This is the history of the men and women who occupied the highest position in English, and later British, society. From Richard III's infamous life and death, to Henry VIII's wives, Charles I's execution and Queen Victoria's exceptionally long reign, their dramatic story unfolds within the pages of this book. For about a thousand years they were superior lords, the leaders of a nobility which ruled, and for about three hundred years thereafter they were sovereigns, whose servants ruled in their name. Now, with the rise of democracy, they no longer rule. The Queen is a symbol and a social leader, vastly experienced in the ways of the world, and the head of a family that strives to be useful in a modern community. The records of the monarchy vary from one period to another, and many of them are political in nature. However, it is always necessary to remember the human being behind the constitutional facade. This is an attempt to recover their identities.
David Loades was Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales and an Honorary Member of the University of Oxford, History Faculty. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Vice-President of the Navy Record Society and former President of the Ecclesiastical History Society. He was the author of over thirty books on the sixteenth century, specializing in the Tudors. Sadly he has passed away.