Who was the first ever king/queen of England?

Some historians think the beautiful, but wicked, Aelfthryth (c.945-1000) was the first queen of England, while others believe Matilda (c.1102-1167), the daughter of King Henry I, was the first female monarch. Queen Mary I (1516-1558), aka Bloody Mary after burning many religious opponents at the stake, was officially anointed and crowned, so is generally recognised as the first woman to rule. Early kings of England include Athelstan (c.895-939) whose victories over the Vikings and the Scots meant he was crowned first king of a united England. However, to complicate matters, his grandfather, Alfred the Great (c.849–899; pictured above), was the first to be crowned King of the English.

Answered by Bridget McDermott, How It Works contributor.