and soldier, Edward Longshanks had many talents. In 1295, he established the Model Parliament, which was the first time the Lords and Commons, as well as the knights, clergy, and nobles, were all together under one roof. He overthrew the Welsh chieftains to achieve his goal of a united Britain and made his eldest son the Prince of Wales.
EDWARD II 1307 – deposed 1327
Edward was a weak and ineffective king. He had a variety of “favorites,” with Piers Gaveston being the most well-known. In 1314, the Scots defeated him at the Battle of Bannockburn.
EDWARD III 1327 – 1377
He ruled for 50 years and was the son of Edward II. Initiating the Hundred Years War in 1338, his aim to annex Scotland and France dragged England into the conflict.
RICHARD II 1377 – deposed 1399
Richard, the Black Prince’s son, was lavish, unfair, and unreliable. Wat Tyler was the leader of the Peasants Revolt in 1381. It took a lot of force to put an end to the uprising.
Legacy of the HOUSE OF LANCASTER
HENRY IV 1399 – 1413
Being the son of John of Gaunt and the third child of Edward III was recognized as king by Parliament after returning from exile in France to retrieve his possessions that had been taken by Richard II.
HENRY V 1413 – 1422
He was a devout, harsh, and skilled soldier and the son of King Henry IV. At just 12 years of age, he was knighted for his soldiering abilities in putting down several rebellions against his father.
HENRY VI 1422 – deposed 1461 Beginning of the Wars of the Roses
Gentle and reserved, he inherited a losing battle with France when he ascended to the kingdom as a child. The Hundred Years’ Battle ended in 1453 with the loss of all French holdings except Calais.
Legacy of HOUSE OF YORK
EDWARD IV 1461- 1483
He was the unpopular son of Richard Duke of York and Cicely Neville. Even his contemporaries disapproved of him because of his bad morals (he had numerous girlfriends and at least one son who wasn’t his biological child).
EDWARD V 1483 – 1483
Edward’s mother, Elizabeth Woodville, sought refuge from the Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses at Westminster Abbey, which is where he was born.
RICHARD III 1483 – 1485 End of the Wars of the Roses
Edward IV’s brother.
Heritage of THE TUDORS
HENRY VII 1485 – 1509
When Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, Henry Tudor was given his crown to wear.
Monarchs of England, Wales, and Ireland
HENRY VIII 1509 – 1547
The best-known fact about Henry VIII is that he had six wives!
EDWARD VI 1547 – 1553
Edward succeeded his father Henry VIII, at the age of 9.
MARY I (Bloody Mary) 1553 – 1558
Daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. She married Philip of Spain and was a dedicated Catholic.
ELIZABETH I 1558-1603
Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was a wonderful woman who was renowned for her intelligence and experience.
JAMES I and VI of Scotland 1603 -1625
Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley had a son named James. He was the first monarch of Scotland and England.
CHARLES 1 1625 – 1649 English Civil War
He was the son of James I and Anne of Denmark.
declared May 19th, 1649
OLIVER CROMWELL, Lord Protector 1653 – 1658
Cromwell was born in 1599 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, the son of a modest landowner. In 1629, he was elected to Parliament and became involved in the events that led up to the Civil War.
RICHARD CROMWELL, Lord Protector 1658 – 1659
Richard Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell’s third son, was designated the second governing Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, serving for only nine months.
CHARLES II 1660 – 1685
Son of Charles I, also known as the Merry Monarch.
JAMES II and VII of Scotland 1685 – 1688
Charles II’s younger brother.
WILLIAM III 1689 – 1702 and MARY II 1689 – 1694
At the Battle of the Boyne, William beat James, and James fled to France as a guest of Louis XIV.
ANNE 1702 – 1714
Anne was the second daughter of James II.
GEORGE I 1714 -1727
Son of Sophia and the Elector of Hanover, James I’s great-grandson.
GEORGE II 1727 – 1760
Only son of George I.
GEORGE III1760 – 1820
He was the grandson of George II.
GEORGE IV 1820 – 1830
Known as the ‘First Gentleman of Europe’.
WILLIAM IV 1830 – 1837
He was the third son of George III and was known as the ‘Sailor King’ (for ten years the young Prince William, brother of George IV, served in the Royal Navy).
VICTORIA 1837 – 1901
Victoria was the only child of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, George III’s fourth son.
Legacy of the HOUSE OF SAXE-COBURG AND GOTHA
EDWARD VII 1901 – 1910
A beloved king, the polar opposite of his dour father.
HOUSE OF WINDSOR
The name changed in 1917
GEORGE V 1910 – 1936
George had no intention of becoming king, but when his elder brother died, he became the heir apparent.
EDWARD VIII June 1936 – abdicated December 1936
Edward was the most popular Prince of Wales that the United Kingdom has ever had. As a result, when Edward abdicated the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the people found it difficult to believe.
GEORGE VI 1936 – 1952
George was a shy and nervous man with a terrible stutter, the polar opposite of his brother the Duke of Windsor, yet he had inherited his father George V’s steadfast virtues.
When her father, King George VI, died, Elizabeth inherited the throne of seven Commonwealth countries.
King Charles III 2022 –
Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Charles ascended to the throne at the age of 73, taking the title King Charles III, with his wife Camilla becoming Queen Consort. Charles is the oldest and most senior heir apparent to the British monarchy. Charles Philip Arthur George was born in Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948, and became heir apparent upon his mother’s succession as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.