This essential reference is a concise, accessible guide to the great dynasties of English royalty. A collection of biographical sketches that encompasses the period from the establishment of monarchical power by the early Norman kings through the reign of Elizabeth II, The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England tells the stories of many monarchs and their colorful lives--some merry, some cruel, some heroic, others sinister. Antonia Fraser and a collection of distinguished contributors bring the people and events to life in this lavishly illustrated volume that is both engrossing history and an excellent reference tool.This updated edition includes a new essay describing the recently tumultuous reign of the Windsors. Included are details of the weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, and of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson; the acrimonious collapse of the marriages; the effect the media have had on the royal family's image; and the fire at Windsor Castle. Such recent events as Diana's tragic death, the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the launching of Queen Elizabeth's own website are also discussed.Accompanying the text are 175 contemporary illustrations and drawings of the royal coats of arms, with their significance explained by J.P. Brooke-Little, Richmond Herald of Arms. This is a dazzling story of a thousand years of English history, as told through the lives and deeds of the nation's sovereigns.