The Normans & Angevins Our journey begins at one of the most important and probably best known events in English history; the Norman invasion of Britain and the Battle of Hastings in 1066, it takes us through the reigning monarchs of the next 150 years to 1216 and to the death of King John; the last of the Angevins. Along the way, we are introduced to the four Norman kings; William I, William II, Henry I and finally Stephen, the Angevins follow in 1154 with Henry II, Richard I and the aforementioned King John. Learn about their lives, deaths and the circumstances in which they inherited the throne. The Middle Ages We begin the Middle Ages programme with a monarch much ignored by history; King Louis. Short-lived though his reign may be, Louis ruled England in the months between the death of King John and the coronation of Henry III in 1216. The next 183 years were to become known as the Plantagenet period and in addition to Henry III they would be ruled by Edward I, Edward II, Edward III and Richard II. In 1399 Henry IV came to the throne, he was the first of the Lancastrians; the remaining two being Henry V and Henry VI, who between them ruled until 1461. Although historically the Yorkists ruled from 1461 to 1485, Henry VI was temporarily restored to the throne in 1470 only to be deposed again in 1471. The Tudors Although the Tudors reigned from 1485 - 1603 our story begins much earlier, in the year of 1461 with a character called Owen Tudor. Owen was the source from which the Tudor dynasty would eventually spring. 1461 - 1485 saw the Yorkists Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III on the throne, until in 1485 the Tudor reign began with Henry VII. Henry VII was followed in the year 1509 by probably the most famous of all the Tudor monarchs Henry VIII, who with his six wives takes a very colourful place in history. Then came Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, along with Lady Jane Grey (the nine day queen) who historically gets very little mention. All in all, the Tudor period was one of intrigue and passionate affairs, one that even today can still capture the imagination. The Stuarts With the death of Elizabeth I, 1603 heralded the beginning of the Stuarts; a royal house that was to last for over one hundred years. Here was a period that would see amongst other events; civil war, a great plague, the fire of London, the abolition and re-introduction of the monarchy and the gunpowder plot. James I and Charles I ruled until 1649 when Parliament took over during an eleven year period which came to be known as the Commonwealth and Protectorate. The monarchy was finally restored in 1660 with the crowning of Charles II, he was followed by James II, William III and Mary II and finally in 1702 by Queen Anne. 1714 brought England a new royal line with the coronation of George I and so ended another turbulent chapter of England's royal history. The Hanoverians From George I to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; the Hanoverians span a period of 123 years. A fairly stable period with five kings, one of whom, (George III) was to be the longest reigning king in British history. We start our visit in 1714, with a German who is 52nd in line to the throne and who became monarch without being able to speak a single word of English! 1727 sees George II come to the thrown; his reign was to last until 1760 when George III's 60 year rule began. George IV was crowned in 1820 followed ten years later by the last of the Hanoverians William IV. Modern Monarchy We begin our look at the Modern Monarchy with the longest ruling royal in British history; Queen Victoria. From her accession to the throne in 1837 to her death in 1901 Victoria was to reign for 64 years. In contrast, Edward VII her successor, was to be king for only 10 years; a reign that led up to the current House of Windsor.