Who invented the "House of Windsor" as a royal name? Who founded Westminster Abbey? Which king had 21 illegitimate children? David Hilliam answers these questions and others in this continuous history of the English monarchy, showing how the nine dynasties rose and fell. The book describes the most memorable features of the life and times of each king or queen from Egbert, crowned in 802 and considered the first King of England, to Queen Elizabeth II - as well as recording the lives of their consorts, mistresses and illegitimate children. It also tells the story of the Saxons, describes what has happened to the monarchs' mortal remains, and relates many events of royal history which rarely appear in textbooks. The figures include the saintly Edward the Confessor, who is believed to have refused to consummate his marriage; rumbustious Henry VIII, given to beheading those who displeased him; "the little man in black velvet", who caused the death of William III; Queen Victoria's servant, the "Munshi"; Queen Emma, who endured trial by ordeal; and Anne Boleyn, widely suspected of being a witch. A complete list of the monarchs' reigns and a genealogical table showing the royal descent down 37 generations from Egbert to Elizabeth increases the volume's reference value.