When it comes to the history of the monarchy, it’s fair to say that each entrant on this list of kings and queens of England has played a vital role in shaping this nation’s rich and complex tapestry. There are intriguing tales of love, death, war, political alliances, murder and tyranny, as well as bravery, loyalty and longevity.
Let’s take a look at the monarchy timeline. England was ruled until 1707. In that year, there was a political union between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. On 1 January 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created and then, in the 1920s, on the succession of what is now the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was formed.
We’ll start our rundown of all English kings and queens with Alfred the Great. Despite not being officially crowned King of England, he was the first man to become the country’s dominant ruler.
The Kings of the Anglo-Saxons
Alfred the Great
Born: c.848 | Died: 899 | Reign: 886 – 899
The most powerful of all the Anglo-Saxon kings, Alfred was the de facto king of England and brought the country into an age of relative power and stability. He was a broad thinker who looked beyond personal gain and focused on the good of the country and its people. In the list of kings and queens of England, Alfred rightfully comes first.
Edward the Elder
Born: c.874 | Died: 924 | Reign: 899 – 924
Alfred’s oldest son was less of a scholar than his father but was successful as a military leader. Few primary sources exist about his reign but later historians suggest he did much to cement a south-focused Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
Born: c.901 | Died: 924 | Reign: 924
It remains a matter of conjecture whether Ælfweard was king of the Anglo-Saxons (or just Wessex), although it’s generally agreed he wasn’t crowned. His reign is said to have lasted just sixteen days.
The Kings of England
Born: c.894 | Died: 939 | Reign: 927 – 939
The first king of a unified country, Æthelstan is regarded as one of the great rulers of Anglo-Saxon England and one of the most accomplished statesmen in mediaeval Europe. Twelfth century chronicler William of Malmesbury said of him, ‘no-one more just or more learned ever governed the kingdom.’ He was buried at Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire.
Born: c.920 | Died: 946 | Reign: 939 – 946
Taking his rightful place in the list of English monarchs, Edmund started the Benedictine Reform, a program of changes which included the restoration of a traditional monastic life, caring for the poor and encouraging artistic endeavours. His death remains a mystery but he was buried in Glastonbury Abbey.
Born: c.923 | Died: 955 | Reign: 946 – 955
One of the least known of all English kings and queens, Eadred was Edmund’s younger brother and reunified England after Northumbria came under the control of Viking ruler Eric Bloodaxe. He died from a mysterious illness and was buried in the New Minster in Winchester.
Born: c.940 | Died: 959 | Reign: 955 – 959
Eadwig was Edmund’s eldest son and, crowned at fifteen, he was one of the youngest rulers in the list of English monarchs. Much of the details of his reign are lost and he died before his twentieth birthday. Like his uncle Eadred, he was also buried in the New Minster in Winchester.
Born: c.943 | Died: 975 | Reign: 959 – 975
Known as Edgar the Peaceful, he introduced a standardised system of coinage and was also involved in the improvement of the way laws were enforced. His coronation is believed to have been the template for all modern coronation ceremonies for English kings and queens. He died in his early thirties and is buried at Glastonbury Abbey.
Edward the Martyr
Born: c.962 | Died: 978 | Reign: 975 – 978
Edgar’s eldest son was no more than twelve or thirteen when he was crowned king after an ugly leadership contest with his half-brother Æthelred. Due to his age, he was seen as a weak and ineffective ruler. Edward was murdered in the grounds of where Corfe Castle now stands. He was buried at Wareham without royal honours but was disinterred and reburied in Shaftesbury Abbey.
Æthelred the Unready
Born: c.966 | Died: 1016 | Reign: 978 – 1013 and 1014 – 1016
One of the most well-known rulers in this list of kings and queens of England in order, Æthelred was another young king – about twelve when he took the throne – and his time as king was beset with war against the Danes. For a year his reign was punctuated by Danish king Swein Forkbeard, but after the Dane’s death he retook the throne. Æthelred died in 1016 and was buried in the old St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Born: c.990 | Died: 1016 | Reign: April – November 1016
Known as Edmond Ironside due to his prowess with a sword, his brief reign was one of the shortest of the kings and queens of England and was marred by constant war against the armies of Canute, Forkbeard’s son. His death remains a mystery but he was buried alongside his grandfather Edgar at Glastonbury Abbey.
Born: c.990 | Died: 1035 | Reign: 1016 – 1035
Despite seizing the throne by force, Forkbeard’s son was a largely popular ruler. Alongside Alfred, he was the only other king of England to gain the epithet ‘the Great.’ He donated heavily to the church and was a highly regarded diplomat throughout western and northern Europe. He died in Dorset and was buried at the New Minster in Winchester.
Born: ? | Died: 1040 | Reign: 1035 – 1040
The illegitimate son of Canute, his reign was blighted by familial strife, most notably from his step-brother Harthacnut who was deemed to be the rightful heir to the throne. The manner of his death remains a mystery. He was buried in Westminster Abbey and in a gruesome act of revenge, Harthacnut had his body exhumed and beheaded before dumping it near the Thames. His body was eventually recovered and reinterred at the church of St. Clement Danes in London.
Born: c.1018 | Died: 1042 | Reign: 1040 – 1042
One of the final Anglo-Saxon era kings and queens of England, he found it difficult to rule in council with senior earls and his reign lasted just over two years. He was buried at Winchester Cathedral after either dying of excessive alcohol consumption or being poisoned.
Edward the Confessor
Born: c.1003 | Died: 1066 | Reign: 1042 – 1066
Son of Enthelred the Unready, Edward is one of the most famous rulers on this list of kings and queens of England. During his reign, Edward oversaw the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey and was believed to be a highly astute diplomat, maintaining relationships with the rulers of Scotland and Wales. He is the only English king to have been canonised by the Pope and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: c.1022 | Died: 1066 | Reign: January – October 1066
Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England and, it is believed, the first in the list of English monarchs to be crowned at Westminster Abbey. Victorious at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Harold was famously defeated by William, Duke of Normandy, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. His final resting place remains disputed. It is either at Waltham Abbey in Essex or in the town of Bosham in Sussex. It is of course entirely likely to be neither of these places.
Born: c.1052 | Died: c.1125 | Reign: October – December 1066
The reign of Edgar – for a few weeks after the Battle of Hastings – is highly disputed. It is believed he was elected king by a council of elders known as the Witan but it’s generally agreed that he was never crowned. His burial place was never recorded.
The House of Normandy
The kings of the House of Normandy came to power after the Battle of Hastings and in this monarchy timeline, England came of age. The Tower of London was built, one of the most famous records in history – the Domesday Book – was compiled, the government began to take shape and the Exchequer was founded.
Born: c.1028 | Died: 1087 | Reign: 1066 – 1087
Known as William the Conqueror, many of the reforms he put into place are still relevant today including changes to the church, the aristocracy, art, culture and language. His conquest has been described as the most radical and dramatic change to English history between the Fall of Rome and the twentieth century. He died in France and was buried at L’Abbaye-aux-Hommes in the town of Caen.
Born: c.1056 | Died: 1100 | Reign: 1087 – 1100
William the Conqueror’s third son, he is known as William Rufus (Latin for ‘red’) most likely due to his hair colour. He was said to be a fine warrior who maintained order throughout the kingdom, as well as maintaining important political ties with France. However he has often been portrayed as flamboyant and aggressive, with few social graces, a scant disregard for religious piety and a taste for vices of all kinds. He died after being pierced with an arrow while on a hunt in the New Forest. Some called it an accident, others called it murder. His remains were interred at Winchester Cathedral.
Born: 1068 | Died: 1135 | Reign: 1100 – 1135
Present at the scene where Willam died, Henry quickly seized the throne and in this list of all English kings and queens, he has been described as being a cruel and ruthless ruler. However he did enact a series of good laws as well as making use of judges. He fell ill and supposedly died after eating a surfeit of lampreys – a small fish. His body was buried at Reading Abbey. Henry left no male heirs – his son died in an accident in 1120 – so he was due to name his daughter Matilda as queen. However the nobility didn’t like the thought of being ruled by a woman so they threw their support behind Stephen, Henry’s nephew.
The House of Blois
Born: 1092 or 1096 | Died: 1154 | Reign: 1135 – 1154
French-born, Stephen of Blois was a largely ineffective king whose reign was constantly interrupted by invading armies from Scotland and Wales. Power in England at that time was controlled by the barons and, in 1139, Matilda, who believed she was the rightful heir to the throne on the death of her father, invaded. This led to a civil war known as The Anarchy. Stephen was restored on the agreement Matilda’s son assumed the throne on his death. He died after falling ill and was buried at Faversham Abbey in Kent.
The House of Plantagenet/Anjou
Also known as the Angevins (‘from Anjou’), this royal house developed England’s coat of arms, the famous three lions. Dieu et mon droit, ‘God and my right’ was used as a battle cry for the first time under Richard I, and has been used as the motto of all English kings and queens since Richard III.
Born: 1133 | Died: 1189 | Reign: 1154 – 1189
Henry is perhaps best known for his row with Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket which resulted in the latter’s murder in 1170. He was a first-class soldier and an excellent administrator who laid the foundations for England’s common law system and raised taxes to pay for a standing army. By the age of forty he controlled England, much of Wales, eastern Ireland, western France and at times Scotland and the Duchy of Brittany. He died from a bleeding ulcer and was buried at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou.
Born: 1157 | Died: 1199 | Reign: 1189 – 1199
In this list of kings and queens of England, very few can be regarded as greater warriors than Richard the Lionheart. Despite spending all but six months of his ten-year reign outside of the kingdom he ruled, Henry II’s son spent much of the exchequer on warfare, especially in the Middle East commanding the Third Crusade. His capture and subsequent ransom almost bankrupted England and he is one of the people on this list of English monarchs who is better known by his nickname than his regnal number. He died from a crossbow wound and his heart was buried at Rouen, his entrails at Chalus where he died, and his body at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey.
Born: 1166 | Died: 1216 | Reign: 1199 – 1216
In the history of English kings and queens, John was said to have been the worst ruler of all. He was seen as a cruel, self-indulgent man guilty of avarice and selfishness. He was accused by a later historian of ‘almost superhuman wickedness’, taking away the rights of the people and raising taxes to unimaginable levels. He was forced by England’s high-ranking nobility to sign the Magna Carta which reinstated the nobility’s rights and limited royal power. He died in 1216 and is buried in Worcester Cathedral.
Born: 1207 | Died: 1272 | Reign: 1216 – 1272
In the list of English monarchs, Henry III was one of the very youngest, acceding to the throne aged just nine. An understandably weak ruler, he was largely dominated by the priests that raised him and latterly, his wife’s relatives. He was a devoutly religious king who was briefly ousted from power by Simon de Montfort and was forced to set up a Parliament, the forbearer of the House of Commons. His reign of 56 years was the longest in England’s mediaeval history. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1239 | Died: 1307 | Reign: 1272 – 1307
Edward was often seen as the embodiment of what a king ought to be. He was a soldier, a man of faith and a respected administrator. Crucially, he oversaw consistent military success that secured his grip on power. He is credited with creating the permanent institution that is Parliament. He died after a violent stomach illness and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1284 | Died: 1327 | Reign: 1307 – 1327
Of all the kings and queens of England in order, Edward II was often seen by his contemporaries as being one of the most incompetent. He was soundly beaten by Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, which was followed by a period of widespread famine. He was deposed – with the help of his own wife – and held at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. He died there in 1327, though it remains a matter of conjecture whether he was murdered or died of natural causes. The former seems more likely. He was buried in Gloucester Abbey.
Born: 1312 | Died: 1377 | Reign: 1327 – 1377
Crowned at fourteen, Edward’s half-century reign was notable for many things, including restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father. During his tenure, England became one of the most militarily powerful countries in Europe, but his declaration of the French throne plunged the country into the Hundred Years’ War (which in fact lasted 116 years). At the same time, the Black Death struck, killing over a third of the English population. He was said to be one of England’s greatest leaders, indeed a contemporary chronicler wrote ‘his like had not been seen since the days of King Arthur.’ He died of a stroke at Sheen Palace in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1367 | Died: 1400 | Reign: 1377 – 1399
Another very young ruler in this list of English monarchs, Richard II came to the throne at the age of ten and during his life he was seen as unjust, lacking in faith and wildly extravagant. He had to deal with the Hundred Years’ War which he wanted to bring to conclusion, and the Peasants’ Revolt which he was instrumental in suppressing. He was deposed in 1399 and was thought to have been starved to death in Pontefract Castle. He was interred in Westminster Abbey.
The House of Lancaster
This royal house was a branch of the Plantagenets and was descended from John of Gaunt, the third surviving son of Edward III. For the next eighty-six years, power passed between the houses of Lancaster and York until the House of Tudor in 1485 became the dominant house in the monarchy timeline. England was about to experience an era the likes of which had never before been seen.
Born: 1367 | Died: 1413 | Reign: 1399 – 1413
Henry IV was the first of the kings and queens of England since William in 1066 whose mother tongue was English and not French. He seized the throne by force (which eventually led to the Wars of the Roses) and spent much of his reign fending off attacks from the Welsh, rebellions from some of the country’s preeminent earls and a number of assassination attempts. He died of a mystery illness and is buried in Canterbury Cathedral.
Born: 1386 | Died: 1422 | Reign: 1413 – 1422
Henry was one of mediaeval England’s greatest leaders, often described as a military genius. He was successful in putting down the rebellions his father suffered and is perhaps most famous for a decisive victory against the French at the Battle of Agincourt. Perhaps his obsession with the French prompted a lack of focus at home, but his military prowess set the stage for England to become a major power. He died in France of a serious illness and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Henry VI – First Reign
Born: 1421 | Died: 1471 | Reign: 1422 – 1461
Henry VI came to the throne as a nine-month old baby and in this list of kings and queens of England in order he is the only one to have also been crowned King of France. After losing the Hundred Years’ War, he suffered with his mental health and Richard of York was made Protector of the Realm. This led to a dynastic struggle between the houses of Lancaster and York and England was sent headfirst into a civil war known as the Wars of the Roses.
The House of York
During the Wars of the Roses, control of the throne swung between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists.
Edward IV – First Reign
Born: 1442 | Died: 1483 | Reign: 1461 – 1470
After victory against the Lancastrians at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and Towton, the bloodiest battle of British soil, Edward IV, seen by some as a man of poor morals, took the throne. The Lincolnshire Rebellion deposed Edward and the House of Lancaster was restored.
The House of Lancaster - Restored
Henry VI – Second Reign
Born: 1421 | Died: 1471 | Reign: 1470 – 1471
Henry’s second reign lasted just 191 days. His nine years in hiding had taken its toll on him and England was effectively ruled by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as ‘The Kingmaker.’ Warwick was killed at the Battle of Barnet in April 1471 and less than a month later, the Yorkists won the Battle of Tewkesbury, where Henry was captured. He is alleged to have died in the Tower of London, most probably murdered by loyal Yorkists. He is buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, one of the largest castles in the world.
The House of York - Restored
Edward IV – Second Reign
Born: 1442 | Died: 1483 | Reign: 1471 – 1483
As the Lancastrian cause ended, Edward IV was restored and ruled for a further twelve years. He was described by a nineteenth century historian as ‘the only king in English history since 1066 in active possession of his throne who failed to secure the safe succession of his son.’ He died of a mystery illness and is buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Born: 1470 | Died: c.1483 | Reign: April – June 1483
Of all English kings and queens, Edward’s reign was among the shortest, at seventy-eight days. It is unlikely he was ever crowned and he and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York were the infamous Princes of the Towers, who disappeared and were presumed murdered. Many pointed the finger at their uncle, later to become King Richard III.
Born: 1452 | Died: 1485 | Reign: 1483 – 1485
Richard was the last of the Plantagenet kings and regarded as a deeply unpopular man whose short, two-year reign was beset with turmoil and conflict. He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, which effectively ended the Wars of the Roses and was the end of the period known as the Middle Ages. He was the last English king to die in battle. His remains were found in 2015 buried under a car park in Leicester. He was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.
The House of Tudor
The House of Tudor ruled England for 118 years and featured some of the most famous kings and queens of England.
Born: 1457 | Died: 1509 | Reign: 1485 – 1509
The first king of the House of Tudor and the last king to win the crown on the battlefield, Henry was a conscientious ruler who restored power and stability to the country after years of turmoil. He balanced the exchequer by introducing new methods of taxation and it is said that his wife, Elizabeth of York, was the inspiration for the Queen of Hearts on playing cards. He died of tuberculosis and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1491 | Died: 1547 | Reign: 1509 – 1547
Henry VIII is arguably the most famous monarch in this list of English kings and queens. Described as ‘one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the throne’ and often seen as the most important king in English history, he was married six times, split from Rome and created the Church of England. He also affected the Dissolution of the Monasteries and developed an effective naval force. He died in the Palace of Whitehall and is buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Born: 1537 | Died: 1553 | Reign: 1547 – 1553
Crowned at the age of nine, he was the first king of England to be raised as a Protestant. At his age he couldn’t reign as an adult, so the country was governed by a regency council led by his mother’s brother Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. He fell ill and died in Greenwich Palace. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Lady Jane Grey
Born: 1537 | Died: 1554 | Reign: 10 July – 19 July 1553
Known as the Nine Days Queen, she claimed the throne after Edward’s death but very quickly, support for her half-sister Mary grew and Jane was deposed. She was held in the Tower of London under charges of high treason and was executed in 1554, aged just seventeen. She is buried in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London, one of the world’s biggest forts.
Born: 1516 | Died: 1558 | Reign: 1553 – 1558
The daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Queen Mary attempted to restore the country to Catholicism and had almost 300 dissenters burned at the stake, earning her the epithet Bloody Mary. England’s first female monarch, she married King Philip II of Spain for political convenience. She died at St James’s Palace and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1533 | Died: 1603 | Reign: 1558 – 1603
Presiding over an age of enlightenment, Elizabeth was the last Tudor monarch. It is often said that the union she had with her people was in place of marriage. In this list of English kings and queens, few led such an important reign as Elizabeth. She defeated the Spanish Armada, the first Virginian colony was founded in the future United States, it was the age of Shakespeare, she returned England to a Protestant nation and signed the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. She died in Richmond Palace in Surrey and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
The House of Stuart
The House of Stuart combined the thrones of England and Scotland for the first time. There were two interregnums (1649 – 1660 and 1688 – 1689) and the Stuarts lasted from 1603 – 1714.
Born: 1566 | Died: 1625 | Reign: 1603 – 1625
The first monarch to rule both England and Scotland, he was James I of England and James VI of Scotland – though each had separate laws, parliaments and judiciaries. His period on the throne was known as the Jacobean era and on his watch Guy Fawkes launched the Gunpowder Plot. He died of a stroke in Theobalds House in Hertfordshire and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1600 | Died: 1649 | Reign: 1625 – 1649
Charles was said to have been a tyrannical leader who led the country into a bloody civil war. His royalist forces were defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army and he was imprisoned and tried for treason. He was executed in front of the Palace of Whitehall. On his death, the monarchy was abolished in favour of a republic. In the first interregnum, Oliver Cromwell and then his son Richard controlled England from Parliament.
Born: 1630 | Died: 1685 | Reign: 1660 – 1685
The House of Stuart was restored with Charles II. Despite the fact that he was seen as a rather weak king, he was very popular. He had a number of mistresses including Nell Gwyn. During his reign the Great Plague occurred in 1665, and the Great Fire of London in 1666 killed 75,000 people and destroyed huge swathes of the capital. He died at the Palace of Whitehall and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1633 | Died: 1701 | Reign: 1685 – 1688
An unpopular king, James converted to Catholicism aged 37. His legacy is one of religious intolerance and he was largely disliked by the populace. England’s last Catholic king was deposed in 1688 and, after the second interregnum, was replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband William III, or William of Orange. He died in exile in France and is buried at the Church of the Benedictines in Paris.
Mary II & William III
Born: 1662/1650 | Died: 1694/1702 | Reign: 1689 – 1694\1689 – 1702
Dutch-born WIlliam sailed over 450 ships into Torbay Harbour and marched on London with 20,000 men to reign jointly with his wife, Mary II. Despite repeated attempts to regain the throne, James II was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne and fled to France. Mary died in 1694 and WIlliam reigned for a further eight years. He died in Kensington Palace and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1665 | Died: 1714 | Reign: 1702 – 1714
Of the kings and queens of England in order, Anne’s reign included England winning major battles against the French and cementing the nation’s place as a European and global superpower. During her time on the throne, Scotland and England came together to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain. She died in Kensington Palace and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
The House of Hanover
The House of Hanover was of German descent and from 1714 to 1901, this list of kings and queens of England comprises just six monarchs. During the Hanoverian reign, Britain acquired much of its overseas territories and by its end, the British Empire covered a third of the globe.
Born: 1660 | Died: 1727 | Reign: 1714 – 1727
George was 54 when he was crowned king and spoke no English. The country was run by its first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. George suppressed a Jacobite uprising in 1715 but spent very little time in England. He died of a stroke in Hanover and was buried in Leine Palace. He is the most recent king to be buried outside of the UK.
Born: 1683 | Died: 1760 | Reign: 1727 – 1760
On this list of English monarchs, George II is the most recent to have been born outside the UK. He also relied on Walpole to run the country and was the last English king to lead troops into battle, at Dettingen in Germany in 1743. Like his father he also suppressed a Jacobite rebellion and in 1757, donated the royal library to the British Museum. He died in Kensington Palace and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Born: 1738 | Died: 1820 | Reign: 1760 – 1820
George was the country’s first English-born, English-speaking monarch since Queen Anne almost a century before. His reign saw a golden age of the arts, with Jane Austen, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth, as well as some of the greatest military leaders in British history, including Nelson and Wellington. His later life was beset by a struggle with mental illness – so much so that his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent from 1811 until his death. He is buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Born: 1762 | Died: 1830 | Reign: 1820 – 1830
George IV is often seen in history as little more than a glorious buffoon. He was known as The First Gentleman of England thanks to his style and charm, but of all British and English kings and queens, he was not very highly regarded. He commissioned the building of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, the remodelling of Buckingham Palace and the rebuilding of Windsor Castle. He is also buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Born: 1765 | Died: 1837 | Reign: 1830 – 1837
His decade in the Royal Navy earned him the nickname The Sailor King and it is believed he had ten children with an actress. During his seven-year reign, slavery was abolished in the British colonies, child labour was restricted and the electoral system was redesigned. He died in Windsor Castle and he too was buried in St George’s Chapel.
Born: 1819 | Died: 1901 | Reign: 1837 – 1901
Prior to Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria held the record for the longest reign of any of the monarchs on this list of kings and queens of England and the UK. The Victorian Age witnessed the Industrial Revolution, the birth of the motor car and huge changes in science, politics and the military. Her beloved husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha passed away long before her, and she was also crowned Empress of India. She had nine children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. She died in 1901 on the Isle of Wight and is buried at the Royal Mausoleum on the Frogmore Estate in Windsor.
The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Members of this famous royal house have sat on thrones all over the world including Portugal, Bulgaria, Belgium, India and the UK.
Born: 1841 | Died: 1910 | Reign: 1901 – 1910
One of the most beloved kings in this list of English monarchs. George was the eldest son of Victoria and Albert and nicknamed ‘Bertie’. He was a fine diplomat who built lasting relationships all over Europe and at home, he was the epitome of the fashionable, cultured elite. He loved horses – his horse Minoru won the Derby in 1909 – and he had six children. He was one of the first monarchs to travel extensively around the world and it is believed he smoked twenty cigarettes and twelve cigars a day. He died in Buckingham Palace and was buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The House of Windsor
The current ruling house, there have been, to date, five Windsor monarchs. This list of kings and queens of England takes in our current King, Charles III.
Born: 1865 | Died: 1936 | Reign: 1910 – 1936
George was a career sailor who didn’t expect to become king. The younger son of Edward VII, his time on the throne was punctuated by World War I and the rise of socialism, fascism, the Irish Free State, communism and the movement for the independence of India. He renamed the ruling house to Windsor as a result of an undercurrent of anti-German sentiment. In 1932, he started the traditional Christmas Day broadcasts, initially on the radio. He died at Sandringham House in Norfolk and is buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Born: 1894 | Died: 1972 | Reign: 20 January – 11 December 1936
Edward was a popular king but he lasted just 327 days, after abdicating to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. He was one of the country’s shortest reigning monarchs and after his abdication he was made Duke of Windsor. After World War II he lived in Paris and died there in 1972. Like his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, he is buried at the Royal Mausoleum on the Frogmore Estate in Windsor.
Born: 1895 | Died: 1952 | Reign: 1936 – 1952
Named Albert after his great-grandfather Prince Albert and nicknamed Bertie, George VI reigned with honour, grace and fortitude. He was born with a stutter which he worked hard to overcome and his years on the throne witnessed World War II – during which he stayed at Buckingham Palace. He died at Sandringham House in Norfolk and was buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Born: 1926 | Died: 2022 | Reign: 1952 – 2022
Elizabeth’s reign of 70 years and 214 days was the longest of any female monarch in world history, and the longest of all UK and English kings and queens. She acceded to the throne aged just 25 and committed to a life of service which she carried out with grace, loyalty and devotion. She was served by fifteen Prime Ministers and was married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for 73 years until his death aged 99 in 2021. She died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and, alongside her father and husband, was buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Born: 1948 | Reign: 2022 – Present
Charles was the longest heir apparent and is the oldest monarch to take the throne in British history. He was invested as Prince of Wales in 1958 and after his first wife Diana died in 1997, he married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. He has two sons from his first marriage, William, the current Prince of Wales and heir apparent, and Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
So there we have it, the complete list of kings and queens of England. Some good, some bad and some downright indifferent!