List of monarchs of Scotland

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The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in 843, although this is disputed on a number of different grounds. Some modern historiography would tend to see his grandson Constantine II of Scotland as the creator of the Kingdom of Alba which became known in English as Scotland. The title fell out of use in 1707 when the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Thus Queen Anne became the last Queen of Scotland and the first Queen of Great Britain. The two kingdoms had shared a monarch since 1603 (see Union of the Crowns), and Charles II was the last Scottish monarch to actually be crowned in Scotland, at Scone in 1651.



By the twelfth century, Scotland's monarchs were using both the style rex Scottorum, king of the Scots and rex Scotiae, king of Scotland, in Latin documents. This continued until the 17th century; the last three monarchs before the Act of Union only used the style King or Queen of Scotland. In the high middle ages, the vernacular style seems to have continued to be rí Alban or Ard rí Alban, King of Scotland or High King of Scotland.


Although genealogists divide the monarchs of Scotland into "Houses", based on continental European ideas of dynasties, it appears that the kings and queens of Scotland, insofar as they thought about their ultimate origins, traced their descent from Fergus Mór, the legendary founder of Dál Riata said to have flourished in the late 5th century, and from his grandson Gabrán mac Domangairt and brother Loarn mac Eirc. James VI is recorded as saying that he was a "Monarch sprunge of Ferguse race". After the Restoration of 1660, when Jacob de Wet was commissioned to produce portraits of Scotland's past and present rulers for Holyrood Palace, the series began with Fergus Mór.

List of monarchs of Scotland

House of Alpin (Ailpean)

  • Kenneth I (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach I mac Alpin; Old Gaelic: Cináed mac Ailpín) (c.843–858)
  • Donald I (Domhnall I; Domnall mac Ailpín) (858–862)
  • Constantine I (Causantín mac Cináeda) (862–877)
  • Áed (Aodh; Áed mac Cináeda) (877–878)

House of Strathclyde

  • Eochaid (Eochaidh; Eochu) (878–889)

House of Alpin?

  • Giric (Giric; Giric mac Dúngail) (878–889)

House of Alpin (Restored)

  • Donald II (Domhnall II; Domnall mac Causantín) (889–900)
  • Constantine II (Causantín mac Áeda) (900–943)
  • Malcolm I (Calum I; Máel Coluim mac Domnaill) (943–954)
  • Indulf (Indulbh; Idulb mac Causantín) (954–962)
  • Dub (Dubh; Dub mac Maíl Choluim) (962–967)
  • Culen (Cuilean; Cuilén mac Iduilb) (967–971)
  • Kenneth II (Coinneach II; Cináed mac Maíl Choluim) (971–?)
  • Amlaíb (Amlaíbh; Amlaíb mac Iduilb) (after 973–977)
  • Kenneth II (Coinneach II; Cináed mac Maíl Choluim) (977–995)
  • Constantine III (Constantín III; Causantín mac Cuilén) (995–997)
  • Kenneth III (Coinneach III; Cináed mac Duib) (997–1005)
  • Malcolm II (Calum II; Máel Coluim mac Cináeda) (1005–1034)

House of Dunkeld

  • Duncan I (Donnchadh I; Donnchad mac Crínáin) (1034–1040)

House of Moray

  • MacBeth (MacBeatha; Mac Bethad mac Findláich) (1040–1057)
  • Lulach (Lulach mac Gillai Comgain) (1057–1058)

House of Dunkeld

  • Malcolm III (Calum III; Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) (1058–1093)
  • Donald III (Domhnall III; Domnall mac Donnchada) (1093–1094)
  • Duncan II (Donnchadh II; Donnchad mac Maíl Choluim) (1094)
  • Donald III (Domhnall III; Domnall mac Donnchada) (1094–1097)
  • Edgar (Eagar/Eadgar; Etgair mac Maíl Choluim) (1097–1107)
  • Alexander I (Alasdair I; Alaxandair mac Maíl Choluim) (1107–1124)
  • Saint David I (Daibhidh I; Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim) (1124–1153)
  • Malcolm IV (Calum IV; Máel Coluim mac Enric) (1153–1165)
  • William I (Uilleam I; Uilliam mac Enric) (1165–1214)
  • Alexander II (Alasdair II) (1214–1249)
  • Alexander III (Alasdair III) (1249–1286)
  • Margaret (Mairead; Maighread) (1286–1290)

Recognized as Queen by the Guardians of Scotland in the Treaty of Salisbury, Margaret, called the Maid of Norway, is nevertheless sometimes omitted from lists of Scots monarchs as she never set foot in Scotland and was never crowned at Scone.

First Interregnum

House of Balliol (Bailiol)

  • John (Iain) (1292–1296)

Second Interregnum

House of Bruce

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Robert the Bruce.png
Robert I of Scotland
Robert the Bruce
25 March 1306 7 June 1329 interregnum under the Guardian of Scotland.
David II of Scotland.png
David II of Scotland 7 June 1329 22 February 1371 Son of Robert the Bruce.

House of Balliol

House of Stewart

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Robert II, King of Scotland.pngRobert II of Scotland22 February 137119 April 1390nephew[1] of David II of Scotland who died without issue. Robert's mother Marjorie Bruce was daughter of Robert I of Scotland.
Robert III, King of Scotland.pngRobert III of Scotland 19 April 13904 April 1406son of Robert II of Scotland.
King James I of Scotland.jpgJames I of Scotland 4 April 140621 February 1437son of Robert III of Scotland.
James II, King of Scotland.pngJames II of Scotland 21 February 14373 August 1460son of James I of Scotland.
James III, King of Scotland.pngJames III of Scotland 3 August 146011 June 1488son of James II of Scotland.
James IV of Scotland.jpgJames IV of Scotland 11 June 14889 September 1513son of James III of Scotland.
James V of Scotland2.jpgJames V of Scotland 9 September 151314 December 1542son of James IV of Scotland.
Mary I Queen of Scots.jpgMary I, Queen of Scots 14 December 154224 July 1567daughter of James V of Scotland.

House of Stuart

From 1707, the titles King of Scots and Queen of Scots are incorrect. Hence, this list runs up to 1707; for monarchs after that date, see List of British monarchs.

Jacobite Claimants

  • James VIII (Seumas VIII), also known as The Old Pretender, son of James VII, was claimant from 1701 until his death in 1766.
  • Charles III (Teàrlach III), also known as The Young Pretender and often called Bonnie Prince Charlie, son of James VIII, was claimant from his father's death until his own death in 1788.
  • Henry I (Eanraig I), brother of Charles III and youngest son of James VIII. Died in 1807 without offspring.
  • After 1807, the Jacobite claims passed first to the House of Savoy (1807–1840), then to the Modenese branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (1840–1919), and finally to the House of Bavaria (since 1919). The current heir is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. Neither he nor any of his predecessors since 1807 have pursued their claim.


  • An ancient, but useful work of reference for this article up to the year 1383 is John of Fordun's Chronicle of The Scottish Nation edited by W.F. Skene (Edinburgh, 1872).
  • Plantagenet Somerset Fry. The Kings and Queens of England and Scotland. Grove Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8021-1386-9.
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.

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