Charlotte Just One of Many Princesses of England

On This Site

Current Events

Share This Page

Follow This Site

Follow SocStudies4Kids on Twitter

Charlotte is the second child of William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Charlotte's older brother, George, is ahead of Charlotte on the list of heirs to the throne. If Charlotte does become Queen, she would be the second with her name to sit on the royal throne, at least in part. The first was royal consort to King George III.

England (or Great Britain or the United Kingdom) has had just a handful of queens who have ruled the country in their own right. Of those, two have been named Elizabeth, one has been named Mary, one has been named Victoria, and one has been named Anne. (Mary II was a joint monarch with William III in the late 17th Century.)

For most of its history, England's monarchs have been kings. Not all of them married. The ones who did, many of them, had more than one wife, because of death or divorce. Not all of these royal wives were called queens. Some were called royal consorts. Some were married to more than one king.

The first king of England, as generally agreed by historians, was Egbert (left), who ruled in the early 9th Century. According to one medieval source, Egbert's wife's name was Redburga. Other sources do not agree with this assertion, but Egbert did leave behind an heir, Aethelwulf, who succeeded to the throne in 839.

Aethelwulf ruled for a couple of decades, during which time he had five sons, four of whom became king after him. These sons' mother was Osburh. When she died, Aethelwulf married again; his second wife was named Judith.

Aethelwulf's oldest son, Aethelstan, died in 852. Aethelwulf died in 839, and his then-oldest son, Aethelbald, became king. He ruled for only two years. His wife was also Judith, the same woman who had been married to Aethelwulf (although she was only 12 at the time of her first marriage).

Aethelbert became king in 860. He did not marry during his five-year reign, and his brother Aethelred succeeded him.

Aethelred had a wife named Wulfthryth and reigned for six years.

Athelwulf's most famous son, Alfred, took the throne in 871. This was Alfred the Great, whose 28-year reign was punctuated by great Anglo-Saxon victories against invading Danes. Alfred married a woman named Ealhswith.

Alfred's oldest son, Edward the Elder, became king when Alfred died in 899. Edward had three wives, Ecgynn, Aelflaed, and Eadgifu. In all, Edward had 13 children, three of whom became King of England.

Edward ruled a good long time, dying in 924. His oldest son, Aethelstan, succeeded him.

Some historians consider Aethelstan as the first King of England. He ruled, unwed, for 14 years. His half-brother, Edmund I, succeeded him, in 939.

Edmund I had two wives during his seven-year reign, Aelfgifu and Aethelflaed. Edmund had two sons, both of whom became King of England.

Before that, however, Edmund's brother, Eadred, was king, ruling 946–955. When he died, unwed, his successor was his brother's oldest son, Eadwig.

Eadwig was the marrying kind, and his wife was named Aelfgifu. Eadwig was on the throne only four years, however.

Edgar, second son of Edmund I, became king in 959. He had three wives during his 16-year-reign: Aehelflaed, Wulfthryth, and Aelfthryth. Edgar's oldest son, Edward, became king when Edgar died, in 975.

Edward ruled for three years, but his rule was a contested one. The other main contender, Aethelred, became king when Edward was murdered in 978. (Edward has come to be known as Edward the Martyr.)

Aethelred II (right) has, through the years, been stuck with the name Aethelred the Unready. This is a mistranslation of the Old English word "unraed," which means bad counsel. Aethelred had two wives, Aelfgifu and Emma. He was king twice between 978 and 1016. In 1013, he fled to Normandy after a massive invasion led by King Sveyn of Norway and Denmark. Sveyn declared himself king and reigned effectively in that capacity for a year, before he died. The name of his wife is uncertain, although she has been named in some accounts as Gunhild and in other accountsas Sigrid.

Aethelred returned in 1014 and reigned another two years. His oldest son, Edmund (Ironside), took the throne in 1016. Edmund's wife was Ealdgyth.

Edmund ruled less than a year. Sveyn's son, Cnut, invaded England and took the throne in November 1016. Crowned in January 1017, Cnut ruled for the better part of two decades. He had two wives, Aelfgifu and Emma. His son Harold (Harefoot) became king in 1035. It's not clear what Harold's wife's name was. Harold was more of a temporary monarch because his brother, Hardacnut, was technically heir to the royal vacancy left by the death of Cnut. Hardacnut, however, was stuck in Norway, fending off an invasion.

Harold ruled for five years, during which Hardacnut consolidated his hold on the Norwegian crown and made his way to England, to rule there as well. Hardacnut ruled for two years. He died unwed.

In 1042, when Hardacnut died, Edward the Confessor became King of England. His father was Aethelred II. Edward ruled for 24 years. His wife was Edith.

Edward the Confessor died in January 1066. The next King of England was Harold Godwinson. He had two wives, both named Edith (although the second Edith is more commonly known as Ealdgyth). Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings and was succeeded on the throne by William the Conqueror.

William I, the first Norman King of England, was married to Matilda of Flanders. Their oldest son became William II when his father died, in 1087. William II ruled, unwed, for 13 years.

When William II died, in 1100, his younger brother Henry became king. He ruled as King Henry I for 35 years. He had two wives, Matilda of Scotland and Adeliza of Louvain.

Henry died in 1135, and arguments over his succession sparked an ongoing civil war. Stephen assumed the kingship and ruled 1135-1154. For much of this period, Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, also claimed the throne. Stephen's claim to the throne was that he was a grandson of William the Conqueror. Stephen's wife was also named Matilda, although she was known as Matilda, Countess of Boulogne.

Empress Matilda's son became King Henry II when Stephen died, in 1154. Henry's wife was one of England's most famous queens, Eleanor of Aquitaine (left). They had 10 children, including two future monarchs.

Henry gained worldwide fame and won many battles against France and Wales during his three decades on the throne. Henry's favored son, Richard, became king in 1189.

Richard I became known as Lionheart. His wife was Berengaria of Navarre. When Richard died in 1199, his brother John assumed the throne.

King John (right), known famously as the monarch who affixed his seal to Magna Carta, had two wives, both named Isabella. Only the second Isabella, Countess of Angoueleme, was a royal consort. She survived her husband, who died in 1216.

John's son Henry became Henry III, ruling 1216-1272. He was 9 when he became king. His wife was Eleanor of Provence.

Henry's oldest son, Edward, assumed the throne when his father died. Edward I ruled for 33 years and had two wives, Eleanor of Castile and Margaret of France. When he died in 1307, his son Edward succeeded him.

Edward II was a king for 10 years and husband for nine. He married Isabella of France, and their oldest son became Edward III in 1327.

Edward III ruled for 50 years. For much of that time, he was married to Philippa of Hainault.

When Edward III died in 1377, one of his grandsons, Richard of Bordeaux, became king. He ruled as Richard II and had two wives, Anne of Bohemia and Isabella of Valois.

England's next king was Henry IV, who ruled 1399-1413. He had two wives, Mary de Bohun and Joan of Navarre. The oldest son of Henry and Mary became Henry I in 1413. He ruled for only nine years but became one of England's most famous kings after his victory at the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415.

Henry's wife was Catherine of Valois. She was royal consort for the last two years of his life. Their only son, Henry, became king in 1422.

Henry VI ruled for nearly 50 years. His reign was punctuated by the Wars of the Roses, another civil war. His main antagonist, Edward, assumed the kingship from 1461 to 1470, but Henry was back on the throne in October 1470 and remained king until he died. Henry's wife was Margaret of Anjou.

Edward IV was king again in 1471 and ruled until 1483. His wife was Elizabeth Woodville.

Edward V was nominally King of England for 86 days in 1483. Edward was never crowned, however, and the next official king was Richard III, who ruled for two years. His wife was Anne Neville. Richard was the last of the Yorkist kings. He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. His Lancastrian antagonist became Henry VII and took the name Tudor.

Henry VII ruled for 24 years. His wife was Elizabeth of York. His son Henry became another of England's most famous kings, Henry VIII.

Henry VIII ruled 1509 and 1547. He had six wives: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr. Two of them (the first and the last) survived him. He beheaded two of them (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard). He divorced two of them (Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves). One of them (Jane Seymour) did not survive him (but died of natural causes).

Henry's son Edward (whose mother was Jane Seymour) became Edward VI and ruled 1547-1553. He was 10 at the time of his assumption to the throne. He did not marry.

Techincally, Jane Grey was monarch of England when Edward died. In his will, Edward named as his successor not his sister Mary or his sister Elizabeth but Lady Jane Grey, the great-granddaughter of Henry VII. Jane was removed from power after nine days, and Mary I was crowned.

Mary (left) was Queen of England, ruling in her own right, for five years. Her husband was King Philip II of Spain. When Mary died in 1558, her younger sister, Elizabeth, became the second successive sole monarch to be a woman.

Elizabeth I ruled over what many in England referred to as a golden age. England was prosperous, especially so after staving the invasion of the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth famously had no husband. She died in 1603, leaving no heir.

James VI of Scotland was the preferred choice of the English nobility, and he became England's King James I in 1603. He ruled for 22 years, and his wife was Anne of Denmark. He was succeeded by his son Charles.

Charles I reigned from 1625 to 1649, when he was executed, in the middle of yet another civil war. His wife was Henrietta Maria of France. Their son became Charles II and ruled, with Catherine of Braganza at his side, until 1660.

In the Restoration, James II became king, succeeding his brother Charles. James had two wives, Anne Hyde and Mary of Modena. He proved unpopular in his three years on the throne and was removed in the Glorious Revolution, in 1688.

The new rulers were William and Mary, from Holland. They ruled jointly, meaning that he was King of England and she was Queen of England. They were officially William III and Mary II.

Mary died in 1689. William, who did not remarry, died in 1702. The new monarch was Anne (right), who was a cousin of William III and a younger sister of Mary II. Anne was queen until 1714. Her husband was Prince George of Denmark. In another nonstandard succession, she was followed on the throne by her cousin, George of Hanover (Germany).

George I was married to Sophia Dorothea of Celle and ruled for 13 years. His son, George, then became King George II. This George's wife was named Caroline of Ansbach. This George ruled until 1760.

King George III took the throne in 1760 and ruled the longest of any monarch to that time, 60 years. His wife was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. George III was technically on the throne until his death, in 1820, but his son was Prince Regent and king in all but name from 1811 to 1820.

George IV was on the throne in his own right for another 10 years, sharing his duties with Caroline of Brunswick. They left no heir.

The next king was William IV, son of George III and brother of George IV. His wife was Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. This William ruled for seven years.

When William died, in 1837, he was succeeded by the granddaughter of George III, Victoria. She reigned 64 years. Her famous husband was Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He died in 1861. She did not remarry.

Victoria died in 1901 and was succeeded by her son, who became Edward VII. This king's wife was Alexandra of Denmark. This king was on the throne for nine years. One of their sons, George, became king in 1910. This was George V.

The reign of George V was 26 years. His wife was Mary of Teck. They had six children, including two future monarchs.

Edward VIII became king in 1936. He abdicated the throne later that year without marrying. His brother became George VI. This king's wife was Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

When George died in 1952, their oldest daughter became Queen Elizabeth II. Her husband is Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

Search This Site

Custom Search

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2015
David White