As the coronation approaches and we’re about to see in a new monarch, we thought we’d take a look at where each of our monarchs was born. You might think they were all born in London, but that wasn’t always the case, you might be surprised about where many of them entered the world – let’s read on to find out more!

The first monarch to be born in London was Edward I, who was born in Westminster Palace back in 1239. Before him, most of our rulers were born in either the West Country or on foreign soil. When it comes to the Wessex kings, there are very few records remaining, but we know that many of them were born in and around Dorset, which would have fallen within the Wessex area. Alfred the Great is thought to have been born in Berkshire, which also fell within Wessex.

When it comes to the more modern monarchs, Williams I and II were both born in Normandy. Henry I, the youngest of William the Conqueror’s sons to become king was born in Yorkshire, in Selby to be precise. 

Henry I was succeeded by his nephew Stephen of Blois, who, funnily enough, was born in Blois, France. Stephen was followed by Henry II, the grandson of Henry I, who was also born in France, his mother the Empress Matilda, was married to the Count of Anjou, so Henry and his siblings were born in and around Le Mans.

Henry II’s children however were born in England, specifically in Oxford and two of them ruled, King Richard I (aka Richard the Lionheart) and King John. After John, the next monarch, Henry III hailed from Winchester, in Hampshire and then we come to Edward I, our first London born monarch.

Edward I’s son, Edward II, was the first King of England to have been born in Wales, which makes him the first one worthy of the Prince of Wales title while Edward II’s son, another Edward, came into the world in Windsor.

From here, there are a diverse range of birthplaces over the next few generations. Edward IV was born in France, Edward V in Windsor and Richard III in Northamptonshire. The War of the Roses ended with Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth, when his distant cousin, Henry Tudor claimed a final victory for the Lancashires. Henry Tudor was born in Pembroke Castle in Wales to an English mother and a Welsh father and spent much of his life in hiding in France.

He married Elizabeth of York and their four children were all born in London, including their son Henry, who would become Henry VIII.

Henry VIII’s daughters Mary I and Elizabeth I were both born at Greenwich, like their father, while his son Edward VI was both at his favourite home, Hampton Court, on the London/Surrey border. Elizabeth I was the final Tudor monarch and she died without children, so the crown moved to her cousin’s son, James VI of Scotland.

James VI/I was born at Edinburgh Castle and his son Charles I was born at Dunfermline. We all know that Charles I lost his head as part of the Civil War and that we had a period of being a republic before Charles II restored the monarchy. Charles II and his brother, who would become James II were both born at St James’ Palace in London. James II was deposed by parliament and his daughter Mary and her husband William were crowned in his place. Mary II was also born in St James’ Palace, while her husband William was from the Hague. They were succeeded by Mary’s sister Anne, who was also born at St James’.

In order to keep any Catholics from the throne, parliament moved the line of succession to include their protestant cousins who were German, so Georges I and II were both born in Hanover, Germany.

George III, George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria were all born in London, with Edward VII being the first monarch to be born at Buckingham Palace. His son George V was born at Marlborough House, London and his children, who both served as king, Edward VIII and George VI were both born outside the capital, in Surrey and Norfolk respectively. Queen Elizabeth II was born in Mayfair, London and our latest monarch, Charles III was born at Buckingham Palace.

So, as you can see, 13 of our monarchs were born in Westminster and St James’ Palace is the place most favoured for royal births. The first monarch to die in London was Henry III, who passed away in Westminster Palace, while the last was Edward VII, who died at Buckingham Palace, so far, Elizabeth II is the only UK monarch to die while in Scotland.




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