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History

The rich tapestry of Britain’s history is full of fascinating characters, imposing castles and literary heroes. From the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the Battle of Britain, the Tudor period to the Victorian era, Shakespeare to Dickens, Britain has a unique heritage like no other. Much of this historical treasure trove has been preserved to inspire us today.
King Edward VIII with Wallis SImpson

Who was Edward VIII? Why did he abdicate?

King Edward VIII reigned for less than a year, abdicating so that he could marry American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson. He was on the throne in 1936

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) by Richard Rothwell (1800-1868) after Thomas Sully

Who was Queen Victoria? What was her role in the British Empire?

Queen Victoria presided over a time of industrial expansion, educational advances, the abolition of slavery and workers’ welfare. She reigned from 1837-1901

A portrait of Henry V of England

Who was Henry V? What was his role in Agincourt?

Henry V secured victory at the Battle of Agincourt and helped cement English as Britain’s national language. He reigned from 1413-1422

Edward I

Who was Edward I? Was he really a heartless leader?

King Edward I took an aggressive approach to Wales and Scotland – although he was rather fond of his wife. He reigned from 1272-1307

Llansteffan Castle in Wales

Who was Llywelyn the Great? Which Welsh castles did he conquer?

Llywelyn ap Iorwerth was the greatest Welsh statesman of the Middle Ages. He ruled from 1195-1240

A statue of King Richard I stands outside the Houses of Parliament, London

Who was Richard I? What was his part in the Crusades?

Richard I – also known as Richard the Lionheart – led the Third Crusade and conquered Cyprus. He reigned from 1189-1199

William the Conqueror

Who was William the Conqueror? What really happened at the Battle of Hastings?

William I – also known as William the Conqueror – defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, marking the end of Anglo-Saxon England. He ruled from 1066-1087

King George III (1738-1820) after Allan Ramsay by David Martin

Who was George III? What was his role in the American War of Independence?

Under King George III, Britain lost the American War of Independence, but won the Seven Years’ War and the Napoleonic Wars. He reigned from 1760 to 1820

Who was Charles II? Why was he called the ‘Merry Monarch’?

Charles II ran a hedonistic court, despite the early years of his reign being marred by the bubonic plague and Great Fire of London. He reigned from 1660-1685

Oliver Cromwell painting

Who was Oliver Cromwell? What was his role in the English Civil War?

Oliver Cromwell sided with the Roundheads during the English Civil War and became a leader of the New Model Army. He ruled from 1653 to 1658

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