Who is the First King of England?
Origin of the Monarchy
The monarchy has its origins in the petty kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Scotland. The petty kingdoms merged in the 10th century to establish the Kingdom of Scotland and England. The monarchy rapidly acquired more regions, and the monarchy of Great Britain was formed in 1707. With the addition of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, the kingdom grew in size. Although a portion of the monarchy seceded in the 1920s to become the Irish free state, the kingdom has remained stable.
Accession to the throne is controlled by many legislation, which may only be changed by an Act of Parliament. When a sitting king dies, the throne is passed to the immediate heir apparent. The Accession Council meets at St. James Palace to formally announce the future king, who is crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Restrictions to the Throne
Since the kingdom’s inception, there have been prohibitions on throne ascension based on religion or gender. Historically, a man was preferred above a female. A son takes precedence over a daughter, and if the children are of the same gender, the elder takes precedence over the younger. However, Prime Minister David Cameron declared in 2011 that gender-based preference will be eliminated for any child born after October 28, 2011. Another legislation that was repealed was the 1701 Act of Settlement, which stipulated that no one may ascend to the throne if married to a Catholic.
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Why Isn’t There a King of England?
If the immediate previous monarch, Late King George V1, had a son, he would have succeeded to the throne and given England a king. King George V1, who ruled from December 11, 1936 to February 6, 1952, had just two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. As a result, Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, became the monarch and is the present ruler. Although Elizabeth is married to Prince Philip, the law prohibits the spouse from assuming the title of king. Queen Elizabeth is queen regnant, having inherited the office and therefore become a monarch in her own right.
Will There be a King in Britain in the Future?
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning queen in British history, having risen to the throne in 1952. If the queen dies, her firstborn, Charles, will succeed her as long as he does not die before his mother or quit the kingdom. The queen’s second child is a girl called Ann. As heir to the throne, she and her descendants succeed Charles and his successors. Charles had two sons, William, who is currently the second in line to the throne, and George.