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#otd in Royal History - 1-15 April

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

On this day in royal history - 1-15 April. king Charles and Queen Camilla, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Anne Boleyn

Queen Eleanor by Frederick Sandys, 1858, National Museum Cardiff
Queen Eleanor by Frederick Sandys, 1858, National Museum Cardiff

1 April 1204

Eleanor of Aquitaine died

Eleanor died in 1204 & was entombed in Fontevraud Abbey next to her husband King Henry II & her son King Richard I. Her tomb effigy (pictured below) shows her reading a bible & is decorated with magnificent jewellery.

Eleanor of Aquitaine (born c.1122 or 1124 was one of the wealthiest & most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages & a member of the Ramnulfid dynasty of rulers in southwestern France. She inherited the Duchy of Aquitaine from her father, William X, in 1137, & later became queen consort of France (1137–1152) & of England (1154–1189). She was the patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, & Bernart de Ventadorn.

As Duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor was the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage, but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III. However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment given that their union had not produced a son after fifteen years of marriage. The marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate & custody was awarded to Louis, while Eleanor's lands were restored to her.

After the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to her third cousin Henry, Duke of Normandy (later Henry II of England). The couple married on Whitsun, 18 May 1152. Henry & Eleanor became king & queen of England in 1154. They had five sons & three daughters. However, Henry & Eleanor eventually became estranged. Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting the revolt of their eldest son, Henry, against him. She was not released until 6 July 1189, when her husband died & their third son, Richard I, ascended the throne. As queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade. She lived well into the reign of her youngest son, John.

Children of Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine
Children of Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine

Tomb effigies of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II at Fontevraud Abbey in central France
Tomb effigies of Eleanor and Henry II at Fontevraud Abbey in central France


2 April

Seal of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans (1209-1272)
Seal of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans (1209-1272)

2 April 1272

Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, King of Germany died

Richard of Cornwall part one

Richard of Cornwall part two


2 April 1502

Arthur Prince of Wales died

Arthur, Prince of Wales (19/20 September 1486 – 2 April 1502), was the eldest son of King Henry VII & Elizabeth of York. He was Duke of Cornwall from birth, & he was created Prince of Wales & Earl of Chester in 1489. As the heir apparent of his father, His mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Edward IV, & his birth cemented the union between the House of Tudor & the House of York.

Click 'here' for more about Arthur.


Prince George of Denmark portrait by Michael Dahl, c. 1705
Prince George of Denmark portrait by Michael Dahl, c. 1705

2 April 1652

Prince George of Denmark was born (d.1708)

Prince George of Denmark & Norway, Duke of Cumberland (Danish: Jørgen), was the husband of Queen Anne (m.1683), who reigned over Great Britain from 1702 to 1714. George was born in Copenhagen Castle, & was the younger son of Frederick III, King of Denmark & Norway, & Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg.


3 April

Edward the Confessor

3 April 1043

Edward the Confessor coronation at Winchester.

Edward the Confessor (born, between 1003 & 1005 – d.5 January 1066), was the son of Æthelred the Unready & Emma of Normandy. He was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England & is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066.

"[H]e was a very proper figure of a man—of outstanding height, & distinguished by his milky white hair & beard, full face & rosy cheeks, thin white hands, & long translucent fingers; in all the rest of his body he was an unblemished royal person. Pleasant, but always dignified, he walked with eyes downcast, most graciously affable to one & all. If some cause aroused his temper, he seemed as terrible as a lion, but he never revealed his anger by railing." - The Vita Ædwardi Regis.

Edward succeeded Cnut the Great's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, who was defeated & killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

An Edward the Confessor penny coin

Edward is called Confessor, the name for someone believed to have lived a saintly life but who was not a martyr. He was canonised in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, & is commemorated on 13 October by both the Church of England & the Roman Catholic Church in England & Wales. Saint Edward was one of the national saints of England until King Edward III adopted Saint George as patron saint in about 1350.

A sealed writ of Edward the Confessor

Between 1042 & 1052, King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter's Abbey (now Westminster Abbey) to provide himself with a royal burial church. It was the first church in England built in the Romanesque style. The building was completed around 1060 & was consecrated on 28 December 1065, a week before Edward's death on 5 January 1066.


3 April 1643

Battle of Camp Hill - English Civil War

The Battle of Camp Hill (or the Battle of Birmingham) took place on Easter Monday, in & around Camp Hill, during the First English Civil War. Resulting in a Royalist victory.

A company of Parliamentarians from the Lichfield garrison with the support of some of the local townsmen, approximately 300 men, attempted to stop a detachment of 1,400 Royalists under the command of Prince Rupert* from passing through the unfortified parliamentary town of Birmingham.

The Parliamentarians put up a stout resistance &, according to the Royalists, shot at them from houses as the small Parliamentary force was driven out of town & back towards Lichfield. To suppress the musket fire, the Royalists torched the houses where they thought the shooting was coming from. After the battle the Royalists spent the remainder of the day pillaging the town. The next morning before the main body of the Royalist force left town, many more houses were put to the torch. While pillaging & firing on an unfortified town in retaliation for resistance was common at that time in Continental Europe it was unusual in England & the Royalists’ conduct in Camp Hill provided the Parliamentarians a propaganda weapon which they used to disparage the Royalists.

* Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, (1619-1682) was was the third son of the German Prince Frederick V of the Palatinate & Elizabeth, eldest daughter of King James VI and I of Scotland & England.

Prince Rupert shown attacking "Brimidgham", from the Parliamentarian pamphlet A True Relation of Prince Ruperts Barbarous Cruelty against the Towne of Brumingham

Prince Rupert shown attacking "Brimidgham", from the Parliamentarian pamphlet A True Relation of Prince Ruperts Barbarous Cruelty against the Towne of Brumingham.

Kings and Queens of England and Scotland paperback book by DK


Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk
Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk

3 April 1893

Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk was born (d.1945)

Her father was Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. He was raised from Earl to Duke of Fife following marriage to Maud's mother, Princess Louise of Wales, the eldest daughter of the future King Edward VII. Maud was christened on 22 June 1893 in the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace.


4 April

Robert III, king of Scots and Annabella Drummond (1562 illustration)
Robert III & Annabella Drummond (1562 illustration)

4 April 1406

Robert III of Scotland died

Robert III (c. 1337 – 4 April 1406), born John Stewart, was King of Scots from 1390 to his death. He was also High Steward of Scotland from 1371 to 1390 & held the titles of Earl of Atholl (1367–1390) & Earl of Carrick (1368–1390) before ascending the throne at about the age of 53 years. He was the eldest son of Robert II & Elizabeth Mure & was legitimized by the second marriage of his parents & by papal dispensation in 1349.

He was married to Anabella Drummond by 1367. In 1368 his uncle David II, king of Scots created him Earl of Carrick. His father became king in 1371 after the unexpected death of the childless King David. In 1384 Carrick was appointed the king's lieutenant after having influenced the general council to remove Robert II from direct rule. In 1388 the Scots defeated the English at the Battle of Otterburn where the Scots' commander, James, Earl of Douglas, was killed. By this time Carrick had been badly injured from a horse-kick but it was the loss of his powerful ally, Douglas, that saw a turnaround in magnate support in favour of his younger brother Robert, Earl of Fife, to whom the council transferred the lieutenancy in December 1388.

A Robert III groat coin
A Robert III Groat coin

In 1390, Robert II died & Carrick ascended the throne as Robert III but without authority to rule directly. Fife continued as Lieutenant until February 1393 when power was returned to the king in conjunction with his son David. At a council in 1399 owing to the king's 'sickness of his person', David, now Duke of Rothesay, became Lieutenant under the supervision of a special parliamentary group dominated by Fife, now styled Duke of Albany. After this, Robert III withdrew to his lands in the west & for a time played little or no part in affairs of state. He was powerless to interfere when a dispute between Albany & Rothesay arose in 1401, leading to Rothesay's imprisonment & death in March 1402. The general council absolved Albany from blame & reappointed him as Lieutenant. The only impediment now remaining to an Albany Stewart monarchy was the king's only surviving son, James, Earl of Carrick. After a clash with Albany's Douglas allies in 1406, the 11-year-old James tried to escape to France. The vessel was intercepted & James became the prisoner of Henry IV of England. Robert III died shortly after learning of his heir's imprisonment.

The grave of Robert III, king of Scots, Paisley Abbey
The grave of Robert III, king of Scots, Paisley Abbey


King Charles II
King Charles II

4 April 1660

Declaration of Breda

The Declaration of Breda (dated 4 April 1660) was a proclamation by Charles II of England in which he promised a general pardon for crimes committed during the English Civil War & the Interregnum for all those who recognised Charles as the lawful king; the retention by the current owners of property purchased during the same period; religious toleration; & the payment of arrears to members of the army, & that the army would be recommissioned into service under the crown. Further, regarding the two latter points, the parliament was given the authority to judge property disputes & responsibility for the payment of the army. The first three pledges were all subject to amendment by acts of parliament.


5 April

The Duke & Duchess of York
The Duke & Duchess of York

5 May 1661

Charles Stuart, Duke of Cambridge died

Charles Stuart (born.22 October 1660) was the first of four sons & eight children born from the marriage between James, Duke of York (later James II of England & VII of Scotland) & his first wife, Anne Hyde. He was styled Duke of Cambridge, but was never formally created so, because he died so young.

He was as conceived seven months before his parents' official marriage & if royal advisors & Henrietta Maria of France (the mother of James) had their way, he could have been declared illegitimate, as his mother, Anne, was not of royal blood.

However, Charles II of England, James' brother, approved of the marriage & the wedding between James & Anne was held on 3 September 1660 in London.

Charles was born on 22 October & was baptised on 1 January 1661 at Worcester House. However, he died before reaching the age of one, after becoming ill with smallpox. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, on 6 May 1661. He died before the patent for this title was passed & his younger brother, James was formally created Duke of Cambridge. James also died young aged just three, a disease that was probably smallpox or the bubonic plague.


Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine

5 April 1863

Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine was born

Princess Victoria Alberta Elizabeth Mathilde Marie of Hesse and by Rhine (5 April 1863 – 24 September 1950), later Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven, was the eldest daughter of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, & Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Guests of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine at Neues Palais in Darmstadt.

Guests of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine at Neues Palais in Darmstadt, April 1894. Top Row: Tsarevich Nikolay Alexandrovich (later Nicholas II of Russia), Princess Alix of Hesse, Princess Victoria and their brother Grand Duke Ernest Louis. Bottom Row: Princess Irene of Prussia, Grand Duchess Elizaveta of Russia, Princess Victoria Melita and Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia.


6 April

King Richard I of England

6 April 1199

King Richard I died

In March 1199, Richard was in the Limousin suppressing a revolt by Viscount Aimar V of Limoges. In the early evening of 25 March 1199, Richard was walking around the castle perimeter without his chainmail, investigating the progress of sappers on the castle walls. One defender in particular amused the king greatly, a man standing on the walls, crossbow in one hand, the other clutching a frying pan he had been using all day as a shield to beat off missiles. He deliberately aimed at the king, which the king applauded; however, another crossbowman then struck the king in the left shoulder near the neck. He tried to pull this out in the privacy of his tent but failed; a surgeon, removed it, "carelessly mangling" the King's arm in the process. The wound swiftly became gangrenous.

Accordingly, Richard asked to have the crossbowman brought before him, the man turned out (according to some sources, but not all) to be a boy. The boy claimed that Richard had killed his father & two brothers, & that he had aimed at Richard in revenge. The boy expected to be executed; Richard, as a last act of mercy, forgave him, saying, "Live on, & by my bounty behold the light of day," before ordering that the boy be freed & sent away with 100 shillings. Richard then set his affairs in order, bequeathing all his territory to his brother John & his jewels to his nephew Otto.

Richard died on 6 April 1199 in the arms of his mother (Eleanor of Aquitaine); it was later said that "As the day was closing, he ended his earthly day." Because of the nature of Richard's death, he was later referred to as "the Lion (that) by the Ant was slain". Richard's heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy, his entrails in Châlus (where he died), & the rest of his body at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou.

Effigy (c. 1199) of Richard I at Fontevraud Abbey, Anjou
Effigy (c. 1199) of Richard I at Fontevraud Abbey, Anjou

Richard produced no legitimate heirs by his wife Berengaria of Navarre & acknowledged only one illegitimate son, Philip of Cognac. He was succeeded by his brother John as King of England.


6 April 1871

Prince Alexander John of Wales was born

Prince Alexander John of Wales was born (d.7 April 1871). Born prematurely, he was christened privately in the evening after his birth. he died 24 hours later. His parents were the Prince & Princess of Wales (later Edward VII & Queen Alexandra).


Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, Duchess of Cambridge

6 April 1889

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel died

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel (born. 25 July 1797) was the wife of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the tenth-born child, &d seventh son, of George III & Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The longest-lived daughter-in-law of George III, she was the maternal grandmother of Mary of Teck, wife of George V.

The Duchess of Cambridge survived her husband by thirty-nine years, dying on 6 April 1889, aged 91, at their home at Cambridge Cottage on Kew Green. Queen Victoria wrote of her aunt's death: "Very sad, though not for her. But she is the last of her generation, & I have no longer anyone above me." She was buried at St Anne's Church, Kew, but her remains were transferred to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in 1930.


6 April 1979

Lord Frederick Windsor was born at St Mary's Hospital, London.

Lord Frederick Michael George David Louis Windsor is a British financial analyst, & the only son of Prince & Princess Michael of Kent. He has one sibling, Lady Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia Kingston (née Windsor; born 23 April 1981).

He is married to British actress Sophie Winkleman (married at Hampton Court on 12 September 2009. They have two children Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina, born at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on 15 August 2013 in Los Angeles. She was baptised at St James's Palace in December 2013 & has Princess Eugenie amongst her godparents. Maud acted as a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank in 2018. Their second child, Isabella Alexandra May, was born on 16 January 2016 at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London


7 April

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom Portrait by Sir William Beechey, 1797
Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom Portrait by Sir William Beechey, 1797

7 April 1818

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom married Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg

Princess Elizabeth (22 May 1770 – 10 January 1840) was the seventh child & third daughter of King George III & Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg

Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg (30 July 1769 – 2 April 1829), was the eldest son of the incumbent Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, Frederick V, & his wife Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt.

During a ball in the British royal court in 1814 Elizabeth got to know Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg. When Elizabeth saw the Austrian officer in his elegant Hussar's uniform, she is supposed to have said, "If he is single, I will marry him!" Four years later, Elizabeth received a letter indicating that Frederick was asking for her hand in marriage. The wedding took place on 7 April 1818 in the private chapel in Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth wore a dress made of silver tissue & Brussels lace with ostrich feathers adorning her hair. She was led to the altar by her second eldest brother, Prince Frederick, the Duke of York. Neither her eldest brother the Prince Regent nor her father attended the wedding, kept away by gout & severe mental illness respectively. The new couple honeymooned at the Prince Regent's house in Brighton.

Elizabeth was able to escape the constrictive environment of her home by moving to Germany with her husband, & Frederick gained many advantages by becoming allied with the British royal family. However, Frederick remarked during his honeymoon that he was surprised to be happy & content in Elizabeth's presence; Elizabeth found her new husband to be intelligent, generous, & affectionate. The marriage lasted until Frederick's death in 1829 & was described as very happy.


Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-1884), son of Queen Victoria
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-1884), son of Queen Victoria

7 April 1853

Prince Leopold was born

Leopold was born on 7 April 1853 at Buckingham Palace, he was the eighth child & youngest son of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert. During labour, Queen Victoria chose to use chloroform & thus sanctioned the use of anesthesia in childbirth, recently developed by Professor James Young Simpson.

As a son of the British sovereign, the newborn was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Leopold at birth. His parents named him Leopold after his grand-uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium. His full name was Leopold George Duncan Albert.

Leopold inherited the disease haemophilia from his mother, Queen Victoria, & was a delicate child. Incapable of pursuing a military career because of his haemophilia & the need to avoid even minor injuries, Leopold instead became a patron of the arts & literature & served as an unofficial secretary to his mother. "Leopold was the favourite son, & through him her relations with the Government of the day were usually kept up."

Despite his inability to pursue an active military role, he had an honorary association with the 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders, & from 1881 served as the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Seaforth Highlanders. Prince Leopold was an active Freemason, being initiated in the Apollo University Lodge, Oxford, whilst resident at Christ Church. He was proposed for membership by his brother, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. Prince Leopold was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence & Baron Arklow on 24 May 1881.

The Marriage of the Duke of Albany by James Dromgole Linton. The painting was commissioned by the grieving Queen Victoria in 1885, after Leopold's death.

Painting: The Marriage of the Duke of Albany by James Dromgole Linton. The painting was commissioned by the grieving Queen Victoria in 1885, after Leopold's death.

On 27 April 1882 he married Princess Helena of Waldeck & Pyrmont, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Leopold & Helena enjoyed a happy (although brief) marriage. In 1883, Leopold became a father when his wife gave birth to a daughter, Alice. Leopold died shortly before the birth of his son, Charles Edward. On 27 March 1884, at his Cannes residence, the 'Villa Nevada', he slipped & fell, injuring his knee & hitting his head. He died in the early hours of the next morning, apparently from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel at Windsor.


8 April

Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway

8 April 1283

Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway died

Margaret of Scotland (born. 28 February 1261) was Queen of Norway as the wife of King Eric II. She is sometimes known as the Maid of Scotland to distinguish her from her daughter, Margaret, Maid of Norway, who succeeded to the throne of Scotland. She was the firstborn child of King Alexander III of Scotland & Margaret of England, Alexander's first wife.

Between March & 9 April 1283, Queen Margaret gave birth to her only child, Margaret, known as the Maid of Norway, in Tønsberg. She died during or shortly after childbirth, & was buried in Christ Church in Bergen.


Mary Stuart, daughter of James I & VI and his wife Anne of Denmark

8 April 1605

Mary Stuart was born at Greenwich Palace.

Mary was the first child to be born to Anne of Denmark & King James VI & I after James succeeded Elizabeth I of England, Mary was the first princess of Great Britain, although then it was not so named.

Greenwich Palace, Mary's birthplace.

Her birth was thus awaited with much excitement among both the Scottish & the English. Disputes among nobility as to the distribution of places in the establishment for the unborn child were very common.

A note containing the necessaries ordered by the king for his child contains orders of the following:


"a carnation velvet cradle, fringed with silver fringe & lined with carnation satin; a double scarlet cloth to lay upon the cradle at night; a cradle cloth of carnation velvet with a train, laid with silver, & lined with taffeta to lay upon the cradle; two small mantles of unshorn velvet, lined with the same velvet; one large bearing cloth of carnation velvet, to be used when the child is brought forth of the chamber, lined with taffeta; one great head sheet of cambric for the cradle, containing two breadths, & three yards long, wrought all over with gold & coloured silks & fringed with gold; six fine handkerchiefs of fine cambric, one to be edged with fair cut work, to lay over the child's face; six veils of lawn, edged with fair bone lace, to pin with the mantles; six gathered bibs of fine lawn with ruffles edged with bone lace; two bibs to wear under them, wrought with gold & coloured silks."

The total cost of this went up to £300, currently worth around £790,000. Throughout the realms, bonfires were lit & church bells rung all day long; the celebrations were encouraged by the fact that 68 years had elapsed since the birth of a child to an English sovereign, the last being Edward VI, son of Henry VIII. Mary developed pneumonia at 17 months & died the following year.


8 April 1795

George IV married Caroline of Brunswick

The Prince of Wales, later George IV (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) had built up huge debts, & his father (King George III) refused to aid him unless he married his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick (17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821). In 1795, the Prince of Wales reluctantly agreed; & they were married on 8 April 1795 at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace

The marriage was disastrous; each party was unsuited to the other. The two were formally separated after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte, in 1796, & remained separated thereafter. The Prince of Wales remained attached to his mistress Maria Fitzherbert for the rest of his life, despite several periods of estrangement. George was rumoured to have fathered several illegitimate children.

The problem of the Prince of Wales's debts, which amounted to the extraordinary sum of £630,000 (equivalent to £56,791,000 today) in 1795, was solved (at least temporarily) by Parliament. Being unwilling to make an outright grant to relieve these debts, it provided him an additional sum of £65,000 (equivalent to £5,859,000 today per annum). In 1803, a further £60,000 (equivalent to £4,781,000 today was added, & the Prince of Wales's debts of 1795 were finally cleared in 1806, although the debts he had incurred since 1795 remained.

In 1804, a dispute arose over the custody of Princess Charlotte, which led to her being placed in the care of the King, George III. It also led to a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Princess Caroline's conduct after the Prince of Wales accused her of having an illegitimate son. The investigation cleared Caroline of the charge but still revealed her behaviour to be extraordinarily indiscreet.

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (7 January 1796 – 6 November 1817) was the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick.

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (7 January 1796 – 6 November 1817), the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), & his wife, Caroline of Brunswick.


9 April

King Henry V of England

9 April 1413

Henry V coronation

Henry V was crowned on 9 April 1413 at Westminster Abbey, London. The ceremony was marked by a terrible snowstorm, but the common people were said to be undecided as to whether it was a good or bad omen.

Henry V (b.9 August 1386 – d.31 August 1422) was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 36 in 1422. He was the second English monarch who came from the House of Lancaster.

After military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyn Dwr, & against the powerful aristocratic Percys of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury, Henry came into political conflict with his father (Henry IV), whose health was increasingly precarious from 1405 onward.

After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) & saw him come close to conquering France. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes (1420) recognized Henry V as regent & heir-apparent to the French throne, & he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois (1401–37).

Following Henry V's sudden & unexpected death in France two years later, he was succeeded by his infant son, who reigned as Henry VI (1422–61, 1470–71)


Edward IV, king of England

9 April 1483

Edward IV died

Edward's health began to fail in the early 1480's, & he became subject to an increasing number of ailments. He fell fatally ill at Easter 1483, but lingered on long enough to add some codicils to his will, the most important being his naming of his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as Protector after his death. He died on 9 April 1483 & was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He was succeeded by his twelve-year-old son, Edward V of England (who was never crowned) & then by his brother, Richard. It is not known what actually caused Edward's death. Pneumonia & typhoid have both been conjectured, as well as poison. Some attributed his death to an unhealthy lifestyle, as he had become stout & inactive in the years before his death.

Edward IV was twice king of England, from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, & again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483, winning the struggle against the Lancastrians to establish the House of York on the English throne.

Key Facts;

First reign: 4 March 1461 – 3 October 1470.

Second reign: 11 April 1471 – 9 April 1483.

Coronation: 28 June 1461.

Born: 28 April 1442, Rouen, Normandy, France.

House of: York (Plantagenet)

Parents: Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York (21 September 1411 – 30 December 1460), also named Richard Plantagenet. & Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (3 May 1415 – 31 May 1495). Richard was a leading English magnate, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his father, & a great-great-great-grandson of the same king through his mother. He inherited vast estates & served in various offices of state in Ireland, France, & England, a country he ultimately governed as Lord Protector during the madness of King Henry VI.

Marriage: Elizabeth Woodville (c. 1437 – 8 June 1492) in 1464. Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville & Jacquetta of Luxembourg.

The marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville, from the illuminated manuscript Anciennes Chroniques d'Angleterre, by Jean de Wavrin
The marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville, by Jean de Wavrin


  • Elizabeth of York (11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503), Queen consort of England; married Henry VII of England, mother of King Henry VIII.

  • Mary of York (11 August 1467 – 23 May 1482).

  • Cecily of York (20 March 1469 – 24 August 1507), Viscountess Welles; married John Welles, 1st Viscount Welles, then Thomas Kyme or Keme.

  • Edward V of England (4 November 1470 – c. 1483); one of the Princes in the Tower; disappeared, assumed murdered prior to his coronation, c. 1483.

  • Margaret of York (10 April 1472 – 11 December 1472).

  • Richard, Duke of York (17 August 1473 – c. 1483); one of the Princes in the Tower; disappeared, assumed murdered c. 1483.

  • Anne of York (2 November 1475 – 23 November 1511), Lady Howard; married Thomas Howard (later 3rd Duke of Norfolk).

  • George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Bedford (March 1477 – March 1479).

  • Catherine of York (14 August 1479 – 15 November 1527), Countess of Devon; married William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon.

  • Bridget of York (10 November 1480 – 1507), nun at Dartford Priory, Kent.

Edward had numerous mistresses & he had several acknowledged illegitimate children;

  • Elizabeth Plantagenet (born c. 1464), possibly daughter of Elizabeth Lucy, who married Thomas, son of George Lumley, Baron Lumley.

  • Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (1460s/1470s – 3 March 1542), author of the Lisle Papers, an important historical source for the Tudor period. From his first marriage to Elizabeth Grey, he had three daughters, Frances, Elizabeth & Bridget Plantagenet.

  • Grace Plantagenet, recorded as attending the funeral of Elizabeth Woodville in 1492.

Died: 9 April 1483 (aged 40), Westminster, Middlesex, England.

Burial: 18 April 1483, St George's Chapel.

Successor: Edward V

Edward IV (Penguin Monarchs): The Summer King - Paperback


Contemporary illumination (Rous Roll, 1483) of Richard, his wife Anne Neville, and their son Edward
Contemporary illumination (Rous Roll.1483) of Richard III, his wife Anne Neville, & their son Edward

9 April 1484

Edward of Middleham, son of Richard III died

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, 1st Earl of Salisbury (Born. December 1473), was the only child of King Richard III of England & his queen consort, Anne Neville. He was Richard's only legitimate child & died aged ten. Edward was allegedly born in December 1473 at Middleham Castle, a stronghold close to York that became Richard & Anne's principal base in northern England. Edward was mostly kept at Middleham, & was known to be a sickly child.

On 26 June 1483, his father became King of England, following a sermon preached outside St Paul's Cathedral which declared the late King Edward IV's children illegitimate & his brother, Richard, the rightful king. After the citizens of London, nobles, & commons convened, a petition was drawn up that asked Richard to assume the throne. He accepted & was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 6 July 1483, along with his wife.

Edward did not attend his parents' coronation, likely due to illness. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in a splendid ceremony in York Minster on 8 September 1483, following his parents' Royal Progress across England.

The reasons of his sudden death are unknown. The Croyland Chronicle reads:

“ However, in a short time after, it was fully seen how vain are the thoughts of a man who desires to establish his interests without the aid of God. For, in the following month of April, on a day not very far distant from the anniversary of king Edward, this only son of his, in whom all the hopes of the royal succession, fortified with so many oaths, were centred, was seized with an illness of but short duration, & died at Middleham Castle, in the year of our Lord, 1484, being the first of the reign of the said king Richard. On hearing the news of this, at Nottingham, where they were then residing, you might have seen his father & mother in a state almost bordering on madness, by reason of their sudden grief. ”


Badge of the House of Windsor
Badge of the House of Windsor

9 April 1952

Elizabeth II issues declaration that Windsor would continue to be the name of the Royal House.

With Elizabeth's accession (6 February 1952), it seemed probable the royal house would bear the Duke of Edinburgh's name, in line with the custom of a wife taking her husband's surname on marriage. The Duke's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, advocated the name House of Mountbatten. Philip suggested House of Edinburgh, after his ducal title. The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, & Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary, favoured the retention of the House of Windsor, & so on 9 April 1952 Elizabeth issued a declaration that Windsor would continue to be the name of the royal house.


9 April 2005

Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles

The wedding took place at the Windsor Guildhall at 12.30 pm on 9 April 2005. Crowds had gathered on the streets since dawn ahead of the service. The ceremony was attended by all the senior royals apart from the Queen & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The arrival of the Royal guests in a locally hired mini-bus was unprecedented. After the wedding, the couple's witnesses were Prince William of Wales & the bride's son, Tom Parker-Bowles.

In keeping with tradition, the couple's wedding rings are crafted from 22 carat Welsh gold from the Clogau St David's mine in Bontddu. The tradition of using Clogau Gold within the wedding rings of The Royal Family dates back to 1923. The design of the wedding rings is by Wartski, a London jeweller that has held the Royal Warrant to The Prince of Wales since 1979. The Prince wears his on the small finger of his left hand. For the wedding, the duchess wore a cream-coloured dress & coat with a wide-brimmed cream-coloured hat. For the blessing afterward, she wore a floor-length embroidered pale blue & gold coat over a matching chiffon gown & a dramatic spray of golden feathers in her hair. Both ensembles were by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, London designers who worked under the name Robinson Valentine, now solely called Anna Valentine; both hats were made by the Irish milliner Philip Treacy.

The wedding was followed by a televised blessing at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, led by The Archbishop of Canterbury. The wedding cake was made by Mrs Blunden, owner of the "Sophisticake" cake shop in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.


Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

9 April 2021

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, later Philip Mountbatten; born 10 June 1921), was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he was the consort of the British monarch from her accession as queen on 6 February 1952 until his death in 2021, making him the longest-serving consort in history.

Prince Philip as a toddler in Mon Repos, July 1922.
Prince Philip as a toddler in Mon Repos, July 1922.

Philip was born in Greece, into the Greek & Danish royal families; his family was exiled from the country when he was eighteen months old. After being educated in France, Germany, & the United Kingdom, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939, when he was 18 years old. In July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, the elder daughter & heir presumptive of King George VI. Philip had first met her in 1934. During the Second World War, he served with distinction in the British Mediterranean & Pacific fleets.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was a serving officer in the Royal Navy. 1946
The Duke of Edinburgh), who was a serving officer in the Royal Navy. 1946

In the summer of 1946, King George VI granted Philip permission to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, Philip relinquished his Greek & Danish royal titles & styles, became a naturalised British subject, & he adopted his maternal grandparents' surname Mountbatten.

 Princess Elizabeth & her fiancé Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, 17 September 1947 in White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace
Princess Elizabeth & her fiancé Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, 17 September 1947, Buckingham Palace

He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. The day prior to their wedding, the King granted Philip the style His Royal Highness. On the day of their wedding, he was also created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, & Baron Greenwich.

Philip left active military service when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952, having reached the rank of commander. In 1957, he was created a British prince. Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; & Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of Philip & Elizabeth who do not bear royal titles or styles may use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. The surname has also been used by members of the royal family who hold titles.

Philip was a keen sportsman, & helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organisations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, & served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a youth awards program for people aged 14 to 24. Philip is the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements & 5,493 speeches from 1952. Philip died on 9 April 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment, presenting the 3rd Battalion with their Regimental Colours. Date	17 April 2013
The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment. Date: 17 April 2013

The Duke: 100 Chapters in the Life of Prince Philip paperback book


10 April

White Rose of York

10 April 1472

Margaret of York was born

Margaret of York was the fifth child & fourth daughter of Edward IV, king of England & Elizabeth Woodville. She was a younger sister of Elizabeth of York, Mary of York, Cecily of York & Edward V of England & older sister of Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, Anne of York, George Plantagenet, Duke of Bedford, Catherine of York & Bridget of York. She was born in Winchester Castle but died of natural causes eight months later. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.


James V, king of Scots

10 April 1512

James V of Scotland was born at Linlithgow Palace.

He was the fourth child of James IV & Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. He was the only one of James & Margaret’s children to survive childhood, & so inherited the crown of Scotland when his father was killed at the Battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513.

James was just seventeen months old when he was crowned King at Stirling on 21st September 1513, so Scotland was ruled by regents: his mother, Margaret, then John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Albany & Robert Maxwell, 5th Lord Maxwell. In 1525, his stepfather, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, took custody of James & so acted as regent for him for the next three years until James escaped & decided to reign over Scotland in his own right.

James was married twice. His first wife was the French Princess Madeleine of Valois, daughter of Francis I of France, whom he married on 1st January 1537. Unfortunately, Madeleine died in July 1573, shortly after her arrival in Scotland. James’s second wife was Mary of Guise, daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise, who he married by proxy on 12th June 1538. Mary had three children by James, but only their daughter Mary, who was born on 8th December 1542, survived childhood.

It was this infant daughter Mary who became Queen of Scots when James V died on 14th December 1542.

Scottish History: From Bannockburn to Holyrood (Collins Little Books)


RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic

10 April 1912

RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden & only voyage.

RMS Titanic was a White Star Line British passenger liner, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers & crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, which made the sinking possibly one of the deadliest for a single ship up to that time. It remains to this day the deadliest peacetime sinking of a superliner or cruise ship.

Titanic: A Passenger's Guide Pocket Book


11 April

Llywelyn the Great
Llywelyn the Great

11 April 1240

Llywelyn the Great died

Llywelyn the Great (Welsh: Llywelyn Fawr, full name Llywelyn mab Iorwerth), (born c. 1173) was a King of Gwynedd in north Wales & eventually ruler of all Wales. By a combination of war & diplomacy he dominated Wales for 45 years.

During Llywelyn's childhood, Gwynedd was ruled by two of his uncles, who split the kingdom between them, following the death of Llywelyn's grandfather, Owain Gwynedd, in 1170. Llywelyn had a strong claim to be the legitimate ruler & began a campaign to win power at an early age. He was sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200 & made a treaty with King John of England that year. Llywelyn's relations with John remained good for the next ten years. He married John's daughter Joan in 1205, & when John arrested Gwenwynwyn of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, & John invaded Gwynedd in 1211. Llywelyn was forced to seek terms & to give up all lands east of the River Conwy, but was able to recover them the following year in alliance with the other Welsh princes. He allied himself with the barons who forced John to sign Magna Carta in 1215. By 1216, he was the dominant power in Wales.

After King John's death, Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester with his successor, Henry III, in 1218. During the next fifteen years, Llywelyn was frequently involved in fights with Marcher lords & sometimes with the king, but also made alliances with several major powers in the Marches. The Peace of Middle in 1234 marked the end of Llywelyn's military career, as the agreed truce of two years was extended year by year for the remainder of his reign. He maintained his position in Wales until his death in 1240 & was succeeded by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn.


11 April 1644

Battle of Selby - (First English Civil War)

The Battle of Selby occurred in North Yorkshire during the First English Civil War. In the battle, the Parliamentarians led by Lord Fairfax attacked & captured the strategic Royalist garrison of Selby under the command of John Belasyse.


William and Mary depicted on the ceiling of the Painted Hall, Greenwich, by James Thornhill
William and Mary depicted on the ceiling of the Painted Hall, Greenwich, by James Thornhill

11 April 1689

William III & Mary II coronation

In 1688 William, Prince of Orange & Mary were invited by the parliamentary opposition to Mary’s father James II to take the crown on England & were assured of English support. William landed at Torbay on 5 November 1688, in 463 ships unopposed by the Royal Navy, & with an army of 14,000 troops which gathering local support grew to over 20,000 & advanced on London in what became known as ‘The Glorious Revolution’.

James fled to France, & in February 1689 William & Mary were crowned King William III & Queen Mary II.

William III by Godfrey Kneller, 1680s
William III by Godfrey Kneller, 1680s

The coronation;

King William III & Queen Mary II were crowned as joint monarchs at Westminster Abbey on 11 April 1689, the first time this had happened in England. William used the ancient Coronation Chair during the ceremony & another chair was specially made for Mary to sit in. The coronation service was performed by the Bishop of London, Henry Compton. Normally, the Archbishop of Canterbury performs coronations, but the incumbent Archbishop, William Sancroft, although an Anglican, refused to recognise the validity of James II's removal. Neither William nor Mary enjoyed the ceremony; she thought it "all vanity" & William called it "Popish".

On the same day, the Convention of the Estates of Scotland which was much more divided than the English Parliament finally declared that James was no longer King of Scotland, that "no Papist can be King or Queen of this Realm", that William & Mary would be joint sovereigns, & that William would exercise sole & full power.

Mary II by Jan Verkolje, 1685
Mary II by Jan Verkolje, 1685

After their coronation, William & Mary moved into Hampton Court Palace. On 11 May, William & Mary formally accepted the Scottish crown.


12 April

12 April 627

Edwin of Northumbria converts to Christianity

Edwin (Old English: Ēadwine; c. 586 – 12 October 632/633), was the King of Deira & Bernicia – which later became known as Northumbria – from about 616 until his death. He converted to Christianity & was baptised in 627; after he fell at the Battle of Hatfield Chase, he was venerated as a saint. Edwin was the son of Ælle, the first known king of Deira, & seems to have had at least two siblings. His sister Acha was married to Æthelfrith, king of neighbouring Bernicia.

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Near contemporary painting of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle, c. 1550
Near contemporary painting of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle, c. 1550

12 April 1533

Anne Boleyn makes first public appearance as Queen of England

Following on from Henry VIII’s announcement to his royal council the day before, that Anne Boleyn should be recognised as his Queen, Anne attended mass on 12th April 1533, Easter Saturday, “with all the pomp of a Queen, clad in cloth of gold, & loaded (carga) with the richest jewels”. It was her first public appearance as Queen, & it was time to make a statement that she was Henry VIII’s rightful wife & Queen.

The Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, reported this event to Emperor Charles V, & his description shows how big a statement Anne was making:- “On Saturday, Easter Eve, dame Anne went to mass in Royal state, loaded with jewels, clothed in a robe of cloth of gold friese. The daughter of the duke of Norfolk, who is affianced to the duke of Richmond, carried her train; & she had in her suite 60 young ladies, & was brought to church, & brought back with the solemnities, or even more, which were used to the Queen."

"She has changed her name from Marchioness to Queen, & the preachers offered prayers for her by name. All the world is astonished at it, for it looks like a dream, & even those who take her part know not whether to laugh or to cry."

"The King is very watchful of the countenance of the people, & begs the lords to go & visit & make their court to the new Queen, whom he intends to have solemnly crowned after Easter, when he will have feastings & tournaments; & some think that Clarencieux went four days ago to France to invite gentlemen at arms to the tourney, after the example of Francis, who did so at his nuptials."

"I know not whether this will be before or after, but the King has secretly appointed with the archbishop of Canterbury that of his office, without any other pressure, he shall cite the King as having two wives; & upon this, without summoning the Queen, he will declare that he was at liberty to marry as he has done without waiting for a dispensation or sentence of any kind.”


The original Flag of Great Britain created in 1606
The original Flag of Great Britain created in 1606

12 April 1606

The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English & Scottish ships.

King James VI of Scotland had inherited the English & Irish thrones in 1603 as James I, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland, & Ireland in a personal union, although the three kingdoms remained separate states.

On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George's Cross), & the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of England & Scotland for maritime purposes.

By the King: 'Whereas, some differences hath arisen between Our subjects of South & North Britaine travelling by Seas, about the bearing of their Flagges: For the avoiding of all contentions hereafter. We have, with the advice of our Council, ordered: That from henceforth all our Subjects of this Isle & Kingdome of Great Britaine, & all our members thereof, shall beare in their main-toppe the Red Crosse, commonly called St George's Crosse, & the White Crosse, commonly called St Andrew’s Crosse, joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds, & sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects: & in their fore-toppe our Subjects of South Britaine shall weare the Red Crosse onely as they were wont, & our Subjects of North Britaine in their fore-toppe the White Crosse onely as they were accustomed'

King James also began to refer to a "Kingdom of Great Britaine", although the union remained a personal one.

A painting of a Royal Navy ship of the line by Samuel Scott. The warship displays a prominent Union Flag
A painting of a Royal Navy ship of the line by Samuel Scott. The warship displays a prominent Union Flag


13 April

Eleanor of England, Countess of Pembroke & Leicester

13 April 1275

Eleanor of England died

Eleanor, born in 1215 was the youngest child of King John of England & Isabella of Angoulême. A nine year old Eleanor married thirty four year old William Marshall, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (son of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke) on 23 April 1224 at New Temple Church in London. He died in London on 6 April 1231, days before their seventh anniversary. There were no children of this marriage. Eleanor had brought a dowry of 10 manors & 200 pounds per year to this marriage. According to the law of the time, widows were allowed to retain one third of the estates of the marriage. However, her brother-in-law Richard took all of the estates & sold many, including her dowry, to pay William's debts. Eleanor strove for many years to recover her lost property.

The widowed Eleanor swore a holy oath of chastity in the presence of Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury. However, seven years later, she met Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. According to Matthew Paris, Simon was attracted to Eleanor's beauty & elegance as well as her wealth & high birth. They fell in love & married secretly on 7 January 1238 at the King's chapel in Westminster Palace. Her brother King Henry later alleged that he only allowed the marriage because Simon had seduced Eleanor. The marriage was controversial because of the oath Eleanor had sworn several years before to remain chaste. Because of this, Simon made a pilgrimage to Rome seeking papal approval for their union. Simon & Eleanor had seven children.

During the Second Barons' War, Simon de Montfort's victory at the Battle of Lewes in 1264 led to him becoming de facto ruler of England. He tried to set up a reformed government, including the first parliament elected by citizens of the towns, but was unable to retain the support of the other barons. Several switched sides to the royalist cause; Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265, where he was killed along with his son.