Project BritainProject Britain

British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

What's happening this month? | Jan | Feb | Mar | Aprl | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sept| Oct | Nov | Dec
British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Timeline of UK Kings and Queens

The House of Hanoverians (1692 - 1827)

Queen Anne, despite so many births, died without leaving an heir, a new family of monarchs now took over the throne - the Hanoverians, from north Germany. image: German flag

By the Act of Succession of 1701, on the death of Queen Anne the throne passed to her nearest Prostestant relative. This proved to be George, Elector of Hanover, the great-grandson of James I.

King George I 1714 - 1727 image: German flag

When George arrived in England, he knew little about British politics nor could he speak very much English. George therefore became very dependent on the Whigs who had arranged for him to become king. The most important of these was Robert Walpole who became George's Prime Minister.

        • Age 54-67
        • Parents: Ernest August, Duke of Brunswick and Elector of Hanover, and Sophia Stuart
        • Great-grandson of James I
        • Ascended to the throne: August 1, 1714 aged 54 years
        • Crowned: 20 October 1714 at Westminster Abbey
        • Married: Sophia Dorothea of Celle
        • Children: One son, one daughter, three illegitimate children
        • Died: 11 June 1727 at Osnabruck, aged 67 years
        • Buried at: Leineschlosskirche, Hanover
        • Succeeded by: his son George II

Prince George Louis was declared "George by the Grace of God and king of Great Britain, France and Ireland" on 1 August 1714. At the age of 54, he set the record as the oldet monarch on accession in British history.

George spent most of his time in his beloved Hanover, in Germany. He made little effort to learn the English and customs of the country and communicated with his ministers in French.

Sir Robert Walpole became England's first Prime Minister 1721 to 1742

King George II 1727 - 1760 image: German flag

  • Age 43 - 76
  • Born: 30 October 1683 at Herrenhausen, Hanover
  • Parents: George I and Sophia Dorothea
  • Ascended to the throne: June 11, 1727 aged 43 years
  • Crowned: 11 October 1727 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: Caroline, daughter of Margrave of Brandenburg
  • Children: Four sons and five daughters
  • Died: 25 October 1760 at Kensington Palace
  • Buried at: Westminster Abbey
  • Succeeded by: his grandson George III

King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727, George preferred Germany to England, but learned to speak English, unlike his father.

Interesting Fact:

The last British monarch to lead troops into battle at the Battle of Dettingen against the French in 1743.

1735, George II gave Sir Rober Walpole a gift of 10 Downing Street, now the permanent London residence of the British prime minister.

1739 - Dick Turpin, highwayman, hanged at York 

King George III 1760 - 1820 image: England flag

George III, the longest-serving Hanoverian monarch, died after occupying the throne for 60 years. His eldest son served as prince regent from 1811 to 1820 when his father was declared insane.

  • Grandson of George II
  • Age 22-81
  • Ascended to the throne: October 25, 1760 aged 22 years
  • Crowned: September 22, 1761 at Westminster Abbey
  • Born: 4 June 1738 at Norfolk House, St. James Square, London
  • Parents: Frederick Prince of Wales, and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
  • Married: Charlotte, daughter of Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Children: Ten sons including George IV and William IV, and six daughters
  • Died: 29 January 1820 at Windsor Castle, aged 81 years
  • Buried at: Windsor
  • Succeeded by: his son George IV

King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760.

George III was the first Hanoverian monarch to be born in England. He was born on 4 June 1738 in London and was the son of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, and grandson of George II. He was the first monarch since Queen Anne to put British interests well before those of Hanover.

George III ruled for 50 years and fathered 15 children. He suffered from recurrent fits of madness and after 1810, his son acted as regent.

During his reign:

Britain lost its American colonies but emerged as a leading power in Europe.

Australia was colonised.

His reign was the age of some of the greatest names in English literature - Jane Austen, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth.

It was also the time of great statesmen like Pitt and Fox and great captains like Wellington and Nelson.

1769 - Captain James Cook’s first voyage to explore the Pacific. 

In 1773 the 'Boston Tea Party' was the first sign of the troubles that were to come in America. The American Colonies proclaimed their independence on July 4th 1776.

1775 - James Watt develops the steam engine.

The 1790s saw the French Revolution. The wars with France continued until Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

In 1801, under the Act of Union Great Britain and Ireland were united into a single nation - the United Kingdom. George was thus the first king of the new nation.

1813 - Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is published. 

King George IV 1820 - 1830 image: England flag

George IV was deeply unpopular for his extravagant lifestyle and scandalous private life, but he was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and his residences, particularly Carlton House and Brighton Pavilion, set new standards of taste.

  • Age 58-67
  • Eldest son of George III
  • Parents: George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Born: St James's Palace, London, on 12 August 1762
  • Ascended to the throne: 29 January 1820 aged 57 years
  • Crowned: 19 July 1821 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: Mrs Fitzherbert (English), then Caroline, daughter of Duke of Brunswick
  • Children: One daughter,and at least two illegitimate children
  • Died: 26 June 1830 at Windsor Castle, aged 67 years
  • Buried at: Windsor
  • Succeeded by: his brother William IV

George became prince regent in 1811, while his father was very ill, and king in 1820.

Built Brighton Pavilion.

He died on 26 June 1830. His only child, Princess Charlotte had died in childbirth in 1817, so the crown passed to George's brother who became William IV.

King William IV 1830 - 1837 image: England flag

During his youth, William had served in the Royal Navy so he was nicknamed 'the sailor king'

        • Age 64-71.
        • Third son of George III.
        • Born: 21 August 1765 at Buckingham House (now Palace)
        • Parents: George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
          Ascended to the throne: June 26, 1830 aged 64 years
        • Crowned: 8 September 1831 at Westminster Abbey
        • Married: Adelaide, daughter of Dukeof Saxe-Meinigen
        • Children: Four none of whom survived infancy, plus several illegitimate by Dorothy Jordan
        • Died: 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle
        • Buried at: Windsor
        • Succeeded by: his niece Victoria

William IV was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1830.

He became known as the "Sailor King" after joining the navy from just 13 years old.

His reign saw the passing of the Reform Act of 1832.

During his reign England abolished slavery in the colonies in 1833.

William died on 20 June 1837, without surviving children. His niece Victoria succeeded him.

1834 - Fire destroys the Palace of Westminster.

1834 - Poor Law Act is passed, creating workhouses for the poor.  

1836 - Births, marriages and deaths must be registered by law 

1836 - Dickens publishes Oliver Twist, drawing attention to Britain’s poor 

Queen Victoria 1837 - 1901 image: England flag

  • Age 18-81.
  • Born: 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace
  • Parents: Edward, Duke of Kent (son of George III) and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  • Ascended to the throne: June 20, 1837 aged 18 years
  • Crowned: 28 June 1838 at Westminster Abbey
  • Married: Albert, son of Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • Children: Four sons including Edward VII, and five daughters
  • Died: 22 January 1901 at Osbourne, Isle of Wight, aged 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days
  • Buried at: Frogmore, Windsor
  • Succeeded by: her son Edward VII

Victoria was the daughter of Edward, duke of Kent (fourth son of George III) and a niece of George IV and William lV.

She married Albert of Saxe - Coburg Gotha. Ruled during the industrial revolution. The British Empire became powerful, rich and confident. When Victoria died in 1901, after the longest reign in English history, the British Empire and British world power had reached their highest point. She had 9 children, 40 grand-children and 37 great-grandchildren, scattered all over Europe.

Find out more about Victoria and her reign


Stuartsprevious pagenext pageWindsors


1066 - 1154 The Normans

1154 - 1216 The Angevins (The first Plantagenet kings)

1216 - 1399 Plantagenets

1399 - 1461 The House of Lancaster

1461 - 1485 The House of York

1485 -1603 The Tudors

1603 - 1649 and 1660 - 1714 The Stuarts

1714 -1901 The House of Hanoverians

1901 -1910 and 1910 - Today Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and The Windsors

Latest blog posts


back to the top

email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

Follow Project BritainTwitterFollow Mandy Barrow on TwitterGoogle Plus

Woodlands Junior Homework Help new website