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20th Century

CONTENTS
Edward VII
Edward VII
served the longest period as heir apparent in British history before finally assuming the throne, in 1901. As king, he was able to use the fact that he was related to nearly every other European sovereign to improve relations between Britain and other nations.

King George V
George V
became king in 1910. In 1911, he and his wife became the only reigning British monarchs to visit India. During World War I, he and the Queen gained lasting popularity for their courage and devotion. In 1917, he changed the family name from Hanover to Windsor.

Edward VIII
Edward VIII
became the only monarch in British history to voluntarily abdicate when he chose marriage to an American divorcee over the throne.

King George VI
George VI
became king upon the abdication of his older brother in 1936. During World War II he gained the public's admiration for refusing to leave London during the Blitz and by living on the same war-time rations as everyone else.

Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
became heir apparent to the crown upon the abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII. She became queen upon the death of her father in 1952, and still occupies the throne today.

The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth
The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth

The Queen's Travels in 1957
The Queen's Travels in 1957

The Queen's Travels in 1979
The Queen's Travels in 1979

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York
His Royal Highness Prince Andrew
is the third child of Queen Elizabeth II. He was a pilot in the Royal Navy from 1979 until 2001, during which time he served in the Falkland Islands conflict.

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne
is the second child of Queen Elizabeth II. An avid horsewoman, she has participated in numerous international competitions, including the 1976 Olympic Games.

Prince Charles
His Royal Highness Prince Charles

Princess Margaret
Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret
was the sister of Queen Elizabeth II. She was for many years the darling of royal watchers around the world because of her numerous charitable ventures, as well as for her numerous "lifestyle mistakes."

Engagement and Wedding of Princess Margaret
The Engagement and Wedding of Princess Margaret
On February 26, 1960 the engagement of Princess Margaret to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones was announced. The couple was married in Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960.

Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee
served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. Under hisleadership the Bank of England, coal mines, steel industry, and many public services were nationalized; the National Health Service was created; and India became independent.

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
was Prime Minister during World War II, in which capacity he provided strength to citizens experiencing the Blitz. Defeated in the 1945 General Election, he was returned to office in 1951.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
served in a variety of ministerial positions before being named Prime Minister in 1963. He only served until 1964, however, after which he took a seat in the House of Lords.

Sir Robert Anthony Eden
Sir Robert Anthony Eden
served as Secretary of War and Foreign Secretary during World War II. He succeeded Churchill as Prime Minister in 1955, and served in that office until 1957. During his tenure England, France and Israel launched an assault on Egypt in response to nationalization of the Suez Canal.

Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
became Prime Minister following Britain's failed attempt to seize control of the Suez Canal. Although he was able to calm the furor caused by the debacle, he was unable to overcome problems caused by his own government.

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
became the first woman Prime Minister in 1979, and subsequently served three consecutive terms. Her government oversaw improvements in the nation's economy, and she herself was a familiar figure internationally.

Sir Harold Wilson
Sir Harold Wilson
served two separate terms as Prime Minister. His first term was marked by economic decline, a revolution in Rhodesia, and support for the United States efforts in Vietnam. His second term was only marginally more successful.

Nancy Langhorne Shaw Astor
Nancy Langhorne Shaw Astor
was elected to the House of Commons in 1919, despite being an American. Although she was the second woman to be elected to that body, she was the first to actually take her seat. She ultimately served until retiring from politics in 1945.

Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough
Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough
was the first Governor General of Canada to not officially represent the British government. During his tenure the trans-Canadian phone system was inaugurated, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was created.

The United Kingdom in 1958
The United Kingdom in 1958
The House of Lords admitted its first woman in 1958. Anglo-American relations were strengthened during the year.

The United Kingdom in 1959

The United Kingdom in 1960
The United Kingdom in 1960
For the British royal family 1960 was a notable year, with both a birth and a wedding being celebrated.

The United Kingdom in 1979
The United Kingdom in 1979
Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of a major nation in 1979. Earl Mountbatten and three others were killed when an IRA bomb exploded on their boat on August 27.

The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Great Britain >> England