Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Both Realms).svg

The monarch of the United Kingdom is the head of state of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories in the broader Commonwealth of Nations. There have been 12 monarchs of United Kingdom proper, although the monarchy traces its origins back to both the monarchies of the Angles and the ancient Scots kings. The Kingdom of Great Britain was formed by the Acts of Union on 1 May 1707 with the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which had been in personal union under the House of Stuart since March 1603. On 1 January 1801 Great Britain merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After most of Ireland left the union on 6 December 1922, its name was amended to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 12 April 1927.

While the monarchy maintains formal executive authority over the country, those powers are constrained by law, precedent, and custom. For example, while the monarch appoints the prime minister, custom dictates that the monarch must appoint someone who has the support of the House of Commons. Thus, the Prime Minister's tenure in office is set by democratic election rather than by the monarch's choice. Moreover, the Prime Minister holds most of the actual power when it comes to setting and executing domestic and foreign policy.

In addition, the monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Again, as in the secular realm, the monarch's role is more ceremonial, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is the true spiritual leader.

The monarch reigns for life. Succession is hereditary, and is governed by male-preference cognatic primogeniture. In October 2011, the governments of the various commonwealths began the process of implementing legislation to do away with the male preference. In short order, efforts were also begun to remove the ban on Catholic rulers. Both amendments were made by the British Parliament in the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013.

This article lists the known monarchs found in the works of Harry Turtledove after the Point of Divergence in alternate history, or known monarchs found in works of science fiction. For convenience, monarchs who ruled England (and in some cases, Scotland as well), but not the United Kingdom, may be included here as well. Monarchs who served before the POD of a given alternate history that are mentioned in passing do not need to be listed here. Stories set in OTL may reference past monarchs, or even the sitting monarch, but unless the individual's role in the story is specifically fictionalized, they do not belong here.


England, the first European nation to colonise Atlantis in the 15th century, later became the nucleus of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. In the 18th century, Britain lost its Atlantean possessions but retained lands in Terranova and other continents.

Known monarchs:

  • HenryVIofEngland.jpg
    Henry VI, King of England 1422-1461, incumbent for part of "New Hastings" but overthrown before the story's end, with his final fate unrevealed.
  • Edward4.jpg
    Edward IV takes power from Henry in 1461 during "New Hastings," and exiles the Earl of Warwick to Atlantis. Edward's final fate is unrevealed.

A Different Flesh

In the 17th century, the English monarchy achieved absolute power. Instead of challenging the monarch's power, all dissidents simply emigrated to the American colonies, forming the independent Federated Commonwealths of America in 1738.

Known monarchs:

  • CharlesI.jpg
    Charles I appears to be the king who adopted the Divine Right of Kings, presumably avoiding his OTL fate.

Ruled Britannia

In 1588, King Philip II ordered the Spanish Armada to invade England. The invading Spanish subdued the country, and imprisoned Queen Elizabeth in the Tower of London. Philip installed his daughter Queen Isabella and her husband King Albert on the English throne. Their reign lasted until 1598, when the English people rose up and drove the Spanish out.

Monarch Reign
Elizabeth Elizabeth.jpg 1558-1588
Isabella and Albert Coupleportraitalbertisabella.jpg 1588-1598
Elizabeth (restored) Elizabeth.jpg 1598-
Incumbent at novel's end

Southern Victory

The reign of Victoria saw Great Britain intervene in North America twice in a generation. In 1862, Britain recognised the independence of the Confederate States, and forced a mediation upon the United States, bringing the War of Secession to a close. In 1881, Britain participated in the Second Mexican War, attacking the USA on several fronts, and annexing a part of Maine into Canada when the conflict ended in 1882.

However, the UK's participation in the Great War (in the reign of George V) and the Second Great War (in the reign of Edward VIII) proved disastrous for the country, as Britain was defeated both times, and devastated with superbombs in the last one.

Monarch Reign
7 Victoria Queenvictoria.jpg 1837-1901
8 Edward VII EdwardVII.jpeg 1901-1910
9 George V GeorgeV.jpg 1910-1936
10 Edward VIII EdwardVIII.jpg 1936-incumbent at series' end, 1945

The Two Georges

In the mid-1760s, King George III met with an American delegation led by Colonel George Washington. The meeting led to an agreement on colonial self-rule within the British Empire averted a feared revolution of the colonies against Great Britain, and led to the foundation of the North American Union. A famous painting commemorated this event.

The Union continued as a proud part of the Empire, naming its capital after Queen-Empress Victoria. In 1995, a plot by a separatist insurrection was thwarted in the capital, and the life of the visiting King-Emperor Charles III was saved.

Monarch Reign
4 George III GeorgeIII.jpg 1760-1820
5 George IV* GeorgeIV.jpg 1820-1830
6 William IV* WilliamIV.jpg 1830-1837
7 Victoria Queenvictoria.jpg 1837-1901
8 Edward VII* EdwardVII.jpeg 1901-1910
9 George V* GeorgeV.jpg 1910-1936
10 Edward VIII EdwardVIII.jpg 1936-1972(?)
11(?) Edward IX Nophoto.jpg 1972-1985
(dates estimated)
12(?) Charles III Nophoto.jpg 1985(?)-
Incumbent at novel's end, 1995

(*) Not referenced in novel.

Literary comment

Only three 20th-century monarchs are named. Edward VIII and Edward IX are mentioned only in passing, while Charles III appears directly in the present day, 1995. Edward VIII is implied to have had a long reign. Assuming that Edward VIII took the throne in 1936 as in OTL, the compact timeline leaves little room for any additional monarchs.

Other Monarchs

These monarchs rule Great Britain, or in a few cases just England, in other Harry Turtledove timelines.

In addition to the above, James I is referenced as the reigning monarch of England in "We Haven't Got There Yet."

In addition to the above, Victoria is referenced as the reigning monarch of Great Britain in The Guns of the South.

George VI is referenced as the reigning monarch of Great Britain in Joe Steele, Worldwar, and The War That Came Early.

Elizabeth II is referenced as the reigning monarch of Great Britain in Colonization and "Hindsight".

In Agent of Byzantium: "Unholy Trinity", King Oswy of Angleland rules England in 1315.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, the apparently fictional Henry IX reigns over Great Britain in the early 2010s.

In Through Darkest Europe, the English monarchy is referenced. The reigning monarch is not described, but the incumbent Prince of Wales makes a direct appearance.

In Curious Notions, set in 2096, an unnamed king reigns over Britain, or perhaps just England, in 2096.

Historical Monarchs in Non-Monarchical Roles

James I is referenced in Ruled Britannia in his OTL role as James VI of Scotland; the novel ends before he can become King of England.

Edward VII is referenced as the incumbent Prince of Wales in The Guns of the South and "The Scarlet Band" (Atlantis). Both timelines end with his mother Queen Victoria still reigning.

See Also

  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the head of government and senior most elected position in the United Kingdom. In truth, the Prime Minister actually makes most of the important decisions for the country, with the monarch acting as a figurehead.