British Monarchs

Britain … Great Britain … the UK … huh?

The union jack, flag of the British monarchs

Before we list the British monarchs, let’s just consider Britain … or should that be the UK …

Confused about the right terminology when it comes to Britain? Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone! Is it Britain? Great Britain? The United Kingdom? Is the Isle of Man part of the UK? How about the Isle of Wight? Or the Channel Islands? And then there’s the far-flung British dependencies … where do they fit in?

Most people don’t know, or at least aren’t really sure. And frankly, many think it’s absolutely absurd … other countries (generally) settle for one name, and they seem fairly happy with that decision.

Even we’re confused!

We, on the other hand, have such an absurdly convoluted mess of terminology that even most UK residents would be hard put to understand the many intricacies of our national identity, let alone be able to explain them to an outsider.

If you’d like to understand a little more on this subject, may I direct you to a very detailed (and quite amusing) explanation on YouTube. This short video will explain many of the details that have no doubt had you suddenly waking up in the middle of the night, worried and confused. If you’re going to watch it though, try to think really quickly or the speaker will leave you in the dust, believe me!

Back to the matter in hand … the British monarchs …

To set the scene, let me just explain that Great Britain was a sovereign state from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. From 1 January 1801, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, part of Ireland seceded and the state was renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – the title that still stands today.

There could be further paragraphs here stuffed with much more detail, but that’s not important (and I don’t really pretend to be an expert of these things anyway). So let’s leave it there and get on with the whole monarchs thing, yeah?

The twelve British monarchs

crown of the British monarchsThere have been 12 monarchs of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom since the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on 1 May 1707. The table below lists them, in order, and with some bare-bones details.

Obviously, there’s much more to know about each one of the kings and queens, if you’re curious, but for now these few details might suffice. They’re certainly enough to provide you with a memory exercise, anyway.

BRITISH MONARCHS
Queen Anne
Born:
6 February 1665
(no children)
Reign:
1 May 1707

1 August 1714
Died:
1 August 1714
aged 49
King George I
Born:
28 May 1660
(2 children)
Reign:
1 August 1714

11 June 1727
Died:
11 June 1727
aged 67
King George II
Born:
30 October 1683
(8 children)
Reign:
11 June 1727

25 October 1760
Died:
25 October 1760
aged 76

King George III
Born:
4 June 1738
(15 children)
Reign:
25 October 1760

29 January 1820
Died:
29 January 1820
aged 81
King George IV
Born:
12 August 1762
(1 child)
Reign:
29 January 1820

26 June 1830
Died:
26 June 1830
aged 67

King William IV
Born:
21 August 1765
(2 children)
Reign:
26 June 1830

20 June 1837
Died:
20 June 1837
aged 71
Queen Victoria
Born:
24 May 1819
(9 children)
Reign:
20 June 1837

22 January 1901
Died:
22 January 1901
aged 81
King Edward VII
Born:
9 November 1841
(6 children)
Reign:
22 January 1901

6 May 1910
Died:
6 May 1910
aged 68
King George V
Born:
3 June 1865
(6 children)
Reign:
6 May 1910

20 January 1936
Died:
20 January 1936
aged 70
King Edward VIII
Born:
23 June 1894
(no children)
Reign:
20 January 1936

11 December 1936 (abdicated)
Died:
28 May 1972
aged 77
King George VI
Born:
14 December 1895
(2 children)
Reign:
11 December 1936

6 February 1952
Died:
6 February 1952
aged 56
Queen Elizabeth II
Born:
21 April 1926
(4 children)
Reign:
6 February 1952

Present day

I did consider gathering more information on each of the monarchs and including it in the table, together with some more information on British royalty, but I decided that would defeat the object of the exercise. This is provided purely so you can more easily memorise the monarchs, in order (if that’s what you want to do), with just a minimum amount of data attached.

If you want to build on that information, by all means follow the links below to each of the monarchs (or just google them) so you can research some more and increase your knowledge of each one. But for starters, the table above will provide you with basic information and an idea of the timeline involved.

Queen Anne on WikipediaQueen Anne on HistoryExtra
King George I on WikipediaKing George I on Britannica
King George II on WikipediaKing George II on the BBC
King George III on WikipediaKing George III on Biography
King George IV on WikipediaKing George IV on English Monarchs
King William IV on WikipediaKing William IV on the BBC
Queen Victoria on WikipediaQueen Victoria on English Monarchs
King Edward VII on WikipediaKing Edward VII on the BBC
King George V on WikipediaKing George V on Biography
King Edward VIII on WikipediaKing Edward VIII on Biography
King George VI on WikipediaKing George VI on Biography
Queen Elizabeth II on WikipediaQueen Elizabeth II on Royal.uk

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