Se­lect from this top 50 list of Euro­pean kings, queens and em­per­ors to be in with a chance to win our top prize

All About History - - COMPETITION -

Charle­magne c. 747 – c. 814

This Frank­ish king and Chris­tian em­peror of the West con­quered im­mense ter­ri­to­ries and de­fined the char­ac­ter of Me­dieval Eu­rope.

Al­fred the Great 849-99 CE

The only English monarch known as ‘the Great,’ this An­glo-saxon king of Wes­sex suc­cess­fully re­sisted Vik­ing in­va­sion.

Aethel­stan c. 895-949

This An­glo-saxon war­rior king ‘re­con­quered’ York from the Vik­ings, and pro­claimed him­self ‘king of all Britain’.

Brian Boru c. 940-1014

The High King united Ire­land un­der his lead­er­ship, fa­mously de­feat­ing the Vik­ings at Clon­tarf, and es­tab­lish­ing the pow­er­ful O’brien dy­nasty.

Cnut the Great c. 995-1035

Though he couldn’t con­trol the tide, this Vik­ing king ruled over the North Sea Em­pire, cov­er­ing Den­mark, Nor­way and Eng­land.

David I c. 1080-1153

This Scot­tish king led a cul­tural revo­lu­tion, in­tro­duc­ing feu­dal­ism, found­ing monas­ter­ies and se­cur­ing con­trol of a large part of north­ern Eng­land.

Ed­ward the Con­fes­sor c. 1003-66

Re­mem­bered for his re­li­gious piety, much of Ed­ward’s reign was peace­ful and pros­per­ous. How­ever, his death brought about the Nor­man con­quest.

Wil­liam the Con­queror c. 1028-1087

Also known as Wil­liam I, this Nor­man no­ble seized the English crown af­ter vic­tory at Hast­ings in 1066, and trans­formed the coun­try for­ever.

Owain Gwynedd 1100-70

This war­rior king ruled much of Wales, AND suc­cess­fully ex­panded his bor­ders into Eng­land, later best­ing Henry II of Eng­land at the Bat­tle of Cro­gen.

Eleanor of Aquitaine c. 1122-1204

One of the Mid­dle Ages’ most pow­er­ful women, Eleanor helped run Henry of An­jou’s em­pire and ruled Eng­land as re­gent while Richard I was at war.

Richard I 1157-99

Re­mem­bered as ‘Lion Heart’, this war­rior king fought Sal­adin dur­ing in the Third Cru­sade, but only spent six months of his ten-year reign in Eng­land.

John 1166-1216

Though he was forced to sign the Magna Carta, John was the first Nor­man king to speak English, and took an ac­tive in­ter­est in the coun­try.

Ed­ward I 1239-1307

Nick­named ‘Long Shanks’ and ‘Ham­mer of the Scots’, the English king is best known for try­ing to sub­due Wales and Scot­land, no­tably de­feat­ing Wil­liam Wal­lace.

Robert the Bruce 1274-1329

This rebel king se­cured Scot­land’s in­de­pen­dence from Eng­land, wag­ing a highly suc­cess­ful guer­rilla war be­fore sub­se­quently win­ning papal recog­ni­tion as the right­ful monarch.

Mar­garet I 1353-1412

The queen con­sort of Nor­way and Swe­den and sovereign of Den­mark, she peace­fully united all three Scan­di­na­vians na­tions un­der her rule.

Henry V c. 1387-1422

Vic­to­ri­ous against the French at the Bat­tle of Agin­court dur­ing the Hun­dred Years’ War, he made Eng­land one of the strong­est king­doms in Eu­rope.

Mehmed the Con­queror 1432-81

This em­peror cap­tured Con­stantino­ple, the Balkans and Ana­to­lia, es­tab­lish­ing the Ot­toman Em­pire’s heart­lands for the next 400 years.

Is­abella I 1451-1504

This Castil­ian queen uni­fied Spain through her mar­riage to Fer­di­nand II of Aragon, fi­nanced Christo­pher Colum­bus’ ex­pe­di­tions and es­tab­lished the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion.

Richard III 1452-85

The last king of the Plan­ta­genet dy­nasty may have mur­dered his way to the throne, but it is un­likely that he was the arch-vil­lian that Shake­speare painted him as.

Henry VII 1457-1509

This English king ended the War of the Roses, founded the mighty Tu­dor dy­nasty and brought about sta­bil­ity af­ter years of civil strife.

Matthias Corv­i­nus 1443-90

The Hun­gar­ian king set about re­con­struct­ing the coun­try af­ter years of feu­dal an­ar­chy, en­cour­aged the ‘new learn­ing’ of the Ital­ian Re­nais­sance in Hun­gary and con­quered sev­eral neigh­bour­ing states.

Henry VIII 1491-1547

Best known for his six wives and break­ing with Rome, Eng­land also flour­ished un­der this Tu­dor icon, who pa­tro­n­ised the arts and amassed a mighty navy.

Fran­cis I (France) 1494-1547

This French king was a Re­nais­sance pa­tron of the arts and schol­ar­ship, and a knightly king who waged suc­cess­ful cam­paigns in Italy, but was bested by Charles V.

Suleiman the Mag­nif­i­cent c. 1494-1566

This em­peror ex­panded Ot­toman pres­ence in Eu­rope, Africa and the Mid­dle East while re­form­ing the le­gal sys­tem and pa­tro­n­is­ing the arts and ar­chi­tec­ture at home.

Charles V 1500-58

A king of Spain and its Amer­i­can colonies as well as Holy Ro­man Em­peror, this Haps­burg boasted an em­pire ‘on which the sun never sits’ long be­fore Britain.

Philip II 1527-98

This king com­manded the Span­ish Em­pire at the height of its pow­ers, and suc­cess­fully con­quered Por­tu­gal and de­feated the Ot­tomans in an epic naval bat­tle at Lepanto.

Ivan the Ter­ri­ble 1530-84

While Rus­sia’s first tsar de­served the bloody rep­u­ta­tion he gar­nered, he also forged a mighty na­tion state, in­sti­tut­ing a cen­tral ad­min­is­tra­tion and build­ing the iconic St Basil Cathe­dral.

El­iz­a­beth I 1533-1603

The Vir­gin Queen presided over a golden age for Eng­land, hav­ing sent the first colonists to Amer­ica and de­feated the Span­ish Ar­mada, sav­ing the coun­try from in­va­sion.

James VI and I 1566-1625

The ruler of Scot­land and the first Stu­art king of Eng­land, this peace­maker ended the long war with Spain, and his ver­sion of the Bi­ble was the stan­dard text for 250 years.

Gus­tavus Adol­phus 1594-1632

The Swedish ‘Lion of the North’ fought wars with Polandlithua­nia, Rus­sia and Den­mark si­mul­ta­ne­ously, de­fended Lutheranism dur­ing the Coun­ter­refor­ma­tion, and ul­ti­mately laid the foun­da­tions for the mod­ern Swedish state.

John III So­bieski 1629-96

This elec­tive king of the Pol­ish-lithua­nian Com­mon­wealth suc­cess­fully pushed back the Ot­tomans dur­ing the Siege of Vi­enna, and briefly re­stored his king­dom to great­ness.

Charles II 1630-85

The king of Eng­land, Scot­land and Ire­land, Charles II ad­vo­cated re­li­gious tol­er­ance and power shar­ing, while pre­sid­ing over coloni­sa­tion and trade in In­dia, West Indies and Amer­ica.

Louis XIV 1638-1715

The Sun King was Eu­rope’s long­est-reign­ing monarch, and es­tab­lished France as the dom­i­nant power of the era while rul­ing supremely from the Palace of Ver­sailles.

Anne 1665-1714

The last of the Stu­art mon­archs, Anne was also the first sovereign of Great Britain, pre­sid­ing over the uni­fi­ca­tion of Eng­land and Scot­land. Peter the Great


Through suc­cess­ful wars, this Rus­sian tsar ex­panded his em­pire while seek­ing to mod­ernise the vast state by in­tro­duc­ing Euro­pean cul­ture and in­dus­try, and founded the city of Saint Peters­burg.

Ge­orge II 1683-1760

Per­son­ally led his troops at the Bat­tle of Det­tin­gen in 1743, de­feat­ing the French and be­com­ing the last Bri­tish monarch to lead his troops into bat­tle.

Em­press El­iz­a­beth 1709-62

Af­ter seiz­ing power in a blood­less coup, the tsa­rina steered Rus­sia through the Seven Years’ War, founded its first univer­sity and built the ex­trav­a­gant Win­ter Palace in St Peters­burg.

Fred­er­ick the Great 1712-86

The orig­i­nal ‘en­light­ened despot’, this Prus­sian king helped pop­u­larise lib­eral ideals while es­tab­lish­ing his state as the fore­most mil­i­tary power in Eu­rope.

Maria Theresa 1717-80

The only fe­male ruler of the mighty House of Haps­burg held to­gether her dis­parate em­pire through great strength of will and mul­ti­ple chal­lenges from Prus­sia and other for­eign pow­ers.

Cather­ine the Great 1729-96

The Em­press of Rus­sia for more than 30 years, she usurped the throne from her hus­band, ad­vo­cated so­cial re­form and greatly ex­panded Rus­sian ter­ri­tory.

Napoleon I 1769-1821

It took a mil­lion-man army to de­feat the Em­peror of France’s First Em­pire at Water­loo, while his much-lauded Napoleonic Code con­tin­ues to in­flu­ence Euro­pean law.

Wil­helm I 1797-1888

The first em­peror of a united Ger­many and king of Prus­sia, Wil­helm had the sense to ap­point Otto von Bismarck to power while also keep­ing the Iron Chan­cel­lor in check.

Alexan­der II 1818-81

This Rus­sian tsar eman­ci­pated the serfs, re­duced the power of the landed aris­toc­racy, loos­ened cen­sor­ship, re­formed ed­u­ca­tion, the mil­i­tary and the courts among other things, but was still as­sas­si­nated by so­cial­ist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies.


1819-1901 Un­til re­cently, Vic­to­ria was Britain’s longestreign­ing monarch, with the coun­try be­com­ing an in­dus­trial pow­er­house and its em­pire spread­ing around the globe dur­ing her reign.

Vic­tor Em­manuel II 1820-78

The first king of a united Italy, Vic­tor Em­manuel II worked with rev­o­lu­tion­ary lead­ers like Garibaldi in or­der to free Italy from the con­trol of the French and Prus­sians.

Ge­orge V 1865-1936

The great mod­erniser of the Bri­tish royal fam­ily, Ge­orge V changed their name to Wind­sor, made the first ra­dio broad­cast, and won pub­lic re­spect by vis­it­ing the front­lines and fac­to­ries.

Al­bert I 1875-1934

This Bel­gian king re­mained with his troops dur­ing World War One, and com­manded the forces that re­cap­tured Os­tend and Bruges from the Ger­mans in 1918.

Wil­helmina 1880-1962

The Nether­lands’ long­est-serv­ing queen reigned through both World Wars, though she was ex­iled to Lon­don dur­ing Nazi oc­cu­pa­tion. From here she in­spired the Dutch re­sis­tance through ra­dio broad­casts.

Ge­orge VI 1895-1952

Made king af­ter the sud­den ab­di­ca­tion of his brother Ed­ward VIII, he re­mained at Buck­ing­ham Palace dur­ing the Lon­don Blitz to show unity with the peo­ple.

Olav V 1903-91

This Nor­we­gian king was nick­named ‘a king for all the peo­ple’ for his egal­i­tar­i­an­ism, won a gold medal at the 1928 Olympics, and re­sisted the Nazis dur­ing World War II.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.