The British monarchy has had a long and fascinating history. For those who want to learn more about it, the Royal Collection Trust has released an official app spanning a millenia of British royal history called Kings and Queens.
The exhaustive app traces the royal line of succession from 1066 to the present day, from William the Conqueror to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Profiles for 42 British kings and queens are available, and include detailed biographies, portraits, and family trees.
To navigate the app, you can use the portrait wall or the interactive family tree. Simply select a monarch to bring up their profile. When you’re done learning about them, you can read about their predecessor or successor by swiping right or left, respectively.
In each monarch’s profile, you can find key facts about their life and a timeline of their rule set in a wider historical context. A beautiful, high-resolution portrait of the monarch is also displayed with animated details. For instance, you might find Henry VIII furrowing his brows at you or Victoria smiling in her glimmering robes.
While exploring the family tree, you will learn how each monarch is affiliated with one another and the links between the ruling houses. You can tap each monarch to view their spouses, siblings, and offspring. To quickly find a monarch, you can use the search feature. You can also mark your favorite kings and queens to revisit later.
When you think you’ve learned all there is to know about the royal history, you can test your knowledge with quizzes. You can also download worksheets on every king or queen to extend learning at home or in the classroom.
Those who admire the British monarchy or studying history in general will find Kings and Queens a compelling learning resource. The app is well made, sporting a clean design and an intuitive interface. There is a lot of information to be found but they are organized well and are easy to read. The monarch’s personalities and achievements are reflected clearly in their biographies.
The best part of the app is the royal portraits. It’s not easy to find high-res images of them online, but in the app you can view them up close. I love the small animations — they add a touch of whimsy and keep the app interesting.
Kings and Queens is designed for ages 11 and above, but younger children may also enjoy the app with some aid from grown-ups. If you are interested in downloading the app, please note that it is recommended fort Retina iPads: iPad 3 or later, iPad Air or later, iPad Mini 2 or later. It has no in-app purchases and no third-party advertising, but it does contain links to the developer’s sites and social media.
Update: As of v2.0, the app is also available for iPhone.
App was provided for our honest review.
Similar Apps We Recommend
If you enjoy Kings and Queens, you might like these other apps we’ve reviewed:
Space: A Brightpips Guide offers a detailed look into the solar system with interactive widgets, stunning galleries, and interesting videos to create a unique and engaging learning experience. It’s enjoyable by kids and adults alike, and provides valuable insight to outer space that you might not find in real-life textbooks or other apps. Highly recommended for ages 8+.