1521: The Vatican gives Henry VIII the title of Defender of the Faith after the king rejects the teachings of Protestant reformers, notably Martin Luther.
1529: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey fails to persuade the Vatican to grant Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
1532: Henry's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, pushes through several reforms limiting papal power. The pope endorses Thomas Cranmer as archbishop of Canterbury but Cranmer then grants Henry a divorce. Anne Boleyn is crowned queen.
Pope excommunicates Henry and parliament enacts laws to formally break with Rome.
1534: An Act of Submission of the Clergy and an Act of Succession, together with an Act of Supremacy, recognise that the king is "the only supreme head of the Church of England".
1535: Henry's former chancellor, Thomas More, becomes the most notable opponent of the break with Rome to be executed.
1547: Edward VI strengthens the Protestant identity of the new Church of England. Book of Common Prayer introduced in 1549.
1553: Reformist Lady Jane Grey rules for nine days but country rallies to Catherine of Aragon's daughter, Mary, who becomes queen. Jane is executed and Mary restores the Catholic faith. Some 300 Protestant dissenters are executed during her reign.
1558: Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth, succeeds her half-sister, who failed to produce an heir.
1563: The 39 Articles of Religion establish the foundation of beliefs practised by the English Anglican church and are seen as moderate and avoiding some of the more puritanical Protestant ideals.
1570: A papal bull releases her subjects from loyalty to Elizabeth; she responds with harsh anti-Catholic laws.
1588: Elizabeth defeats the Spanish armada, which had aimed to restore Catholicism.
1603: James I becomes king.
1605: The foiling of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plotters leads to more strict anti-Catholic laws.
1649: King Charles I is executed, and Oliver Cromwell's staunchly Protestant commonwealth replaces the monarchy. The interregnum lasts 11 years.
1660: The monarchy is restored and Charles II becomes king. He is viewed with suspicion by some Protestants and converts to Catholicism on his deathbed in 1685.
1685: Charles II's brother, James II, himself a Catholic convert, takes the throne.
1688-89: William and Mary of Orange overthrow James II and legislation is enacted to exclude Catholics from the throne. The sovereign is later required to defend the Protestant faith in the coronation oath.
1701: The Act of Settlement insists the monarch cannot be Catholic and cannot marry a Catholic.
1978: The Queen's cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, is removed from the line of succession after marrying Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, a Catholic.
2008: Autumn Kelly renounces her Catholic faith, allowing her new husband Peter Phillips, the Queen's grandson, to keep his place in the line of succession.
2009: Downing Street discloses talks have taken place to end the ban on heirs to the throne marrying Catholics and to ensure that a female will be ahead of a younger male sibling in the line of succession.
Maryland is named for Queen Henrietta Maria.