Henry VIII of England was the King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. A son of Henry VII, he was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father. An arrogant and autocratic ruler, he brought about radical changes in the English Constitution and greatly expanded royal power, asserting the King's supremacy over the Church of England. During his reign he earned the title of 'Father of the Royal Navy', as he was known for his love of maintaining a strong naval force with several warships built with the latest technology and fitted with modern guns. He is also credited to have built the first naval dock in Britain at Portsmouth. Politically ambitious, he was aided by several prominent figures like Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, and Thomas Cranmer in the implementation of his plans. Henry VIII was notorious for his cruelty and was so obsessed with his powers that he routinely quashed dissenters by executing them without even a formal trial. He was so ruthless that he even had several of his former favorite ministers executed when they fell out of his favor. Henry VIII was equally notorious for his six marriages and several scandalous love affairs.
King of Great Britain and Ireland during the late 18th century whose life and reign were longer than those of any previous British monarch. Though he defeated France in the Seven Years' War, he lost Britain's American colonies in the American Revolutionary War.
King of Jordan who ascended to the throne in 1999 after the death of his father <a title='King Hussein' href='/famous/king-hussein.htm'>King Hussein</a>, who ruled his country for nearly fifty years. He has notably liberalized his country's media and has made it illegal to detain journalists.
Born Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and better known as Salman of Saudi Arabia, this king began his reign in January of 2015. Previously, he had served for nearly five decades as Deputy Governor and Governor of Saudi Arabia's Riyadh region.
First monarch of the House of Tudor who seized the crown with his defeat of <a title='Richard III' href='/famous/king-richard.htm'>Richard III</a> at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
King of England from 1483 to 1485 who had to deal with two rebellions during his reign. He died in battle during the second rebellion and he is the subject of the play Richard III by <a title='William Shakespeare' href='/famous/william-shakespeare.htm'>William Shakespeare</a>. His remains were lost for nearly five centuries until they were found during a 2012 archaeological excavation.
Dutch royal and member of the Houses of House Orange-Nassau and Amsberg who ascended to the throne in 2013. He was born the eldest child of German-born diplomat Claus van Amsberg and Dutch Princess-turned <a title='Queen Beatrix' href='/famous/queen-beatrix.htm'>Queen Beatrix</a>.
King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He is best known for bucking the Anglican establishment by trying to procure religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists.
John, the treacherous king of England, was one of the most controversial monarchs in the nation's history. Popularly regarded as the flawed king, John started his reign in England after the death of his elder brother, Richard I. John was known to have an unstable temper. His arrogant behavior led to a lot of conflict with his barons and other kingdoms. He had also betrayed his own family a number of times. For instance, he tried to seize the throne while his brother was away from his kingdom. He is best remembered for signing the ˜Magna Carta' (the Great Charter), which was the result of the rising discontentment among John's barons due to his arrogant behavior. One of his cruel decisions was the imposition of high taxes to win back Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and parts of Poitou, which he had lost to King Philip II of France. This resulted in rebellion by his barons and the sealing of the Great Charter. He eventually lost everything to King Philip II. Toward the end of his life, he suffered from dysentery. His health deteriorated with time, leading to his death in 1216.
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth for over fifteen years since assuming throne in December 1936 till his death in February 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and became the first Head of the Commonwealth. As the second child of King George V, he was an unlikely candidate for the throne, and inherited it after his elder brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry his mistress Wallis Simpson. According to a letter George VI wrote to his brother following the abdication crisis, he had reluctantly assumed "a rocking throne" and tried "to make it steady again". Despite enduring the Second World War during his reign, and his personal shortcomings, he was able to restore the people's faith in the monarchy with courage and determination. After his health issues cut his reign short, his elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth, assumed the throne as <a title='Elizabeth II' href='/famous/elizabeth-ii.htm'>Elizabeth II</a>.
Former Saudi Arabian King who took the throne in August of 2005. He was one of the richest royals in the world, according to Forbes in 2011, worth an estimated $20 billion.
King of Norway who ascended to the throne after the death of his father in 1991. He is related to monarchs of Belgium and Denmark among others.
Bhumibol Adulyadej was the longest reigning monarch of Thailand and the ninth king from the Chakri dynasty. Born in the U.S.A and educated in Switzerland, he was crowned to the throne of Thailand at the age of eighteen after the mysterious death of his elder brother, the eighth king of Thailand. Initially, he played only a ceremonial role; but over the time, he began to take up a more active part, attending public ceremonies and touring the far flung parts of the country, working to improve the lives of the people there. Eventually he began to take a more active role in the country's politics, helping to defuse tension and at the same time remaining impartial. At a time when military coup was the order of the day, he provided stability to the nation and represented the unity of the country. He was an immensely popular king and died in 2016, His death was mourned by thousands of his countrymen.
Late 18th-century French monarch who died at the guillotine during the French Revolution. He supported North American colonists with his 1783 Treaty of Paris, and wished them to free themselves from Great Britain.
British monarch who served from 1910 until 1936 as both Emperor of India and King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions. He was the son of King <a title='Edward VII' href='/famous/edward-vii.htm'>Edward VII</a> and the grandson of <a title='Queen Victoria of England' href='/famous/queen-victoria.htm'>Queen Victoria of England</a>. He was the first ruler of the House of Windsor.
Spanish royalty who succeeded his father as the King of Spain in June 2014. When he took the throne, he became the youngest monarch in all of Europe.
Edward IV was the King of England who established the ˜House of York' and became the first Yorkist King of England. He ruled England from 1461 to 1483, barring a six-month period between October 1470 and April 1471. He was able to restore order in the kingdom but due to personal conflicts with his cousin, the Earl of Warwick, he faced several rebellions during his reign. Edward IV was the eldest surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, who was the leading Yorkist in the dynastic struggle against the Lancastrians known as the ˜Wars of the Roses'. Upon his father's death, Edward IV inherited his claim and defeated the Lancastrians in a series of battles with Warwick's help, ascending the throne at the age of 19. This win led Warwick to believe that he could continue to control the new king but his intentions were belied when Edward IV defied him and secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, a young widow. This made Warwick furious and he started conspiring against Edward IV, joining hands with his allies. After several unsuccessful revolt attempts, Edward IV was deposed for a while which marked the temporary return of Henry VI to the throne during which time Edward IV fled and remained in exile. Subsequently, Edward IV returned to England with his army and smothered Warwick along with rest of the Lancastrians to begin his second reign, a period of relative peace and security. After ruling for a decade, his health declined and he fell prey to several ailments, resulting in his untimely death at the age of 40.
Remembered as the Tudor dynasty's third ruler, King Edward VI presided over England and Ireland during a period of war and rebellion. He was instrumental in transforming the Church of England into a largely Protestant institution.
Popularly referred to as the ˜Merry Monarch', Charles II was known for his lively and exuberant nature, which prevailed in his court as well, that mostly functioned on hedonism and cavorting style. Born to King Charles I of England and Queen Henrietta Maria, Charles II was conferred the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay soon after his birth. He later took up the title of Prince of Wales. At the tender age of fourteen, he along with his father fought in the Battle of Edgehill. However, the unfavorable result of the war led young Charles to a life of exile. He returned to be crowned as the monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Charles II's reign was marked by two tragic events in British history - the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. His relationship with the Parliament was not very cordial and he also plotted fruitless military missions against the Dutch. His era became widely known as the restoration period in English history.
For more than seventy years, during a period of French political dominance that included the War of the Spanish Succession and the Franco-Dutch War, this "Sun King" and House of Bourbon member ruled France. An absolute monarch and a believer in the divine right of royalty, he became known for his lavish lifestyle at his ornate Palace of Versailles.
Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle or Henry FitzEmpress, was the King of England (1154“89) and the founder of the Plantagenet dynasty that would rule over the country for almost 300 years after him. His various other titles included Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Nantes, and Lord of Ireland. At different points in his life he had control over Wales, Scotland, and Brittany as well. Ambitious, energetic, and ruthless, Henry grew up with the same drive as his mother to restore the land and privilege of his royal grandfather, Henry I, becoming an active participant at 14 in her effort to claim the English throne. In 1153, he launched a military expedition to England which resulted in a peace treaty declaring Henry as the heir. He became the king a year later. After two decades of infighting and unrest known as ˜The Anarchy', Henry brought law and order to the country and expanded her boundaries to create the Angevin Empire. He raised minor lords to important administrative positions, paving the way for modern bureaucracy. His legal reforms laid the foundation for the ˜English Common Law'. The later years of his reign are marred by his sons' rebellion against him. Though he crushed their first attempt, he eventually had to agree to completely surrender and retreat to Chinon in Anjou where he died.
Edward VII served as the King of United Kingdom, British Dominion and Emperor of India from 1901 to 1910. Eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward was the longest-serving heir apparent to the British throne before his accession in 1901. Furthermore, he holds the record for the longest serving holder of the title, Prince of Wales till date, closely followed by his great-great-grandson, Charles, current Prince of Wales. Edward jumped to fame even before his term of reign but due to wrong reasons. Highly self-indulgent, Edward was known as a womanizer and Casanova. His playboy reputation soured his relationship with his mother, Queen Victoria, who abstained him from pursuing any political duties during her term. As such, Edward in his early years mostly served as the British representative abroad. His tours, especially to that of North America and Indian subcontinent, were highly successful. During his short term of reign, Edward played an instrumental role in reforming the British Army and Navy. He also acted as the ˜peacemaker' between England and France by fostering good relations between the two nations. Under his kingship, traditional ceremonies were largely publicized and royal socializing highly magnified. The only political hitch in his rule came in the form of constitutional crisis which was resolved posthumously. Edward VII was succeeded by his second son, King George V
Swedish royalty who ascended to the Swedish throne in 1973. As King he holds the highest ranks in the Swedish Armed Forces.
From 1727 until his death in 1760, this German-born royal served as King of Great Britain, Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, and Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg.