Jacobite Succession


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In 1688, the Catholic king of England and Scotland, James II/VII of the House of Stuart, was deposed and replaced with Protestant co-monarchs William III and Mary II in what is known as the "Glorious Revolution". They were followed by Mary's younger sister Queen Anne and then upon her death, the throne passed to a second cousin living in Germany. That individual became King George I and with him, the throne of Great Britain passed to the House of Hanover.

But what if the line had continued through James II/VII's son instead? This chart shows the alternative kings and queens of Great Britain that theoretical could have existed if history had taken a different path. Obviously, if the supporters of James II/VII and/or his descendants (known as Jacobites) had in fact been able to hold on to or reclaim the throne, there likely would have been different marriages and hence different children and different titles. But if Scotland or Great Britain were to ever decide to legitimize the Jacobite succession (an extremely unlikely scenario), this chart shows who would be king today and in the near future.

The chart also shows how the future King William V (now prince William, Duke of Cambridge) will be the first descendent of King Charles I in over 300 years to sit on the throne.

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  • Laura on

    This was very helpful to understand the history of the reign a little bit better (or should I say wee bit :) ) thank you!

  • April Skies on

    Thank you so much for this very well explained information, told at a good pace. Very much appreciated.

  • Bronwyn REID on

    Thank you for this very interesting and informative clarification of the British royal line. My only comment otherwise is that you attributed the title James VIII twice….

  • Kevin Pearce on

    Well paced and very interesting thank you

  • JP Wilson on

    Please note that the photo of Francis II’s brother (Max Emanuel of Bavaria) is incorrect, this is the photo which comes up as primary image when you conduct a Google search for him. I contacted Google in 2016 to ask them to modify whatever tags they use to connect names to images (presumably by someone’s error on the internet erroneously mis-identifying the person in the photo as Prince Max) however have received no response and the image remains in error. I’m sure you wouldn’t wish to perpetuate this error even in a free chart.

    JP Wilson

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