The Timeline: Shock successions
Monday 07 February 2011
1483: The princes in the tower
When his brother Edward IV died in 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester was named Lord Protector of the realm.
Edward's son, the 12-year-old King Edward V, would assume full power on reaching maturity. Shortly afterwards, however, Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was declared invalid, thereby excluding his son from the throne. Richard III became King, and Edward, housed with his brother in the Tower of London, was not seen in public again. Whether or not Richard had the boys executed remains a mystery, though his reign was controversial enough to reignite the old animosity between the houses of Lancaster and York. In the penultimate battle of the Wars of The Roses, Richard was killed at Bosworth.
1660: Monarchy restored
With the Commonwealth in crisis after Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658, Charles II – son of the executed Charles I – returned to an adoring public in Britain on 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday. The so-called "Merrie Monarch", Charles was famously hedonistic. Though he had no heir by his wife, Catherine of Braganza, he acknowledged some 12 illegitimate children. On his death, he was succeeded by his brother James.
1689: Glorious Revolution
When James II & VII produced a Catholic heir, popular animosity culminated in an engineered invasion by the protestant William III of Orange. James fled and was replaced by William in what became the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
1788: The Regency is born
During 1788, the health of "Mad" King George III deteriorated to the extent that, when Parliament was due to open, he was unable to deliver his customary Speech. The government was paralysed; legally, they could not begin until the speech was done. And so it was that Parliament appealed to the Prince of Wales to act as Regent. After a period of constitutional wrangling, it was decided that he would assume his father's role, with limited powers. Though the King recovered briefly, putting the Regency on hold, the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent on 5 February.
1936: The abdication scandal
The second son of King George V, George VI was not due to inherit the throne. After theirfather's death in 1936, his elder brother Edward VIII ascended the throne – though his relationship with the American socialite Wallis Simpson became a point of national controversy. Intending to marry Simpson, Edward abdicated, handing the throne to his younger brother.
Life & Style blogs
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary
PTSD photo series documents what the disorder is really like – as study reveals suicides of 22 US veterans every day
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
Torrent is not valid bencoding: uTorrent users on proxy hit with ISP block
The truth about student sex workers: it's far from Belle Du Jour
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...