Robert I, the Bruce (1274 – 1329)
Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death and is considered one of the most important rulers in the country’s history. He was the leader of the rebellious Scots during the Scottish Wars of Independence against England. He achieved his greatest victory on June 23 and 24, 1314 when he defeated the English army under the leadership of King Edward II near the town of Stirling – at the foot of the Highlands. The victory was particularly noteworthy as his roughly 6,000 warriors had triumphed against 18,000 Englishmen.
William Wallace (c. 1270 – 1305)
Wallace was a Scottish freedom fighter whose troops defeated the English troops at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1287. Today the Wallace Monument in Edinburgh commemorates the patriot.
Maria Stuart (1542 – 1587)
Maria Stuart – also called Mary, Queen of Scots, Mary Stuart, Mary Stewart or Mary I – was the daughter of King Jacob V and his second wife, Marie de Guise. After the death of her father, Mary became Queen of Scotland at the age of six. She lived in exile in France for a long time and in 1558 contractually married the heir to the French throne. With the death of his father, Dauphin became King of France and Mary became Queen. However, the young king died soon and the young widow returned to Scotland in 1561, where, not prepared for the difficult political situation, she initially failed. In 1565 she married her cousin Lord Darnley, which annoyed everyone around her: this marriage was also unhappy, since Lord Darnley demanded the unrestricted rights of a king for himself and could not endure Mary’s friendship with her private secretary David Rizzio; he had the queen’s confidante stabbed to death in 1566. A little later, Darnley fell ill and was found dead after an explosion in 1567. In the same year, Maria married the man who had supposedly kidnapped her shortly before, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, which turned out to be a mistake a little later because the nobles who had previously devoted her turned away from her because of this marriage. Only two months after her third marriage, Mary had to surrender to the princes of the country and was captured at Loch Leven Castle and forced to abdicate in favor of her one-year-old son. While in captivity, Mary miscarried twins. In 1558 she managed to escape and asked Queen Elizabeth I for help. For this illegitimate heir to the throne, however, Maria was a constant danger and, after many years of imprisonment, she was finally persuaded to sign the execution certificate for high treason for Maria. The execution was carried out on February 8, 1587.
David Rizzio (1533 – 1566)
Rizzio was an Italian musician and the private secretary and confidante of Mary Queen of Scots, who was killed by Scottish nobles with the support of Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)
The two-time British Prime Minister and writer became head of state in 1868 after the resignation of his predecessor Lord Derby, but lost in the elections that followed. In 1874 his conservative party was able to regain a majority and Queen Victoria ensured that he was once again prime minister. In 1876 she raised him to the nobility. He was also active as a writer and dealt with political and social issues of his time.
Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Churchill was Great Britain’s Prime Minister during the Second World War and is now considered the most important politician of the 20th century.
Eliszabeth II. (Born 1926)
The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Mayfair, London. The daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York and later King George VI, and the Duchess of York, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, served as the first female member of the royal family to do military service. As early as 1936, she had been made the likely heir to the throne. In 1947 she married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, after he had renounced the throne of Greece. The couple lived in Clarence House in London and their first son, Prince Charles of Edinburgh, was born in 1948. As early as 1951, Elizabeth represented the sick king on many occasions and traveled for him to receptions and state visits. Crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey on June 6, 1953. The royal family now moved to Buckingham Palace; However, Elizabeth continued to travel extensively – she is the most widely traveled head of state in the country’s history. Elizabeth is widely considered to be morally conservative and follows her religious duties and the royal oath very strictly.
John Major (born 1943)
The native of London was her successor in the Conservative Party after Margaret Thatcher’s resignation and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1997. London experienced an economic recession during his first term in office, Major led a popular election campaign and was able to secure a slim majority for the Conservatives. After the close elections, there were fierce conflicts over direction within the party, so that the government lost more and more of its ability to act. Major ordered a vote of no confidence and won if he suffered the loss of his authority. In 1995 Major resigned and was re-elected because he feared he would be voted out. After several by-elections, however, he lost an absolute majority in 1996 and was henceforth dependent on the Northern Irish Unionists.
Tony Blair (born 1953)
The native Scot is the most popular Prime Minister Britain has ever had. In office since May 1, 1997, he has been the Labor Prime Minister’s longest uninterrupted ruling. Shortly after graduating, he joined the Labor Party and entered parliament in the 1983 general election, despite the fact that his party suffered a devastating defeat. From then on, Blair experienced a steep rise and gained notoriety after the stock market crash of 1987 when he presented himself as the modernizer of the London Stock Exchange. Blair had been party leader since 1994 and from then on reformed the party by first replacing the party statutes from 1918. Furthermore, social reforms and an opening of the country to the EU were important points of his policy, which he himself called New Labor what should delimit his Christian-democratic guideline from socialist ideas. His party won the general election in 1997 and Tony Blair became the youngest British Prime Minister since 1812 at the age of 43. During his first tenure from 1997 to 2001, he gave the Bank of England a free hand in setting policy rates, signed the Good Friday Agreement, which defused the Northern Ireland conflict, and addressed the Irish Parliament. He also passed decisive constitutional reforms; a human rights catalog was introduced, a new structure created for the greater London area and a Freedom of Information Act passed. Blair also played a crucial role in the 1999 Kosovo crisis. In the 2001 election campaign, Blair advocated an improvement in public services and health care. The Labor Party won by a large margin and Blair ruled for a full second term. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Blair consistently sided with the United States and supported the American President George W. Bush in the attack on Iraq. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Blair came under heavy domestic political pressure when the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was not confirmed. There was further controversy in 2003 about the death of weapons expert David Kelly, the tuition fees and the ban on fox hunting. In 2005 Blair won the general election again with Labor, despite a significant loss of votes and some internal and non-party problems.
Margaret Thatcher (born 1925)
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness of Kesteven was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1979 to 1990. After studying chemistry and giving birth to twins, she was elected to the House of Commons as a candidate for the Conservative Party in 1959 and became Minister of Education and Science in Edward Heath’s cabinet in 1970. In 1979 she won the parliamentary elections and remained Prime Minister until her resignation in 1990. She reformed the country with iron severity, which earned her the name “the iron lady”.
Diana Frances Spencer; Lady Di (1961-1997)
The daughter of Lord and Lady Althorp was working as a kindergarten teacher in London when she met the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, in 1977. In 1979 a romance developed between the two, and in 1980 the press began to persecute the young woman and did not leave her side until her early accidental death. The wedding between Charles and Diana in 1981 was the largest ever celebrated. In 1982 and 1984 their sons William and Henry were born. Charles broke up in the early 1990s and Diana struggled with eating disorders and depression. On August 30, 1997, a tragic car accident occurred in Paris when Diana’s car crashed into a tunnel pillar while fleeing from paparazzi. Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed were killed in the accident. The funeral service took place on 6. September at Westminster Abbey. On June 6, 2004, a Diana memorial fountain was inaugurated in her honor in London’s Hyde Park by Queen Elizabeth II.
As a symbol of a modern monarchy, she became a legend during her lifetime. Many people saw in her a woman from the people, “one of the people”. She was a role model because of her charity work and is considered the most photographed woman in the world. People loved her for her insecurity, which was felt again and again despite her sophistication and self-confidence.