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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth, Queen of England in the late 16th century, posthumously referenced in passing in The United States of Atlantis.
George III, King of Great Britain during "Nouveau Redon" (set in 1761) and The United States of Atlantis (set from 1775-1778).
Victoria, referenced as the incumbent Queen of Great Britain in Liberating Atlantis (set in 1852) and "The Scarlet Band" (set c. 1880).
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.
James I, incumbent during "Vilest Beast" and referenced in broad strokes, primarily as the namesake of Jamestown.
Charles I appears to be the king who adopted the Divine Right of Kings, presumably avoiding his OTL fate.
Unnamed monarch, gender unrevealed, incumbent during "Though the Heavens Fall," set in 1804-1805. Referenced in passing as "a tyrant," although this assessment comes from a very unreliable source. The title "United Kingdom" does not seem to have ever been adopted.
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.
|Isabella and Albert||1588-1598|
|Elizabeth (restored)|| 1598-|
Incumbent at novel's end
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.
|10||Edward VIII||1936-incumbent at series' end, 1945|
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.
Incumbent at novel's end, 1995
(*) Not referenced in novel.
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.
Historical Monarchs in Non-Monarchical Roles
- 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.