Kings and Queens of England

To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee we have been thinking about our favourite children's books and a few other resources on the Kings and Queens of England.

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee we have been thinking about our favourite children’s books and a few other resources on the Kings and Queens of England.

Our favourite:

Tony Robinson’s Kings and Queens

(or The Hutchinson Book Of Kings & Queens)

This is one of my eight year old’s absolute favourite books in the whole world. It has done much to turn an general interest in people into a passion for history. It covers Kings and Queens of England, and unlike many books goes back to Anglo-Saxons rather than just starting with Normans.

Read our full review of Tony Robinson’s Kings and Queens …

Other recommended books:

See on Amazon

Cruel Kings and Mean Queens (Horrible Histories)

Horrible Histories books always go down well in this house. This is a chatty, humorous and highly irreverent book. Starting at William the Conqueror it covers the monarchs of England in bite size pieces. The cartoon strips and bullet points make it very approachable for inexperienced or reluctant readers.

See on Amazon

King and Queens, A Very Peculiar History

This mini book is absolutely jam packed with concise facts, lists and quirky stories. It includes Saxon and Scottish Kings and provides good context for the monarchy. Although maybe slightly less approachable than the Horrible Histories it will appeal to those with a love of small books, and who want to move on from the gruesome, all kings and queens are cruel and mean approach of Horrible Histories.

Other books:

A couple of other books on Kings and Queens that we haven’t got around to investigating properly:

Sticker books

Sticker books provide a fun way to approach a subject.

  • Sticker Dressing: Kings & Queens – A sticker dolly dressing up book with kings and queens from all over world. This is a firm favourite. Bold, beautiful pictures, with luxurious stick-on outfits and a simple summary of each ruler with details of their clothing. This book has a nice balance of male and female figures. Ranges from Ancient Egypt to modern day, and an interesting mix of the usual suspects (Henry VIII) and less often covered rulers that we found sparked further investigations (Theodora and Justinian).
  • Kings and Queens Sticker Book (Usborne sticker book)
    More complex sticker book on the monarchs of England and Scotland. Packed with information on each ruler, with stickers to add through out.
  • Kings & Queens Ultimate Sticker Book (DK)

Cards, games and posters

Kings and Queens of England Playing CardsHeritage Cards does some lovely playing cards with very interesting pictures. My daughter loves the Kings and Queen of England ones (they also do Kings and Queens of Scotland). These are beautifully illustrated, and simple with just the name and dates of their rule. These get hours of play in our house – both as playing cards and for laying out family trees.

Whilst researching this post I found a card game called Monarchy, which we hadn’t seen before and looks like it might be interesting. Also just wondering if anyone knows of good top trumps game with English monarchs on them?

Usborne do a set of Kings and Queens Cards (History Cards) – a picture card with a large picture on one side and facts on the back. Plus cards listing the royal dynasties and kings and queens of England and Scotland. These are a larger size than the Heritage playing cards.

Music Videos

History Teachers and Horrible Histories both cover various monarchs, including some English and Scottish ones. These are firm favourites here, and we find that an enormous amount can be learnt from a good music video.

Our recommended starting place for English Kings and Queens of England is the Horrible Histories English Kings and Queens Song – a fun way to become familiar with them and maybe learn their order! There are also songs and sketches about lots of the English Kings and Queens from the TV series. (the easiest way to find these is to search Youtube for a ‘horrible histories’ and the monarch in question).

Another favourite source of history music videos ours is the History Teachers – more grown up, less ‘horrible’ and often quite poignant. I’ve blogged a rough chronological list but here are the English and Scottish ones.


Timelines and Posters

Finding out more:

And finally a few websites for finding out more. Suitable for older children or adults.


Do you have any favourite books on Kings and Queens of England?
Can you recommend any that cover Wales, Scotland and Ireland too?