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  • 54 B.C. Julius Caesar invades England.
  • A.D. 43 Romans conquer England.
  • 410 Jutes, Angles, and Saxons form small kingdoms in England.
  • 500-1066 Anglo-Saxon kingdoms fight off Viking warriors.
  • 1066 William, duke of Normandy, invades England, defeats Harold II at the Battle of Hastings.
  • 1154 The Plantagenets launch their rule (which lasts until 1399) with the crowning of Henry II.
  • 1215 King John signs the Magna Carta at Runnymede.
  • 1337 Hundred Years' War between France and England begins.
  • 1485 Battle of Boswoth Field ends the War of the Roses between the houses of York and Lancaster; Henry VII launches the Tudor dynasty.
  • 1534 Henry VIII brings the Reformation to England and dissolves the monasteries.
  • 1558 The accession of Elizabeth I ushers in an era of exploration and a renaissance in science and learning.
  • 1588 Spanish Armada defeated.
  • 1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England, thus uniting the crowns of England and Scotland.
  • 1620 Pilgrims sail from Plymouth on the Mayflower to found a colony in the New World.
  • 1629 Charles I dissolves Parliament, ruling alone.
  • 1642-49 Civil War between Royalists and Parliamentarians; the Parliamentarians win.
  • 1649 Charles I beheaded, and England is a republic.
  • 1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector.
  • 1660 Charles II restored to the throne with limited power.
  • 1665-66 Great Plague and Great Fire decimate London.
  • 1688 James II, a Catholic, is deposed, and William and Mary come to the throne, signing a bill of rights.
  • 1727 George I, the first of the Hanoverians, assumes the throne.
  • 1756-63 In the Seven Years' War, Britain wins Canada from France.
  • 1775-83 Britain loses its American colonies.
  • 1795-1815 The Napoleonic Wars lead, finally, to the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon.
  • 1837 Queen Victoria begins her reign as Britain reaches the zenith of its empire.
  • 1901 Victoria dies, and Edward VII becomes king.
  • 1914-18 England enters World War I and emerges victorious on the Allied side.
  • 1936 Edward VIII abdicates to marry an American divorcée.
  • 1939-45 In World War II, Britain stands alone against Hitler, from the fall of France in 1940 until America enters the war in 1941. Dunkirk is evacuated in 1940; bombs rattle London during the Blitz.
  • 1945 Germany surrenders. Churchill is defeated; the Labour government introduces the welfare state and begins to dismantle the empire.
  • 1952 Queen Elizabeth II ascends the throne.
  • 1973 Britain joins the European Union.
  • 1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes prime minister.
  • 1982 Britain defeats Argentina in the Falklands War.
  • 1990 Thatcher is ousted; John Major becomes prime minister.
  • 1991 Britain fights with Allies to defeat Iraq.
  • 1992 Royals are jolted by fire at Windsor Castle and marital troubles of their two sons. Britain joins the European Single Market. Deep recession signals the end of the booming 1980s.
  • 1994 England is linked to the Continent by rail via the Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel. Tony Blair elected Labour party leader.
  • 1996 The IRA breaks a 17-month cease-fire with a truck bomb at the Docklands that claims two lives. Charles and Di divorce. The government concedes a possible link between mad-cow disease and a fatal brain ailment afflicting humans; British beef imports face banishment globally.
  • 1997 London swings again. The Labour party ends 18 years of Conservative rule with a landslide election victory. The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, prompts worldwide outpouring of grief.
  • 1998 Prime Minister Tony Blair launches "New Britain" -- young, stylish, and informal.
  • 1999 England rushes toward the 21st century with the Millennium Dome at Greenwich.
  • 2000 London presides over millennium celebration; gays allowed to serve openly in the military.
  • 2002 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, dies at age 101.
  • 2005 Suicide bomb attacks devastate London.
  • 2007 Tony Blair steps down; Gordon Brown becomes prime minister.
  • 2009 England suffers economic slowdown.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.