British Empresses & Queens

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Men may have held a dominant position in the world but don’t get prejudiced, for women are not far behind. Turn the pages of history and every country would have a long list of women who through their bravery and courage led the country towards advancement and progression. Britain has had one of the most affluent royal empires in the world till date. The country has been ruled by greatest monarchs and kings who steered it through the torrential times. Though ancient Britain too had female rulers, Matilda of England was considered as the first de factor female ruler of England, though she never consolidated her rule. Amongst the most famous empresses and queens of Britain include celebrated names like Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, Mary I of England, Anne of Great Britain and Queen Elizabeth II, the current and longest-reigning British head of state and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history. While it was under Queen Elizabeth I that the Elizabethan era flourished, Queen Victoria secured the establishment and expansion of Britain Empire by ten-folds. She was also known by the title Empress of India. The present Queen Elizabeth II has been one of the most magnetic women on the globe. Discover interesting facts about the life and works of some of the greatest British Empresses and queens.
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 1 
Queen Elizabeth II
(Former Queen of the United Kingdom)
Queen Elizabeth II
26
Birthdate: April 21, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England
Died: September 8, 2022

The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning British monarch in history. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the media criticism of the royal family, she continued to be a popular figure in the UK.

 2 
Queen Victoria
(Queen of the United Kingdom (1837-1901))
Queen Victoria
16
Birthdate: May 24, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington Palace, London, England
Died: January 22, 1901

The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for over six decades, Queen Victoria reigned for longer than any of her predecessors. Her rule witnessed the vast expansion of the British Empire and ushered in a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were celebrated with great pomp and show.

 3 
Anne Boleyn
(Queen of England (1533 – 1536))
Anne Boleyn
11
Birthdate: 1507 AD
Birthplace: Hever Castle, Kent, England
Died: May 19, 1536

The queen of England from 1533 to 1536, Anne Boleyn played an important role in the political and religious upheaval that led to the beginning of the English Reformation. She is widely regarded as the most important and influential queen consort of England. She was charged with adultery, incest, and treason and was executed by beheading in 1536.

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 4 
Elizabeth I of England
(Queen of England)
Elizabeth I of England
13
Birthdate: September 7, 1533
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia
Died: March 24, 1603
Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, ruled as the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603. She had been declared illegitimate after her mother’s execution. Nicknamed The Virgin Queen for her unmarried status, she established an English Protestant church and served as its governor.
 5 
Boudica
(Queen of the Iceni Tribe of Celtic Britons)
Boudica
8
Birthdate: 0030 AD
Birthplace: Britannia
Died: 0061 AD

Boudica served as a queen of the Iceni tribe. She is regarded as a British folk hero for leading an uprising against the Roman Empire, which wanted to conquer her land. She has remained a prominent cultural symbol in the UK. A bronze statue named Boadicea and Her Daughters is located in London, facing the Palace of Westminster.

 6 
Mary I of England
(Former Queen of England & Ireland (1553 - 1558))
Mary I of England
15
Birthdate: February 18, 1516
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia, England
Died: November 17, 1558

Mary I, the queen of England from 1553-1558, is remembered as the ruler who sought to return England to the Catholic Church. She persecuted many Protestants and got nearly 300 of them burned at the stake. Most of them were common citizens. Many also died in prison and hundreds fled the country. This earned her the ignominious nickname ‘Bloody Mary’.

 7 
Anne, Queen of Great Britain
(Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1707 – 1714))
Anne, Queen of Great Britain
5
Birthdate: February 1, 1665
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St James's Palace, Westminster, England
Died: August 1, 1714

Many biographers consider Anne, the Queen of Great Britain, a weak and irresolute woman. It is said that she lacked political astuteness and was easily influenced by others. Though she was troubled by poor health throughout her life, she became increasingly obese and ill during her 30s and eventually died at the age of 49.

 8 
Eleanor of Aquitaine
(Queen Consort of France (1137 - 1152) and Queen Consort of England (1154 - 1189))
Eleanor of Aquitaine
6
Birthdate: 1122 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: April 1, 1204
Eleanor, the duchess of Aquitaine, became the queen of France after marrying King Louis VII. Their marriage was annulled later. She then married the Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England. Eleanor was imprisoned for supporting a revolt against Henry, and was freed after his death.
 9 
Elizabeth of York
(Forme Queen Consort of England (1486 - 1503))
Elizabeth of York
15
Birthdate: February 11, 1466
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 11, 1503
Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV and wife of Henry VII of the Tudor Dynasty, was the queen consort of England from 1486 until 1503. She and Henry got married after Henry won at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1486, thus ending the Wars of the Roses
 10 
Lady Jane Grey
(Queen of England (10 July 1553 - 19 July 1553))
Lady Jane Grey
6
Birthdate: October 1, 1537
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leicestershire, England
Died: February 12, 1554
Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days' Queen, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 10 to 19, 1553. Jane, a Protestant, was nominated to the Crown, owing to Roman Catholic Mary’s opposition to the Reformed Church of England. However, Jane was deposed, convicted of high treason, and executed.
 11 
Catherine Howard
(Queen of England (1540-1541))
Catherine Howard
8
Birthdate: 1521 AD
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Died: February 13, 1542
Catherine Howard, England’s queen consort from 1540 until 1541, was Henry VIII’s fifth wife. She was a cousin of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. In November 1541, Catherine was stripped of the queen’s title and imprisoned. She was later beheaded on charges of adultery with her cousin Thomas Culpeper.
 12 
Catherine Parr
(Queen of England & Ireland)
Catherine Parr
6
Birthdate: 1512
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: September 7, 1548
Catherine Parr, the most-married English queen, was the queen of England and Ireland from 1543 to 1547, as the last wife of King Henry VIII. She influenced the passing of the 1543 Third Succession Act. She was also the first English queen to publish a book using her own name.
 13 
Elizabeth Woodville
(Former Queen of England (1464 - 1483))
Elizabeth Woodville
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1437
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Grafton Regis, England
Died: June 8, 1492

Elizabeth Woodville was the queen of England from 1464 until her husband King Edward IV's death in 1483. Elizabeth Woodville remained politically influential even after the demise of her husband. She also played a major role in Henry VII's accession to the throne in 1485. Her life and work have inspired several books, films, and TV series.

 14 
Anne of Cleves
(Former Queen Consort of England (January 1540 - July 1540))
Anne of Cleves
5
Birthdate: September 22, 1515
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: July 16, 1557

Anne of Cleves was the Queen of England for 6 months in 1540, as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. Their unconsummated marriage deprived led to the annulment of the marriage, following which she received a settlement and came to be known as the King's Beloved Sister.

 15 
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland (1761 - 1818))
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
6
Birthdate: May 19, 1744
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mirow, Germany
Died: November 17, 1818
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III, reigned as the queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1761 to 1818, and her reign saw the two kingdoms unite into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. An amateur art lover and botanist, she also expanded the Kew Gardens.
 16 
Alexandra of Denmark
(Former Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and British Dominions (1901 - 1910))
Alexandra of Denmark
8
Birthdate: December 1, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 20, 1925
Alexandra of Denmark was the queen of the U.K. and the empress of India from 1901 to 1910, as the wife of King Edward VII. Her style of dressing inspired English fashion back then. She supported her son George V’s campaign against Germany, with the Allies, during World War I.
 17 
Mary Tudor, Queen of France
(Queen Consort of France from 9 October 1514 to 1 January 1515)
Mary Tudor, Queen of France
6
Birthdate: March 18, 1496
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sheen Palace, London, England
Died: June 25, 1533

Mary Tudor, Queen of France was an English princess who served as the Queen consort of France from 9 October 1514 to 1 January 1515. She was the third wife of Louis XII, who was 30 years her senior. After his death, Mary married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Her life and career have inspired several historical fiction novels.

 18 
Victoria, Princess Royal
(German Empress and Queen of Prussia (1888))
Victoria, Princess Royal
5
Birthdate: November 21, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 5, 1901

Victoria, Princess Royal was the Queen of Prussia and German Empress from 9 March 1888 to 15 June 1888. Victoria, Princess Royal had an opportunity to influence the German Empire's policy, but the death of her husband German Emperor Frederick III, just 99 days after his accession, ruined her opportunity. Victoria has been portrayed in several movies and TV series.

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
4
Birthdate: December 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belgrave Square, England
 20 
Empress Matilda
(Former Holy Roman Empress (1114 - 1125))
Empress Matilda
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1102
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sutton Courtenay, England
Died: September 10, 1167

Empress Matilda was the daughter of King Henry I of England and one of the claimants to the throne of England during the 'Anarchy'. Her participation in the civil war and tales of bravery have been the subject of historical fiction. She has also been depicted in films, stage shows, and TV series.

 21 
Mary II of England
(Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689 - 1694))
Mary II of England
4
Birthdate: April 30, 1662
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 28, 1694

Mary II of England was Queen of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 to 1694. Although she co-reigned along with her husband William III of England, she also took major decisions by herself whenever William was abroad. Mary has been portrayed in films, such as Orlando and England, My England.

 22 
Catherine of Valois
(Former Queen Consort of England (1420 - 1422))
Catherine of Valois
5
Birthdate: October 27, 1401
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 3, 1437
Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France, was the queen of England from 1420 to 1422, as the wife of Henry V of England. Her marriage to Henry V was supposed to be a political stance to end the Hundred Years' War, but it was not successful.
 23 
Isabella of France
(Former Queen Consort of England (1308 - 1327))
Isabella of France
8
Birthdate: 1295 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 22, 1358

Isabella of France, also known as the She-Wolf of France, was the Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II. She was known for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. Her marriage was a troubled one and she probably had an affair with Roger Mortimer. It is believed that Isabella then arranged the murder of Edward II.

 24 
Anne Neville
(Former Queen Consort of England (1483 - 1485))
Anne Neville
4
Birthdate: June 11, 1456
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Warwickshire, England
Died: March 16, 1485
Anne Neville was the younger daughter of Richard Neville. She was the Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and the Queen of England, as the wife of King Richard III. Her marriage to Edward was a political alliance to end the Wars of the Roses.
 25 
Aethelflaed
(Anglo-Saxon ruler)
Aethelflaed
4
Birthdate: 0869 AD
Birthplace: Wessex
Died: June 12, 0918
 26 
Maud of Wales
( Queen of Norway as the Wife of King Haakon VII)
Maud of Wales
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1869
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: November 20, 1938

Daughter of King Edward VII of Norway, Maud of Wales, was known for being a tomboy and had even been nicknamed Harry, after a valiant admiral. She married Prince Carl of Denmark. After Carl took over as King Haakon VII of Norway, Maud became the queen of Norway, too.

 27 
Anne of Denmark
(Queen Consort of England and Ireland (1603 - 1619))
Anne of Denmark
5
Birthdate: December 12, 1574
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Skanderborg, Denmark
Died: March 2, 1619

Often described as a "dumb blonde," Anne of Denmark, who became the queen of Scotland, England, and Ireland, through her marriage to King James VI and I, was an art connoisseur known for attending extravagant masques. She probably also converted to Catholicism later, going against James’s anti-Catholic stance.

Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg
6
Birthdate: October 24, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Balmoral Castle, Scotland
Died: April 15, 1969
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
6
Birthdate: November 27, 1833
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: October 27, 1897
 30 
Caroline of Brunswick-Lüneburg
(Queen of United Kingdom)
Caroline of Brunswick-Lüneburg
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1768
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunschweig
Died: August 7, 1821
Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1596
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palace Buildings, Rosyth, Scotland
Died: February 13, 1662
 32 
Emma of Normandy
3
Birthdate: 0984 AD
Birthplace: Normandy, France
Died: March 6, 1052
 33 
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
(Former Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and Hanover (1830 - 1837))
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Meiningen, Germany
Died: December 2, 1849
 34 
Saint Margaret of Scotland
(Queen Consort of Scotland (1070 - 1093), Famous as 'The Pearl of Scotland')
Saint Margaret of Scotland
3
Birthdate: 1045 AD
Birthplace: Hungary
Died: November 16, 1093

Saint Margaret of Scotland, the Queen consort of Scotland, was a devout Christian reputed for her compassion for the poor of Scotland, for her charitable works and for promoting the interests of the church. She died shortly after receiving news of her husband, King of Scotland Malcolm III’s death in a battle. She was later canonized by Pope Innocent IV. 

 35 
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
( Queen of the United Kingdom From 1936 to 1952)
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
0
Birthdate: August 4, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hitchin, London
Died: March 30, 2002
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, better known as The Queen Mother, was King George VI’s wife and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. She ruled England as the Queen from 1936 to 1952, after which her daughter Elizabeth II took over. She was also the last empress of India.
Caroline Matilda of Great Britain
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1751
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 10, 1775
 37 
Catherine of Aragon
(Queen Consort of England (1509 - 1533))
Catherine of Aragon
7
Birthdate: December 16, 1485
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: January 7, 1536

Catherine of Aragon was one of the most popular English royal consorts of all time. A patron of Renaissance humanism, she gained widespread admiration for starting a program for the relief of the poor. A woman who was ahead of her time, Catherine commissioned The Education of a Christian Woman, a controversial book promoting women's right to education.

 38 
Caroline of Ansbach
(Former Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1727 - 1737))
Caroline of Ansbach
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1683
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ansbach, Germany
Died: November 20, 1737

The wife of King George II, Caroline of Ansbach served as the queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 until her death in 1737. She also became the electress consort of Hanover upon George II's accession in 1727. Caroline is credited with bolstering the House of Hanover's place during a difficult period of political instability in Britain.

 39 
Eleanor of Castile
3
Birthdate: 1241 AD
Birthplace: Burgos, Castile, Spain
Died: November 28, 1290
 40 
Margaret of York
(Politician)
Margaret of York
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1446
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: November 23, 1503
 41 
Matilda of Flanders
3
Birthdate: 1031 AD
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium
Died: November 2, 1083
 42 
Henrietta Maria of France
(Queen Cconsort of England, Scotland and Ireland (1625 - 1649))
Henrietta Maria of France
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1609
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Palais du Louvre, Paris, France
Died: September 10, 1669

Daughter of Henry IV of France, Henrietta Maria, or Queen Mary, ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland as the queen after marrying King Charles I. Her open allegiance to Roman Catholicism prevented her from getting a formal coronation. She died of an overdose of laudanum to cure her of bronchitis.

 43 
Katherine Swynford
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1350
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hainaut, Belgium
Died: May 10, 1403
 44 
Mary of Modena
(Queen Consort of England, Scotland and Ireland (1685 - 1688))
Mary of Modena
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1658
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palazzo Ducale di Modena, Modena, Italy
Died: May 7, 1718

Mary of Modena, the second wife of King James II of England, who was also James VII of Scotland, reigned as the queen of England, Ireland, and Scotland. It is believed she induced James to escape to France during the Glorious Revolution, when William of Orange invaded England.

Isabella of Angouleme
3
Birthdate: 1188 AD
Birthplace: Angoulême, France
Died: June 4, 1246
Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1161
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Domfront Castle, Normandy, France
Died: October 31, 1214
 47 
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
(Princess consort of Orange; Countess consort of Nassau (1647 - 1650))
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1631
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 24, 1660

Mary, Princess Royal was the eldest-daughter of English King Charles I and became Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau through her marriage with William II of Orange. Her son William III of Orange, born 8 days after her husband's death, became the King of England, Scotland and Ireland. Mary acted as the regent for her minor son for the principality of Orange

 48 
Philippa of Lancaster
(Queen of Portugal (1387-1415))
Philippa of Lancaster
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1360
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leicester, England
Died: July 19, 1415
 49 
Joan of Kent
(Countess of Kent)
Joan of Kent
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1328
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 7, 1385
 50 
Wyndham Lewis
(Painter, Writer, Journalist, Editor, Novelist)
Wyndham Lewis
8
Birthdate: November 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amherst
Died: March 7, 1957

Known as one of the co-founders of Vorticism, a London-based art movement, author-painter Wyndham Lewis is best remembered for his books such as Tarr and The Apes of God. His paintings mingled features of Cubism and Futurism. In his later life, a pituitary tumor made him blind and practically ended his career.