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.
With an HPI of 93.05, Elizabeth II is the most famous British Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 173 different languages on wikipedia.
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms.Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was 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 1947 she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, Brexit, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence, and as realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. She is the longest-serving female head of state in world history, and the world's oldest living monarch, longest-reigning current monarch, and oldest and longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom has been and remains consistently high, as does her personal popularity.
With an HPI of 89.21, Ragnar Lodbrok is the 2nd most famous British Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.
Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok (Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar shaggy breeches", Modern Icelandic: Ragnar Loðbrók) is a legendary Viking hero, as well as, according to the Gesta Danorum, a legendary Danish and Swedish king. He is known from Old Norse poetry of the Viking Age, Icelandic sagas, and near-contemporary chronicles. According to the traditional literature, Ragnar Lodbrok distinguished himself by many raids against the British Isles and the Holy Roman Empire during the 9th century. According to sagas Ragnarssona þáttr and Sögubrot af nokkrum fornkonungum, Ragnar Lodbrok's father was the legendary king of the Swedes, Sigurd Ring.
With an HPI of 88.02, Henry VIII of England is the 3rd most famous British Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 97 different languages.
Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and, in particular, his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) annulled. His disagreement with Pope Clement VII on the question of 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. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy," as he invested heavily in the navy, increasing 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. 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 legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, and he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542. Henry's contemporaries considered him 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.
With an HPI of 84.75, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is the 4th most famous British Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 61 different languages.
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the wife of King George VI, and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions from her husband's accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter. She was the last Empress of India. Born into a family of British nobility, she 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 embodied traditional ideas of family and public service. She undertook a variety of public engagements and became known for her consistently cheerful countenance.In 1936, her husband unexpectedly became king when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth then became queen. 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 when other members 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 years, 238 days, which was seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.
With an HPI of 83.31, Charles, Prince of Wales is the 5th most famous British Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 93 different languages.
Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. He has been heir apparent, Duke of Cornwall, and Duke of Rothesay since 1952, and he is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since 1958.Charles was born at Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child. Charles also spent a year 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 Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer, and they had two sons: Prince William (b. 1982) and Prince Harry (b. 1984). In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana died as the result of a car crash in Paris the following year. In 2005, Charles married long-time partner Camilla Parker Bowles. As Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen. Charles founded The Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors The Prince's Charities, and is a patron, president, and a member of over 400 other charities and organisations. As an environmentalist, he raises awareness of organic farming and climate change, which has earned him awards and recognition from environmental groups. His support for alternative medicine, including homeopathy, has been criticised by many in the medical community, and his views on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings have received considerable attention from British architects and design critics. Since 1993, Charles has worked on the creation of Poundbury, an experimental new town based on his preferences. He is also an author and co-author of a number of books.
With an HPI of 82.98, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon is the 6th 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, and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret spent much of her childhood with her parents and sister. Her life changed dramatically at the age of six, when her paternal uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson. Margaret's father became king, and her sister became heir presumptive, with Margaret second in line to the throne. 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 considered too young to perform any official duties and instead continued her education. After the war, Margaret fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend. In 1952, her father died, her sister became queen, and Townsend divorced his wife, Rosemary. He proposed to Margaret early 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 Church of England refused to countenance marriage to a divorced man. Margaret eventually abandoned her plans with Townsend and married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960; the Queen made him Earl of Snowdon. The couple had a son, David, and a daughter, Sarah, before divorcing in 1978. Margaret was a controversial member of the British royal family. Her divorce in 1978 received much negative publicity, and her private life was for many years the subject of intense speculation by media and royal-watchers. Her health gradually deteriorated in the final two decades 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, and at least three strokes between 1998 and 2001. She died at King Edward VII's Hospital in London after suffering a final stroke on 9 February 2002.
With an HPI of 82.03, Harold Harefoot is the 7th most famous British Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.
Harold I (died 17 March 1040), also known as Harold Harefoot, was King of England 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, as well as then thrown into the river Thames, but it was after a short time picked up by a fisherman, immediately taken to the Danes, and honourably buried by them in their cemetery at London.
With an HPI of 80.49, Edward VII is the 8th most famous British Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 85 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 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 power, 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 the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were 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. He reinstituted 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.
With an HPI of 80.19, Diana, Princess of Wales is the 9th most famous British Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 103 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 Charles, Prince of Wales—the heir apparent to the British throne—and was the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. Diana's activism and glamour made her an international icon and earned her enduring popularity as well as unprecedented public scrutiny, exacerbated by her tumultuous private life. Diana was born into the British nobility and grew up close to the royal family on their Sandringham estate. The youngest daughter of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, and Frances Shand Kydd, she was strongly affected by their divorce in 1967. She did not distinguish herself academically, but was talented in music, dance, and sports. In 1978, she moved to London, where she lived with flatmates and took on various low-paying jobs. Diana came to prominence in 1981 upon her engagement to Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, after a brief courtship. 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, the princes William and Harry, who were then second and third in the line of succession to the British throne. Diana's marriage to Charles, however, suffered due to their incompatibility and extramarital affairs. They separated in 1992, soon after the breakdown of their relationship became public knowledge. The details of their marital difficulties became increasingly publicised, and the marriage ended in divorce 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 youth but she later became known for her involvement with AIDS patients and campaign for the removal of landmines. She also raised awareness and advocated ways to help people affected with cancer and mental illness. As princess, 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 to be very photogenic, she was a leader of fashion in the 1980s and 1990s. Media attention and public mourning were extensive after her death in a car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997 and subsequent televised funeral. Her legacy has had a deep impact on the royal family and British society.
With an HPI of 79.14, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom is the 10th most famous British Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 31 different languages.
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; later Princess Henry of Battenberg; 14 April 1857 – 26 October 1944) was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Beatrice was the last of Queen Victoria's children to die, 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 at 87, outliving all her siblings, two of her children, and several nieces and nephews including George V and Wilhelm II.
Pantheon has 68 people classified as noblemen born between 575 and 2019. Of these 68, 22 (32.35%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living noblemen include Elizabeth II, Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The most famous deceased noblemen include Ragnar Lodbrok, Henry VIII of England, and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. As of October 2020, 12 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset, Isabella of England, and Louise d'Orléans.
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Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 20 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.