top of page
  • Writer's pictureLSS

#otd in Royal History 1-16 July

#otd in royal history 1-16 July. Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, William III

On this day in royal history - 1 July

King William III (1650–1702) at the Battle of the Boyne
King William III (1650–1702) at the Battle of the Boyne

Photo credit: Government Art Collection

1 July 1690

The Battle of the Boyne

Fought on 1 July 1690 between the forces of the deposed King James II & his successor, King William III, the Battle of the Boyne was the largest engagement ever to take place on Irish soil.

King James II's (1633-1701) attempts to secure religious toleration for Roman Catholics, & the dismissal of Protestant officers from his Army, led a small group of Protestant statesmen & Army officers to invite his son-in-law, William of Orange, to England. James fled &, in the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688, a Protestant monarchy was reinstated under King William III & Queen Mary II.

Battle of the Boyne between James II and William III, 11 July 1690, Jan van Huchtenburg
Battle of the Boyne between James II and William III, 1690, by Jan van Huchtenburg

The deposed king still had many supporters in Ireland. On 12 July 1690 (Modern Calendar; 1 July 1690 Old Style), his army met the forces of William III (1650-1702) by the Boyne River near the town of Drogheda, about 32 miles north of Dublin. Despite stiff resistance, William's forces eventually broke through the Jacobite centre & right, causing a general retreat.

Although the Battle of the Boyne was later celebrated as a decisive victory for William, Jacobite casualties were comparatively light & the greater part of James's army escaped. The battle is a key event for the Protestants of Northern Ireland, particularly the 'Orange Order', but the celebratory marches marking the anniversary are seen by Republicans and Nationalists as highly provocative. As a result they were often marred by violent confrontations during the height of the 'Troubles'.


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.

Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (b.1843 – d.1878; later Princess Louis of Hesse & Grand Duchess of Hesse & by Rhine) was the third child & second daughter of Queen Victoria & Albert, Prince Consort.

Louis IV (b.1837 – d.1892), was the Grand Duke of Hesse & by Rhine, reigning from 13 June 1877 until his death. He was the first son & child of Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine (1809 – 1877) & Princess Elisabeth of Prussia (1815 – 1885), granddaughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia.

Between the engagement & the wedding, Alice's father Prince Albert died on 14 December 1861. Despite the Queen's grief, she ordered that the wedding should continue as planned. On 1 July 1862, Alice & Louis were married privately in the dining room of Osborne House, which was converted into a temporary chapel. The Queen was ushered in by her four sons, acting as a living screen blocking her from view, & took her place in an armchair near the altar. Alice was given away by her uncle, Albert's brother Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, & was flanked by four bridesmaids: her younger sisters, Princesses Helena, Louise & Beatrice, as well as Louis's sister Princess Anna.

For the ceremony, Alice wore a white dress with a veil of Honiton lace, but was required to wear black mourning clothes before & after the ceremony. The Queen, sitting in an armchair, struggled to hold back her tears, & was shielded from view by the Prince of Wales & Prince Alfred, her second son, who cried throughout the service. The weather at Osborne was dreary, with winds blowing up from the Channel. The Queen wrote to her eldest daughter, Victoria, that the ceremony was "more of a funeral than a wedding", & remarked to Alfred, Lord Tennyson that it was "the saddest day I can remember". The Queen gave her daughter a gold, diamond & pearl bracelet, inscribed as a gift from both parents To dear Alice from her loving parents Albert and Victoria R who though visibly parted are ever united, April 25, 1863. The ceremony described by Gerard Noel as "the saddest royal wedding in modern times" was over by 4 pm, & the couple set off for their honeymoon at St Claire in Ryde, a house lent to them by the Vernon Harcourt family. Alice's entourage consisted of Lady Churchill, General Seymour & Baron Westerweller (a Hessian courtier). Alice was careful not to displease the Queen after her marriage. When the Queen visited the couple at St Claire, Alice tried not to appear "too happy". Despite this, Alice's displays of romantic bliss made the Queen jealous of her daughter's happiness.

Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse, 1865

Visit my previous blog for more:


Princess Diana

1 July 1961

Diana Princess of Wales was born (d.1997)

Diana was born on 1 July 1961, in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk. The Honourable Diana Spencer was born into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry as The Honourable Diana Spencer. She was the fourth child and third daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and the Honourable Frances Roche. She grew up in Park House, situated on the Sandringham estate, and was educated in England and Switzerland. In 1975, after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer, she became Lady Diana Spencer.

(read my Diana, Princess of Wales Biography)


1 July 1969

Prince Charles Investiture as Prince of Wales

Prince Charles (now King Charles III) 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.

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. Prince Charles, was also invested there in 1969.

Caernarfon Castle

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 & Earldom of Chester.

Visit: Caernarfon Castle


2 July

Henry VII & Elizabeth of York

2 July 1492

Elizabeth Tudor was born (d.1495)

Elizabeth Tudor was the second daughter & fourth child of Henry VII of England & Elizabeth of York. She 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.


Olav V, king of Norway

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; Olav was King of Norway from 1957 until his death on 17 January 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

James II, king of Scots and Mary of Guelders

3 July 1449

James II of Scotland married Mary of Guelders at Holyrood Abbey.

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)

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 (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 re-enacted 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.

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

*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.


4 July

4 July 1942

Prince Michael of Kent was born at Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire.

His father was the Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George V & Queen Mary, & was killed in a plane crash near Caithness, Scotland, on 25 August 1942, just six weeks after his third child was born.

His mother was Princess Marina of Greece & Denmark, Duchess of Kent, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece & Denmark & of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. (The Duchess of Kent's parents were second cousins to one another, being that Nicholas' mother Olga Constantinovna of Russia & Elena's father Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia were first cousins through the line of Nicholas I of Russia.)

As a grandchild of a British sovereign in the male line, he is styled as a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland with the prefix His Royal Highness. Michael was christened on 4 August 1942 in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle. Among his godparents were King George VI (his paternal uncle); the Queen of the Netherlands; the King of Norway (his great-uncle); US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, & the Hereditary Princess of Greece (who was not present), the wife of Paul of Greece, his first cousin-once-removed. He is named after Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia, the younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, & a first cousin of three of Michael's grandparents. Since his mother was a cousin of Prince Philip, he is also a second cousin to Prince Charles & his siblings

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.

Prince Michael of Kent is 52nd in the line of succession to the British throne as of February 2022. Michael occasionally represents the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside the United Kingdom. Otherwise, he manages his own consultancy business & undertakes various commercial work around the world. He has also presented some television documentaries on the royal families of Europe. He married Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz (b.1945) in 1978. They have two children; Lord Frederick Windsor (b.1979) & Lady Gabriella Kingston (b.1981).


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.

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.

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.

Kings and Queens of England/Britain Framed poster


Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

5 July 1866

Princess Helena married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein

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

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

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

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


George V visited the Western Front with King Albert I of Belgium

5 July 1917

George V visited the Western Front with 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.

- Extract from Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur.

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!

Forgotten Voices of the Great War


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.


6 July

Henry II, king of England

6 July 1189

Henry II died (b. 5 March 1133)

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


Richard the Lionheart, King 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 & warrior.

Richard I (Penguin Monarchs): The Crusader King + free 6x4" print

By the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard was an important Christian commander during the Third Crusade, leading the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France & achieving considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin, although he finalized a peace treaty & ended the campaign without retaking Jerusalem.

Richard probably spoke both French & Occitan. He was born in England, where he spent his childhood; before becoming king, however, he lived most of his adult life in the Duchy of Aquitaine, in the southwest of France. Following his accession, he spent very little time, perhaps as little as six months, in England. Most of his life as king was spent on Crusade, in captivity, or actively defending his lands in France.


King Richard III

6 July 1483

Richard III is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey alongside his wife Anne Neville.

At the ceremony, Richard, wearing ‘Robes of Purple Velvett’ & his wife, Anne of Warwick, wearing a ‘rich Coronett set with Stones & Pearle’ walked with bare feet into the abbey for what has been described as the most magnificent coronation of the century. At the mass which followed, they were ‘both housled with one host devided betwene them’, they shared a piece of communion bread, & the service ended as they both made an offering at the shrine of Edward the Confessor.

The banquet afterwards in Westminster Hall began at four o’clock & lasted well into the evening. As expected, the king’s champion, Sir Robert Dymoke, entered the hall, his horse draped with white & crimson silk; but, with sharp memories of what had happened to Lord Hastings (executed) less than a month before, it isn’t surprising that no one dared pick up the gauntlet which Sir Robert flung down before the guests.

Visit: The King Richard III visitor centre

Richard III: Brother, Protector, King Paperback book
worldwide delivery


Edward VI, king of England

6 July 1553

Edward VI died aged 15

Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was the King of England & Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death in 1553. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. Edward was the son of Henry VIII & Jane Seymour, & England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant.

The cause of Edward VI's death is not certain. As with many royal deaths in the 16th century, rumours of poisoning abounded, but no evidence has been found to support these. Another theory held that Edward had been poisoned by Catholics seeking to bring Mary to the throne. The surgeon who opened Edward's chest after his death found that "the disease whereof his majesty died was the disease of the lungs". The Venetian ambassador reported that Edward had died of consumption in other words, tuberculosis a diagnosis accepted by many historians.

It is now believed that Edward contracted the tuberculosis after a bout of measles & smallpox in 1552 that suppressed his natural immunity to the disease. Loach suggests instead that his symptoms were typical of acute bronchopneumonia, leading to a "suppurating pulmonary infection" or lung abscess, septicaemia, & kidney failure.

He was buried in Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey on 8 August 1553, with reformed rites performed by Thomas Cranmer.

The procession was led by "a grett company of chylderyn in ther surples" & watched by Londoners "wepyng & lamenting"; the funeral chariot, draped in cloth of gold, was topped by an effigy of Edward, with crown, sceptre, & garter.

Edward VI (Penguin Monarchs)


Wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck, 1893
Wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck, 1893

6 July 1893

The wedding of Prince George, Duke of York (later King George V), & Princess Mary of Teck (later Queen Mary) took place at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace

Prince George, Duke of York & Princess Mary of Teck were married at 12:30 on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace. On the morning of their wedding, George accidentally caught sight of his fiancée down a long corridor of Buckingham Palace; he proceeded to make a "low & courtly bow," a gesture Mary never forgot. .

Princess Mary was attended by ten bridesmaids: George's sisters Princesses Victoria & Maud of Wales; & his first cousins Princesses Victoria Melita, Alexandra, & Beatrice of Edinburgh; Princesses Margaret & Patricia of Connaught; Princesses Alice & Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg; & Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein.

George V and Queen Mary wedding in 1893

The royal parties were brought in large carriage processions, consisting of open landaus. Mary entered in the final procession with her father the Duke of Teck & her eldest brother Prince Adolphus of Teck. Mary greeted the crowds' applause with her "side-ways smile," & with "a little nervous gesture of her white-gloved right hand". As royal weddings were historically popular spectacles, the wedding attracted large crowds, many of which gathered in the route from Buckingham Palace to St James's Palace to give the couple an "enthusiastic reception.


7 July

Edward I, king of England

7 July 1307

Edward I died

Edward I (born.17 June 1239) was King of England from 1272 to 1307.

In February 1307, On his way to fight the Scots, the 68 year old king developed dysentery, & his condition deteriorated. On 6 July he encamped at Burgh by Sands, just south of the Scottish border. When his servants came the next morning to lift him up so that he could eat, he died in their arms. The new king, Edward II, remained in the north until August, but then abandoned the campaign & headed south. He was crowned king on 25 February 1308.

Edward I's body was brought south, laying in state at Waltham Abbey, before being buried in Westminster Abbey on 27 October. There are few records of the funeral, which cost £473. Edward's tomb was an unusually plain sarcophagus of Purbeck marble, without the customary royal effigy, possibly the result of the shortage of royal funds after the King's death. The sarcophagus may normally have been covered over with rich cloth, & originally might have been surrounded by carved busts & a devotional religious image, all since lost.

The Society of Antiquaries opened the tomb in 1774, finding that the body had been well preserved over the preceding 467 years, & took the opportunity to determine the King's original height. Traces of the Latin inscription Edwardus Primus Scottorum Malleus hic est, 1308. Pactum Serva ("Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, 1308. Keep the Vow"), which can still be seen painted on the side of the tomb, referring to his vow to avenge the rebellion of Robert Bruce.

This resulted in Edward being given the epithet the "Hammer of the Scots" by historians, but is not contemporary in origin, having been added by the Abbot John Feckenham in the 16th century.

Key facts

Reign: King of England - 20 November 1272 – 7 July 1307.

Coronation: 19 August 1274, Westminster Abbey.

Edward I was also known as Edward Longshanks. Edward I was a tall man for his era, at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), hence the nickname "Longshanks".

Born: 17/18 June 1239, Palace of Westminster.

Parents: King Henry III & Eleanor of Provence.

House of: Plantagenet.

Married (1.): Eleanor of Castile in 1254. Eleanor (1241 – 28 November 1290), was the daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile & Joan, Countess of Ponthieu.


  1. A daughter (May 1255 – 29 May 1255), stillborn or died shortly after birth.

  2. Katherine (before 17 June 1264 – 5 September 1264).

  3. Joanna (Summer or January 1265 – before 7 September 1265).

  4. John (13 July 1266 – 3 August 1271).

  5. Henry (6 May 1268 – 14 October 1274).

  6. Eleanor (c. 18 June 1269 – 19 August 1298), in 1293 she married Henry III, Count of Bar.

  7. Juliana (after May 1271 – 5 September 1271), born & died while Edward & Eleanor were in Acre.

  8. Joan of Acre (1272 – 23 April 1307), married (1) in 1290 Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, who died in 1295, & (2) in 1297 Ralph de Monthermer.

  9. Alphonso, Earl of Chester (24 November 1273 – 19 August 1284).

  10. Margaret (c.15 March 1275 – after 11 March 1333), married John II of Brabant in 1290.

  11. Berengaria (May 1276 – between 7 June 1277 & 1278).

  12. Daughter (December 1277 – January 1278)

  13. Mary of Woodstock (11 March 1278– before 8 July 1332), a Benedictine nun in Amesbury.

  14. Son (1280/81 – 1280/81), little evidence exists for this child.

  15. Elizabeth of Rhuddlan (c. 7 August 1282 – 5 May 1316), married (1) in 1297 John I, Count of Holland, (2) in 1302 Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford.

  16. Edward II (25 April 1284 – 21 September 1327), married Isabella of France.

Married (2.): Margaret of France (c. 1279 – 14 February 1318) in 1299, the daughter of Philip III of France & Maria of Brabant.


  1. Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk (1 June 1300 – 4 August 1338). Married (1) Alice Hales; (2) Mary Brewes.

  2. Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent (5 August 1301 – 19 March 1330), married Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell.

  3. Eleanor (6 May 1306 – 1310).

Died: 7 July 1307, Burgh by Sands, Cumberland.

Burial: 27 October 1307, Westminster Abbey.

Successor: Edward II (son).

Groat coin of Edward I (4 pence).
Groat coin of Edward I (4 pence).

Groat of Edward I (4 pence). Two coins showing obverse & reverse of same denomination. On left is the obverse, showing a head with a coronet. Surrounding text says, in abbreviated Latin, "Edward, by the grace of God King of England". The reverse shows a cross & the text "Duke of Aquitaine & Lord of Ireland", & "Made in London".


8 July

Edgar the Peaceful, King of the English

8 July 975

Edgar the Peaceful (Ēadgār), king of the English died

Reign: 1 October 959 – 8 July 975.

Born: 943 or 944, England.

Parents: Edmund I & Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury.

House of: Wessex.

Marriages & children;

(1.) Æthelflæd Eneda (the 'white duck')


  • Edward the Martyr (born c. 962 - died 978)

(2.) Wulfthryth of Wilton. (d. c.1000)


  • Edith of Wilton also known as Saint Edith (c. 961 – 16 September 984)

(3.) Ælfthryth (c. 945 – 1000 or 1001). She was the daughter of Ealdorman Ordgar. Her mother was a member of the royal family of Wessex. The family's power lay in the west of Wessex.


  • Edmund Atheling (born c. 966 - died c.970)

  • Æthelred the Unready (born c. 968 - d. 23 April 1016)

Edgar the Peaceful died: 8 July 975 (aged 30-32), Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Burial: Glastonbury Abbey

Successor: Edward the Martyr (son).

Edgar became king of all England on his brother's death in 959. A chronological account of Edgar's reign is not possible, because only a few events were recorded by chroniclers & monastic writers were more interested in recording the activities of the leaders of the church.

Edgar mainly followed the political policies of his predecessors, whereas there were major changes in the religious sphere & the English Benedictine Reform, which he strongly supported, became a dominant religious & social force. It is seen by historians as a major achievement, & it was accompanied by a literary & artistic flowering, mainly associated with Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester.

England had suffered from Viking invasions for over a century when he came to power, but there were none during his reign, which fell in a lull in attacks between the mid-950s & the early 980s. After his death the throne was disputed between the supporters of his two surviving sons, & the elder one, Edward the Martyr, was chosen with the support of Dunstan, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Three years later Edward was murdered & succeeded by his younger half-brother, Æthelred the Unready. Later chroniclers presented Edgar's reign as a golden age when England was free from external attacks & internal disorder, especially compared with Æthelred's disastrous rule.


Prince Richard marries Birgitte Van Deurs

8 July 1972 - Prince Richard married Birgitte Van Deurs

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, (born 26 August 1944) is the second son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester & Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, as well as the youngest of the nine grandchildren of King George V & Queen Mary. At birth, he was fifth in the line of succession to the British throne; currently he is 30th & the highest person on the list who is not a direct descendant of King George VI, who was his uncle. He practised as an architect until the death of his elder brother placed him in direct line to inherit his father's dukedom of Gloucester, which he assumed in 1974. He is a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

On 8 July 1972, Richard married the Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs (20 June 1946) in St Andrew's Church at Barnwell, Northamptonshire; they have three children:

  • Alexander Patrick Gregers Richard Windsor, Earl of Ulster (born 24 October 1974 at St Mary's Hospital, London)

  • Lady Davina Elizabeth Alice Benedikte Windsor (born 19 November 1977 at St Mary's Hospital, London)

  • Lady Rose Victoria Birgitte Louise Gilman (born 1 March 1980 at St Mary's Hospital, London.


9 July

Henry VIII, king of England

9 July 1540

King Henry VIII annuls his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves

Anne was commanded to leave the Court on 24 June 1540, & on 6 July she was informed of her husband's decision to reconsider the marriage. Witness statements were taken from a number of courtiers & two physicians which register the king's disappointment at her appearance. Henry had also commented to Thomas Heneage & Anthony Denny that he could not believe she was a virgin. Shortly afterwards, Anne was asked for her consent to an annulment, to which she agreed. Thomas Cromwell, the moving force behind the marriage, was attainted for treason.

Anne of Cleves, Queen of England

The marriage was annulled on 9 July 1540, on the grounds of non-consummation & her pre-contract to Francis of Lorraine. On 28 July Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard: on the same day Thomas Cromwell was executed, in theory for treason, but in practice as a scapegoat for the doomed marriage.

The former queen received a generous settlement, including Richmond Palace, & Hever Castle, home of Henry's former in-laws, the Boleyns. Anne of Cleves House, in Lewes, Sussex, is just one of many properties she owned; she never lived there. Henry & Anne became good friends she was an honorary member of the King's family & was referred to as "the King's Beloved Sister". She was invited to court often &, out of gratitude for her not contesting the annulment, Henry decreed that she would be given precedence over all women in England save his own wife & daughters.

Pay in 3 interest-free payments via Paypal.


Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) & Philip Mountbatten officially announce their engagement.

9 July 1947

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) & Philip Mountbatten officially announce their engagement.

The couple became secretly engaged in 1946, when Philip asked King George VI for his daughter's hand in marriage. The King granted his request providing any formal engagement was delayed until Elizabeth's 21st birthday the following April. Their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947. Philip proposed to Elizabeth with a 3-carat round diamond ring consisting of "a centre stone flanked by 10 smaller pave diamonds." The diamonds were taken from a tiara that belonged to Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, & were also used to create a quatrefoil bracelet for Elizabeth. The King gave his formal consent to the marriage in his British Privy Council, in accordance within the Royal Marriages Act 1772. The same was done in Canada at a meeting of the King's Canadian Privy Council, with the Chief Justice of Canada, Thibaudeau Rinfret, standing in as deputy to the King's representative, the Governor General of Canada

They married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey.


10 July

Lady Jane Grey, nine day Queen of England

10 July 1553

Lady Jane Grey becomes Queen of England

Lady Jane Grey (1536 or 1537 – 12 February 1554), later known as Lady Jane Dudley (after her marriage) & as the "Nine Days' Queen", was an English noblewoman & de facto Queen of England & Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.

House of: Grey

Coronation: never crowned

Born: 1536 or 1537, Either London or Bradgate Park, Leicestershire.

Parents: Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, 3rd Marquess of Dorset (17 January 1517 – 23 February 1554), & Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk (née Lady Frances Brandon; 16 July 1517 – 20 November 1559), an English noblewoman, the second child & eldest daughter of King Henry VIII's younger sister, Princess Mary, & Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk.

Marriage: Lord Guildford Dudley (c. 1535 – 12 February 1554), an English nobleman, in 1553.

Died: 12 February 1554, executed at the Tower of London

Burial: Church of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London

Successor: Mary I (cousin).

"My devise for the Succession" by Edward VI.

"My devise for the Succession" by Edward VI. The draft will was the basis for the letters patent which declared Lady Jane Grey successor to the Crown. Edward's autograph shows his alteration of his text, from "L Janes heires masles" to "L Jane and her heires masles". Inner Temple Library, London.


11 July

Caroline Matilda of Great Britain, Queen of Denmark and Norway

11 July 1751

Caroline Matilda, British princess, queen consort of Denmark was born


William IV and Queen Adelaide

11 July 1818

William IV married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

William & Adelaide had no surviving children.

  • Princess Charlotte Augusta Louisa of Clarence (27 March 1819), Princess Adelaide caught pleurisy & gave birth prematurely at the Fürstenhof Palace in Hanover.

  • A Stillborn child (5 September 1819). Born dead at Calais or Dunkirk.

  • Princess Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide of Clarence (10 December 1820 - 4 March 1821). Elizabeth seemed strong but died less than three months old on 4 March 1821 of "inflammation in the Bowels".

  • Stillborn twin boys (8 April 1822). Born dead at Bushy Park.

William was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years, prior to his marriage to Princess Adelaide.


12 July

Richard III and Anne Neville

12 July 1472

The Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) married Anne Neville

Following a decisive Yorkist victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury, Richard married Anne Neville on 12 July 1472. By the end of 1470 Anne had previously been wedded to Edward of Westminster, only son of Henry VI, to seal her father's allegiance to the Lancastrian party. Edward died at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, while Warwick had died at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471. Richard & Anne had one son, Edward of Middleham, who was born between 1474 & 1476. He was created Earl of Salisbury on 15 February 1478, & Prince of Wales on 24 August 1483, & died in March 1484, less than two months after he had been formally declared heir apparent.


Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII

12 July 1543

Henry VIII married Catherine Parr

Henry married his sixth & last wife, the wealthy twice widowed Catherine Parr, 12 July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace.

A reformer at heart, she argued with Henry over religion. Ultimately, Henry remained committed to an idiosyncratic mixture of Catholicism & Protestantism; the reactionary mood which had gained ground following the fall of Thomas Cromwell had neither eliminated his Protestant streak nor been overcome by it. Catherine enjoyed a close relationship with Henry's three children & was personally involved in the education of Elizabeth & Edward. She was influential in Henry's passing of the Third Succession Act in 1543 that restored both his daughters, Mary & Elizabeth, to the line of succession to the throne.

Henry died on 28 January 1547. After the king's death Catherine was allowed to keep her jewels & gowns & until her own death was possibly considered queen dowager.

Six months after Henry's death, she married her fourth & final husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley. The marriage was short-lived, as she died in September 1548, probably of complications of childbirth.


13 July

Henry Benedict Stuart