Kings & Queens

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh - Coronation portrait by Cecil BeatonThe monarchy is the oldest part of British government and dates back some 1500 years, to a time when warrior-lords exercised power over small territories after Roman rule had crumbled.

The story of Britain’s kings and queens is fascinating.  A Bit About Britain lists 97 monarchs, beginning in the 9th century when the kingdoms of England and Scotland were starting to emerge, and gives a bit of information about each one.  Go to the drop down menu or click:

Monarchs of England 871-1603

Monarchs of Scotland 843-1603

Monarchs of Britain 1603-present

The role of the monarch has evolved, and reduced, over time.  Today, Britain is a constitutional monarchy.  This means that the present Queen is Head of State but acts within certain parameters determined by democratically elected representatives.  The government of the country is chosen from those elected representatives.