Monstrous monarchs (UK)





With the pressure of ruling and the stress of succession, perhaps it is no wonder that so many of Britain's kings and queens have made a mess of their reign.
On Tuesday, Today spoke to historians taking part in a debate organised by English Heritage, which seeks to answer the question of which British monarch should be considered the biggest failure.

Their nominees - Edward II, George IV and Mary, Queen of Scots - are certainly contenders for the dubious honour of Britain's worst monarch.

But following the programme, listeners emailed us to disagree with the selection.

It seems there is barely a name in the royal lineage - from Vortigern to Victoria - not considered by someone as an utter failure.

Perhaps the only way to avoid controversy is to rule in the style of Edward VII who, as historian John Cannon says:

"Loved uniforms, was good on names and didn't outstay his welcome."


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