Can You Identify These Iconic British Figures?

By: Bambi Turner
Image: Global News Via YouTube

About This Quiz

Great Britain has been a global power since the nation was established in the 16th century. Since then, the country has produced countless leaders in politics, industry, science and the arts. Take our quiz to see if you can identify these iconic British figures from a single image!

Sir Winston Churchill was British Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. He steered the country through the horrors of WWII, and later won a Nobel Prize in Literature

Diana Spencer became Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles in 1981. More than 750 million people around the world tuned in to watch her big day. She later became a philanthropist and activist, before dying in a fiery car crash in 1997.

The plays and poems of William Shakespeare rank up near the Bible as the best-selling written works of all time. The Bard of Avon penned such iconic works as "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "Othello" and "King Lear" in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I took the British throne in 1558 and ruled until her death in 1603. Today, she is remembered as a tolerant and peaceful leader, and is often called the Virgin Queen because she never married or had children.

Nicknamed Old Ironsides, Oliver Cromwell was named Lord Protector -- not a King, but just as powerful -- of Britain from 1653 until his death in 1658. Today, he is hailed as a hero, a hypocrite and everything in between.

Sir James Cook was a Captain in the Royal Navy during the 18th century. He was the first Brit to explore the east coast of Australia, and later navigated around New Zealand and Hawaii.

Nicknamed the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher served as the British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first female PM, and the longest-serving Prime Minister in the 20th century.

Queen Victoria ruled England from 1837 to 1876. While her reign is remembered as a prosperous and powerful time for Britain, her greatest accomplishment may have been her choice of husband. She chose husband Prince Albert out of love rather than for political reasons, and the pair produced nine children.

Just 100 years ago, a simple infection could be deadly. That all changed when Air Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, making it much easier to treat a range of infections. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945.

Stephen Hawking is one of the most renowned physicists and cosmologists of all time. Diagnosed with ALS at age 21, he was given just two years to live, yet was still contributing to the scientific community more than half a century later.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a superstar of the British Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. He not only designed the first tunnel to go under a river, but also made major advances in shipbuilding and railroads. In 2002, Brunel ranked second on a list of the 100 Most Influential Brits.

Charles Darwin published the 1859 book "On the Origin of Species." It introduced the idea of evolution, and that all living things are descended from a common ancestor. Darwin's ideas were ground-breaking, and turned the scientific community on its head.

Sir Isaac Newton authored "Principia Mathematica" in the late 17th century. The legendary mathematician and scientist is known for his work on gravity, his three laws of motion and his advancement of the field of math.

Singer and songwriter John Lennon was a founding member of The Beatles. He went on to have an acclaimed career as a solo artist, and to use his fame to push for peace around the world.

Sir Ernest Shackleton was a 19th century explorer. He led three expeditions to the Antarctic and while he wasn't the first to reach the South Pole, he did bravely advance across the icy continent to explore places where no other man had gone before.

Computer scientist Alan Turing was born in 1912. He was a key code breaker at Bletchley Park, and his work helped to decipher secret Nazi messages and lead the British to victory in WWII.

Born David Robert Jones, David Bowie was a music icon for more than half a century. He emerged in the '70s as Ziggy Stardust to popularize the glam rock movement, and was married to model Iman from 1992 until his death in 2016.

Guy Fawkes had big plans to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in the early 17th century. Luckily, his plan was foiled. Today, the British light bonfires every November 5th to celebrate Fawkes' failure.

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 to 1547. He is perhaps best known for breaking ties with the Roman Catholic Church and naming himself King of the Church of England so that he could ditch his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn. He soon grew tired of her and had her beheaded so he could marry someone else.

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of England in 1952. She and husband Prince Philip have four children, including heir to the throne Prince Charles -- ex-husband to Princess Diana and dad to Princes William and Harry.

Known as The Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale was an important figure during the Crimean War. She helped ensure wounded soldiers got proper treatment, and helped to standardize nursing practices for future generations.

T.E. Lawrence lived from 1888 to 1935. The archaeologist and military officer forged new connections between Britain and the Arabian world, and is better known today as Lawrence of Arabia.

Freddie Mercury was the lead vocalist of Queen, and was known for his incredible vocal range.He wrote and performed such classic songs as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen."

Charlie Chaplin lived from 1889 to 1977. He enjoyed a long career in film, but perhaps is best known for his work in silent film -- particularly his tramp persona. During his long and colorful life, he married four times and had 11 children.

Jane Austen lived from 1775 to 1817 and was well ahead of her time. She wrote novels like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" that not only entertained, but also questioned the common values and standards of her day.

Charles Babbage laid out plans for an early computer in the 19th century, many years before computers were even a reality. In 1991, engineers built a computer to Babbage's specifications -- and it worked exactly as he had said it would.

Sir Walter Raleigh was a favorite of Elizabeth I, and helped settle an early English colony on Roanoke Island -- part of modern North Carolina. He was accused of treason by King James I and executed in 1589.

J.K. Rowling was a single mom when she published the first book in her Harry Potter series in the mid-'90s. The books went on to become a cultural phenomenon, selling more than 400 million copies around the world.

Richard Branson in an entrepreneur who founded the Virgin Group, a conglomerate that now manages hundreds of companies. He has a personal worth of more than $1 billion, and is responsible for such successes as Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines.

Agatha Christie wrote dozens of detective novels featuring beloved characters like Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple. Her books have sold more than two billion copies, making her one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell had many deaf family members and friends, which encouraged him to explore sound and communication in new ways. His work led to the very first telephone call in 1885.

Bah, humbug! Charles Dickens wrote plenty of books and stories in his time, but he might be best known for a holiday classic called "A Christmas Carol." The book is recognized for helping to transform Christmas into the cultural experience that it is today.

Stage and screen star Julie Andrews played plenty of roles in her day, but there are two roles that will keep her in the history books -- and in hearts and minds -- for generations to come. Not only was she the title character in "Mary Poppins," she also played Maria in "The Sound of Music."

The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries changed Britain and the world forever. James Watt was a major part of that transformation thanks to improvements he made on the steam engine, which powered ships, trains and machinery of the period.

Virginia Woolf lived from 1882 to 1941. She wrote books like "Mrs. Dalloway" and "To the Lighthouse" before drowning herself in 1941. Today, she is a feminist icon, and her work is considered to be revolutionary and ahead of its time.

Tony Blair was a long-time leader of the Labour Party. He served as British Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 -- making him the youngest PM since the early 1800s.

Missionary and explorer David Livingstone lived from 1813 to 1873. He spent years searching for the source of the Nile, and was once believed to be lost in Africa. Henry Stanley was sent to find him, and did so in 1871, prompting the famous quote, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Born in 1943, Mick Jagger went on to become one of the biggest rock icons of all time. He shot to fame as the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, but also made headlines for his relationships with women -- and drugs.

Daniel Radcliffe was a relatively unknown young actor when he was picked to play Harry Potter in the film version of J.K. Rowling's beloved book series. He spent ten years in the role before the final Potter film was released in 2011.

Benedict Arnold served in the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War -- until he turned traitor and tried to surrender West Point to the British. He later became a general in the British Army, but his name remains synonymous with treachery.

Sir Paul McCartney was a founding member of one of the most successful bands of all time, The Beatles. After the band broke up, he formed another hugely successful band named Wings, in addition, he had a top-notch solo career ​and was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame twice.

David Beckham is a legendary British soccer player who played for teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United. He retired form the sport in 2013 after 20 years on the field. His wife, Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, is a British icon in her own right.

William of Wales was just a young teen when his mom, Princes Diana, died. He grew to follow in her footsteps, choosing charity and philanthropy, and married Kate Middleton in 2011.

Director and producer Alfred Hitchcock is known as the Master of Suspense for his iconic horror films. He created such classics as "Rear Window," "Vertigo" and "Psycho."

Elementary my dear Watson. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote four novels and dozens of short stories featuring the great detective, Sherlock Holmes. He was a physician before switching to penning whodunits.

Edward VIII was King of England for less than a year before he gave up the throne in order to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936. They were married for 36 years.

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, Sir Elton John has been a British music icon since the '60s. He's known for songs ranging from"Crocodile Rock" to "Candle in the Wind."

Legendary warrior King Arthur led the British against Saxon invaders during the 5th or 6th century -- if he actually existed, that is. Historians argue about whether he was a real person or not, but his legend lives on to this day regardless of whether its story or fact.

The first wife of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon was married to the king from 1509 to 1533. After she failed to have a son, he sought to have their marriage annulled. It took breaking from the Catholic Church and forming the Church of England to do so, but Henry eventually became a single man again. Catherine was a sympathetic figure in Britain, and still considered herself a married woman for the rest of her days.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson published a book called "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in 1865 under the name Lewis Carroll. His followup, "Alice Through the Looking Glass," introduced unforgettable poems like "The Jabberwocky."

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