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The Most Famous

NOBLEMEN from United Kingdom

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This page contains a list of the greatest British Noblemen. The pantheon dataset contains 842 Noblemen, 70 of which were born in United Kingdom. This makes United Kingdom the birth place of the 4th most number of Noblemen behind France and Italy.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary British Noblemen of all time. This list of famous British Noblemen is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of British Noblemen.

Photo of Elizabeth II

1. Elizabeth II (1926 - 2022)

With an HPI of 90.46, Elizabeth II is the most famous British Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 182 different languages on wikipedia.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime, and was head of state of 15 realms at the time of her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days was the longest of any British monarch and the longest verified reign of any female monarch in history. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother). Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, making the ten-year-old Princess Elizabeth the heir presumptive. She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, and their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in 2021. They had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), as well as head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonisation of Africa, and the United Kingdom's accession to the European Communities and withdrawal from the European Union. The number of her realms varied over time as territories gained independence and some realms became republics. As queen, Elizabeth was served by more than 170 prime ministers across her realms. Her many historic visits and meetings included state visits to China in 1986, to Russia in 1994, and to the Republic of Ireland in 2011, and meetings with five popes. Significant events included Elizabeth's coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively. Although she faced occasional republican sentiment and media criticism of her family—particularly after the breakdowns of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana—support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom remained consistently high throughout her lifetime, as did her personal popularity. Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, in September 2022, at the age of 96, and was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles III.

Photo of Henry VIII of England

2. Henry VIII of England (1491 - 1547)

With an HPI of 86.01, Henry VIII of England is the 2nd most famous British Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 98 different languages.

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) annulled. His disagreement with Pope Clement VII about such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated by the pope. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy" as he invested heavily in the navy and increased its size from a few to more than 50 ships, and established the Navy Board.Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering in the theory of the divine right of kings in opposition to papal supremacy. He also greatly expanded royal power during his reign. He frequently used charges of treason and heresy to quell dissent, and those accused were often executed without a formal trial by means of bills of attainder. He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich and Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in his administration. Henry was an extravagant spender, using the proceeds from the dissolution of the monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament. He also converted the money that was formerly paid to Rome into royal revenue. Despite the money from these sources, he was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance, as well as his numerous costly and largely unsuccessful wars, particularly with King Francis I of France, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, King James V of Scotland and the Scottish regency under the Earl of Arran and Mary of Guise. At home, he oversaw the annexure of Wales to England with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542. Henry's contemporaries considered him to be an attractive, educated and accomplished king. He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne" and his reign has been described as the "most important" in English history. He was an author and composer. As he aged, he became severely overweight and his health suffered. He is frequently characterised in his later life as a lustful, egotistical, paranoid and tyrannical monarch. He was succeeded by his son Edward VI.

Photo of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

3. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002)

With an HPI of 79.31, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is the 3rd most famous British Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 to 6 February 1952 as the wife of King George VI. She was concurrently the last Empress of India until the British Raj was dissolved in August 1947. After her husband died, she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Born into a family of British nobility, Elizabeth came to prominence in 1923 when she married the Duke of York, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. The couple and their daughters Elizabeth and Margaret embodied traditional ideas of family and public service. The Duchess undertook a variety of public engagements and became known for her consistently cheerful countenance.In 1936, Elizabeth's husband unexpectedly became king when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth then became queen consort. She accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America before the start of the Second World War. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. After the war, her husband's health deteriorated, and she was widowed at the age of 51. Her elder daughter, aged 25, became the new queen. After the death of Queen Mary in 1953, Elizabeth was viewed as the matriarch of the British royal family. In her later years, she was a consistently popular member of the family, even at times when other royals were suffering from low levels of public approval. She continued an active public life until just a few months before her death at the age of 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.

Photo of Charles, Prince of Wales

4. Charles, Prince of Wales (1948 - )

With an HPI of 78.92, Charles, Prince of Wales is the 4th most famous British Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 96 different languages.

Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 14 other Commonwealth realms. He was the longest-serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales and, at age 73, became the oldest person to accede to the British throne, upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, on 8 September 2022. Charles was born in Buckingham Palace during the reign of his maternal grandfather, King George VI, and was three when his mother ascended the throne in 1952, making him the heir apparent. He was made Prince of Wales in 1958 and his investiture was held in 1969. He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, as was his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Charles later spent six months at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Air Force and Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer, with whom he had two sons, William and Harry. In 1996, the couple divorced after they had each engaged in well-publicised extramarital affairs. Diana died in a car crash the following year. In 2005, Charles married his long-time partner, Camilla Parker Bowles. As Prince of Wales, Charles undertook official duties and engagements on behalf of the Queen. He founded the youth charity the Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors the Prince's Charities, and is a patron, president, or a member of over 400 other charities and organisations. He has advocated for the conservation of historic buildings and the importance of architecture in society. A critic of modernist architecture, Charles worked on the creation of Poundbury, an experimental new town based on his architectural tastes. He is also an author or co-author of over 20 books. An environmentalist, Charles supported organic farming and action to prevent climate change during his time as the manager of the Duchy of Cornwall estates, earning him awards and recognition from environmental groups; he is also a prominent critic of the adoption of genetically modified food. His support for homeopathy and other alternative medicine has been criticised.

Photo of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

5. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930 - 2002)

With an HPI of 78.57, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon is the 5th most famous British Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, (Margaret Rose; 21 August 1930 – 9 February 2002) was the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the younger sister and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret was born when her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York, and she spent much of her childhood with them and her elder sister. Her life changed at the age of six, when her father ascended the British throne following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. Margaret's sister became heir presumptive, with Margaret second in line to the throne. Her position in the line of succession diminished over the following decades as Elizabeth's children and grandchildren were born. During the Second World War, the two sisters stayed at Windsor Castle despite suggestions to evacuate them to Canada. During the war years, Margaret was too young to perform official duties and continued her education, being nine years old when the war broke out and turning fifteen just after hostilities ended. From the 1950s onwards, Margaret became one of the world's most celebrated socialites, famed for her glamorous lifestyle and reputed romances. Most famously, she fell in love in the early 1950s with Peter Townsend, a married RAF officer in the royal household. In 1952, her father died, her sister became queen, and Townsend divorced his wife. He proposed to Margaret early in the following year. Many in the government believed that he would be an unsuitable husband for the Queen's 22-year-old sister, and the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to countenance her marriage to a divorced man. Margaret abandoned her plans with Townsend and married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960; the Queen created him Earl of Snowdon. The couple had two children, David and Sarah, and divorced in 1978. Margaret did not remarry. Margaret was a controversial member of the British royal family. Her divorce received much negative publicity, and her private life was for many years the subject of speculation by media and royal watchers. Her health deteriorated in the last twenty years of her life. She was a heavy smoker for most of her adult life and had a lung operation in 1985, a bout of pneumonia in 1993 as well as three strokes between 1998 and 2001. Margaret died in February 2002 aged 71, after suffering her fourth stroke.

Photo of Harold Harefoot

6. Harold Harefoot (1016 - 1040)

With an HPI of 76.26, Harold Harefoot is the 6th most famous British Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Harold I (died 17 March 1040), also known as Harold Harefoot, was King of the English from 1035 to 1040. Harold's nickname "Harefoot" is first recorded as "Harefoh" or "Harefah" in the twelfth century in the history of Ely Abbey, and according to some late medieval chroniclers it meant that he was "fleet of foot".The son of Cnut the Great and Ælfgifu of Northampton, Harold was elected regent of England following the death of his father in 1035. He initially ruled England in place of his brother Harthacnut, who was stuck in Denmark due to a rebellion in Norway which had ousted their brother Svein. Although Harold had wished to be crowned king since 1035, Æthelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused to do so. It was not until 1037 that Harold, supported by earl Leofric and many others, was officially proclaimed king. The same year, Harold's two step-brothers Edward and Alfred returned to England with a considerable military force. Alfred was captured by Earl Godwin, who had him seized and delivered to an escort of men loyal to Harefoot. While en route to Ely, he was blinded and soon after died of his wounds. Harold died in 1040, having ruled just five years; his half-brother Harthacnut soon returned and took hold of the kingdom peacefully. Harold was originally buried in Westminster, but Harthacnut had his body dragged up and thrown into a fen adjacent to the river Thames, from where it was reportedly recovered by a fisherman and eventually reburied in a Danish cemetery in London.

Photo of Diana, Princess of Wales

7. Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997)

With an HPI of 74.71, Diana, Princess of Wales is the 7th most famous British Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 107 different languages.

Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) and mother of Princes William and Harry. Her activism and glamour made her an international icon, and earned her enduring popularity. Diana was born into the British nobility, and grew up close to the royal family on their Sandringham estate. In 1981, while working as a nursery teacher's assistant, she became engaged to the Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. Their wedding took place at St Paul's Cathedral in 1981 and made her Princess of Wales, a role in which she was enthusiastically received by the public. The couple had two sons, William and Harry, who were then second and third in the line of succession to the British throne. Diana's marriage to Charles suffered due to their incompatibility and extramarital affairs. They separated in 1992, soon after the breakdown of their relationship became public knowledge. Their marital difficulties were widely publicised, and the couple divorced in 1996. As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions across the Commonwealth realms. She was celebrated in the media for her unconventional approach to charity work. Her patronages initially centred on children and the elderly, but she later became known for her involvement in two particular campaigns: one involved the social attitudes towards and the acceptance of AIDS patients, and the other for the removal of landmines, promoted through the International Red Cross. She also raised awareness and advocated for ways to help people affected by cancer and mental illness. Diana was initially noted for her shyness, but her charisma and friendliness endeared her to the public and helped her reputation survive the acrimonious collapse of her marriage. Considered photogenic, she was a leader of fashion in the 1980s and 1990s. Diana's death in a car crash in Paris in 1997 led to extensive public mourning and global media attention. An inquest returned a verdict of "unlawful killing" following Operation Paget, an investigation by the Metropolitan Police. Her legacy has had a deep impact on the royal family and British society.

Photo of Edward VII

8. Edward VII (1841 - 1910)

With an HPI of 74.69, Edward VII is the 8th most famous British Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 90 different languages.

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India, from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and nicknamed "Bertie", Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political influence and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and of the Indian subcontinent in 1875 proved popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother. As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He re-instituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was succeeded by his only surviving son, George V.

Photo of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

9. Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom (1857 - 1944)

With an HPI of 72.67, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom is the 9th most famous British Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Princess Beatrice (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; 14 April 1857 – 26 October 1944), later Princess Henry of Battenberg, was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Beatrice was also the last of Queen Victoria's children to die, nearly 66 years after the first, her elder sister Alice. Beatrice's childhood coincided with Queen Victoria's grief following the death of her husband on 14 December 1861. As her elder sisters married and left their mother, the Queen came to rely on the company of her youngest daughter, whom she called "Baby" for most of her childhood. Beatrice was brought up to stay with her mother always and she soon resigned herself to her fate. The Queen was so set against her youngest daughter marrying that she refused to discuss the possibility. Nevertheless, many suitors were put forward, including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial, the son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France, and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the widower of Beatrice's older sister Alice. She was attracted to the Prince Imperial and there was talk of a possible marriage, but he was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia von Hauke and brother-in-law of her niece Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. After a year of persuasion, the Queen, whose consent was required pursuant to the Royal Marriages Act, finally agreed to the marriage, which took place at Whippingham on the Isle of Wight on 23 July 1885. Queen Victoria consented on condition that Beatrice and Henry make their home with her and that Beatrice continue her duties as the Queen's unofficial secretary. The Prince and Princess had four children, but 10 years into their marriage, on 20 January 1896, Prince Henry died of malaria while fighting in the Anglo-Asante War. Beatrice remained at her mother's side until Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Beatrice devoted the next 30 years to editing Queen Victoria's journals as her designated literary executor and continued to make public appearances. She died aged 87 in 1944.

Photo of Henry IV of England

10. Henry IV of England (1367 - 1413)

With an HPI of 72.44, Henry IV of England is the 10th most famous British Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Henry IV (c. April 1367 – 20 March 1413), also known as Henry Bolingbroke, was King of England from 1399 to 1413. He asserted the claim of his grandfather King Edward III, a maternal grandson of Philip IV of France, to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the first English ruler since the Norman Conquest, over three hundred years prior, whose mother tongue was English rather than French.Henry was the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, himself the son of Edward III. John of Gaunt was a power in England during the reign of Henry's cousin Richard II. Henry was involved in the revolt of the Lords Appellant against Richard in 1388, resulting in his exile. After John died in 1399, Richard blocked Henry's inheritance of his father's duchy. That year, Henry rallied a group of supporters, overthrew and imprisoned Richard II, and usurped the throne, actions that later would lead to what is termed the Wars of the Roses and a more stabilized monarchy. As king, Henry faced a number of rebellions, most seriously those of Owain Glyndŵr, the self-proclaimed ruler of Wales, and the English knight Henry Percy (Hotspur), who was killed in the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. The king suffered from poor health in the latter part of his reign, and his eldest son, Henry of Monmouth, assumed the reins of government in 1410. Henry IV died in 1413, and was succeeded by his son, who reigned as Henry V.

Pantheon has 70 people classified as noblemen born between 575 and 2019. Of these 70, 21 (30.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living noblemen include Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Anne, Princess Royal. The most famous deceased noblemen include Elizabeth II, Henry VIII of England, and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. As of April 2022, 5 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including William of Winchester, Lord of Lunenburg, Eleanor of Scotland, and Isabella of Scotland, Duchess of Brittany.

Living Noblemen

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Deceased Noblemen

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Newly Added Noblemen (2022)

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Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 21 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.