Visualizing 1,000 Years of England’s Kings and Queens
As far back as the 9th century, when Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, became King, England has had a ruling monarchy.
Many countries have had monarchies at some point in history, though few are still recognized today. However, England’s monarchy is very much present, with the most recent sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, having reigned for over 70 years.
England’s Kings and Queens (1066–2021)
The English monarchy is passed from generation to generation, from parent to eldest child, a tradition that started with the sovereign William I (also known as William the Conqueror).
Up until 1702, this order of succession only applied to male heirs, until Parliament passed the Act of Settlement which allowed women to inherit the throne if a male heir was unavailable. Not until 2013 were these rules further updated to allow a female to inherit the throne if she is the eldest child, regardless of male heirs.
|Monarch||Reign||Length of Reign (Years)|
|Henry VI||1470–1471||0.5 (191 days)|
|Edward V||1483||0.2 (78 days)|
|Jane||1553||0.02 (9 days)|
|Edward VIII||1936||0.9 (327 days)|
One notable time frame missing is 1650–1659, which had no reigning monarch following the beheading of Charles I in 1649. Instead, England was ruled by Parliament in a period known as the Commonwealth of England, which lasted until 1653. That year, a coup d’état led by Oliver Cromwell ensued, leading to the eventual restoration of the monarchy in 1660, reigned by Charles II.
Other reigns of interest include the shortest reigning monarch, Jane, who held the throne for just nine days in 1553. Previously, King Edward VI had overruled the order of succession in naming Jane his heir. This was disputed and Edward VI’s half-sister, Mary I, was then crowned.
The longest reigning monarch is Elizabeth II, who had been on the throne for over 70 years. Before her, the longest reign was held by Victoria, Elizabeth II’s great-great-grandmother, from 1837 to 1901 (63 years).
Why Does England’s Monarchy Still Exist?
Today, the English monarchy is largely symbolic. The monarch serves as the Head of State in a ceremonial position, while Parliament, a representative government body headed by the Prime Minister, holds all real political power.
Instead, the monarch’s main duty is to provide ceremonial speeches and formal appearances, specifically for the opening of each new Parliament and on holidays and other special occasions. Though the Prime Minister briefs the monarch regularly on national affairs, it is understood that they will never provide opinions on political matters nor make any final decisions.
This beginning of this shift in political power was first established in 1215 with the signing of the Magna Carta by King John. Essentially one of the first written constitutions, it recognized the King and all future sovereigns as being subject to the law, not above it.
The Future of the Monarchy
Currently next in line to the throne is the Queen’s eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, followed by his eldest son William, Duke of Cambridge.
And though there is much criticism of England’s monarchy as an outdated, expensive and inegalitarian system, the majority of England’s citizens are still in favor of the institution.
Advocates for a reigning king or queen look at the monarch’s role in unifying the nation and providing reassurance in times of uncertainty. They see the royal family as a symbol for their country, bringing in massive revenues in tourism.
With 61% of polled British adults in 2021 believing that the monarchy should stay, it is safe to assume that the institution will continue in the near future. But as the world continues to shift around us, how will that attitude evolve over time?
This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
Evaluated on 19 different metrics, here’s the list of America’s best universities, led by 14 private schools.
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
The latest ranking of America’s best universities is here, perfectly timed for the approaching admissions season.
“Best” is of course subjective, and U.S. News and World Report has compiled 19 metrics on which they evaluated more than 400 national universities. Some of them include:
- Graduation rates & performance: A four-year rolling average of the proportion of each entering class earning a bachelor’s degree in six years or less. Performance is measured against predictions made by the publishers, and when beaten, the university gains a higher scoring.
- Peer assessment: A two-year weighted average of ratings from top academics—presidents, provosts and deans of admissions—on academic quality of peer institutions with which they are familiar.
- Financial resources: The average per student spend on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures in the 2021 fiscal year.
- Debt: A school’s average accumulated federal loan debt among borrowers only.
- Pell graduation rates & performance: the same calculation as stated above, but focused only on Pell Grant students, adjusted to give more credit to schools with larger Pell student proportions.
The website’s methodology section details how they sourced their data, the weights assigned to each metric, and their changes over the years.
From the hundreds assessed come the nearly 50 best universities that offer a variety of undergraduate majors, post-graduate programs, emphasize research, or award professional practice doctorates.
Which are the Best Universities in America?
At the top of the list, Princeton University is the best university in the country, known for its physics, economics, and international relations departments. Notably, it’s a rare Ivy league university that does not have a law, medical, or business school.
Here’s the full ranking of America’s best universities, along with annual tuition requirements.
|1||Princeton University||New Jersey||$59,710|
|7||Duke University||North Carolina||$66,172|
|9||Brown University||Rhode Island||$68,230|
|12||Columbia University||New York||$65,524|
|12||Cornell University||New York||$66,014|
|12||University of Chicago||Illinois||$65,619|
|18||Dartmouth College||New Hampshire||$65,511|
|20||University of Notre Dame||Indiana||$62,693|
Michigan, Ann Arbor
|22||Georgetown University||Washington, DC||$65,082|
|22||University of North|
Carolina at Chapel Hill
|North Carolina||$39,338 (out-state)
|24||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania||$63,829|
|24||University of Virginia||Virginia||$58,950 (out-state)
University, St. Louis
California, San Diego
|28||University of Florida||Florida||$28,658 (out-state)
|35||New York University||New York||$60,438|
|35||University of Illinois|
|New Jersey||$36,001 (out-state)
|40||University of Washington||Washington||$41,997 (out-state)
|43||The Ohio State University||Ohio||$36,722 (out-state)
|47||Texas A&M University||Texas||$40,607 (out-state)
|47||University of Georgia||Georgia||$30,220 (out-state)
|47||University of Rochester||New York||$64,384|
|47||Virginia Tech||Virginia||$36,090 (out-state)
|47||Wake Forest University||North Carolina||$64,758|
|53||Florida State University||Florida||$21,683 (out-state)
|53||William & Mary||Virginia||$48,841 (out-state)
MIT places second, and Harvard and Stanford tie for third. Yale rounds out the top five.
Private universities, including seven Ivy League colleges, dominate the top of the rankings. Meanwhile, the highest-ranked public schools are tied at 15th, both state schools in California.
For affordability, since the higher ranks are populated by private universities, there tends to be a broad correlation of better universities being more expensive. That said, the most expensive school in the top 50 ranks is actually the University of Southern California, tied at 28th, for $68,237/year.
As it happens, also tied at 28th, the University of Florida is the most affordable public school for in-state students ($6,381/year) and Florida State University tied at 53rd, is the most affordable for out-of-staters at $21,683/year.
However these costs are tuition-only, and don’t account for other necessary expenses: accommodation, food, and textbooks.
Best University versus Best “Fit”
Finding the best university for prospective students is more than just perusing a long ranking list.
Aside from the numerous schools present within each university—which can often be the best for specific majors—factors like location, proximity to family, campus culture, the non-academic pursuits (sports, extracurriculars, internships) are also taken into consideration.
In fact, research has found that just attaining a university degree improves future earnings potential and employability.
Furthermore, individual engagement at college (irrespective of the rank of the school in question) plays a far bigger role in learning and general well-being than simply attending a highly-ranked school.
However, for low income and minority students, attending a top-ranked school does improve future earnings considerably. For women, it also often results in delaying marriage and kids, which results in more work-hours and as a result, more pay.
Misc6 days ago
Ranked: America’s Best Universities
Technology1 week ago
Ranked: Largest Semiconductor Foundry Companies by Revenue
Misc1 week ago
Visualized: EV Market Share in the U.S.
Maps1 week ago
Interactive Map: The World as 1,000 People
Retail1 week ago
Ranked: Average Black Friday Discounts for Major Retailers
Business1 week ago
Ranked: Fast Food Brands with the Most U.S. Locations
Economy1 week ago
Visualizing 30 Years of Imports from U.S. Trading Partners
Markets1 week ago
Ranked: The Biggest Retailers in the U.S. by Revenue