In AD 43, a camp named Londinium was established by the Roman armies under the emperor Claudius after he’d destroyed the local Celts. 18 years later the Celts returned, now led by the terrifying Queen Boadicea. They ravaged London, although it was later seized again by the Romans, who built a greater camp over the original site. This port flourished into a city, and by then the Romans left in 410 and it was the home to 50,000 people.
Many centuries later, London saw the reign of Henry VIII, a Tudor king who sent several key people to the Tower of London. These included two of his wives, his second Anne Boleyn and his fifth Katherine Howard, as well as his chancellor, Sir Thomas More. He also broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 during the Reformation that led to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
During the 18th century, the arts flourished, as shown by the establishment of the Royal Academy of Art in the mid 1700s. Britain lost its American colonies in 1776, but the Victorian era brought about much significant progress. London’s first horse bus appeared in 1829, and by 1863 it housed the world’s first underground railway. Over a decade years later, the Embankments were constructed on either side of the Thames. All this was an apt development for a city that had become the centre of the mighty British Empire.
By the 20th century, that Empire had begun to disintegrate. This was sped up by the Second World War; the Blitz, or German air raids took place between September 1940 and May 1941, killing 30,000 Londoners and wreaking devastation on large swathes of the capital especially the East End and the City.