Best British Monarchs

The Top Ten
1 Elizabeth I

Elizabeth was, in terms of political skill, by far the best monarch we've ever had. I would actually question Charles II being so high up. Considering that he contributed to our high national debt today, brought us to the brink of civil war again by appointing Catholics to high office, attempted to change the state religion, and went to war with the Dutch, our historic allies, to aid the French which cost us dearly for little benefit, he is not a good monarch by any means.

The greatest monarch ever. Incredibly politically astute and able. Elizabeth the First was also the most intellectual ruler England has ever had. She truly was the mother of her people.

2 Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and... read more

She is the best queen. She invited Nelson Mandela to England even if his ministers did not agree. She participated in WWII, donated to more than 600 charity organizations, and positively influenced the political decisions of her ministers. God save the queen.

Elizabeth II had a long reign and was generally beloved by her subjects.

3 Victoria Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any previous British monarch and is known as the Victorian era... read more

The way she ruled stopped her from being deposed the way monarchs all over the rest of Europe were.

She was a good monarch. She influenced a lot of the stuff we have today. Rest in peace, your former majesty.

Victoria helped construct the British Empire into the powerhouse it is remembered as today.

4 Henry VII

The last king to take the throne by force of arms. It's not just that he won his battle for the throne, but having done so, he took the nation around a corner. He left his successors a nation in which succession was determined more peaceably.

Left the country in a very secure state for Henry VIII. He successfully curbed the power of the nobility to restore the dominance of the crown and properly dealt with any threats against him.

There is nothing else to say, is there? I agree Henry VII should literally take the crown. I would have put George V as a very close second, though.

5 Charles II

King Charles II was King of England from 1660 to 1685. He was a significant improvement over his father, the ill-fated Charles I, often compromising with Parliament. Against the wishes of his advisers, the king remained in London during the Great Fire of 1666 to ensure everyone's safety.

He also granted a charter for King's Hospital School in Lucan, granting rights to the Irish, a school I once attended. This King of England was immensely popular among his people. He was good-natured, considerate, determined, and always sought the best for his country. These traits earned him the nickname of the Merry Monarch and solidified his status as one of the best.

6 Henry V

Very successful warrior king. It's unfortunate that most of the land he gained was lost by his son and successor, Henry VI.

Henry V conquered all of northern France and would have conquered all if he had not died.

A personal favorite. He soundly defeated France's forces, most famous of course is Agincourt.

7 George VI

Never truly expecting the throne, a good man, father, and king, he led us with Churchill through the war. Sadly, he died young at 56.

Fought hard against his stammer and proved his worth as a ruler during World War II and presiding over the Commonwealth.

George VI stepped up after the abdication of his brother and led England through the Second World War.

8 Richard I

Richard Lionheart was a fantastic warrior and commander but not a true King of England. He spent only six months of his reign in England. His reckless return journey from the Third Crusade nearly crippled the English treasury after he was captured and held for ransom.

Richard I was a powerful ruler who would have succeeded in defeating Saladin if he hadn't been betrayed.

9 Alfred the Great

Humble, truthful, brave, resourceful, and pious - he genuinely cared about his people.

Alfred the Great was the first king of England, a great sponsor of the arts, and a fine warrior.

10 George V

Great leader during World War I and helped save the country from political disaster after Ramsay MacDonald wanted to resign during chaos in government.

The Contenders
11 William the Conqueror William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The descendant of Viking raiders, he had been Duke of Normandy since 1035. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his... read more

William the Conqueror was the last foreigner to conquer England. This victory changed the English language.

12 Edward IV

Took over after the weak Henry VI. The only mistake he made was marrying Elizabeth Woodville instead of forming an alliance with France by marrying as Warwick suggested.

The last and best warrior king. His military feats are up there with England's greatest commanders. He paid off his predecessors' debts and made the crown profitable. He built England into a trading nation that greatly benefited his successors.

13 Edward I

Restored faith in the monarchy after the lackluster reign of his father, Henry III. Became effectively overlord of Scotland and consolidated power in Wales.

Edward I defeated Wales and nearly Scotland. He restored England as a big power and loved his people. He's in the top three monarchs.

Astute in both religion and warfare, he established some sort of mastery over the British Isles (first of its time).

14 Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most powerful and wealthy women in Europe!

15 Henry I

Introduced the nuts and bolts of the financial system we use today. Was a great force in Europe and conquered Normandy from his brother Robert, the first steps towards the Angevin Empire.

16 William III

A great military commander with his victory at the Boyne, William III successfully kept the Jacobites and the French out.

17 Henry II (Henry Plantagenet)

English Common Law was among his accomplishments.

18 Edward III

Edward III started the Hundred Years' War, making great headway into France. He also brought the English army up to date.

Edward III was overshadowed by his grandfather but did really well in France as a conqueror.

19 Anne

A reign of peace and a court favorable to the arts and letters. It's too bad she had 20 pregnancies and none survived to rule.

20 Richard III

A great monarch who achieved so much considering he only had a two-year reign. He was a loyal brother who ruled successfully in the north as the Duke of Gloucester. As king, he made improvements to the justice system and gave England many great buildings. In my opinion, he was sadly one of the many victims of the Wars of the Roses.

He completed much in a short reign.

21 Margaret of Anjou

Wife of the failure Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou battled for her son's place for the throne against Edward IV. She had a strong character.

22 King Arthur
23 Empress Matilda

Empress Matilda was amazing, with a strong character and a good role model.

24 Henry VIII

Interesting history, but he did horrible things just because he wanted a son. Before he was king, he was good looking. Then he became king and turned into a fat, grumpy old man who wanted a son, killing or breaking up with wives.

25 Mary II

Mary II was a great combination with William III and ruled successfully whilst he was driving out invaders.

8Load More
PSearch List