From the Historia Anglorum, Chronica majora. Found in the collection of British Library. Artist: Matthew Paris. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)



The great seal of Henry I (1068-1135). Researchers looking for the remains of Reading Abbey may be on the cusp of discovering the sarcophagus of its founder, Henry I, we reported earlier this year.

From The Book Short History Of The English People By JR Green, published in London in 1893 (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)


King Richard II of England (1367-1400), c1390. Richard was Plantagenet king of England from 1377 to 1399, when he was usurped by Henry IV. The first crisis of Richard's reign was the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 – the greatest popular revolt England had ever seen. Juliet Barker argues that the revolt may have found an unlikely champion – the boy-king himself.

Original Artwork: Portrait in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Richard II delivered by Henry of Bolingbroke to the citizens of London, 1399, (c1400-25). Bolingbroke, the future King Henry IV, takes the captive King Richard to London.

Manuscript illustration from a history of Richard II by Francois de Marque. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)


Richard III (1452-85), the last Plantagenet king, in c1465. The youngest brother of Edward IV, Richard was king of England from 1483 until his death.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Elizabeth of York (1466-1503) in 1501. Elizabeth of York was the queen consort of King Henry VII of England, whom she married in 1486, the mother of King Henry VIII and the sister of King Edward V.

Located in the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)


Henry VIII (1491-1547), c1503. Here seen as a child, when he was just Henry, 6th Duke of York.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Henry VIII, portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger.

(Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)


Unknown Lady (believed to be Anne Boleyn), 1536.

Found in the collection of the Royal Collection, London. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)


Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), with her second husband and cousin, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, c1565. Mary’s suspected involvement in the murder of Darnley on 10 February 1567 "was a political mistake of the first order; her marriage three months later to the main suspect, the Earl of Bothwell, was an act of breathtaking stupidity", says historian Sean Lang.

Engraved by Dunbarton, published by S Woodburn. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


'Elizabeth, The Weary Sovereign', c1610 (1937). The last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I (1533-1603) ruled from 1558 until her death. In the later years of her life, the dying queen used "gems and pearls" to divert attention from her decaying body. "There were signs that her memory was fading and this, together with her failing eyesight, meant that she found it increasingly difficult to concentrate on state business," says Anna Whitelock.

A print from the sketch, 17 March 1937. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Equestrian portrait of Charles I, king of England from 1625 until his execution in 1649, by Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). Tim Harris, professor of history at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA, argues that, for all Charles's undoubted flaws, we should recognise that the much-maligned monarch was handicapped by his father’s failings and chronic bad luck.

Oil on canvas, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Leemage/UIG via Getty Images)

The execution of Charles I, 30 January 1649, outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. Some 10 days earlier, Charles had been charged with high treason 'against the realm of England'.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and Prince Albert (1819-1861) in 1854, five years after their wedding. Albert’s unexpected death at the comparatively young age of 42 on Saturday 14 December 1861 at Windsor was regarded as a national calamity.


(Photo by Roger Fenton/Roger Fenton/Getty Images)