List of British monarchs

There have been 12 monarchs of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom (see Monarchy of the United Kingdom) since the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on 1 May 1707. England and Scotland had been in personal union under the House of Stuart since 24 March 1603.

On 1 January 1801, Great Britain merged with the Kingdom of Ireland (also previously in personal union with Great Britain) to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After most of Ireland left the union on 6 December 1922, its name was amended on 12 April 1927 to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Both Realms)
The Royal Arms since the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, featuring the arms of England in both the first and fourth quarters, Scotland in the second and Ireland in the third. In Scotland a separate version is used (shown right), whereby the Arms of Scotland take precedence.[1]

House of Stuart (1707–1714)

Anne had been Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland since 8 March 1702, and so became Queen of Great Britain upon the Union of England and Scotland. (Her total reign was 12 years and 147 days.)

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
1 May 1707

1 August 1714
(7 years, 92 days)
Anne1705 Royal Arms of England (1603-1707) 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
Daughter of James II and VII
and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
No surviving children
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
Aged: 49 years, 176 days
Daughter of James II and VII
Cognatic primogeniture
Bill of Rights 1689

House of Hanover (1714–1901)

The Hanoverian succession came about as a result of the Act of Settlement 1701, passed by the Parliament of England, which excluded "Papists" (i.e. Roman Catholics) from the succession. In return for access to the English plantations in North America and the West Indies, the Hanoverian succession and the Union were ratified by the Parliament of Scotland in 1707.

After the death of Anne, with no living children, her second cousin, George Louis, was the closest heir to the throne who was not Catholic. George was the son of Sophia of Hanover—granddaughter of James VI and I through his daughter Elizabeth.[i]

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
George I
George Louis
1 August 1714[a]

11 June 1727
(12 years, 315 days)
King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801) 28 May 1660
Son of Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg
and Sophia of Hanover
Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
21 November 1682
2 children
11 June 1727
Aged 67 years, 30 days
Great-grandson of James VI and I
Act of Settlement
Eldest son of Sophia of Hanover
George II
George Augustus
11 June 1727[b][c]

25 October 1760
(33 years, 126 days)
George II by Thomas Hudson Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801) 30 October 1683
Son of George I
and Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle
Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach
22 August 1705
8 children
25 October 1760
Kensington Palace
Aged 76 years, 361 days
Son of George I [4]
George III
George William Frederick
25 October 1760[d]

29 January 1820
(59 years, 97 days)
Allan Ramsay - King George III in coronation robes - Google Art Project Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837) 4 June 1738
Norfolk House
Son of Prince Frederick
and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
St James's Palace
8 September 1761
15 children
29 January 1820
Windsor Castle
Aged 81 years, 239 days
Grandson of George II [5]
George IV
George Augustus Frederick
29 January 1820[e]

26 June 1830
(10 years, 149 days)
George IV 1821 color Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837) 12 August 1762
St James's Palace
Son of George III
and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(1) Maria Fitzherbert
Park Lane
15 September 1785
No verified children
(2) Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
St James's Palace
8 April 1795
1 daughter
26 June 1830
Windsor Castle
Aged 67 years, 318 days
Son of George III [6]
William IV
William Henry
26 June 1830[f]

20 June 1837
(6 years, 360 days)
William IV Royal Arms of United Kingdom (1816-1837) 21 August 1765
Buckingham Palace
Son of George III
and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Kew Palace
13 July 1818
2 daughters
20 June 1837
Windsor Castle
Aged 71 years, 303 days
Alexandrina Victoria
20 June 1837[g]

22 January 1901
(63 years, 217 days)
Queen Victoria 1843 Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) 24 May 1819
Kensington Palace
Daughter of the Duke of Kent and Strathearn
and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
St James's Palace
10 February 1840
9 children
22 January 1901
Osborne House
aged 81 years, 243 days
Granddaughter of George III [8]

Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1901–1917) and Windsor (from 1917)

Due to his father Albert, Prince Consort, being of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward VII inaugurated a new royal house when he succeeded his mother Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover, in 1901. George V changed the name of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor on 17 July 1917,[9] during the First World War, because of wartime anti-German sentiment in the country.

Name Portrait Arms Birth Marriages Death Claim Ref.
Edward VII
Albert Edward
22 January 1901[h]

6 May 1910
(9 years, 105 days)
King Edward VII by Sir (Samuel) Luke Fildes Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) 9 November 1841
Buckingham Palace
Son of Victoria
and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Alexandra of Denmark
St George's Chapel
10 March 1863
6 children
6 May 1910
Buckingham Palace
aged 68 years, 178 days
Son of Victoria [10]
George V
George Frederick Ernest Albert
6 May 1910[i]

20 January 1936
(25 years, 260 days)
King George V 1911 Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) 3 June 1865
Marlborough House
Son of Edward VII
and Alexandra of Denmark
Mary of Teck
St James's Palace
6 July 1893
6 children
20 January 1936
Sandringham House
aged 70 years, 231 days
Son of Edward VII [11]
Edward VIII
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
20 January 1936[j]

11 December 1936
(Abdicated after 326 days)
Edward VIII Portrait - 1936 Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) 23 June 1894
White Lodge
Son of George V
and Mary of Teck
Wallis Simpson
Château de Candé
3 June 1937
No children
28 May 1972
aged 77 years, 340 days
Son of George V [12]
George VI
Albert Frederick Arthur George
11 December 1936[k]

6 February 1952
(15 years, 58 days)
King George VI Arms of the United Kingdom (Variant 1) 14 December 1895
Sandringham House
Son of George V
and Mary of Teck
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Westminster Abbey
26 April 1923
2 daughters
6 February 1952
Sandringham House
aged 56 years, 54 days
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
6 February 1952[l]

(67 years, 73 days)
QEII Arms of the United Kingdom 21 April 1926
Daughter of George VI
and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Philip of Greece and Denmark
Westminster Abbey
20 November 1947
4 children
Age 92 years, 363 days[14]
Daughter of George VI [15]

See also


  1. ^ For a family tree showing King George I's relationship to Queen Anne, see George I of Great Britain § Family tree.


  1. ^ King George I was crowned on 20 October 1714.
  2. ^ King George II was crowned on 11 October 1727 with Queen Caroline.
  3. ^ Dates of start of reign and coronation given in Old Style calendar; date of death in New Style. (Duration of reign takes this into account.)
  4. ^ King George III was crowned on 22 September 1761 with Queen Charlotte.
  5. ^ King George IV was crowned on 19 July 1821.
  6. ^ King William IV was crowned on 8 September 1831 with Queen Adelaide.
  7. ^ Queen Victoria was crowned on 28 June 1838.
  8. ^ King Edward VII was crowned on 9 August 1902 with Queen Alexandra.
  9. ^ King George V was crowned on 22 May 1911 with Queen Mary.
  10. ^ King Edward VIII was not crowned.
  11. ^ King George VI was crowned on 12 May 1937 with Queen Elizabeth.
  12. ^ Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953.


  1. ^ "Coats of arms". Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Anne (r. 1702–1714)". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  3. ^ "George I (r. 1714–1727)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. ^ "George II (r. 1727–1760)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ "George III (r. 1760–1820)". Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. ^ "King George IV (r. 1820–1830)". Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  7. ^ "William IV (r. 1830–1837)". Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Victoria ( r. 1837–1901)". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. ^ "No. 30186". The London Gazette. 17 July 1917. p. 7119.
  10. ^ "Edward VII (r.1901–1910)". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  11. ^ "George V (r. 1910–1936)". Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Edward VIII (Jan–Dec 1936)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  13. ^ "George VI (r.1936–1952)". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. ^ Updated daily according to UTC.
  15. ^ "Her Majesty The Queen". Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.

External links


Bretwalda (also brytenwalda and bretenanwealda, sometimes capitalised) is an Old English word. The first record comes from the late 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It is given to some of the rulers of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms from the 5th century onwards who had achieved overlordship of some or all of the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It is unclear whether the word dates back to the 5th century and was used by the kings themselves or whether it is a later, 9th-century, invention. The term bretwalda also appears in a 10th-century charter of Æthelstan. The literal meaning of the word is disputed and may translate to either 'wide-ruler' or 'Britain-ruler'.

The rulers of Mercia were generally the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings from the mid 7th century to the early 9th century but are not accorded the title of bretwalda by the Chronicle, which had an anti-Mercian bias. The Annals of Wales continued to recognise the kings of Northumbria as "Kings of the Saxons" until the death of Osred I of Northumbria in 716.

British nobility

The British nobility is the peerage of the United Kingdom. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although in the present day they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights in the House of Lords, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles (see below), and the right to an audience with the monarch. Still, more than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.

Erbin of Alt Clut

Erbin was a 5th-century king of Alt Clut, the extent of which has similarities to modern day Strathclyde, who reigned from c.480-485.

House of Balliol

The House of Balliol (de Bailleul) was a noble family originating from the village of Bailleul in Picardy. They held estates in England, granted during the reign of King William Rufus. Through marriage, they had claims to the Throne of Scotland. One member of the family, John Balliol, was named King of Scotland after the disputed succession following extinction of the Dunkeld line. John was deposed, leading to the First War of Scottish Independence. His son, Edward Balliol, also briefly controlled the Scottish throne during the Second War of Scottish Independence. Edward had no issue, and the direct line went extinct with him.

House of Hanover

The House of Hanover (German: Haus Hannover), whose members are known as Hanoverians (), is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.

The formal name of the house was the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Hanover line. The senior line of Brunswick-Lüneburg, which ruled Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, became extinct in 1884. The House of Hanover is now the only surviving branch of the House of Welf, which is the senior branch of the House of Este. The current head of the House of Hanover is Ernst August, Prince of Hanover.

House of Stuart

The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a European royal house of Scotland with Breton origin. They had held the office of High Steward of Scotland since Walter FitzAlan in around 1150. The royal Stewart line was founded by Robert II whose descendants were kings and queens of Scotland from 1371 until the union with England in 1707. Mary, Queen of Scots was brought up in France where she adopted the French spelling of the name Stuart.

In 1503, James IV married Margaret Tudor, thus linking the royal houses of Scotland and England. Elizabeth I of England died without issue in 1603, and James IV's great grandson James VI of Scotland succeed the thrones of England and Ireland as James I in the Union of the Crowns. The Stuarts were monarchs of the British Isles and its growing empire until the death of Queen Anne in 1714, except for the period of the Commonwealth between 1649 and 1660.In total, nine Stewart/Stuart monarchs ruled Scotland alone from 1371 until 1603. The last ruler of Scotland alone was James VI, who became the first dual monarch of England and Scotland in 1603. Two Stuart queens ruled the isles following the Glorious Revolution in 1688: Mary II and Anne. Both were the Protestant daughters of James VII and II by his first wife Anne Hyde and the great-grandchildren of James VI and I. Their father had converted to Catholicism and his new wife gave birth to a son in 1688, who was brought up a Roman Catholic and preceded his half-sisters; so James was deposed by Parliament in 1689, in favour of his daughters. But neither had any children who survived to adulthood, so the crown passed to the House of Hanover on the death of Queen Anne in 1714 under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Security 1704.

Index of United Kingdom-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

List of British monarchs by longevity

This is a list of British monarchs by longevity since the Union of the Crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1603. To maintain consistency within the table, the dates of birth and death for each monarch are given in New Style. Two measures of the longevity are given—this is to allow for the differing number of leap days occurring within the life of each monarch. The first column is the number of days between date of birth and date of death, allowing for leap days; the second column breaks this number down into years, and days, with the years being the number of whole years the monarch lived, and then days after his or her last birthday. Elizabeth II (queen since 6 February 1952), is the longest lived British sovereign.

*Updated daily according to UTC. While Queen Victoria lived for only 4 days more than George III in terms of years and days format, she actually lived for five days more because there were 20 leap days during Victoria's life and only 19 leap days during the life of George III.

If Charles, Prince of Wales, were to accede to the throne, he would immediately be ranked 8th with an age of 70 years, 152 days. If instead his son, William, Duke of Cambridge, were to accede any time before September 2030, he would be ranked 18th.

List of Canadian monarchs

Listed here are the monarchs who reigned over the French and British colonies of Canada, followed by the Dominion of Canada, and finally the present-day sovereign state of Canada. The date of the first claim by a monarch over Canada varies, with most sources giving the year as 1497, when John Cabot made landfall somewhere on the North American coast (likely either modern-day Newfoundland or Nova Scotia), and claimed the land for England on behalf of King Henry VII. However, some sources instead put this date at 1535 when the word "Canada" was first used to refer to the French colony of Canada, which was founded in the name of King Francis I. Monarchical governance subsequently evolved under a continuous succession of French, British, and eventually uniquely Canadian sovereigns. Since the first claim by Henry VII, there have been 33 sovereigns of Canada, including two sets of co-sovereigns.While Canada became a Dominion within the British Empire upon Confederation in 1867, the concept of a fully independent Canada sharing the person of the sovereign with the United Kingdom and other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, only emerged gradually over time through constitutional convention, and was officially confirmed with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Since then, the Canadian Crown has been legally distinct from those of the other Commonwealth realms, with its own separate and distinct monarch. Although the term king of Canada was used as early as the beginning of the reign of George VI, it was not until 1953 that the monarch's title was made official, with Elizabeth II being the first monarch to be separately proclaimed as Queen of Canada, as per the Royal Style and Titles Act.

List of Niuean monarchs

This is a list of monarchs who have reigned over the Pacific island of Niue. The island today is a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand, and recognises the Queen of New Zealand as monarch. Before this, however, the island previously had an indigenous monarchy, established around the beginning of the 18th century.

Before that time, there appears to have been no national government or national leader in Niue. Chiefs and heads of family exercised authority over segments of the population. Around 1700, the concept and practice of kingship appears to have been introduced through contact with Samoa or Tonga. From then on, a succession of patu-iki (kings) ruled the island, the first of whom was Puni-mata. The monarch was non-hereditary; patu-iki were reportedly elected by the Niuean population, with the candidates being issued from influential families. As described by Percy Smith in 1903, Niue appears therefore to have been a democratic elective monarchy.

List of Scottish monarchs

The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots (Middle Scots: King of Scottis, Modern Scots: King o Scots, Scottish Gaelic: Rìghrean Albannaich) was Kenneth I MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in 843. The distinction between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of the Picts is rather the product of later medieval myth and confusion from a change in nomenclature i.e. Rex Pictorum (King of the Picts) becomes Rí Alban (King of Alba) under Donald II when annals switched from Latin to vernacular around the end of the 9th century, by which time the word Alba in Gaelic had come to refer to the Kingdom of the Picts rather than Great Britain (its older meaning).The Kingdom of the Picts just became known as Kingdom of Alba in Gaelic, which later became known in Scots and English as Scotland; the terms are retained in both languages to this day. By the late 11th century at the very latest, Scottish kings were using the term rex Scottorum, or King of Scots, to refer to themselves in Latin. The Kingdom of Scotland was merged with the Kingdom of England to form a single Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Thus Queen Anne became the last monarch of the ancient kingdoms of Scotland and England and the first of Great Britain, although the kingdoms had shared a monarch since 1603 (see Union of the Crowns). Her uncle Charles II was the last monarch to be crowned in Scotland, at Scone in 1651. He had a second coronation in England ten years later.

List of monarchs in Britain by length of reign

The following is a list, ordered by length of reign, of the monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1927–present), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1927), the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1801), the Kingdom of England (871–1707), the Kingdom of Scotland (878–1707), the Kingdom of Ireland (1542–1800), and the Principality of Wales (1216–1542).

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria. On 6 February 2017 she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.

List of rulers of Wales

Before the Conquest of Wales was completed in 1282, Wales consisted of a number of independent kingdoms, the most important being Gwynedd, Powys, Deheubarth (originally Ceredigion, Seisyllwg and Dyfed), Gwent and Morgannwg. Boundary changes and the equal division of patrimony meant that few princes ever came close to ruling the whole of Wales.

The names of those known to have ruled over one or more of the kingdoms are listed below.

Lists of English and British monarchs

List of English and British monarchs include:

List of English monarchs (927–1707)

List of British monarchs (1707 on)

Monarchs of the British Isles

Monarchs of the British Isles may refer to monarchs within any of the following:

List of English Monarchs

Monarchy of Ireland

Monarchs of Scotland

List of British monarchs

Monarchy of the United Kingdom

Regnal years of English monarchs

The following is a list of the official regnal years of the monarchs of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom from 1066. The regnal calendar ("nth year of the reign of King X", etc.) is used in many official British government and legal documents of historical interest, notably parliamentary statutes.

Timeline of Scottish history

This is a timeline of Scottish history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Scotland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Scotland. See also the list of Scottish monarchs, list of British monarchs, list of First Ministers of Scotland, and list of years in Scotland.

William of the United Kingdom

William of the United Kingdom may refer to:

William IV of the United Kingdom (1765–1837), reigned 1830–1837

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (born 1982)

British monarchs
House of Stuart
House of Hanover
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
House of Windsor
British royal titles
Inactive titles

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