Monarchs of the United Kingdom
This article is a simple list of the regnal dates (the dates that they actually reigned) of the kings and queens of Britain since the Union of the Crowns in 1603. The kingdoms were not fully united until the Act of Union 1707, but the first King in the list that follows (James VI and I) issued a "Proclamation concerning the Kings Majesties Stile" on 20 Oct 1604. It reads, in the original spelling, "Wee have thought good to discontinue the divided names of England and Scotland out of our Regall Stile, and doe intend and resolve to take and assume unto Us in maner and forme hereafter expressed, The Name and Stile of KING OF GREAT BRITTAINE, including therein according to the trueth, the whole Island."
Several monarchs in the list have links to articles on their names. AWE is not a historical website: these will be of no use to those writing history essays. They are intended to give a description of each monarch in one or two sentences, for the convenience of those (mostly non-historians) who come across a date or other reference and wish to find an answer to "Who's this?" quickly. For this reason, the articles on names used by more than one monarch, such as George I and George VI etc, contain enough material to distinguish between the different holders. There are also articles that group the members of the various dynasties, or royal families, that have ruled in the British Isles.
|Name (and number) of monarch||year of accession||year of death or deposition||Name of dynasty||Notes|
|James VI and I||1567 (James VI of Scotland) 1603 (James I of England)||1625||Stuart||First king of Great Britain. Became King of Scotland in 1567.|
|Charles I||1625||executed 1649||Stuart|| His death ended the first phase of the Civil War.
His supporters call him 'Charles King and Martyr'.
|(Interregnum) Protectorate (Oliver Cromwell)||1649||1658||Not an hereditary monarch|
|(Richard Cromwell)||1658||1659||Not an hereditary monarch|
|(The Commonwealth)||1659||1660||Not an hereditary monarch|
|Charles II||1660||1685||Stuart||The 'Restoration' is the year of his accession.|
|James [VII and] II||1685||1688||Stuart||Ousted in 1688 by 'The Glorious Revolution'|
|William III [and II]||1688||1702||'of Orange'; mother a Stuart||Ruled jointly with his wife. Commonly William and Mary.|
|Mary II||1688||1694||Stuart||daughter of James II; cousin & wife of William III|
|Anne||1702||1714||Stuart|| daughter of James II. From 1702, Queen of England and of Scotland;
from 1707, Queen of the UK
|George I||1714||1727||Hanover||Anne's closest Protestant relative.|
|George III||1760||1820||Hanover|| Lost the American colonies; reigned during the Napoleonic wars
Famously mad. From 1810, under Regency of his son.
|George IV||1820||1830||Hanover||A famous Prince of Wales, The Prince Regent|
|William IV||1830||1837||Hanover||'The sailor King'|
|Victoria||1837||1901||Hanover|| Married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1840
Took additional title of Empress of India.
|Edward VII||1901||1910||Saxe-Coburg-Gotha|| Another famous Prince of Wales
during his long wait for the throne
|George V||1910||1936||Windsor||Name of dynasty changed during WWI|
|Edward VIII||1936||abdicated 1936||Windsor|| Never crowned; 'abdication crisis' 1936.
Thereafter Duke of Windsor. (Earlier, famous as Prince of Wales).
|George VI||1936||1952||Windsor||First to be titled 'Head of the Commonwealth|
|Elizabeth II [and I]||1952||present ||Windsor||Scotland has not previously had a reigning 'Queen Elizabeth'|
- The current  Prince of Wales and Heir Apparent is Prince Charles, born in 1948. There is no assurance that he will choose to reign as Charles III; his grandfather, who was christened Albert Frederick Arthur George, and known as 'Bertie' within the family, deliberately choosing the title 'George VI under which to reign. Edward VII, also known as 'Bertie' within the family (christened 'Albert Edward') "announced that he would reign as Edward VII, explaining in an elegant impromptu speech to the privy council that the name Albert could be associated with no one but his father" (ODNB).