Throughout English history, we came across many monarchs. Here are the details of at least 10 monarchs who lost the throne due to civil wars, war with invaders, religious reasons, or even an improper love affair.

1. Harold II (1066) The last of the Anglo-Saxon kings reigned for less than a year and spent it fighting to retain power against a coordinated double invasion by Vikings in the north and Normans in the south. Victorious at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, Harold was defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings. The King who just defeated the Vikings had to fight off the William of Normandy with the badly organized, wounded, and tired army. A story of a duke of a small area, who waited for his time to invade and take bigger England.

2. William II (1087-1100) William II the third son of William the Conqueror, was King of England from 26 September 1087. Red-faced and hot-tempered, William ‘Rufus’ filled his court with undeserving favorites and spent too much time out hunting. William went hunting on 2 August 1100 in the New Forest, probably near Brockenhurst and was killed by an arrow through the lung, though the circumstances remain unclear. The earliest statement of the event was in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which noted that the king was “shot by an arrow by one of his own men.”

3. John (1199-1216) At loggerheads with the barons for much of his reign, John was a fugitive king at the time of his death. His attempt to renege on commitments made at the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 led to civil war and the occupation of London by a foreign usurper invited in by John’s rebellious subjects. While at the throne, his ancestors’, Normandy area of France was lost to King Philps of France.

4. Edward II (1307-1327) A weak-willed playboy dominated by favorites, Edward was an ineffective and unpopular king. The English army crashed to defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 by Robert the Bruce. Estranged from his wife (the king preferred male lovers), he was overthrown in a conspiracy led by the queen herself. Edward was then murdered while imprisoned in Berkeley Castle by having a red-hot poker thrust by his backside.

5. Richard II (1377-1399) Like Edward II, Richard was bored by government responsibility and addicted to pleasure and extravagance. Overthrown in a military revolt led by Henry Bolingbroke (who became Henry IV), he was deposed and then secretly murdered in Pontefract Castle.

6. Henry VI (1422-1461) A religious obsessive dominated by his queen, Margaret of Anjou, Henry was unable to prevent England’s descent into the protracted internecine conflict now known as ‘the Wars of the Roses. Overthrown in 1461, he remained in play until 1471, when, having been briefly restored to the throne in a Lancastrian coup, his army was defeated and he was captured and promptly murdered.

7. Richard III (1483-1485) Having murdered his brother’s two sons, Richard of York seized the throne for himself. This was more realpolitik than personal ambition since a boy-king threatened Yorkist control of the throne and most of the dominant faction backed Richard. But the taint of usurpation and murder contributed to his downfall.

8. Charles I (1625-1649) Driven from London by the revolution in 1642 and defeated in two successive civil wars (1642-1646 and 1648), Charles was put on trial by the radical leaders of the New Model Army and their supporters in a purged ‘Rump’ Parliament. He was beheaded in a public execution in Whitehall after condemnation as a traitor to the English people. ( Normally, members of the public would be executed for being traitors to the Monarch, but this was another way around).

9. James II (1685-1688) Son of Charles I and brother of Charles II, James attempted to reverse the outcome of the English Revolution by establishing an absolute monarchy and restoring the Catholic religion. He was overthrown in a military coup (‘the Glorious Revolution’): senior army officers secretly invited William of Orange to invade and seize the throne and then mutinied in his favor as he advanced on London.

10. King Edward VIII abdicated on 11 December 1936 in favor of his brother George VI, later he became the King whose daughter is the current monarch Queen Elizabeth II. This was because of a love affair between the King and his attendant!