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Below is listed the members of the British Monarchy in the twentieth century and the main events that took place during their reign.

British Monarchy: Edward VII: 1901-1910

  • Anglo-French Entente: 1904
  • Anglo-Russian Entente: 1907

British Monarchy: George V: 1910-1936

  • World War One begins: 1914
  • Battle of the Somme: 1916
  • End of World War One: 1918
  • General Strike: 1926

British Monarchy: Edward VIII: 1936

  • Abdication Crisis: 1936

British Monarchy: George VI: 1936-1952

  • Munich Conference: 1938
  • World War Two begins: 1939
  • Battle of Britain: 1940
  • D-Day: 1944
  • World War Two ends: 1945
  • NATO founded: 1949
  • Festival of Britain: 1951

British Monarchy: Elizabeth II: 1952-

  • Cold War begins: 1950
  • Suez Crisis: 1956
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: 1962
  • Cold War ends: 1973
  • Britain joins EEC: 1973
  • Falkland Wars: 1982
  • Gulf War: 1991
  • Death of Princess Diana: 1997
  • Scottish Devolution: 2000

The British Monarchy underwent significant changes in the twentieth century. While the power of the monarchies of Great Britain has been massively curtailed compared to their medieval counterparts since well before the twentieth century, the importance of the king or queen in public life has been relegated to a figure of civic pride that has only the softest of political power. There has been an understanding that a king or queen only ruled with the consent of the people.

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The most famous example of a monarch bending to that will occurred in 1936. King Edward VIII infuriated his ministers by announcing that he would marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. When told that the government would resign in protest, he agreed to abdicate the throne in order to prevent a constitutional crisis. The king was forced into this position by angering the Left due to his interest in fascism. He and his wife visited Adolph Hitler as private citizens in 1937. This confirmed to many that Edward was unfit to be a monarch.

Other monarchs or monarchs-in-waiting are deeply unpopular with the public. Prince Charles is one, as he has never grasped the constitutional limits of his role as well as his long-reigning mother Elizabeth has. In 2011, it emerged that he was influencing legislation on environmentalism, organic farming, and other matters that affected him personally.

Want a comprehensive British Monarch Timeline of (nearly) all kings and queens of England? Click here.

Cite This Article
"British Monarchy – Twentieth Century Timeline" History on the Net
© 2000-2022, Salem Media.
September 24, 2022 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/british-monarchy-twentieth-century-timeline>
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