The British Monarchy For Dummies
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More About This Title The British Monarchy For Dummies


Includes insights into the lives of the current royal family

Britain's heritage told through the colourful lives of its kings and queens

The monarchy is at the heart of British life. If you're going to understand Britain and its history, you need to understand the story of its royal family. This lively guide walks you through the history of the British monarchy from the earliest times to the present day and covers the colourful characters, extraordinary events, power struggles, and politics that have shaped one of the most famous institutions in the world.


The origins of the British monarchyHow the monarchy worksThe relationship between the royal family and the general publicHow the role of the monarch has changed over timeWhat the monarch and the rest of the royal family do all day


Philip Wilkinson was educated at Oxford University, after which he worked as an editor for various publishers in Britain. For the last 15 years or so, he has been a full-time writer specializing in history, the arts, and heritage. He has written books on these subjects for adults and for children, and his titles include What the Romans Did For Us, which accompanied the BBC television series presented by Adam Hart-Davis, the award-winning Amazing Buildings, and The English Buildings Book. He lives in the Cotswolds with his wife and son.


Introduction 1

Part I: All About the Monarchy 9

Chapter 1: Ruling Principles 11

Chapter 2: How the Monarchy Works 23

Part II: Early Rulers 35

Chapter 3: Mini-Kingdoms 37

Chapter 4: England United 51

Chapter 5: Danes versus Saxons 67

Part III: The Middle Ages 79

Chapter 6: Conquering Kings 81

Chapter 7: Plantagenet Power Struggles 97

Chapter 8: More Plantagenets 111

Chapter 9: Lancaster and York: Fighting Families 131

Part IV: The Kings of Scotland 149

Chapter 10: Picts, Scots, and Others 151

Chapter 11: Troublesome English, Troublesome Islanders 173

Chapter 12: The Stewart Story 187

Part V: Kingdoms United: Tudors, Stuarts, and Hanoverians 207

Chapter 13: The Tudors: The Monarchy Triumphs 209

Chapter 14: The Stuarts 231

Chapter 15: The House of Hanover 253

Part VI: Modern Royals: The House of Windsor 277

Chapter 16: Monarchs at War 279

Chapter 17: Thoroughly Modern Monarch: Elizabeth II 297

Chapter 18: The Prince of Wales 315

Part VII: The Part of Tens 331

Chapter 19: Ten Royal Homes 333

Chapter 20: Ten or So Royal Places 341

Chapter 21: Ten Princes of Wales 349

Chapter 22: Ten or So Charismatic Consorts 355

Index 363