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#otd in Royal History 1-15 November

On this day in royal history blog 1-15 November cover. Henry VIII, William III, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Royal Wedding

1 November

Early fourteenth-century manuscript initial showing Edward and his wife Eleanor of Castile. The artist has perhaps tried to depict Edward's blepharoptosis (drooping eyelid), a trait he inherited from his father.

Early 14th century manuscript initial showing Edward & his wife Eleanor of Castile. The artist has perhaps tried to depict Edward's blepharoptosis (drooping eyelid)

1 November 1254

King Edward I married Eleanor of Castile

Eleanor & Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile. As part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks a year. The marriage was known to be particularly close, & Eleanor travelled extensively with her husband. She was with him on the Ninth Crusade, when he was wounded at Acre. When she died, at Harby near Lincoln, her grieving husband famously ordered a stone cross to be erected at each stopping-place on the journey to London, ending at Charing Cross.

Edward I (17/18 June 1 239 – 7 July 1307) was the first eldest son of King Henry III & Eleanor of Provence. He was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Eleanor of Castile (1241 – 28 November 1290) was the daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile & Joan, Countess of Ponthieu.

They had 16 known children,

  • Daughter, stillborn in May 1255 in Bordeaux, France.

  • Katherine (c 1261 – 1264).

  • Joanna (1265 - bf 7 Sep 1265).

  • John (1266 – 1271).

  • Henry (bef 6 May 1268 – 1274.

  • Eleanor (1269 – 1298). She was long betrothed to Alfonso III of Aragon, who died in 1291 before the marriage could take place, & in 1293 she married Count Henry III of Bar.

  • Daughter (1271 Palestine).

  • Joan (1272 – 1307). She married (1) in 1290 Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, who died in 1295, & (2) in 1297 Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer.

  • Alphonso (1273 - 1284), Earl of Chester

  • Margaret (1275 – after 1333). In 1290 she married John II of Brabant, who died in 1318.

  • Berengaria (1276 – bef 27 June 1278).

  • Daughter (late 1277 - Jan 1278).

  • Mary (1279 – 1332), a Benedictine nun in Amesbury.

  • Son, born in 1280 or 1281 who died very shortly after birth.

  • Elizabeth (1282 – 1316). She married (1) in 1297 John I, Count of Holland, (2) in 1302 Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford & 3rd Earl of Essex.

  • Edward II of England, also known as Edward of Caernarvon (1284 – 1327). In 1308 he married Isabella of France.


Lady Margaret Beaufort  (31 May 1441/43 – 29 June 1509)
Lady Margaret Beaufort (31 May 1441/43 – 29 June 1509)

1 November 1455

Lady Margaret Beaufort married Edmund Tudor

Prior to this marriage Margaret was married to the Duke of Suffolk's son, John de la Pole. The wedding may have been held between 28 January & 7 February 1444, when she was perhaps a year old but certainly no more than three. However, there is more evidence to suggest they were married in January 1450, after Suffolk had been arrested & was looking to secure his son's future. Papal dispensation was granted on 18 August 1450, necessary because the spouses were too closely related, & this concurs with the later date of marriage. Margaret never recognised this marriage. Three years later, the marriage was dissolved & King Henry VI granted Margaret's wardship to his own half-brothers, Jasper & Edmund Tudor.

In her will, made in 1472, Margaret refers to Edmund Tudor as her first husband. Under canon law, Margaret was not bound by the marriage contract as she was entered into the marriage before reaching the age of twelve.

Even before the annulment of her first marriage, Henry VI chose Margaret as a bride for his half-brother, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond. Edmund was the eldest son of the king's mother, Catherine of Valois, by Owen Tudor. Margaret was 12 when she married the 24-year-old Edmund Tudor on 1 November 1455. The Wars of the Roses had just broken out; Edmund, a Lancastrian, was taken prisoner by Yorkist forces less than a year later. He died of the plague in captivity at Carmarthen the following November, leaving a 13-year-old widow who was seven months pregnant with their child.

Edmund Tudor  (c. 1430 – 3 November 1456
Edmund Tudor (c. 1430 – 1456)

Taken into the care of her brother-in-law Jasper, at Pembroke Castle, the Countess gave birth on 28 January 1457 to her only child, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII of England. The birth was particularly difficult; at one point, both the Countess & her child were close to death, due to her young age & small size. She would never give birth again.

In June 1472, Margaret married Thomas Stanley, the Lord High Constable & King of Mann. Their marriage was at first a marriage of convenience. Margaret's marriage to Stanley enabled her to return to the court of Edward IV & Elizabeth Woodville. She was chosen by Queen Elizabeth to be godmother to one of her daughters.

Her only child Henry Tudor would later invade England & defeat King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.


King Richard III framed portrait.

1 November 1461

King Edward IV granted his brother Richard the Duchy of Gloucester

Richard (later Richard III) was granted the Duchy of Gloucester on 1 November 1461, & on 12 August the next year was awarded large estates in northern England, including the lordships of Richmond in Yorkshire, & Pembroke in Wales.

He gained the forfeited lands of the Lancastrian John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, in East Anglia. In 1462, on his birthday (2 October), he was made Constable of Gloucester & Corfe Castles & Admiral of England, Ireland & Aquitaine & appointed Governor of the North, becoming the richest & most powerful noble in England.

On 17 October 1469, he was made Constable of England. In November 1469, he replaced William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, as Chief Justice of North Wales. The following year, he was appointed Chief Steward & Chamberlain of Wales. On 18 May 1471, Richard was named Great Chamberlain & Lord High Admiral of England.

Other positions followed: High Sheriff of Cumberland for life, Lieutenant of the North & Commander-in Chief against the Scots and hereditary Warden of the West March. Two months later, on 14 July, he gained the Lordships of the strongholds Sheriff Hutton & Middleham in Yorkshire & Penrith in Cumberland, which had belonged to Warwick the Kingmaker. It is possible that the grant of Middleham seconded Richard's personal wishes. However, any personal attachment he may have felt to Middleham was likely mitigated in his adulthood, as surviving records demonstrate he spent less time there than at Barnard Castle & Pontefract.

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England & Lord of Ireland from 26 June 1483 until his death in 1485. He was the last king of the House of York & the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.


King William III

1 November 1688

William III of Orange set out a second time from Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands to seize the crowns of England, Scotland & Ireland from King James II of England during the Glorious Revolution.

The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland) by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange). William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England, James's daughter, in conjunction with the documentation of the Bill of Rights 1689.



2 November

Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England
Matilda of Flanders

2 November 1083

Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror died

Matilda of Flanders was born around 1031. She was Queen of England as the wife of William the Conqueror. She bore William nine or ten children who survived to adulthood, including two kings, William II & Henry I.


As a niece & granddaughter of kings of France, Matilda was of grander birth than William, who was illegitimate & according to some suspiciously romantic tales, she initially refused his proposal on this account. Her descent from the Anglo-Saxon royal House of Wessex was also to become a useful card. Like many royal marriages of the period, it breached the rules of consanguinity, then at their most restrictive (to seven generations or degrees of relatedness); Matilda & William were third-cousins, once removed. She was about 20 when they married in 1051/2; William was some three years older & had been Duke of Normandy since he was about eight.

The marriage appears to have been successful, Matilda was about 35, & had already produced most of her children, when William embarked on the Norman conquest of England, sailing in his flagship Mora, which Matilda had given him. She governed the Duchy of Normandy in his absence, joining him in England only after more than a year, & subsequently returning to Normandy, where she spent most of the remainder of her life, while William was mostly in his new kingdom. She was about 51 when she died in Normandy in 1083. Apart from governing Normandy & supporting her brother's interests in Flanders, Matilda took a close interest in the education of her children, who were unusually well educated for contemporary royalty. The boys were tutored by the Italian Lanfranc, who was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1070, while the girls learned Latin in Sainte-Trinité Abbey in Caen, founded by William & Matilda as part of the papal dispensation allowing their marriage.

Matilda & William had four sons & at least five daughters. The birth order of the boys is clear, but no source gives the relative order of birth of the daughters.

  • Robert (c.1053 – 1134), Duke of Normandy, married Sybil of Conversano.

  • Richard, (c.1055 – c.1069-74).

  • Adeliza (or Adelida, Adelaide), (c.1057, – c.1073), reportedly betrothed to Harold II of England, probably a nun of St Léger at Préaux.

  • Cecilia (or Cecily), (c.1058 – 1127). Abbess of Holy Trinity, Caen.

  • William Rufus, (c.1060 – 1100), King of England.

  • Matilda (c.1061 – c.1086) possibly died much later (according to Trevor Foulds's suggestion that she was identical to Matilda d'Aincourt).

  • Constance (c.1062 – 1090), married Alan IV Fergent, Duke of Brittany.

  • Adela, (c.1067 – 1137), married Stephen, Count of Blois. Mother of King Stephen of England.

  • Henry (1068 – 1135) King of England, married Edith of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland. His second wife was Adeliza of Louvain.

  • Agatha, betrothed to Harold II of England, Alfonso VI of Castile, & possibly Herbert I, Count of Maine, but died unmarried.


King Edward V of England

2 November 1470

Edward V of England was born

Edward was born at Cheyneygates, the medieval house of the Abbot of Westminster, adjoining Westminster Abbey. His mother, Elizabeth Woodville, had sought sanctuary there from Lancastrians who had deposed his father, the Yorkist King Edward IV, during the course of the Wars of the Roses.

Edward V was King of England from his father Edward IV's death on 9 April 1483 until 26 June of the same year. He was never crowned, & his 86-day reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle & Lord Protector, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III on 26 June 1483; this was confirmed by the Act entitled Titulus Regius, which denounced any further claims through his father's heirs. Edward and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, were the Princes in the Tower who disappeared after being sent to heavily guarded royal lodgings in the Tower of London. Responsibility for their deaths was widely attributed to Richard III, but the lack of any solid evidence & conflicting contemporary accounts suggest four other primary suspects.

Along with Edward VIII, and the disputed Matilda & Jane, Edward V is one of four English monarchs since the Norman Conquest never to have been crowned. As it is generally assumed that he died close to the time of his disappearance, he is the shortest-lived male monarch in English history, his great-nephew, who was crowned Edward VI, died in his sixteenth year.


Anne, Princess Royal, & later Princess of Orange by Jacopo Amigoni, c.1734
Anne, Princess Royal, & later Princess of Orange by Jacopo Amigoni, c.1734

2 November 1709

Anne, Princess Royal, & later Princess of Orange was born

Anne was born at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, five years before her paternal grandfather, Elector George Louis, succeeded to the British throne as George I. She was christened shortly after birth at Herrenhausen Palace. She was named after her paternal grandfather's second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain.

Anne, Princess Royal & Princess of Orange was the second child & eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain & his consort, Caroline of Ansbach.

She was the spouse of William IV, Prince of Orange, the first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands. Princess Anne was the second daughter of a British sovereign to hold the title Princess Royal. She was Regent of the Netherlands from 1751 until her death in 1759 (12 January) from dropsy, exercising extensive powers on behalf of her son William V. Because of her English upbringing & family connections, she was known as an Anglophile - despite being unable to convince the Dutch Republic to enter the Seven Years' War on the side of the British.

The princess took drawing & painting lessons from Herman van der Mijn & made a self-portrait of herself in 1740 that is in the collection of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust. She also made a portrait of Van der Mijn himself while he was at work making portraits of other family members.


Portrait by Sir William Beechey, 1818 (originally owned by Mme de Saint-Laurent)
Prince Edward by Sir William Beechey, 1818

2 November 1767

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn was born

The Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn was the fourth son of King George III of the United Kingdom & the father of Queen Victoria.

He was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn & Earl of Dublin on 23 April 1799 & , a few weeks later, appointed a General & commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, on 23 March 1802 he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar & nominally retained that post until his death. The Duke of Kent was appointed Field-Marshal of the Forces on 3 September 1805. He was the first member of the royal family to live in North America for more than a short visit (1791–1800) &, in 1794, the first prince to enter the United States (travelling to Boston on foot from Lower Canada) after independence. On June 27, 1792, Edward is credited with the first use of the term "Canadian" to mean both French & English settlers in Upper & Lower Canada. The Prince used the term in an effort to quell a riot between the two groups at a polling station in Charlesbourg, Lower Canada. Recently he has been styled the "Father of the Canadian Crown" for his impact on the development of Canada.

He married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, in 1818, They had one child, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (b.24 May 1819 – d.22 January 1901), who became Queen Victoria on 20 June 1837. The duke took great pride in his daughter, telling his friends to look at her well, for she would be Queen of the United Kingdom. The Duke of Kent died of pneumonia on 23 January 1820 at Woolbrook Cottage, Sidmouth, & was interred in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He died only six days before his father, George III, & less than a year after his daughter's birth. He predeceased his father & his three elder brothers but, as none of his elder brothers had any surviving legitimate children, his daughter Victoria succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle King William IV in 1837.

Due to the provisions of the Royal Marriages Act passed by her father's Parliament (at least until she reached the age of 25, after which she could receive permission by assent of the Privy Council.


The Duchess of Kent with her daughter, the future Queen Victoria, by Henry Bone c. 1824–25
The Duchess of Kent with her daughter, the future Queen Victoria, by Henry Bone c. 1824–25


Princess Amelia by William Beechey, c.1797
Princess Amelia by William Beechey, c.1797

2 November 1810

Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom died

Princess Amelia was born on 7 August 1783, at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, the youngest of George III & Queen Charlotte's 15 children. It is often said that she was her father's favourite; he affectionately called her "Emily".

Prior to 1788, King George had told his daughters that he would take them to Hanover & find them suitable husbands. Further lapses into insanity occurred in 1801 & 1804, thus forestalling talk of marriage for his daughters. The question of matrimony was rarely raised; Queen Charlotte feared that the subject, which had always discomforted the King, would push him back into insanity. Furthermore, the Queen, under strain due to his illness, wanted the princesses to remain close to her. Amelia & her sisters, Charlotte, Augusta Sophia, Elizabeth, Mary & Sophia were over-protected & isolated, which restricted meeting eligible suitors of their own age.

Throughout her life, Amelia was often in poor health; at the age of fifteen, she started to suffer the early symptoms of what turned out to be tuberculosis. In 1801, the princess was sent for a seaside cure at Weymouth to improve her health. Among those staying with her was the Hon. Charles FitzRoy, an equerry. Amelia fell in love with the equerry, desiring to marry him. The Queen was told of the affair by a servant but turned a blind eye. It was hoped that such discretion would prevent the King from discovering the liaison, which may have risked sending him into one of the bouts of mental illness to which he was becoming increasingly prone. Though she never gave up hope of marrying him, Amelia knew she could not legally marry FitzRoy due to the provisions of the Royal Marriages Act passed by her father's Parliament (at least until she reached the age of 25, after which she could receive permission by assent of the Privy Council.

In 1808, Amelia had a severe attack of measles & the depressed atmosphere at home with her mother in Windsor made her even more miserable. The anxious King George decided to send Amelia to Weymouth, accompanied by her sister Mary. Her health was improved only a little, but she found comfort in quietly resting. In 1809, she could occasionally take short walks in the garden. This improvement was but temporary, however, & in August 1810 her sufferings grew sharper, whilst in October of that year she was seized with St. Anthony's fire (erysipelas), which cut off all hope & confined her to her bed on the 25th. The king summoned his daughter's physicians to him at seven o'clock every morning & three or four other times during the day, questioning them minutely as to her condition. She lingered a few days more, waited upon to the last by her favourite & devoted sister, Mary. Her 2 November death occurred on her brother Edward's birthday.

The dying princess had a mourning ring made for the King, composed of a lock of her hair under crystal set round with diamonds. He purportedly burst into tears upon receiving it. Amelia was buried in the royal vault in St George's Chapel, Windsor.


3 November

King Henry VIII of England

3 November 1534

English Parliament passed the first Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the Anglican Church, supplanting the pope & the Roman Catholic Church.

It granted King Henry VIII of England & subsequent monarchs Royal Supremacy, such that he was declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Royal Supremacy is specifically used to describe the legal sovereignty of the civil laws over the laws of the Church in England. The act declared that the king was "the only supreme head on Earth of the Church of England" & that the Crown shall enjoy "all honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, & commodities to the said dignity." The wording of the act made clear that Parliament was not granting the king the title (thereby suggesting that they had the right to withdraw it later); rather, it was acknowledging an established fact. In the Act of Supremacy, Henry abandoned Rome completely.


He thereby asserted the independence of the Ecclesia Anglicana. He appointed himself & his successors as the supreme rulers of the English church. Earlier, Henry had been declared "Defender of the Faith" (Fidei defensor) in 1521 by Pope Leo X for his pamphlet accusing Martin Luther of heresy. Parliament later conferred this title upon Henry in 1544.

The Tudor Puzzle Book: Word Searches, Crosswords and Fiendish Questions


4 November

Mary Stuart by Gerard van Honthorst, c. 1647
Mary Stuart by Gerard van Honthorst, c. 1647

4 November 1631

Mary, Princess Royal was born

Mary was an English princess, member of the House of Stuart, & by marriage Princess of Orange & Countess of Nassau; she also acted as regent for her minor son from 1651 to 1660. She also was the first holder of the title Princess Royal.

The eldest daughter of King Charles I of England & Queen Henrietta Maria, Mary was married to the future stadtholder of the Netherlands, William II of Orange, at 9 years old in 1641. Initially, she remained in England with her parents because of the heated political situation in England until early 1642, when she & her mother left for the Netherlands. Five years later in 1647, Mary's husband inherited the titles of Prince of Orange & Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel & Groningen in the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Eight days after her husband's death in 1650, Mary gave birth to a son, William III of Orange, who later became King of England, Scotland & Ireland. Mary, who became the only guardian of her son, was not popular in the Netherlands because of her support of her brothers & her difficult relationship with her mother-in-law Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, who considered the princess young & inexperienced. After the restoration of the monarchy in England in 1660, Mary departed for celebrations in London, where she fell ill with smallpox & died.

Mary, Princess Royal, and William II, Prince of Orange by Gerard van Honthorst, 1647
Mary, Princess Royal, and William II, Prince of Orange by Gerard van Honthorst, 1647


King William III of England

4 November 1650

King William III was born

William III was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, & Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672, & King of England, Ireland, & Scotland from 1689 until his death. It is a coincidence that his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange & England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is informally & affectionately known by sections of the population in Northern Ireland & Scotland as "King Billy".

William inherited the principality of Orange from his father, William II, who died a week before William's birth. His mother Mary, Princess Royal, was the daughter of King Charles I of England. In 1677, he married his mother's niece & his first cousin, Mary, the daughter of his maternal uncle James, Duke of York.

A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant & Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. In 1685, his Catholic father-in-law, James, became king of England, Ireland & Scotland. James's reign was unpopular with the Protestant majority in Britain.

William was invited to invade England by a group of influential political & religious leaders in what became known as the "Glorious Revolution", on 5 November 1688, William landed at the southern English port of Brixham. James was deposed & William & Mary became joint sovereigns in his place. They reigned together until her death on 28 December 1694 after which William ruled as sole monarch. He died on 8 March 1702, of pneumonia, a complication from a broken collarbone following a fall from his horse, Sorrel.


Engraving of William III and Mary II, 1703
Engraving of William III and Mary II, 1703

4 November 1677

Lady Mary (later Mary II of England) married William, Prince of Orange (later William III of England)

The catholic James, Duke of York (later King James II & VII) agreed to the marriage, after pressure from chief minister Lord Danby & the King (Charles II), who incorrectly assumed that it would improve James's popularity among Protestants. When James told his daughter Mary that she was to marry her cousin, "she wept all that afternoon & all the following day"

William, & a tearful Mary were married in St. James's Palace by Bishop Henry Compton on 4 November 1677. Mary accompanied her husband on a rough sea crossing back to the Netherlands later that month, after a delay of two weeks caused by bad weather. On 14 December, they made a formal entry to The Hague in a grand procession.

Mary II by Peter Lely, 1677
Mary II by Peter Lely, 1677

Mary's animated & personable nature made her popular with the Dutch people, & her marriage to a Protestant prince was popular in Britain. She became devoted to her husband, but he was often on campaign, which led to Mary's family supposing him to be cold & neglectful. Within months of the marriage Mary was pregnant; however, on a visit to her husband at the fortified city of Breda, she suffered a miscarriage, which may have permanently impaired her ability to have children. She suffered further bouts of illness that may have been miscarriages in mid-1678, early 1679, & early 1680. Her childlessness would be the greatest source of unhappiness in her life.

King William III by Godfrey Kneller, 1690
William III by Godfrey Kneller, 1690

William & Mary, both Protestants, became king & queen regnant in 1689 following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights & the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of "William and Mary". Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, & effective ruler.


5 November

Mary and Louis XII of France, from a contemporary manuscript
Mary & Louis XII of France, from a contemporary manuscript

5 November 1514

Mary Tudor was crowned Queen of France

Mary Tudor (b.18 March 1496 – d.25 June 1533), was the third daughter of king Henry VII of England & Elizabeth of York.

Cardinal Wolsey negotiated a peace treaty between England & France, & on 9 October 1514, at the age of 18, Mary married the 52-year-old King Louis XII of France at Abbeville becoming his third wife. Mary was crowned Queen of France by the Bishop of Bayeux at the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis on 5 November 1514. Despite two previous marriages, Louis had no living sons, & sought to produce an heir; but he died on 1 January 1515, less than three months after marrying Mary. Their union produced no children.

A sketch of Mary during her brief period as queen of France
A sketch of Mary during her brief period as queen of France

Mary though went onto marry Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The marriage, which was performed secretly in France, took place without her brother's consent. This necessitated the intervention of Thomas Wolsey & although the couple were eventually pardoned by Henry VIII, they were forced to pay a large fine. Mary's second marriage produced four children; & through her eldest daughter Frances, Mary was the maternal grandmother of Lady Jane Grey, who was the de facto monarch of England for a little over a week in July 1553.

Did you know? - One of the Maids of Honour who attended her in France was Anne Boleyn, her future sister-in-law.


The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the Taking of Guy Fawkes (c. 1823) by Henry Perronet Briggs.
The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the Taking of Guy Fawkes (c.1823) by Henry Perronet Briggs.

5 November 1605

The Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in the failed suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

King James's daughter Elizabeth, whom the conspirators planned to install on the throne as a Catholic queen. Portrait by Robert Peake the Elder, National Maritime Museum.

King James's daughter Elizabeth, whom the conspirators planned to install on the throne as a Catholic queen. Portrait by Robert Peake the Elder, National Maritime Museum.

A contemporary engraving of eight of the thirteen conspirators, by Crispijn van de Passe. Missing are Digby, Keyes, Rookwood, Grant, and Tresham.

A contemporary engraving of eight of the thirteen conspirators, by Crispijn van de Passe. Missing are Digby, Keyes, Rookwood, Grant, & Tresham.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle. During a search of the House of Lords in the evening on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble & arrested.

An anonymous letter, sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, was instrumental in revealing the plot's existence. Its author's identity has never been reliably established, although Francis Tresham has long been a suspect. Monteagle himself has been considered responsible, as has Salisbury.

An anonymous letter, sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, was instrumental in revealing the plot's existence. Its author's identity has never been reliably established, although Francis Tresham has long been a suspect. Monteagle himself has been considered responsible, as has Salisbury.

The undercroft beneath the House of Lords, as illustrated in 1799. At about the same time it was described as 77 feet long, 24 feet and 4 inches wide, and 10 feet high.

The undercroft beneath the House of Lords, as illustrated in 1799. At about the same time it was described as 77 feet long, 24 feet & 4 inches wide, & 10 feet high.

The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons & other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which evolved into the Bonfire Night of today.

'Remember, remember,

The Fifth of November,

Gunpowder treason and plot,

For I see no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.'

Nursery rhyme

A broadside ballad released in the late-seventeenth or early-eighteenth century detailing the plot with anti-Catholic sentiments. Opening text of the broadside ballad is as follows:  True Protestants I pray you do draw near Unto this ditty lend attentive ear, The lines are new although the subject's old Likewise it is as true as e'er was told. When James the First in England reigned King,
A broadside ballad

A broadside ballad released in the late-seventeenth or early-eighteenth century detailing the plot with anti-Catholic sentiments.

Opening text of the broadside ballad is as follows:

'True Protestants I pray you do draw near

Unto this ditty lend attentive ear,

The lines are new although the subject's old

Likewise it is as true as e'er was told.

When James the First in England reigned King'


6 November

Prince Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales Portrait after Isaac Oliver, c. 1610
Prince Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales Portrait after Isaac Oliver, c. 1610

6 November 1612

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales died from typhoid fever at the age of 18.

Prince Henry's death was widely regarded as a tragedy for the nation. According to Charles Carlton, "Few heirs to the English throne have been as widely & deeply mourned as Prince Henry." His body lay in state at St. James's Palace for four weeks. On 7 December, over a thousand people walked in the mile-long cortege to Westminster Abbey to hear a two-hour sermon delivered by George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury. As Henry's body was lowered into the ground, his chief servants broke their staves of office at the grave, & an insane man ran naked through the mourners, yelling that he was the boy's ghost.

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, was born on 19 February 1594 at Stirling Castle, he was the elder son of King James I & VI & Anne of Denmark. He was Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles & Prince & Great Steward of Scotland automatically on his birth. His name derives from his grandfathers: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, & Frederick II of Denmark.

With his father's accession to the throne of England in 1603, Henry at once became Duke of Cornwall. In 1610 he was further invested as Prince of Wales & Earl of Chester, thus for the first time uniting the six automatic & two traditional Scottish & English titles held by heirs-apparent to the two thrones.

As a young man, Henry showed great promise & was beginning to be active in leadership matters. Among his activities, he was responsible for the reassignment of Sir Thomas Dale to the Virginia Company of London's struggling colony in North America. Prince Henry was widely seen as a bright & promising heir to his father's thrones. However, at the age of 18, he predeceased his father when he died of typhoid fever. His younger brother Charles (later King Charles I) succeeded him as heir apparent to the English, Irish & Scottish thrones.


Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales by George Dawe, c.1817
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales by George Dawe, c.1817

6 November 1817

Princess Charlotte of Wales died

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, born 7 January 1796 was the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later to become King George IV) & Caroline of Brunswick.

Had she outlived both her grandfather King George III & her father, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom, but she died following childbirth at the age of 21.

Charlotte's parents disliked each other from before their arranged marriage & soon separated. The Prince of Wales left most of Charlotte's care to governesses & servants, but only allowed her limited contact with the Princess of Wales, who eventually left the country. As Charlotte grew to adulthood, her father pressured her to marry William, Hereditary Prince of Orange (later King of the Netherlands), but after initially accepting him, Charlotte soon broke off the intended match.

This resulted in an extended contest of wills between her & her father, & finally the Prince of Wales permitted her to marry Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later King of the Belgians). After a year & a half of happy marriage, Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn son. Charlotte's death set off tremendous mourning among the British, who had seen her as a sign of hope & a contrast both to her unpopular father & to her grandfather, whom they deemed mad. As she had been King George III's only legitimate grandchild, there was considerable pressure on the King's unmarried sons to find wives. King George III's fourth son, Edward, Duke of Kent, fathered the eventual heir, Victoria, who was born 18 months after Charlotte's death.


'The Royal Wedding' (Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester)  by Vandyk, published by J. Beagles & Co bromide postcard print, 6 November 1935

'The Royal Wedding' (Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester) by Vandyk, published by J. Beagles & Co, 6 November 1935. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

6 November 1935

Prince Henry married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott

Prince Henry was the third son of King George V & Queen Mary. Lady Alice was the daughter of John Montagu Douglas Scott, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch, Scotland’s largest landowner, & Lady Margaret Bridgeman.

The couple were married in a private ceremony, in the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace, on 6 November of that year. A much more elaborate wedding was originally planned for Westminster Abbey; but after the new Duchess of Gloucester's father died of cancer on 19 October 1935, & in consideration of the King's (George V) own failing health, it was decided that the wedding should be scaled down to a more private setting.

Alice's bridesmaids were her sister the Lady Angela Montagu-Douglas-Scott, her nieces, the Lady Elizabeth Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Miss Clare Phipps, Miss Anne Hawkins, her husband's nieces Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) & Princess Margaret of York, her cousin Miss Moyra Montagu-Douglas-Scott & her husband's cousin the Lady Mary Cambridge. Prince Henry became the Duke of Gloucester, & Lady Alice became Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester.

Although it was cold & wet, a crowd estimated to be over one million people lined the streets from the Palace to the railway station to see the couple off on their honeymoon. Alice was often referred to as the "Winter Princess" from then on.

Initially, the Duke & Duchess of Gloucester lived in Aldershot, where the Duke was taking the Army staff course. In 1935, the Duchess took a trip to open the new grounds of The Lady Eleanor Holles School. The Duke of Gloucester left the army to take on more public duties following the abdication of King Edward VIII in December 1936. The couple received a grace & favour residence at York House, St James's Palace, London &, in 1938, they purchased Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire.

The Duke & Duchess had two sons:


▪ Prince William of Gloucester (b.18 December 1941 – 28 August 1972)

▪ Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (b. 26 August 1944)


7 November

Portrait of Princess Elizabeth Stuart, later Queen of Bohemia, called the Winter Queen.

7 November 1619

Elizabeth Stuart was crowned Queen of Bohemia.

Elizabeth Stuart (b.19 August 1596 – d.13 February 1662) was, as the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, Electress Palatine, & briefly, Queen of Bohemia. Because her husband’s reign in Bohemia lasted for just one winter, Elizabeth often is referred to as The Winter Queen.

Elizabeth was the second child & eldest daughter of James VI & I, King of Scots, England, & Ireland, & his wife, Anne of Denmark. She was also the granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was four years older than her brother Charles, who became Charles I. With the demise of the Stuart dynasty in 1714, her grandson succeeded to the British throne as George I of Great Britain, initiating the Hanover line of succession.

DID YOU KNOW? The reigning British monarch, Charles III, is Elizabeth Stuart's direct descendant of the 11th & 12th generation through different paths. Most other European royal families, including those of Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands & Sweden, as well as those formerly of Greece, Romania, Germany, & Russia, are also descendants of Elizabeth Stuart.


Claude Bowes-Lyon

7 November 1944

Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne died

Claude George Bowes-Lyon, (born.14 March 1855), styled as Lord Glamis from 1865 to 1904, was a British peer & landowner who was the father of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother & the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II. From 1937 he was known as 14th & 1st Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne, as he was the 14th Earl in the peerage of Scotland but the 1st Earl in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

Claude was born in Lowndes Square, London, the son of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, & his wife, the former Frances Dora Smith.

After being educated at Eton College he received a commission in the 2nd Life Guards in 1876 & served for six years until the year after his marriage. He was an active member of the Territorial Army & served as Honorary Colonel of the 4th/5th Battalion of the Black Watch. He married Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck on 16 July 1881 in Petersham, Surrey. The couple had ten children. Upon succeeding his father to the Earldom on 16 February 1904, he inherited large estates in Scotland & England, including Glamis Castle, St Paul's Walden Bury, & Woolmers Park, near Hertford. He had a keen interest in forestry & was one of the first to grow larch from seed in Britain. His estates had a large number of smallholders & he had a reputation for being unusually kind to his tenants. He worked his own land & enjoyed physical labour in the grounds of his estates. Visitors mistook him for a common labourer. He made his own cocoa for breakfast, & always had a jug of water by his place at dinner so he could dilute his own wine.

In 1923 his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married George V's second son, Prince Albert, Duke of York, & Lord Strathmore was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order to mark the marriage. Five years later he was made a Knight of the Thistle. In 1936 his son-in-law's brother, Edward VIII, abdicated & his son-in-law became King. As the queen consort's father, he was created a Knight of the Garter & Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in the Coronation Honours of 1937. This enabled him to sit in the House of Lords as an Earl (because members of the Peerage of Scotland did not automatically sit in the House of Lords, he had previously sat only as a Baron through the Barony of Bowes created for his father). At the Coronation, the Earl & Countess sat in the Royal Box with Queen Mary & their shared granddaughters, The Princesses Elizabeth & Margaret.

Later in life he became extremely deaf. Lord Strathmore died of bronchitis on 7 November 1944, aged 89, at Glamis Castle. (Lady Strathmore had died in 1938.

Did You Know? His younger brother Patrick Bowes-Lyon was a tennis player who won the 1887 Wimbledon doubles alongside Herbert Wilberforce.


8 November

Princess Caroline Matilda of Great Britain (1751-1775) by Francis Cotes, Queen of Denmark
Princess Caroline Matilda of Great Britain (1751-1775), Queen of Denmark

8 November 1766

Caroline Matilda of Great Britain married Christian VII of Denmark

Caroline Matilda of Great Britain (1751 – 1775), was the youngest & posthumous daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, by Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. At the age of fifteen, she was married to her first cousin, King Christian VII of Denmark & Norway, who suffered from a mental illness & was cold to his wife throughout the marriage. They had two children: the future Frederick VI & Louise Augusta; the latter's biological father may have been the German physician Johann Friedrich Struensee. In 1769, Struensee entered the service of the Danish king; initially Caroline Matilda treated him coldly, but he quickly won the Queen's heart & they began a love affair. Struensee gained more & more power & instituted a series of reforms that Caroline Matilda supported. Struensee's reforms & his relationship with the Queen generated powerful enemies, who included Christian VII's stepmother Queen Dowager Juliana Maria & her son Prince Frederick. Juliana Maria directed a plot to overthrow the lovers, which ended with the execution of Struensee & Caroline Matilda's divorce & banishment. She died in Celle, Hanover, at the age of twenty-three from scarlet fever.

Christian VII of Denmark by Alexander Roslin, c. 1772
Christian VII of Denmark by Alexander Roslin, c. 1772


8 November 2003

Lady Louise Windsor was born

Lady Louise was born prematurely on 8 November 2003 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey after her mother was rushed there by ambulance from the Wessex home at Bagshot Park, Surrey; Prince Edward was not present for the birth because it came so suddenly.

Lady Louise was delivered by the Royal Surgeon & Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell via emergency Caesarean section due to placental abruption, which caused severe blood loss to both child & mother. Louise was transferred to a neo-natal unit in St George's Hospital, Tooting, London, as a precaution. Meanwhile, the Countess remained at Frimley Park until she was well enough to be discharged, on 23 November 2003. Lady Louise's name was announced on 27 November.

She was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 24 April 2004, & among her godparents were: Lady Alexandra Etherington, her third cousin once removed (from Edward VII), & Lady Sarah Chatto, her first cousin once removed (from George VII).

Louise was born with esotropia, she underwent a 30-minute operation under general anaesthetic in an attempt to correct the problem in January 2006. The operation was unsuccessful, & she had further treatment in late 2013 that corrected her vision. At age 9, she sustained a broken arm falling off a pony. Louise is 15th in the line of succession to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms.

Lady Louise was taught to ride at a young age & joined her father on horseback as part of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations in Windsor in 2016. In May 2019, Louise took part in the Private Driving Singles carriage drive at the Royal Windsor Horse Show & achieved third place. She inherited her grandfather's driving ponies & carriage in April 2021. In 2022, she drove one of his carriages in front of the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.


9 November

Isabella of Valois

9 November 1389

Isabella of Valois was born

Isabella was Queen consort of England as the second spouse of King Richard II. Her parents were King Charles VI of France & Isabeau of Bavaria.

She married the king at the age of seven & was widowed three years later. She later married Charles, Duke of Orléans, dying in childbirth at the age of nineteen, on 13 September 1409.

Did You Know? Isabella's younger sister, Catherine of Valois, was Queen consort of England from 1420–1422, as the wife of Henry V & mother of Henry VI.


King George II portrait by Godfrey Kneller, 1716
King George II portrait by Godfrey Kneller, 1716

9 November 1683

George II of Great Britain was born

George was born in the city of Hanover in Germany, followed by his sister, Sophia Dorothea, three years later. Their parents, George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg (later King George I of Great Britain), & Sophia Dorothea of Celle, both committed adultery. In 1694 the marriage was dissolved on the pretext that Sophia had abandoned her husband. She was confined to Ahlden House for thirty years & denied access to her two children, who probably never saw their mother again.

George II was King of Great Britain & Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) & a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 1727 until his death in 1760.


Edward VII portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1901
Edward VII portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1901

9 November 1841

Edward VII of the United Kingdom was born

Prince Edward Albert was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace. He was the eldest son & second child of Queen Victoria & her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842. He was named Albert after his father & Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life.

He was Prince of Wales & heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. He was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland & the British Dominions, & Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.


10 November

Bridget of York

10 November 1480

Bridget of York was born

Bridget of York was an English princess, the tenth child & seventh daughter of king Edward IV of England & Queen Elizabeth Woodville. She was a younger sister of Elizabeth of York (later Queen consort to Henry VII), Mary of York, Cecily of York, Edward V, Margaret of York, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, Anne of York, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Bedford, & Catherine of York. She was also an aunt of Henry VIII of England.

She was born in Eltham, London on 10 November 1480, & was baptized by Edward Story, Bishop of Chichester on 11 November 1480. Her godmothers at the baptismal fount were her paternal grandmother, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, & her oldest sister, Elizabeth of York. Her godfather was William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester. Bridget's aunt Margaret, Lady Maltravers, served as her godmother at her confirmation. Bridget was likely named after St. Bridget of Sweden.

Her parents may have decided at the time of her birth that this daughter would be dedicated to a religious life, & Princess Bridget was entrusted to Dartford Priory, Dartford, Kent sometime between 1486 & 1492. She became a nun. Bridget maintained correspondence throughout her life with her sister the queen (Elizabeth of York), who also paid for her various minor expenses. After Bridget's sister, Elizabeth of York, married Henry VII, Elizabeth paid some of Bridget's expenses & kept in touch with her via messengers. Bridget is known to have left Dartford on at least one occasion, when she attended the funeral of her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, in 1492. She died about 1517.


Katharine of Aragon
Katharine of Aragon

9/10 November 1518

Katharine of Aragon gave birth to a daughter

In February 1518, Katharine had announced her sixth pregnancy. In March, she visited Merton College, Oxford & also made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Frideswide, asking for a healthy son. On 10 November 1518 she gave birth to a daughter, but the child was weak & lived either only a few hours or at most a week.

Katharine was pregnant six times altogether over a period of nine years.

  • On 31 January 1510 she gave birth prematurely to a stillborn girl.

  • In May 1510, four months after the loss of her first child, Katharine announced her second pregnancy. A son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall, was born on 1 January 1511. In his honour, guns were fired from the Tower of London & the city bells were rung, beacons were lit & free wine was distributed to all the population. On 22 February 1511, after only 52 days of life, the young prince died suddenly. It was said that he died of an intestinal complaint.

  • On 30 June 1513, Katharine was left as regent in England when Henry VIII went to fight in France. In November 1513, she went into labour prematurely & gave birth to a son, the second Henry, Duke of Cornwall. The child died shortly after birth & was buried in Westminster Abbey.

  • On 8 January 1515, she gave birth to a stillborn boy.

  • On 18 February 1516, Katharine delivered a healthy girl at 4 a.m. at Greenwich Palace, Kent. She was named Mary & christened three days later (21 February) with great ceremony at the Church of Observant Friars. Despite his evident disappointment, Henry VIII said that if it were a girl this time then surely boys would follow.

  • And as mentioned above, On 9/10 November 1518 she gave birth to a daughter, but the child was weak & lived either only a few hours or at most a week.



11 November

11 November 1100

Henry I of England married Matilda of Scotland

King Henry I of England

Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. He was the fourth son of William the Conqueror & Matilda of Flanders.

Matilda of Scotland, Queen consort of Henry I of England

Matilda of Scotland (1080 – 1 May 1118), had originally been named Edith, an Anglo-Saxon name, & was a member of the West Saxon royal family, being the niece of Edgar the Ætheling, the great-granddaughter of Edmund Ironside & a descendant of Alfred the Great. She was the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland & Margaret of Wessex.

They had two surviving children, William Adelin & Empress Matilda. Matilda died in 1118. Henry's son William drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120, throwing the royal succession into doubt. Henry took a second wife, Adeliza of Louvain, in the hope of having another son, but their marriage was childless. In response to this, he declared his daughter Matilda his heir & married her to Geoffrey of Anjou. Despite his plans for Matilda, the king was succeeded by his nephew Stephen of Blois, resulting in a period of civil war known as the Anarchy.


11 November 2006

Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army & the British Army.

The New Zealand War Memorial in London is a memorial to the war dead of New Zealand in the First & Second World Wars, unveiled in 2006. Officially named "Southern Stand", the memorial was designed by architect John Hardwick-Smith & sculptor Paul Dibble, both from New Zealand. It is located on the Piccadilly side of Hyde Park Corner, northeast of the Wellington Arch, & is diagonally opposite the Australian War Memorial. The official dedication of the New Zealand War Memorial took place on 11 November 2006 (Armistice Day) by Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand.

The New Zealand War Memorial in London
The New Zealand War Memorial

The Book of the Poppy Paperback book by Chris McNab


12 November

Cnut the Great

12 November 1035

Cnut the Great, king of England died at Shaftesbury in Dorset, & was buried in the Old Minster, Winchester.

Cnut the Great (born, c. 985 or 995), more commonly known as Canute, was a king of Denmark, England, Norway & parts of Sweden, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, & the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history.

Cnut's father was Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark (which gave Cnut the patronym Sweynsson, Old Norse Sveinsson). The identity of his mother is uncertain.

As a Prince of Denmark, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England & Denmark together. Cnut maintained his power by uniting Danes & English under cultural bonds of wealth & custom, rather than by sheer brutality.

After a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut. He had coins struck there that called him king, but there is no narrative record of his occupation. The kingship of England lent the Danes an important link to the maritime zone between the islands of Great Britain & Ireland, where Cnut, like his father before him, had a strong interest & wielded much influence among the Norse-Gaels. Cnut's possession of England's dioceses & the continental Diocese of Denmark with a claim laid upon it by the Holy Roman Empire's Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen was a source of great leverage within the Catholic Church, gaining notable concessions from Pope Benedict VIII & his successor John XIX, such as one on the price of the pallium of his bishops. Cnut also gained concessions on the tolls his people had to pay on the way to Rome from other magnates of medieval Christendom.

After his 1026 victory against Norway & Sweden, & on his way back from Rome where he attended the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor, Cnut, in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects, deemed himself "King of all England & Denmark & the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes". The Anglo-Saxon kings used the title "king of the English". Cnut was ealles Engla landes cyning—"king of all England". Medieval historian Norman Cantor called him "the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history".

He was married twice,

Ælfgifu of Northampton (c. 990 – after 1036), they had two children,

  • Sweyn Knutsson, King of Norway (c. 1016–1035)

  • Harold Harefoot, King of England (died 17 March 1040)

Emma of Normandy (c. 984 – 6 March 1052), married in 1017. They had two children,

  • Harthacnut, King of Denmark and England (c. 1018 – 8 June 1042)

  • Gunhilda of Denmark, (c. 1020 – 18 July 1038) she married Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.

Cnut (Penguin Monarchs): The North Sea King - Paperback


13 November

king Æthelred II (the unready)
king Æthelred II

13 November 1002

English king Æthelred II orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice's Day massacre.

The Kingdom of England had been ravaged by Danish raids every year from 997 to 1001, & in 1002 the king was told that the Danish men in England would faithlessly take his life, & then all his councillors, & possess his kingdom afterwards". In response, he ordered the deaths of all Danes living in England.

The massacre in Oxford was justified by Æthelred in a royal charter of 1004 explaining the need to rebuild St Frideswide's Church (now Christ Church Cathedral):

"For it is fully agreed that to all dwelling in this country it will be well known that, since a decree was sent out by me with the counsel of my leading men & magnates, to the effect that all the Danes who had sprung up in this island, sprouting like cockle amongst the wheat, were to be destroyed by a most just extermination, & thus this decree was to be put into effect even as far as death, those Danes who dwelt in the afore-mentioned town, striving to escape death, entered this sanctuary of Christ, having broken by force the doors & bolts, & resolved to make refuge & defence for themselves therein against the people of the town & the suburbs; but when all the people in pursuit strove, forced by necessity, to drive them out, & could not, they set fire to the planks & burnt, as it seems, this church with its ornaments & its books. Afterwards, with God's aid, it was renewed by me."

Historians believe there was significant loss of life, though evidence is lacking on any specific estimates. Among those thought to have been killed is Gunhilde, who may have been the sister of Sweyn Forkbeard, the King of Denmark. Her husband Pallig Tokesen, the Danish Ealdorman of Devonshire, may also have died in the massacre or, according to a different version, played a part in provoking it by his defection to join raiders ravaging the south coast.

The skeletons of 34 to 38 young men, all aged 16 to 25, were found during an excavation at St John's College, Oxford, in 2008. Chemical analysis carried out in 2012 by Oxford University researchers suggests that the remains are Viking; older scars on the bones suggest they were professional warriors. The bodies show evidence of multiple serious injuries caused by a range of weapons. Radiocarbon dating suggests a burial date of 960 to 1020 AD.

Aethelred the Unready (Penguin Monarchs): The Failed King


King Edward III of England

13 November 1312

Edward III of England was born

Edward was born at Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312 & was often referred to as Edward of Windsor in his early years. The king (Edward II) had him created Earl of Chester at only twelve days of age.

Edward III was King of England from 25 January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success & for restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of fifty years was the second longest in medieval England & saw vital developments in legislation & government in particular the evolution of the English parliament as well as the ravages of the Black Death.

Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother & her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, & began his personal reign.

He married Philippa of Hainault in 1328. Edward & Philippa had thirteen children, including five sons (the eldest was Edward, the Black Prince) who lived into adulthood. Three of their children died of the Black Death in 1348.

After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337 but his claim was denied due to the Salic law. This started what would become known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks the war went exceptionally well for England; victories at Crécy & Poitiers led to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny. Edward's later years, however, were marked by international failure & domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health. He died on 21 June 1377 Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king whose main interest was warfare.

Edward III (Penguin Monarchs): A Heroic Failure - Paperback


Portrait of Sophia Dorothea of Celle (1666-1726), wife of George I of Great Britain
Portrait of Sophia Dorothea of Celle (1666-1726), wife of George I of Great Britain

13 November 1726

Sophia Dorothea of Celle died

Sophia Dorothea of Celle born on 15 September 1666 was the repudiated wife of George I of Great Britain & mother of George II.

On 22 November 1682, in Celle, Sophia Dorothea married her cousin, George Louis (later King George I of Great Britain from 1714-1727). The marriage of George Louis & Sophia Dorothea was an unhappy one. Despite this, things seemed better after the birth of their first two children: George Augustus, born 1683, later King George II of Great Britain & Sophia Dorothea, born 1686, later wife of King Frederick William I of Prussia, & mother of Frederick the Great.

But George Louis acquired a mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, & started pointedly neglecting his wife. His parents asked him to be more circumspect with his mistress, but he responded by going out of his way to treat his wife brutally. It was in these circumstances that Sophia Dorothea re-made the acquaintance of Swedish count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. The two had first met in Celle when he was sixteen. George Louis criticised his wife over her affair, & she criticised him for his. The argument escalated to the point that George Louis threw himself on Sophia Dorothea & started tearing out her hair strangling her, leaving purple bruise marks. He was pulled off her by her attendants.

Königsmarck presumably was killed while assisting her in a futile attempt to escape from Hanover. In 1694 he disappeared (several guards & the Countess Platen confessed on their deathbeds to being involved in his death). Sophia Dorothea was divorced by George Louis who then imprisoned her at the Castle of Ahlden. She remained in captivity until her death more than thirty years later on 13 November 1726. Sophia Dorothea is sometimes referred to as the "princess of Ahlden."

Sophia Dorothea's infidelity to her husband is not absolutely proven, as it is possible that the letters which purport to have passed between Königsmarck & herself are forgeries. George II was very disturbed by the imprisonment of his mother, which was one of several factors which contributed to the relationship of mutual hatred between him & his father.

Sophia Dorothea fell ill in August 1726 & took to her bed, which she never left again. Before dying, Sophia Dorothea wrote a letter to her husband, cursing him from beyond the grave. She died of liver failure & gall bladder occlusion due to 60 stones. Sophia Dorothea was 60 years old & had spent 33 of those years imprisoned.

George would not allow mourning in Hanover or London. He was furious when he heard that his daughter's court in Berlin wore black. Sophia Dorothea's body was put into a casket & deposited in the castle's cellar. It was quietly moved to Celle in May 1727 to be buried beside her parents in the Stadtkirche. George I died four weeks later, presumably shortly after receiving his deceased wife's final letter.

Sophia Dorothea with her two children, by Jacques Vaillant, ca. 1690–1691. Currently displayed at Bomann-Museum, Celle.
Sophia Dorothea with her two children, by Jacques Vaillant, ca. 1690–91. Currently displayed at Bomann-Museum


14 November

A tapestry in the Flemish style of Katharine of Aragon & her husband Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales.
A tapestry in the Flemish style of Katharine of Aragon & her husband Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales.

14 November 1501

Arthur Prince of Wales married Katharine of Aragon

The marriage ceremony took place at Saint Paul's Cathedral on 14 November 1501, both Arthur & Katharine wore white satin.

'The upon the Sunday following being St Erkenwald's Day & the 14th day of November [1501].... was my lord prince [Arthur] & my aforesaid lady princess [Katharine of Aragon] being both clad in white satin married & solemnised in matrimony by the Archbishop of Canterbury [Henry Deane], having about him 19 bishops & abbots then mitred, & the king & queen (Henry VII & Elizabeth of York) with my lady the king's mother [Margaret Beaufort] & many other estates stood in secret wise within the place above named [St Paul's] which through larrice might hear & behold all the circumstance of the said solemnisation which endured well upon 2 hours or more, for over the Sacramental office there were read sundry instruments & other writings....... Wonderful it was to behold the riches of the court that day & the mighty poysant [heavy] chains of gold.... & when the mass was finished my said lady princess was led by the Duke of York [Henry, later king Henry VIII] upon the right side of a legate of Spain upon that other side, & so conveyed....into.....the palace.'

- A ROYAL MARRIAGE, contemporary account by Robert Faban, The Great Chronicle of London.

Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur, Prince of Wales

After the wedding, Arthur & Katharine left the Cathedral & moved to Baynard's Castle, where they were entertained by "the best voiced children of the King's chapel, who sang right sweetly with quaint harmony".

What followed was a bedding ceremony laid down by Arthur's grandmother Lady Margaret Beaufort: the bed was sprinkled with holy water, after which Katharine was led away from the wedding feast by her ladies-in-waiting. She was undressed, veiled & "reverently" laid in bed, while Arthur, "in his shirt, with a gown cast about him", was escorted by his gentlemen into the bedchamber, while viols & tabors played. The Bishop of London blessed the bed & prayed for the marriage to be fruitful, after which the couple were left alone. This is the only public bedding of a royal couple recorded in Britain in the 16th century.

Katharine of Aragon
Katharine of Aragon

After residing at Tickenhill Manor for a month, Arthur & Katharine headed for the Welsh Marches, where they moved into Ludlow Castle (well worth a visit by the way). Arthur had been growing weaker since his wedding, & although Katharine was unwilling to go with him, she was ordered by Henry VII to join her husband. In March 1502, Arthur & Katharine were afflicted by an unknown illness, "a malign vapour which proceeded from the air." While Katharine recovered, Arthur died on 2 April 1502 at Ludlow, six months short of his sixteenth birthday.

For more about Prince Arthur visit Arthur, Prince of Wales


14 November 1948

King Charles III was born

Charles was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, at 9.14 pm (GMT), the first child of Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh (now Queen Elizabeth II), & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, & first grandchild of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth.

As the child of a daughter of the sovereign, Charles would not usually have been accorded the titles of a British prince or the style Royal Highness. Instead, he would have taken his father's secondary title, Earl of Merioneth, as a courtesy title. However, on 22 October 1948, George VI had issued letters patent granting a royal & princely status to any children of Princess Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh, making Charles a royal prince from birth.

Prince Charles was heir apparent as well as Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay (in Scotland) from 1952 to 2022 & was also both the oldest & the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He was also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held the title from July 1958 to 2022. Upon the death of his father, Prince Philip, on 9 April 2021, Charles also inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

Charles became the oldest person (aged 73) to accede to the British throne following the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, on 8 September 2022. Charles gave his first speech to the nation on 9 September in which he mourned his late mother & proclaimed his elder son, William, Prince of Wales. The coronation of Charles III & Camilla is due to take place on 6 May 2023 at Westminster Abbey.


14 November 1973

Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips

On Wednesday, 14 November 1973 (the twenty-fifth birthday of her brother, Prince Charles), Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, a lieutenant in the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that was televised around the world, with an estimated audience of 100 million.

Following the wedding, Anne and her husband lived at Gatcombe Park. He was made acting captain by the start of 1974 when he was appointed a personal aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II. By 1989, however, Princess Anne & Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate, as the marriage had been under strain for a number of years. The couple divorced on 23 April 1992.

The Queen had offered Phillips an earldom on his wedding day, as was customary for untitled men marrying into the Royal Family. Phillips declined. The couple had two children, Peter Phillips & Zara Phillips. As female-line descendants of royalty, the children have no title despite being the grandchildren of a monarch. (They are not the only children of a British princess without titles; the children of Princess Alexandra, the Queen's cousin, are also untitled.)

💔 Interesting fact: Or rather a piece of advice, never celebrate your honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia!

- Four newly-wed couples took their honeymoon aboard HMY Britannia. Each marriage ended in divorce! Princess Margaret & Lord Snowdon; Princess Anne & Mark Phillips; Prince Charles & Lady Diana; Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson. 💔


15 November

15 November 1977

Peter Phillips was born

Peter Mark Andrew Phillips (born 15 November 1977) a British businessman & the son of Anne, Princess Royal, & Captain Mark Phillips. He is the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, & is 18th in the line of succession to the British throne.

Phillips attended University of Exeter before working at Jaguar Racing. He is currently working as a managing director for SEL UK, a boutique sports management company. He married Autumn Kelly, a Canadian management consultant, in 2008 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. They have two children together, separated in 2019, & divorced in 2021.


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