House of Hanover
George I (1714–1727) George became the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain as George I. James Stuart, son of James II, led a rebellion by his supporters, known as the Jacobites, in Scotland in 1715, but this was put down. With the king unable to speak English, Robert Walpole took over as chairman of Cabinet meetings and became in effect the country’s first prime minister.
George II (1727–1760) During George II’s reign, Britain fought in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748). In 1743, George led his troops against the French, the last British king to fight in battle. Another Jacobite Rebellion broke out in 1745 when Charles Edward Stuart, (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”) landed in Scotland, but that was crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
George III (1760–1820) During George’s reign, war broke out with the American colonists over British attempts to tax them. It ended in defeat for the British in 1781. In 1788, George III suffered the first of a series of fits. By 1811, he had become unable to rule, and so his son took over as Prince Regent. During George’s reign, Britain had become a world power with a large empire and a rich industrial economy.
George IV (1820–1830) George, who served as Prince Regent on behalf of his father, George III, became king in his own right on his father’s death in 1820. He was very interested in the arts, acquiring an impressive collection of art and hiring architects to create stylish buildings in what became known as the Regency Style.
William IV (1830–1837) William's reign was dominated by the Reform crisis. After much dispute, the 1832 Reform Act was passed, leading to a fairer distribution of parliamentary seats and wider qualification for people having the right to vote.
Victoria (1837–1901) Victoria ascended the throne, aged 18. She married her cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When he died in 1861, she was stricken with grief and retired from public life for years. During her long reign, Victoria became Empress of India. Her children and grandchildren married into all the major royal houses of Europe.
House of Saxe-Coburg
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