British Royal Family from 1760
Page last modified 27/3/2019
See also Great Britain to 31/1/1900
See also Great Britain from 1/2/1900
29/4/2011, Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, to become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 2 billion people around the world watched the ceremony on TV.
16/11/2010, Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement, eight years after meeting at Edinburgh University.
8/11/2010, Queen Elizabeth II joined Facebook. By late 2015 her page had over 2.2 million ‘likes’.
7/4/2008, The six-month-long official inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in a car crash in a Paris road tunnel ended. The inquest had cost £10 million, and concluded that Henri Paul, the driver, was drunk and crashed into a pillar whilst trying to avoid the paparazzi.
21/12/2007, Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest reigning monarch in British history.
9/4/2005, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, in a ceremony briefly postponed after the death of the Pope. Camilla assumed the titles of Her Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall.
30/3/2002. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died, aged 101. At 11.30am on 9/4/2002 Britain came to a halt for two minutes to commemorate her funeral, which was at 2pm in Westminster Abbey.
25/9/2001, Queen Elizabeth II was given her first mobile phone.
31/8/1997. Death of Diana, Princess of Wales, born 1961, along with Dodi Al Fayed, born 1955, in a car ‘accident’ in a road tunnel in Paris. See 28/8/1996.
28/8/1996. The Prince of Wales, Charles, and Princess, Diana Spencer, divorced. See 31/8/1997.
28/2/1996. The Princess of Wales, Diana, announced that she had agreed to divorce Prince Charles.
3/12/1993, Diana Princess of Wales announced her retirement from public life.
6/4/1993, Queen Elizabeth became liable for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
11/2/1993. Buckingham Palace announced the Queen would pay income tax in April.
17/1/1993. Bookmakers cut the odds of the UK monarchy being abolished before the year 2000 from 100-1 to 50-1.
10/1/1993. Press reports emerged that Princess Diana, already separated from her husband Prince Charles, wanted to divorce him.
31/12/1992. The Queen described 1992 as an ‘annus horibilis’, one of the worst years for the UK monarchy since the abdication crisis of 1936. The Duke and Duchess of York had separated, Princess Anne had divorced, the Prince of Wales had reportedly attempted suicide through marital difficulties, and then separated from Diana, and Windsor Castle had suffered a major fire, on 20/11/1992. There was extensive damage to rooms, artwork, furniture, and other effects. There was public condemnation when it emerged the restoration cost would be met from the public purse. Six days after the fire the Prime Minister John Major announced that the Queen was reconsidering the scope of the Civil List and might end her exemption from income tax.
19/3/1992. It was announced that the Duke and Duchess of York were to separate.
23/3/1990, Princess Eugenie of York was born.
21/9/1986. In the UK, Prince Charles stated on TV that he talked to his plants.
24/4/1986, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom a British King abdicated, died in Paris aged 89.
19/3/1986, The engagement between Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson was announced.
15/9/1984, Prince Harry (Henry Charles Albert David) was born to Diana, Princess of Wales.
24/2/1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement.
24/5/1978, Princess Margaret obtained a divorce from Lord Snowdon.
7/6/1977, The Queen lit a bonfire in Windsor Park, starting a week of Royal Silver Jubilee celebrations.
6/6/1977, Derby was designated a city, to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
14/11/1973, Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.
28/5/1972. The Duke of Windsor, the abdicated King Edward VIII, died in Paris aged 77.
19/2/1970. Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Charles would join the Royal Navy.
1/7/1969. Prince Charles was formally invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. This event was watched by a TV audience of some 200 million worldwide.
24/6/1969. The 20 year old Prince Charles tackled the ‘awfully difficult’ question of his future marriage. ‘You have to chose somebody very carefully, I think’ said the Prince.
10/3/1964, Prince Edward (Edward Antony Richard Louis) was born in Buckingham Palace, the third son of Elizabeth II.
2/4/1962, Prince Charles arrived as a new pupil at Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, Scotland, the school his father Prince Philip attended.
1/7/1961. Lady Diana Spencer was born, in Park House, Sandringham.
19/2/1960, Prince Andrew (Andrew Albert Christian Edward), third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in Buckingham Palace.
26/7/1958. Queen Elizabeth II created her eldest son Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
3/7/1958. The last debutantes were presented to the Queen. British high society mourned the passing of this tradition; the Queen had decided this had no place in modern society. Presentation at Court had been reserved for the daughters of the aristocracy and those prominent in society. Those who made their curtsies to the Queen were sponsored and chaperoned by those who had been presented themselves earlier. But some socially ambitious parents had fallen on hard times to finance the fees and expenses of qualified chaperones. Prince Philip was reported to have suggested the move.
31/10/1955, Princess Margaret decided not to marry divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend. Had she married, she would have lost her Civil List income and place in line to the throne.
2/6/1953. Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (see 6/2/1952). Britain was still recovering from World War Two.. Just 4% of homes had TV sets. Few had fridges or washing machines, for commercial TV had yet to arrive and ignite the consumer boom, much of which was to be on credit, or ‘never-never’. Just one marriage in a hundred ended in divorce.
16/4/1953. Queen Elizabeth II launched the Royal Yacht Britannia.
4/3/1953, The RAF made a special Coronation Dish for Queen Elizabeth II, using lampreys – the food which allegedly killed Henry I.
6/2/1952. The accession of Queen Elizabeth II, born 21/4/1926. Her coronation was on 2/6/1953, on a dull showery day; it was the first Coronation to be televised. The funeral of King George V was at Windsor on 15/2/1952, when over 300,000 paid their respects to his coffin at Westminster Abbey.. King George V had died of lung cancer from smoking, aged 56, during the night at Sandringham, and Elizabeth I was on safari in Kenya at the time. King George V had had a lung removed in September 1951 by surgeons at Buckingham Palace.
22/9/1948, Captain Mark Phillips, husband of Princess Anne, was born in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.
20/11/1947. Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey. Austerity and rationing were temporarily forgotten.
7/6/1939,HM King George V1, along with Queen Elizabeth, crossed the border from Canada into the USA at Naigara Falls, on his way to visit the World Fair in New York. He was the first British monarch to visit the USA. He and Queen Elizabeth also became the first British monarch to eat hot dogs.
17/5/1939. George VI and Queen Elizabeth began a short visit to North America to strengthen Anglo-Saxon solidarity.
3/6/1937, The Duke of Windsor, the abdicated King Edward VIII, married Mrs Wallis Warfield Simpson in Mondis, France. Mrs Simpson was an American divorcee and the marriage both upset the Royal Family and outraged the Church of England. A constitutional solution – for King Edward to marry Mrs Simpson but for her not to attain the title of Queen – might have become acceptable to the country, but was forestalled by massive media coverage of the affair, forcing Edward to choose between romance and title.
12/5/1937. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the mother of Queen Elizabeth II) were crowned.
4/2/1937, The German Ambassador gave King George VI a Nazi salute.
11/12/1936. Abdication of King Edward VIII, after a reign of just 325 days. See 20/1/1936. Accession of his brother, Prince Albert, the Duke of York, who became King George VI to the British throne. The coronation of George VI (born 14/12/1895) was on 12/5/1937. King Edward VIII had abdicated because of his love for Mrs Simpson (who became the Duchess of Windsor), otherwise known as Bessie Walls Warfield. She had been born in Baltimore on 19/6/1896. Edward VIII, as the Duke of Windsor, married Mrs Simpson on 3/6/1937 at Monts in France.
13/11/1936. King Edward VIII told Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin he intended to abdicate because of his intention to marry twice-divorced Mrs Simpson. See 11/12/1936.
28/1/1936, The funeral of King George V. General Franco from Spain attended.
20/1/1936. Accession of King Edward VIII. He succeeded his late father, George V, who died at Sandringham this day. See 11/12/1936. George V, Grandson of Queen Victoria, had reigned for 26 years; he changed the surname of the Royal Family from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor during World War One to distance himself from his German cousins.
29/11/1934, Marriage of George Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece.
4/1/1931, Princess Louise, eldest daughter of King Edward VII, (born 20/2/1867) died.
21/8/1930, In Britain, Princess Margaret Rose was born.
21/4/1926. Queen Elizabeth II, crowned 1952, was born at 17 Bruton Street London. She was then called Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the eldest daughter of George VI.
10/6/1921, Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was born on the Greek island of Corfu.
27/12/1918, King George V and Queen Mary greeted President and Mrs Wilson of the United States.
6/5/1910. Accession of King George V 44, to the British throne. His coronation was on 22/6/1911. He succeeded Edward VII, who died aged 68 from pneumonia. The funeral of Edward VII was on 20/5/1910.
12/7/1905, In Britain, the Princess of Wales gave birth to a son, Prince John.
11/8/1902, King Edward VII gave Osborne House, where Queen Victoria had died, to the nation.
24/6/1902, King Edward VII contracted appendicitis, delaying his coronation (scheduled for 26 June), see 9/8/1902.
14/2/1901, King Edward VII, aged 59, opened his first UK Parliament.
4/2/1901, Queen Victoria was buried at Windsor, next to Albert.
22/1/1901. Queen Victoria died, at of a cerebral haemorrhage Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, aged 81; the longest reigning and longest lived monarch of Britain. Accession of King Edward VII to the British throne. His coronation was on 9/8/1902. King Edward VII was born on 9/11/1840, and was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Crowned at 60 years of age, he proved a popular monarch who gave his name to the Edwardian era. He was made Prince of Wales by his mother when only one month old. His free and easy social life made him a prominent figure in society and he was involved in several scandals. His coronation was elaborate and was a departure from the rather dour image of the monarchy in the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign. Edward VII is remembered as a popular man who tried to ensure peace in Europe, touring European capitals in a diplomatic role. An estimated 500,000 watched the funeral. procession of Queen Victoria as it travelled through the silent streets of London, on 2/2/1901. The funeral took place at Windsor.
19/1/1901, Queen Victoria became seriously ill.
4/8/1900. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was born in St Pauls, Waldenbury, Hertfordshire, as Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, the 9th of 10 children.
4/4/1900, The Prince of Wales escaped unhurt after an attempt on his life by a 16-year old anarchist, Jean-Baptiste Sipido, in Brussels railway station, Belgium. The would-be assassin said he targeted the Prince because he held him responsible for the many deaths in the Boer War under Lord Kitchener.
22/6/1897. Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee.
14/12/1895. The future King George VI was born in Sandringham, Norfolk, second son of George V and Mary, see 11/12/1936.
25/2/1883, Princess Alice Mary, later Countess of Athlone, was born.
2/3/1882. Roderick MacLean tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Queen Victoria, as she sat in a railway carriage at Windsor station.
10/3/1864, Prince Edward was born.
10/3/1863, King Edward VII, as the Prince of Wales, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The marriage was in St Georges Chapel, Windsor.
14/12/1861. Prince Albert Consort of Queen Victoria, died, of typhus in Windsor Castle.
1/12/1849, Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, died.
19/5/1849, William Hamilton attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria.
8/12/1841, Prince Albert Edward was created Prince of Wales; he later became King Edward VII.
10/2/1840. Marriage of Queen Victoria, born 24/5/1819, to her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, born 26/8/1819 at Rosenau, near Coburg, Germany. They were married in the Chapel Royal at St James Palace.
15/10/1839. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert became betrothed. She proposed to him, as recorded in her diary, ‘it was a nervous thing to do, but Albert could not propose to the Queen of England. He would never presume to take such a liberty’.
20/6/1837. (1) King William IV died at Windsor. He was born on 21/8/1765 and was known as the sailor king, for his service in the Royal Navy. His numerous affairs included 10 illegitimate children born to the Irish actress Dorothy Jordan.
(2) Accession of William IV’s niece Queen Victoria, born 24/5/1819; crowned on 28/6/1838, aged 19. She was originally named Alexandrine Victoria but instructed the Privy Council to delete her first name.
8/9/1831, Coronation of King William IV.
26/6/1830. King George IV died, aged 67. He was England’s fattest king, and his favourite breakfast was 2 pigeons, 3 beefsteaks, a bottle of Moselle, a glass of champagne, two of port, and one of brandy. William IV, his brother, succeeded him. With no legitimate children to succeed him, Victoria was to be the next monarch.
29/1/1820. King George III, longest lived and longest reigning (over 59 years) King of England, died at Windsor aged 81. (See 26/10/1760, coronation of George III). Accession of King George IV; his long-separated wife Caroline returned form the Continent to claim her position as Queen. Caroline was warmly welcomed by the British public, who perceived her as having been badly treated by her husband. George IV nevertheless persuaded his Cabinet ministers to immediately begin divorce proceedings.
26/8/1819, Prince Albert was born at Rosenau, near Coburg, in Bavaria.
5/2/1811. King George III, 73 years old, was officially declared insane; the Prince of Wales, 49 years old, became Prince Regent.
21/8/1765, King William IV, known as the ‘Sailor King’ because he joined the Royal Navy at 13, was born in Buckingham Palace. He was the third son of King George III and Queen Charlotte.
12/8/1762, King George IV was born in St James Palace, London. He was the eldest son of George III. His lavish lifestyle and cruelty towards his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, undermined popular support for the monarchy.
22/9/1761, Coronation of King George III, see 26/10/1760
26/10/1760. Accession of George III. His coronation was on 22/9/1761. He was the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Augusta. George III became one of the longest reigning monarchs in Britain. He saw the emergence of Britain as a leading European power after the Seven Year’s War as well as the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. He had a devoted wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who bore him 15 children. But George III faced problems at home, fighting with Parliament to recover Royal Prerogative, and having Revolutionary France for a neighbour. He also had the debilitating disease porphyria. He died deaf, mad, and blind at Windsor Castle on 29/1/1820, leaving a legacy of social unrest and an outmoded constitution.
25/10/1760, George II died suddenly at 8am, in Kensington, London, aged 76. His successor George III was inclined to concentrate on British, not Hanoverian, interests, and disliked William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had promoted the Anglo-Prussian Alliance. Without British help, Prussia could not continue fighting.