The Queens who ruled before Queen Elizabeth II: 2022 witnessed the death of the longest-serving most known monarch in the United Kingdom. The dearly beloved Queen Elizabeth II ruled for 70 years, living through the appointment of 15 prime ministers in the United Kingdom, the election of 12 United States Presidents and many presidents and governments in other countries.
Many people seemed to think that Queen Elizabeth II may have been the only monarch to rule the United Kingdom. It, therefore, comes as a surprise to many when they hear that eleven royals had ruled before, consisting of only two Queens!
We have detailed the eleven monarchs that reigned before the beloved Queen to bring you up to speed.
1. Queen Anne (1702 – 1714)
She ascended when she was 37 years old as the first ruling monarch. Her reign lasted from March 1702 to 1714 when she passed on. She was the daughter of James II
2. King George I (1714 -1727)
The Son of Sophia and the Elector of Hanover, great-grandson of James I ascended when he was 54 years old. He wasn’t fluent in English, so, he left all official affairs to Sir Robert Walpole who became the first Prime Minister. George was said to have 18 cooks and 2 mistresses and was muddled up in the financial scandal of the South Sea Bubble in 1720.
3. KING GEORGE II (1727 – 1760)
The only son of George I, although more adept at English than his father, still relied on Sir Robert Walpole to manage the affairs of the land. George was recorded to be the last English king to lead his army into battle. He fought at Dettingen in the War of 1743.
4. King George III (1760 – 1820)
After Queen Anne, the grandson of George II was the next ruler to be English-born and English-speaking. During his reign, the likes of Jane Austen, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth were recognized. George unfortunately suffered from intermittent porphyria which eventually made him blind and insane. His son ruled as Prince Regent from 1811 until George died.
5. KING GEORGE IV (1820 – 1830)
The ‘First Gentleman of Europe’ was known to some as a great wit and to others as a great buffon. Although he was a fine ruler, his private affairs were scandalous to say the least. He married in 1785 to Mrs Fitzherbert, the love of his life, secretly as she was a Catholic, and in 1795 to Caroline of Brunswick. He had a daughter with Caroline, a girl named Charlotte who died at 21. His death in 1830 gave many some relief.
6. King William IV (1830 – 1837)
When he was Prince William served in the Royal Navy for 10 years and became known as the ‘Sailor King’. He was devoid of pretension and hated pomp. Before he became king, he had ten children with an actress. He married Adelaide of Saxe-Coburg in 1818 to help his ascension and the daughters he had with her did not live.
7. Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901)
Victoria was the only child of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Edward Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George III. In 1840 she married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg. During her reign Albert her husband exerted his influence over her, the British Empire doubled in size and she was crowned the Empress of India, the ‘Jewel in the Crown’. Although she inherited a weak throne, she left the British Empire as a world power. She had nine children, 40 grandchildren, and 37 great-grandchildren, scattered all over Europe.
8. King Edward VII (1901 – 1910)
He was an adored king, who loved horse racing, gambling, and women! He married the beautiful Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 and they had six children. Edward Duke of Clarence died in 1892 just before he was to marry Princess Mary of Teck.
9. King George V (1910 – 1936)
George had not expected to be king, but when his elder brother died he became the heir-apparent. During his reign, the First World War in 1914 – 1918 occurred and the troubles in Ireland which lead to the creation of the Irish Free State were prevalent.
10. King Edward VIII (June 1936 – December 1936)
Edward was the most shocking Prince of Britain ever had. He renounced the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson an American divorcee with two husbands still very much alive. Edward wanted her to be crowned with him and when the church refused, he handed over to his brother, accepted to be “Duke of Windsor” and went to live abroad.
11. King George VI (1936 – 1952)
Although George had a bad stutter, he inherited the steady attributes from George V, his father. He was well-loved by the people. He had the support of his wife Elizabeth and his mother Queen Mary. During his reign, The Second World War started in 1939 and throughout the war the King and Queen remained at Buckingham Palace despite it being bombed more than once. The two Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, spent the war years at Windsor Castle.
12. QUEEN ELIZABETH II 1952 – 2022
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, or ‘Lilibet’, like her parents, was heavily involved during the Second World War. She trained in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, as a driver and mechanic. She married her cousin Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and they had Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. Elizabeth became Queen of seven Commonwealth Nations. Elizabeth is the longest-serving monarch, ruling longer than Queen Victoria who ruled for 63 years and 216 days. Queen Elizabeth II died on 8th September 2022 at the age of 96 as the longest-serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom.
Source: Editorial Time