The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

Periods of British history

This chart covers the most important periods of British history. It shows the chief inhabitants or invaders of England until the Middle Ages, then the royal houses of England (until 1603) and of Britain (af­ter 1603).

The Celts

900 B.C.—55 B.C.

The Romans

55 В. C.—450 A. D.

The Anglo-Saxons


The Viking Invaders

8th—11th centuries

The Normans

1066—1154 William the Conqueror (1066—1087)

The Plantagenets

1154—1399 Henry II (1154—1189) Edward I (1272—1307)

The Houses of York and Lancaster


The Tudors

1485—1603 Henry VII (1485—1509) Henry VIII (1509—1547) Mary I (“Bloody Mary”) (1553—1558) Elizabeth I (1558- 1603)

The Stuarts The Civil War

1603—1649 James I (1603—1625) 1628—1649 Charles I (1625—1649)

The Republic

1649—1660 Oliver Cromwell (1649—1660)

The Stuarts

1660—1714 William III and Mary II (1689—1702)

The Hanoverians

1714—1901 George I, II, III, IV (1714—1830) (‘Georgian’ period)Victoria(1837—1901) (‘Victorian’ period)

The House of Saxe-Coburg

1901—1910 Edward VII (1901—1910) (‘Edwardian’ period)

The House of Windsor

George V (1910-1936)

Edward VIII (1936)

George VI (1936-1952)

Elizabeth II (1952-2022)

Charles III (2022)

The Royal House of Windsor

King George VI (died in 1952).

Queen Elizabeth (his wife) – the Queen Mother (died in 2002).

Elizabeth II (his daughter) – Queen of the UK, ruled 1952 – 2022.

Prince Philip (her husband) – the Duke of Edinburgh.

Charles III, the ruling monarch (2022 – up now) – Formerly Prince Charles (the eldest son) – the Prince of Wales; his 1st wife (born Diana Spencer) was the Princess of Wales; his 2d wife (born Camilla Rosemary) is the Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Andrew (the elder son) – the Duke of York; his wife is the Duchess of York.

Princess Anne (the only daughter) – the Princess Royal.

Prince Edward (the youngest son) – no title.

Prince William, Prince Henry (Harry) – Prince Charles and Lady Diana‟s sons.

Prince William – the Duke of Cambridge; his wife (born Catherine Middleton) is the Duchess of Cambridge.

The History of the British Empire

17 – 18 centuries: Under Queen Elizabeth I, England becomes a great sea power. In her reign and later, the English conquer countries and areas in the New World and the Orient. Ireland becomes the first English colony.

19th century: In the reign of Queen Victoria, England keeps on expanding its colonial domain.

1870: The term The British Empire gets into use.

1920: The British Empire becomes the largest in the world’s history (a quarter of the world’s population on a quarter of the planet’s land surface). The British ambitiously say, “The sun never sets in the British Empire.”

By 1931: The British Empire evolves into the British Commonwealth of Nations. Many colonies become dominions.

1940 – 1950: Due to the liberation movement, all the colonies get independent, and the British Empire stops existing. However, the British monarch is still the head of the state in many dominions, which are governed by governor-generals representing the British Crown. That is why the British monarch reigns but doesn’t rule (even in the Mother Country or the Old Country).