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On This Day In Royal History - July (1-7)

On This day in royal history 1 - 7 July cover

1 July

Statue of Joan of England
Joan of England

1 July 1348 - Joan of England died

Joan of England (Born 1333 or 1334), was the second daughter & third child of Edward III & his wife, Philippa of Hainault. Also known as Joanna, she was born in the Tower of London. As a child she was placed in the care of Marie de St Pol, wife of Aymer de Valence & the foundress of Pembroke College, Cambridge. She grew up with her sister Isabella, her brother Edward, & their cousin Joan of Kent,

King Edward III of England
Edward III

She was betrothed to Peter of Castile in 1345, the son of Maria of Portugal & Alfonso XI of Castile. In the summer of 1348, she left England with the blessing of her parents. Thanks to a heavily armed retinue she was, perhaps, the most protected woman of Europe at the time, & it is said that her trousseau alone required an entire ship.

Edward III had spared no expense in the preparations for Joan's journey & marriage, equipping her in the most impressive manner he could. The King loved his daughter, but it's very likely that he also wanted to make a display of power & wealth before his allies Castilian allies.

The fleet that carried Joan & her retinue consisted of four English ships, which departed from Portsmouth & were received in Bordeaux by the awestruck mayor Raymond de Bisquale. Some say that he immediately warned Joan & her companions of the plague but that they didn't listen & proceeded to settle in the royal castle overlooking the estuary of the Gironde.

Joan's entourage included three leading officials: Robert Bouchier, the former royal chancellor; Andrew Ullford, a diplomatic lawyer; & the cathedral priest of Bordeaux, Gerald de Podio, who was to see to the Princess's spiritual needs. Joan also had a remarkable Castilian minstrel, Gracias de Gyvill, who had been dispatched to England by Prince Pedro in order to entertain her with music & songs of the land of which she was to be queen. Joan was also escorted by over a hundred formidable English bowmen, some of them veterans of the Battle of Crecy, & she even travelled with a luxurious portable chapel, so that she could enjoy Catholic services without having to use the local churches all along the way to Castile. The chapel featured a couch decorated with fighting dragons & a border of vines, powdered with gold Byzantine coins, while the altar cloth was decorated with dragons & serpents.

Joan's wedding dress was made with more than 150 metres of rakematiz, a thick imported silk, but she also had a suit of red velvet; two sets of 24 buttons made of silver gilt & enamel; five corsets woven with gold patterns of stars, crescents & diamonds; & at least two elaborate built-in-corset dresses, also made of *rakematiz, one in green & the other in dark brown. The green was embroidered all over with images of rose arbors, wild animals & wild men, while the brown had a base of powdered gold & displayed a pattern of circles, each enclosing a lion as a symbol of monarchy.

*Rakematiz is a thick silk fabric embroidered with strands of gold. It was extremely rare & valuable in earlier eras. Apparel that incorporated rakematiz was popular in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Additional items in Joan's trousseau included beds & bed curtains, ceremonial garments, riding outfits, & everyday clothes. Information concerning these can be found in her wardrobe account of 1347. As Joan embarked on her journey, the Black Death had not yet appeared in England, & it is unlikely that the party was aware of the danger. Despite the severe outbreak of plague in Bordeaux, at first it did not occur to Joan & her advisors to leave town. Soon, they watched in horror as the members of the entourage began falling sick & dying. Robert Bouchier, the leader of the retinue, died on 20 August. Joan feared for her life & was probably moved to the small village of Loremo, where she remained for some time. However, she could not escape the disease & became its first victim in the camp, suffering a violent, quick attack & dying on 1 July 1348. Some accounts document that Joan was buried in Bayonne Cathedral, & her statue, in Westminster Abbey, is on the South Side of her father's tomb. Andrew Ullford, the diplomatic lawyer, was not affected by the plague & traveled to England in October to inform the king of his daughter's death. The English people were shocked: not only was she one of the earliest English victims of the epidemic, which was attacking England by then; but her death also seemed to prove that not even royalty would be spared. On 15 October 1348, Edward III sent a letter to King Alfonso of Castile terminating the marriage arrangements & describing the sorrow that he & his family were suffering after Joan's sudden death.

He described her as a martyred angel looking down from Heaven to protect the royal family, & concluded with traditional & formal piety:

"We have placed our trust in God & our life between his hands, where he held it closely through many dangers"

On 25 October, Edward III sent an expedition to Bordeaux to retrieve Joan's body & return it for burial in London. The leader was a northern ecclesiastical lord, the bishop of Carlisle, who was overpaid by the King because of the high risk involved. What happened next is unknown. There is no record of Joan's remains being returned to England nor any account of a funeral of any kind.  According to medievalist Norman Cantor, in his book The Last Knight: The Twilight of the Middle Ages & the Birth of the Modern Era (2004), Joan actually died in Bordeaux, where the mayor, in an effort to arrest the plague, set fire to the port, burning the Plantagenet castle there as well. Joan's body, inside the castle at the time, could not be recovered.


1 July 1543 - Henry VIII signs Treaty of Greenwich

King Henry VIII
Henry VIII

The Treaty of Greenwich contained two agreements both signed on 1 July 1543 in Greenwich between representatives of England & Scotland. The accord, overall, entailed a plan developed by Henry VIII of England to unite both kingdoms (i.e. Union of the Crowns). The first sub-treaty helped to establish peace between the Kingdom of England & the Kingdom of Scotland. The second sub-treaty was a marriage proposal between Edward VI of England & Mary, Queen of Scots. In this part of the treaty, it was agreed that Mary would be accompanied by an English nobleman/gentleman (& his wife) until she was ten years old. Afterwards, Mary would reside in England until the time of her marriage. Also, the Treaty of Greenwich permitted the Kingdom of Scotland to maintain its laws. Even though the Earl of Arran signed the accord on 1 July & ratified it on 25 August 1543, the Treaty of Greenwich was ultimately rejected by the Parliament of Scotland on 11 December 1543, leading to eight years of Anglo-Scottish conflict known as the Rough Wooing.

Mini Me Model Henry VIII by English Heritage


Princess Alice wedding

1 July 1862 – Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, second daughter of Queen Victoria, marries Prince Louis of Hesse, the future Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse.

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1 July 1961 - Diana Princess of Wales was born (read my Diana, Princess of Wales Blog)

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1 July 1969 - Charles Investiture as Prince of Wales

Prince Charles was made the Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester by letters patent on 26 July 1958, but the official investiture was not held until 1 July 1969. The ceremony, at Caernarfon Castle, was well received by many Welsh people.

Caernarfon Castle was the site of two investitures in the 20th century
Caernarfon Castle was the site of two investitures in the 20th century

Previous investitures had taken place at various locations, including the Palace of Westminster, the seat of Parliament. The Welsh borough of Swansea was granted city status to mark the occasion. Taught by Welsh-nationalist politician Edward Millward, Prince Charles spent ten weeks leading up to his investiture learning about Welsh culture, history & language, & during the ceremony he gave his replies in both English & Welsh. He gave his address in Welsh. The investiture was watched by millions on television, & attracted large & excited crowds in Caernarfon.

The investiture of the Prince of Wales is the ceremony formally acknowledging a new Prince of Wales. The prince is presented & invested with the insignia of his rank & dignity, in the manner of a coronation. An investiture is purely ceremonial, as the title is created via letters patent. Investitures fell into abeyance & the revival of investing the Prince of Wales in 1911 was largely due to the instigation of David Lloyd George, a Welsh politician.

Caernarfon Castle guidebook at The Book Depository with free worldwide delivery.

The tradition of investing the heir apparent of the English, & subsequently the British, monarch with the title of "Prince of Wales" began in 1301, when King Edward I of England, having completed the conquest of Wales, gave the title to his heir apparent, Prince Edward (later King Edward II of England). In 1911, the future King Edward VIII was invested in Caernarfon Castle in Wales. The present Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was also invested there in 1969.

The ceremony in 1969 began with Prince Charles, led by the regalia bearers, entering the Chamberlain Tower, to await the arrival of Her Majesty. Once the royal family had arrived, the lesser members took their seats in the gallery, but the Queen & Duke of Edinburgh, led by the Earl of Snowdon, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal & the Gentleman Usher carrying the Great Sword of State, made their way to the stage where the investiture was to be conducted. After reaching the podium, where the Secretary of State for Wales, carrying the letters patent, was already standing, the Earl Marshal instructed Garter to conduct the Prince & his cortège from the tower. As they came to the stage Prince Charles knelt before the three thrones on the stage. During the reading of the letters patent in Welsh, the Queen invested Charles with the girdle, sword, coronet, ring, rod & kingly mantle, in that order. Prince Charles then declared,

"I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life & limb & of earthly worship, & faith & truth I will bear unto thee, to live & die against all manner of folks."

Charles then customarily kissed the Queen's cheek & they embraced. Charles then took his place in the throne at his mother's right, before standing to give two speeches, one in Welsh & one in English. A brief religious service was then conducted & the Queen led the Prince of Wales to Queen Eleanor's Gate, to receive the homage of his adopted nation. The numerous banners & standards of the Prince of Wales were hung from the balcony.

The letters patent stated that Charles Philip Arthur George would receive the title, style, honour & privilege of the Principality of Wales and Earldom of Chester.


1 July 1999 – The Scottish Parliament is officially opened by Elizabeth II on the day that legislative powers are officially transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh. In Wales, the powers of the Welsh Secretary are transferred to the National Assembly.


2 July

2 July 1492 - Elizabeth Tudor was born

King Henry VII & Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth Tudor (2 July 1492 – 14 September 1495) was the second daughter & fourth child of Henry VII of England & Elizabeth of York.

Elizabeth was born on 2 July 1492 at Sheen Palace in Surrey (later rebuilt by her father as Richmond Palace, the remains of which are now part of Richmond-Upon-Thames, London). Elizabeth spent much of her short life at the royal nursery of Eltham Palace, Kent, with her older siblings Margaret (later Queen of Scotland) & Henry (the future Henry VIII of England). Elizabeth's oldest brother, Arthur, was heir to the English throne & so lived separately in his own household. Just before Elizabeth's death, her father proposed a marriage alliance between Elizabeth & the French prince Francis, who later became king as Francis I of France.

Elizabeth died at Eltham Palace in Kent on 14 September 1495. She was brought from Eltham in state & buried on the north side of the Chapel of St. Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey on 27 September. Elizabeth was the first of four of Henry & Elizabeth's children to die prematurely, & they were greatly affected. The large sum of £318 (more than £155,000 in today's money) was spent on her funeral, & Henry erected a small tomb to his daughter in the abbey made from Purbeck & black marble. On top of the monument is a finely polished slab of black Lydian, upon which were placed inscriptions to Elizabeth & her effigy of copper gilt, both of which have now disappeared with time. The Latin from the inscription can be translated:

'Elizabeth, second child of Henry the Seventh King of England, France & Ireland & of the most serene lady Queen Elizabeth his consort, who was born on the second day of the month of July in the year of Our Lord 1492, & died on the 14th day of the month of September in the year of Our Lord 1495, upon whose soul may God have mercy. Amen.'

The plate at the feet of her effigy is translated:

'Hereafter Death has a royal offspring in this tomb viz. the young & noble Elizabeth daughter of that illustrious prince, Henry the Seventh, who swayed the sceptre of two kingdoms, Atropos, the most severe messenger of Death, snatched her away but may she have eternal life in Heaven.'

The following year in 1496, Henry & Elizabeth had another daughter, Mary, who became the Queen of France. Their final two children, Edmund (who died in 1500 at the age of 15 months) & her younger sister Katherine (who died in 1503 shortly after birth) were laid to rest by young Elizabeth's side.

Tudor Book of Days Perpetual Diary at The Book Depository with free worldwide delivery.


2 July 1489 – Thomas Cranmer, English archbishop, theologian, and saint was born (d. 1556)


2 July 1644 - Battle of Marston Moor


2 July 1903 - Olav V king of Norway was born in Appleton House on the royal Sandringham Estate, Flitcham, England.

(born Prince Alexander of Denmark; 2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991) Olav was King of Norway from 1957 until his death in 1991.

Olav was the only child of King Haakon VII of Norway & Maud of Wales (daughter of King Edward VII & Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom). He became heir apparent to the Norwegian throne when his father was elected King of Norway in 1905. He was the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be brought up in Norway since Olav IV in the fourteenth century, & his parents made sure he was given as Norwegian an upbringing as possible. In preparation for his future role, he attended both civilian & military schools. In 1929, he married his first cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden. During World War II his leadership was much appreciated & he was appointed Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. Olav became king following the death of his father in 1957. Owing to his considerate, down-to-earth style, King Olav was immensely popular, resulting in the nickname Folkekongen ("The People's King"). In a 2005 poll by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Olav was voted "Norwegian of the Century".

  • Olav was a 1st cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Their common ancestor is Edward VII.

Did You Know? Olav was an accomplished athlete. He jumped from the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo & competed in sailing regattas. He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam & remained an active sailor into old age.


3 July

William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror (c. 1028 – 9 September 1087)

3 July 1035 – William the Conqueror becomes the Duke of Normandy.

William I (c. 1028 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror was the first Norman monarch of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo** & was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. By 1060, following a long struggle to establish his throne, his hold on Normandy was secure. In 1066, following the death of Edward the Confessor, William invaded England, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, & suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England & his continental lands.

William was the son of the unmarried Duke Robert I of Normandy & his mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status & his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father in 1035, as did the anarchy which plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood & adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke, & for their own ends. In 1047, William was able to quash a rebellion & begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process that was not complete until about 1060. His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops & abbots in the Norman church. His consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, & he secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine by 1062.

A genealogical chart of the Norman dynasty
A genealogical chart of the Norman dynasty

In the 1050s & early 1060s, William became a contender for the throne of England held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, whom Edward named as king on his deathbed in January 1066. Arguing that Edward had previously promised the throne to him & that Harold had sworn to support his claim, William built a large fleet & invaded England in September 1066. He decisively defeated & killed Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts, William was crowned king on Christmas Day, 1066, in London. He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, but William's hold was mostly secure on England by 1075, allowing him to spend the majority of his reign in continental Europe.

William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his son, Robert, & threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086, he ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the land-holdings in England along with their pre-Conquest & current holders. He died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, & was buried in Caen.

Rollo was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine
Rollo (c.  860 – c.  930 AD

**Rollo - was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine.


3 July 1449 - James II of Scotland married Mary of Guelders at Holyrood Abbey.

James II of Scotland (16 October 1430 – 3 August 1460), King of Scots from 1437 until his death, married Mary of Guelders ( c. 1434/1435 – 1 December 1463)

Negotiations for a marriage to Mary of Guelders began in July 1447, when a Burgundian envoy came to Scotland, & were concluded by an embassy under Crichton the chancellor in September 1448. Her great-uncle, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, settled sixty thousand crowns on his kinswoman, & her dower of ten thousand was secured on lands in Strathearn, Athole, Methven, & Linlithgow. A tournament took place before James at Stirling, on 25 February 1449, between James, master of Douglas, another James, brother to the Laird of Lochleven, & two knights of Burgundy, one of whom, Jacques de Lalain, was the most celebrated knight-errant of the time. The marriage was celebrated at Holyrood on 3 July 1449. A French chronicler, Mathieu d'Escouchy, gives a graphic account of the ceremony & the feasts which followed. Many Flemings in Mary's suite remained in Scotland, & the relations between Scotland & Flanders, already friendly under James I, consequently became closer.

They had seven children;

Unnamed son (19 May 1450).

James III (10 July 1451 - 11 June 1488), James's successor as King of Scots.

Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran (13 May 1453 - May 1488) Wife of (Firstly) Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran;

(Secondly) James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton.

Alexander, Duke of Albany (c. 1454 - 7 August 1485)

David, Earl of Moray (c. 1455 Bef. - July 1457)

John Stewart, 1st Earl of Mar and Garioch (c. 1456 - c. 1479)

Margaret (1453 to 1460, death unknown)


3 July 1468 - Margaret of York married Charles the Bold

Margaret of York and Charles the Bold

Margaret of York (3 May 1446 – 23 November 1503)—also by marriage known as Margaret of Burgundy—was Duchess of Burgundy as the third wife of Charles the Bold & acted as a protector of the Burgundian State after his death. She was a daughter of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, & Cecily Neville, & the sister of two kings of England, Edward IV & Richard III. She was born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, in the Kingdom of England, & she died at Mechelen in the Low Countries.

On 27 June 1468, Margaret met Charles for the first time, & the pair were privately married between 5am and 6am on 3 July, in the house of a wealthy merchant of Damme. Charles then left for Bruges, allowing the new Duchess the honour of entering separately a few hours later.

The celebrations that followed were extravagant even by the standards of the Burgundians, who were already noted for their opulence & generous festivities. The bride made her Joyous Entry in a golden litter drawn by white horses, wearing upon her head a coronet. During this procession, she charmed the burghers of Bruges when she chose to wave to them rather than shut herself away from the wind & rain. In the city itself, wine spurted freely from sculpted archers & artificial pelicans in artificial trees; the canals were decorated with torches, & the bridges decked with flowers; the arms of the happy couple were displayed everywhere, accompanied by the mottoes of the pair: Charles's Je l'ay emprins ("I have undertaken it") & Margaret's Bien en aviengne ("May good come of it"). The celebrations also included the "Tournament of the Golden Tree" that was arranged around an elaborately detailed allegory, designed to honor the bride.

When the Duke & Duchess appeared there, both wore magnificent crowns. Margaret's crown was adorned with pearls, & with enamelled white roses for the House of York set between red, green & white enamelled letters of the Latinization of her name ("Margarita de York", m ar ga ri ta de yo rk), with gold Cs & Ms, entwined with lovers' knots (Pictured, it can still be seen in the treasury at Aachen Cathedral). The removal of the crown to Aachen was significant, since it allowed its survival from the ravages of the later English Civil War which involved the destruction of all the main English Crown Jewels. It thus remains one of only two medieval royal British crowns still surviving, the other being the Crown of Princess Blanche. "Margaret wore this crown at her wedding to Charles the Bold in Bruges in 1468...The leather case belonging to the crown still bears traces of old gilt. The initials CM as well as the coats of arms of York & Burgundy are again found on the lid. The rest of the case is decorated with tendrils & small dragons embossed in the leather. Margaret presented the crown to the Church of Our Lady during a visit to Aachen in 1475. Today the statue of Our Lady, placed next to the altar in the cathedral, wears the crown on festive days. In 1475 a matching crown was fashioned for the child."

Charles wore an equally splendid crown, accompanied by a golden gown encrusted with diamonds, pearls & great jewels. The parades, the streets lined with tapestry hung from houses, the feasting, the masques & allegorical entertainments, the jewels, impressed all observers as "the marriage of the century". It is reenacted at Bruges for tourists every five years with the next event in 2022, the last one having taken place in August 2017.

Miniature of Margaret of York praying in front of the St. Gudula church of Brussels
Miniature of Margaret of York praying in front of the St. Gudula church of Brussels

The couple had no children, & Charles died at the Battle of Nancy* in 1477 at the hands of Swiss mercenaries fighting for René II, Duke of Lorraine

*The Battle of Nancy was the final & decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, against René II, Duke of Lorraine, & the Swiss Confederacy. René's forces won the battle, & Charles' mutilated body was found three days later.

 Crown of Margaret of York, made in London before 1461
Crown of Margaret of York, made in London before 1461


Marie de' Medici
Marie de' Medici

3 July 1642 - Marie de' Medici died

Marie de' Medici (26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642), was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon & Regent of the Kingdom of France officially during 1610–1614 and de facto until 1617.

A member of the powerful House of Medici in the branch of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, thanks to the wealth of her family, Marie was chosen by Henry IV to become his second wife following his divorce from his previous wife, Margaret of Valois. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1614, when he officially attained his legal majority, although as the head of the Conseil du Roi she retained the power.

Noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court, her extensive artistic patronage, & favorites (the most famous are Concino Concini & his wife Leonora Dori Galigaï), she ended being banished from the country by her son & his favorite Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, dying in the city of Cologne in the Holy Roman Empire.

Did you know? Her youngest daughter Henrietta Maria, was Queen of England as the wife of Charles I, King of England (1600–1649) in 1625.

Marie de' Medici and her family (1607; by Frans Pourbus the younger).
Marie de' Medici and her family (1607; by Frans Pourbus the younger).


3 July 1842 - John William Bean attacks Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom
Queen Victoria

Bean attacks Queen victoria

John William Bean


3 July 2010 - Queen Elizabeth II visits Canada


4 July

Queen Henrietta Maria
Queen Henrietta Maria

4 July 1643 - Battle of Burton bridge

The Battle of Burton Bridge was fought between Royalist & Parliamentarian forces at Burton upon Trent on 4 July 1643 during the First English Civil War. By the time of the battle, the town, which had at various times been held by both sides, was garrisoned by a Parliamentarian unit under the command of Captain Thomas Sanders & the town's military governor, Colonel Richard Houghton. The key river crossing at Burton was desired by Queen Henrietta Maria, who was proceeding southwards from Yorkshire with a convoy of supplies destined for King Charles I at Oxford.

The Royalists, led by Colonel Thomas Tyldesley, launched a cavalry charge across the bridge which succeeded in defeating the Parliamentarians & capturing most of their officers, including Sanders & Houghton. The Queen's convoy proceeded on its way south to Oxford with Tyldesley receiving a knighthood & a promotion in recognition of his victory. Burton changed hands several more times during the course of the war, before finally coming into Parliament's control in 1646.


4 July 1666 - Charles Stuart, Duke of Kendal was born

Charles Stuart, Duke of Kendal was the third son of James, Duke of York (later James II of England) & his first wife Anne Hyde. Charles was born on 4 July 1666 at St James's Palace. His godparents were his three-year-old brother James, Duke of Cambridge, his cousin James, Duke of Monmouth, & Emilia von Nassau, Countess of Ossory. He was designated Duke of Kendal & was to have been created Duke of Kendal, Earl of Wigmore, & Baron of Holdenby, but no patent was ever enrolled. He died at St James's Palace at the age of 10 months on 22 May 1667 & was buried in Westminster Abbey on 30 May 1667.


4 July 1942 - Prince Michael was born

Did you know? At the age of five, Prince Michael was a page boy at the wedding of his cousins Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizbaeth II) & Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.


5 July

5 July 1321 - Joan of the Tower was born

The youngest daughter of King Edward II of England & Isabella of France, Joan was born in the Tower of London on 5 July 1321. Her siblings were the future Edward III, King of England, John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, & Eleanor of Woodstock. In accordance with the Treaty of Northampton, Joan was married on 17 July 1328 to David, the son & heir of Robert the Bruce, at Berwick-upon-Tweed. She was a very young seven years old & he was only four at the time of their marriage. Their marriage lasted 34 years, but it was childless & apparently loveless. On 7 June 1329, Robert I of Scotland died & David became king. He was crowned at Scone Abbey in November 1331.

 Image: Joan & David II with Philip VI in a miniature from Froissart's Chronicles.
Joan & David II with Philip VI in a miniature from Froissart's Chronicles.

3/3: After the victory of Edward III of England & his protégé Edward Balliol at the Battle of Halidon Hill near Berwick-upon-Tweed in July 1333, David & Joan were sent for safety to France. They reached Boulogne-sur-Mer in May 1334, where they were received by Philip VI, her mother's cousin. Little is known about the life of the Scottish king & queen in France, except that they took up residence at Château Gaillard & Philip treated them with regard.

Meanwhile, David's representatives had obtained the upper hand in Scotland, & David & Joan were thus enabled to return in June 1341, when he took the reins of government into his own hands. David II was taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville's Cross in County Durham on 17 October 1346, & remained imprisoned in England for eleven years. Although Edward III allowed Joan to visit her husband in the Tower of London a few times, she did not become pregnant. After his release in 1357, she decided to remain in England. Joan was close to her mother, whom she nursed during her last days.

Joan died in 1362, aged 41, at Hertford Castle, Hertfordshire. By that time, she had been estranged from David II for many years. She was buried in Christ Church Greyfriars, London, which was heavily bombed in the Blitz. No trace of her tomb now survives.


5 July 1643 - The Battle of Lansdowne


5 July 1866 - Princess Helena married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein

Princess Helena of the United kingdom
Princess Helena

Queen Victoria's matchmaking book cover

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5 July 1917 - King George V visited the Western Front with King Albert I of Belgium

King George V & King Albert I of Belgium, visit the Western Front, First world war
King George V & King Albert I of Belgium

During the First World War King George V took his ceremonial duties seriously. Along with, Queen Mary, he made hundreds of official tours to review troops, inspect factories & shipyards, & visit hospitals.

On a tour of the Western Front in 1915, during an inspection of British troops, he was thrown from a horse & injured to the point that he endured pain & discomfort for the rest of his life.


"The king rode along the first three or four ranks, then crossed the road to the other three of four ranks on the other side, speaking to an officer there. Our instructions had been that at the end of the conclusion of the parade we were to put our caps on the points of our fixed bayonets & wave & cheer. So that's what we did - 'Hip, hip, hooray.' Well, the King’s horse reared & he fell off. He just seemed to slide off & so the second 'Hip, hip, hooray' fizzled out. It was quite a fiasco & you should have seen the confusion as these other high-ranking officers rushed to dismount & go to the King’s assistance. They got him up & the last we saw of him was being hurriedly driven away!

- Corporal Edward Glendinning, 12th Battalion, Notts & Derby Regiment.

The war directly affected the Royal Family in many other ways. The king’s two eldest sons both served in uniform: the Prince of Wales, the later Edward, Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), in a staff position with the army behind the Western Front, Prince Albert, the future George VI, King of Great Britain (1895-1952), on HMS Collingwood during the Battle of Jutland.

Anti-German hysteria in Britain led the king to change the name of his dynasty from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a legacy of the marriage of his grandmother Victoria, Queen of Great Britain (1819-1901), to the quintessentially English House of Windsor. He also implemented an austerity regime in the Royal Household & rarely wore anything during the war other than military uniform. To his regret, he allowed himself to be talked into giving up alcohol for the duration to set an example for factory worker!


5 July 2015 - Princess Charlotte of Cambridge christening.

Princess Charlotte, the second child of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, was born at 08:34 BST on 2 May 2015 in Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London. On 4 May, her name was announced as Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, honouring her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II & grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales. She has been affectionately called "Lottie" & "Mignonette" by her parents.

On 5 July 2015, Charlotte was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, the same church where her paternal grandmother was christened in 1961. Her godparents are her parents' cousins Laura Fellowes & Adam Middleton, & family friends Thomas van Straubenzee, James Meade, & Sophie Carter. Princess Charlotte wore the royal christening gown, & the ceremony used the Lily Font, which was made for Princess Victoria, with water from the River Jordan.

The Duchess of Cambridge A decade of royal style book cover

6 July

6 July 1189 - Henry II died

king henry II of England, the first Plantagenet king of England
King Henry II

Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189) was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet.

King Louis VII of France made him Duke of Normandy in 1150. Henry became Count of Anjou & Maine upon the death of his father, Count Geoffrey V, in 1151. His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor of Aquitaine (c. 1122 – 1 April 1204), whose marriage to Louis VII had recently been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine. He became Count of Nantes by treaty in 1185. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland & the western half of France; an area that was later called the Angevin Empire. At various times, Henry also partially controlled Scotland & the Duchy of Brittany. Henry became actively involved by the age of 14 in the efforts of his mother Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England, to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, & Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic & sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands & privileges of his grandfather Henry I. During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales & gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine & Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s & resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII, & the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis's expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France & south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences & treaties, no lasting agreement was reached.

Henry & Eleanor had eight children—three daughters & five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king. As the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest; he was joined by his brothers Richard (later king) & Geoffrey & by their mother, Eleanor. France, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders, & Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action & talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty & administrative skills. Young Henry & Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death. The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John (later king), but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land & immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry & Geoffrey were dead, & Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip & Richard & suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon Castle in Anjou. He died soon afterwards & was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his son John (who succeeded Richard), but many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales, & Scotland shaped the development of their societies & governmental systems.

Henry II & Eleanor had eight children;

William IX, Count of Poitiers (17 August 1153 - April 1156), died in infancy.

Henry the Young King 28 February (1155 - 11 June 1183) married Margaret of France.

Matilda, duchess of Saxony & Bavaria (June 1156 - 13 July 1189), married Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony & Bavaria her son Otto IV,became Holy Roman Emperor.

Richard I of England (8 September 1157 - 6 April 1199), married Berengaria of Navarre.

Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany (23 September 1158 - 19 August 1186),  married Constance, Duchess of Brittany.

Eleanor, queen of Castile (13 October 1162 - 31 October 1214), married Alfonso VIII of Castile; their children included, Henry I, king of Castile, Berengaria, queen regnant of Castile and queen of León, Urraca, queen of Portugal, Blanche, queen of France, Eleanor, queen of Aragon.

Joan, queen of Sicily (October 1165 - 4 September 1199), married 1) William II of Sicily 2) Raymond VI of Toulouse.

John, King of England (27 December 1166 - 19 October 1216), married 1) Isabella, countess of Gloucester 2) Isabella, countess of Angoulême; their children included Henry III, King of England, Richard, king of the Romans, Joan, queen of Scotland, & Isabella, Holy Roman Empress.

13th-century depiction of Henry and his legitimate children: (l to r) William, Young Henry, Richard, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan and John
13th-century depiction of Henry & his legitimate children: (l to r) William, Young Henry, Richard, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan & John

Henry II - Penguin Monarchs book cover

Henry II (Penguin Monarchs) at The Book Depository with free worldwide delivery


King Richard I of England

6 July 1189 - Richard I accession

Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine & Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, & Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, & Nantes, & was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England & Eleanor of Aquitaine & seemed unlikely to become king, but all his brothers except the youngest, John, predeceased their father. Richard is known as Richard Cœur de Lion (Norman French: Le quor de lion) or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior.