This Week In Royal History

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

1 June - 7 June

1 June 1533

Anne Boleyn's coronation

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife

Anne was crowned queen in a magnificent ceremony at Westminster Abbey with a banquet afterwards. She was the LAST queen consort of England to be crowned separately from her husband. Unlike any other queen consort, Anne was crowned with St Edward's Crown, which had previously been used to crown only a monarch. Historian Alice Hunt suggests that this was done because Anne's pregnancy was visible by then and she was carrying the heir who was presumed to be male.

On the previous day, Anne had taken part in an elaborate procession through the streets of London seated in a litter of "white cloth of gold" that rested on two palfreys clothed to the ground in white damask, while the barons of the Cinque Ports held a canopy of cloth of gold over her head.

In accordance with tradition she wore white, and on her head a gold coronet beneath which her long dark hair hung down freely. Afterwards, the usual banquet in Westminster Hall took place.

Henry stood apart & watched his new queen from a distance, allowing her to be the sole focus of attention.

Did You Know? Anne Boleyn is the 8th cousin 13 times removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Their common ancestor is Edward I of England.

1 June 1563

The Plague returns to London

In 1563 London experienced its worst episode of plague during the 16th Century. At least 20,136 people in London & surrounding parishes are recorded to have died of plague during this outbreak. Around 24% of London's population died, but the plague affected London's insanitary parishes & neighbourhoods the most.

Woodcut Map of London circa 1561

The City of London in 1563 was overcrowded, unsanitary, & poorly-policed. Queen Elizabeth reigned in her 5th year & her government struggled with a rapidly increasing population. Although sanitation was a major problem, the city had gone over a dozen years without a plague epidemic. That changed in 1563 when plague suddenly erupted in Derby, Leicester, & London with such virulence that sickness spread to English troops garrisoned at Havre.

The first cases of the plague began to appear in June. According to manuscripts by John Stow kept at Lambeth Library, weekly bills of mortality for 1563 show the first 17 recorded plague deaths for the week ending June 12. The Queen began coordinating a government response to the epidemic by communicating orders to her people through the Church. Churchwardens were instructed to tell parishioners staying with those sick with plague not to come to church until several weeks after they die or recover. Strict countermeasures were taken at the local level to combat the epidemic such as painting blue crosses on the houses of the infected & government orders to kill & bury all stray cats & dogs "for the avoidance of plague," with special officers appointed to carry these orders.

Many people believed that plague was caused by inhaling corrupt airs known as "miasmas*." This belief carried on into the Victorian age. In an effort to cleanse London, orders were given by Queen Elizabeth's Council on 9 July that all householders at seven in the evening should make bonfires in the street to consume the ‘corrupt’ air. Cases began to steadily increase over the next few weeks, with plague killing 131 Londoners for the week ending 3 July before sharply increasing to hundreds of deaths per week by 30 July. Tudor physician William Bullein records the contemporary testimony of a beggar witnessing those fleeing the epidemic: "I met with wagons, cartes, & horses full loden with young barnes, for fear of the black Pestilence..." The urban neighborhoods within London's walls were among the hardest hit by the epidemic of 1563, with the worst afflicted areas being Saint Poulkar's parish, Fleet Ditch's Turnagain lane, & Seacoal lane. Large numbers of rats were attracted to Saint Poulkar's due to the large quantities of fruit merchandise & filth in the. The areas around Fleet river were overcrowded & unsanitary, & plague spread wildly in these localities.

*The miasma theory (also called the miasmatic theory) is an obsolete medical theory that held diseases—such as cholera, chlamydia, or the Black Death—were caused by a miasma, a noxious form of "bad air", also known as night air. The theory held that the origin of epidemics was due to a miasma, emanating from rotting organic matter. In the early 19th century some 'experts' suggested that the theory extended to other conditions as well, e.g. one could become obese by inhaling the odor of food!

Queen Elizabeth I

The death toll in London soared, & fear of the plague spread to the Royal Court. On August 21, Lord Burleigh drafted Queen Elizabeth's order for the removal of Lady Katherine Grey & the Earl of Hertford from the Tower, out of "great fear that [the plague] may enter into our said Tower." At the end of August nearly 1,000 Londoners per week were dying, & the city was experiencing widespread panic. Elizabeth & the Royal Council decided to avoid the City of London entirely. The Queen moved the Royal Court to Windsor Castle & erected a gallows in the town square, threatening to hang anyone who followed them from London. She banned the transportation of goods into Windsor from London, as she too had a fear of contagion. A pious queen, Elizabeth also wrote to the Archbishop of York to recommend universal prayer & fasting for hastening "remedy & mitigation" of the plague in her realm.

London Bridge in Tudor London (note the heads on sticks!)

Between 27 August & 1 October around 1,500 people on average were dying each week. The figure peaked at 1,828 plague deaths in London for the week ending 1 October. The Queen’s government gave new orders on 30 September that all houses with infected individuals should have their doors & windows boarded up & that no person inside shall make contact with persons outside for 40 days. This strict quarantine may have had an immediate effect, with plague deaths the next week dropping over 30% to 1,262 for the week ending 8 October.

During plague outbreaks the disease tends to subside or break in a community during the winter months, as rats & their fleas retreat from snow. By 2 December deaths had fallen to 178 per week & the Common Council released an order that none of the houses where plague patients had been can be rented out. Cases continued to decline to 13 deaths for the week ending 21 January 1564 before plague died out in the city.

Other Royal News on 1 June;

1098 - First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ends as Crusader forces take the city, the second siege began five days later.

1252 - Alfonso X is proclaimed king of Castile & León.

1300 - Thomas Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk, Lord Marshall of England was born. (He was the fifth son of Edward I)

1535 - Combined forces of Charles V attack and expel the Ottomans from Tunis during the Conquest of Tunis.

1648 - The Roundheads defeated the Cavaliers at the Battle of Maidstone in the Second English Civil War.

1670 - In Dover, England, King Charles II signed a Secret Treaty of Dover with Louis XIV of France, which forced England into the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

1794 - The battle of the Glorious First of June was fought, the first naval engagement between Britain & France during the French Revolutionary Wars.

1815 - Otto of Greece was born.

1879 - Napoléon, Prince Imperial, the last dynastic Bonaparte was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.

2 June 1953

King Henry V married Catherine of Valois

Late 15th-century depiction of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Valois. British Library, London.

Henry V had been king for seven years when he married Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France. They married on 2 June 1420, at the Parish Church of St John or at Troyes Cathedral.

It was a supremely triumphant affair, attended by nobles & royalty from both England & France, & King James I of Scotland, a long-term but honoured prisoner in England, was also present.

Henry, now aged thirty-two, was at the height of his popularity & the coronation of his attractive nineteen year old queen was a cause for great rejoicing. A contemporary French chronicler, Enguerrand de Monstrelet, remarked that from the time that Catherine arrived at Dover ‘she was received as if she had been an angel of God.’

Catherine gave birth to a son named Henry (later King Henry VI of England) on 6 December 1421 at Windsor. Her husband never saw their child. During the siege of Meaux, he became sick with dysentery & died on 31 August 1422, just before his 36th birthday.

Catherine was not quite 21 & was left a queen dowager. Charles VI died a couple of months after Henry V, making the young Henry VI king of England & English-occupied northern France. Catherine doted on her son during his early childhood.

Did You Know?

Catherine's (died 1437) tomb was deliberately destroyed in the reign of her grandson, Henry VII. It has been suggested that Henry ordered her memorial to be removed to distance himself from his illegitimate ancestry. At this time, her coffin lid was accidentally raised, revealing her corpse, which for generations became a tourist attraction.

In 1669 the diarist Samuel Pepys kissed the long-deceased queen on his birthday:

"On Shrove Tuesday 1669, I to the Abbey went, & by favour did see the body of Queen Catherine of Valois, & had the upper part of the body in my hands, & I did kiss her mouth, reflecting upon it I did kiss a Queen: & this my birthday & I thirty-six years old & I did kiss a Queen." — Samuel Pepys

Catherine's remains were not properly re-interred until the reign of Queen Victoria.

Did You Know? Henry V of England is the 1st cousin 17 times removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Their common ancestor is John of Gaunt.

2 June 1953
Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II coronation (tap here to visit my coronation blog) Along with a full description of events, there are also photographs & videos + some other coronation facts.

Other Royal News on 2 June

1638 - Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon was born. Henry was the brother of Anne Hyde (first wife of James II of England)

1940 - Constantine II of Greece was born

3 June 1843

Frederick VIII of Denmark was born

Frederick VIII in 1909

He was King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912. Before his accession to the throne at age 62, he served as crown prince for over 42 years. Frederick became king of Denmark as Frederick VIII upon Christian IX's death on 29 January 1906. He was 62 years old at the time & had been Crown Prince for 43 years. However, because of his very late accession to the throne he had only six years as king & he was weakened by ill health. He died on 14 May 1912.

Did You Know? Frederick VIII of Denmark is the great grand uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, Their common ancestor is Christian IX of Denmark (who was the father of Queen Alexandra wife of Edward VII).

'The Nine Sovereigns' at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: Haakon VII of Norway, Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, Manuel II of Portugal & the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany & Prussia, George I of the Hellenes & Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V & Frederick VIII of Denmark.

3 June 1865

George V was born

King George V

George V was the King of the United Kingdom & the British Dominions, & Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. He was born on 3 June 1865, in Marlborough House, London. He was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later king Edward VII), & Alexandra, Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra). George's father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert, & his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX & Queen Louise of Denmark.

He was born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, & was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, & his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy with his brother Albert Victor for the first three years..

Did You Know? During his time spent on HMS Bacchante he toured the colonies of the British Empire in the Caribbean, South Africa & Australia, & visited Norfolk, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean, Egypt, & East Asia. In 1881 on a visit to Japan, he met the Emperor Meiji. George & his brother presented Empress Haruko with two wallabies from Australia. It was while in Japan that he had a blue & red dragon tattooed on his arm.

In late 1891, George's elder brother, Albert Victor, became engaged to his second cousin once removed Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, known as "May" within the family. In early 1892 Albert Victor died during an outbreak of influenza. George was now directly in line for the throne. He was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness & Baron Killarney by Queen Victoria on 24 May 1892.

Queen Victoria regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, & George & May grew close during their period of mourning. A year after Albert Victor's death, George proposed to May & was accepted. The wedding took place on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London. Throughout their lives, they remained devoted to each other. George was, unable to express his feelings easily in speech, but they often exchanged loving letters & notes.

Did You Know? In 1892, George faced rejection in his 'first' marriage proposal, not to 'May' of Teck but to Marie of Edinburgh. Her parents were Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (George served with him in the Royal Navy) & Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. George put forward a proposal of marriage to Marie's parents, but Marie rejected him. Marie would later marry Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania & would become Queen of Romania on Ferdinand's accession to the throne in 1914.

George and Mary on their wedding day, 1893

On the death of his grandmother on 22 January 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, & George was created Prince of Wales. George inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall, & for much of the rest of that year, he was known as the Duke of Cornwall & York. Later in the year, the Duke & Duchess toured the British Empire. Their tour included Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Aden, Ceylon, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, South Africa, Canada, & the Colony of Newfoundland. In Australia, the Duke opened the FIRST session of the Australian Parliament upon the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia.

On 9 November 1901, George was created Prince of Wales & Earl of Chester. From November 1905 to March 1906, George & May toured British India, where he was disgusted by racial discrimination & campaigned for greater involvement of Indians in the government of the country. After the tour they attended the wedding of King Alfonso XIII to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, a first cousin of George, then they travelled to Norway for the coronation of King Haakon VII, George's cousin & brother-in-law, & Queen Maud, George's sister.

He became king-emperor on his father's death 6 May 1910. He wrote in his diary, "I have lost my best friend & the best of fathers ... I never had a [cross] word with him in my life. I am heart-broken & overwhelmed with grief but God will help me in my responsibilities & darling May will be my comfort as she has always been. May God give me strength & guidance in the heavy task which has fallen on me"

George & Mary's coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911, & was celebrated by the Festival of Empire in London. Later in 1911, the King & Queen travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar, where they were presented to an assembled audience of Indian dignitaries & princes as the Emperor & Empress of India on 12 December 1911. George wore the newly created Imperial Crown of India at the ceremony, & declared the shifting of the Indian capital from Calcutta to Delhi. He was the ONLY Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.

George V's reign coincided with the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, & the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. After the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his cousins Nicholas II of Russia & Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent.

George V (right) & his physically similar cousin Nicholas II of Russia in German uniforms before the war

In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha as a result of anti-German feeling running high. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations.

The King delivering his Christmas broadcast, 1934

In 1932, George agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event that became annual event. In his silver jubilee year of his reign in 1935, he had become a well-loved king, saying in response to the crowd's adulation, "I cannot understand it, after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow."

George's relationship with his eldest son & heir, Edward, deteriorated in these later years. George was disappointed in Edward's failure to settle down in life & disgusted by his many affairs with married women. He was fond of his second son, Prince Albert (later George VI), & doted on his eldest granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth; he nicknamed her "Lilibet", & she affectionately called him "Grandpa England". In 1935, George said of his son Edward: "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself within 12 months", & of Albert & Elizabeth: "I pray to God my eldest son will never marry & have children, & that nothing will come between Bertie & Lilibet & the throne."

The First World War took a toll on George's health: he was seriously injured on 28 October 1915 when thrown by his horse at a troop review in France, & his heavy smoking exacerbated recurring breathing problems. In November 1928, he fell seriously ill with septicaemia, & for the next two years his son Edward took over many of his duties.

 In 1929, he retired for three months to Craigweil House, Aldwick, in the seaside resort of Bognor, Sussex. As a result of his stay, the town acquired the suffix "Regis", which is Latin for "of the King". A myth later grew that his last words, upon being told that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town again, were "Bugger Bognor!" George never fully recovered. In his final year, he was occasionally administered oxygen. The death of his favourite sister, Victoria, in December 1935 depressed him deeply. On 15 January 1936, the King took to his bedroom at Sandringham House complaining of a cold; he remained in the room until his death. He became gradually weaker, drifting in & out of consciousness He died on 20 January 1936.

3 June 1937

The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson

Château de Candé, the Windsors' wedding venue

The Duke married Simpson, who had changed her name by deed poll to Wallis Warfield, in a private ceremony on 3 June 1937, at Château de Candé, near Tours, France


Edward VIII, later Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (b. 23 June 1894 – d.28 May 1972), was King of the United Kingdom & the Dominions of the British Empire, & Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December of that year.

He became king on his father's death. As king, he showed impatience with court protocol, & caused great concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Several months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband & was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom & the Dominions deeply opposed the marriage, arguing a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically & socially unacceptable as a prospective queen consort. Also, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. When it became apparent he couldn't marry Wallis & remain king, he abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history, at just 326 days.

Edward was created Duke of Windsor after his abdication. He married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later in the year, the couple toured Germany, against the advice of the British government, & they met Adolf Hitler at his Berghof retreat in Bavaria. The visit was highly publicised by the German media. During the visit the Duke gave full Nazi salutes. In Germany, "they were treated like royalty ... members of the aristocracy would bow & curtsy towards her, & she was treated with all the dignity & status that the duke always wanted," according to royal biographer Andrew Morton in a 2016 BBC interview.

During the Second World War, Edward was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he was a Nazi sympathiser, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas, to get him out of the way. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France. In the 1950's & 1960's, the Duke & Duchess moved between Europe & the United States living a life of leisure as society celebrities. They remained married until his death in 1972. Wallis died 14 years later.

Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on their Mediterranean holiday, 1936


Born Bessie Wallis Warfield; (b.19 June 1896 – d.24 April 1986), she grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father died shortly after her birth & she & her widowed mother were partly supported by their wealthier relatives. Her first marriage, was to U.S. naval officer Win Spencer, & was punctuated by periods of separation & eventually ended in divorce. In 1931, during her second marriage, to Ernest Simpson, she met Edward, then Prince of Wales. Five years later, after Edward's accession as King of the United Kingdom, Wallis divorced her second husband to marry Edward.

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Other Royal News on 3 June;

1537 - João Manuel, Prince of Portugal was born

1540 - Charles II, Archduke of Austria was born

1665 - James Stuart, Duke of York (later King James II of England), defeats the Dutch fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

4 June 1246

Isabella of Angoulême died

Isabella of Angoulême, tomb in the church of Fontevraud Abbey (France)

Isabella of Angoulême , born c. 1188 was queen consort of England as the second wife of King John from 1200 until John's death in 1216. She was also reigning Countess of Angoulême from 1202 until 1246.

At the time of her marriage to John, the blonde-haired blue-eyed Isabella was already renowned by some for her beauty & has sometimes been called the Helen of the Middle Ages by historians. Isabella was much younger than her husband & possessed a volatile temper similar to his own. King John was infatuated with his young, beautiful wife; however, his acquisition of her had at least as much to do with spiting his enemies as romantic love. She had five children by the king, including his heir, later Henry III. In 1220, Isabella married Hugh X of Lusignan, Count of La Marche, by whom she had nine children.

In July 1217, less than a year after her son was crowned King Henry III of England, she left him in the care of his regent, William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke & returned to Angoulême. She was accused by contemporary writers of conspiring against the French King, Louis IX on 1241. After an attempted plot to poison the king in 1244 failed, to avoid arrest she fled to Fontevraud Abbey. She died there two years later.

On a visit to Fontevraud, her son King Henry III of England was shocked to find her buried outside the Abbey & ordered her immediately moved inside. She was finally placed beside Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Isabella is the 22nd great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II

4 June 1394

Mary de Bohun died

Psalter celebrating Mary's marriage

Mary died at Peterborough Castle, giving birth to her last child, a daughter, Philippa of England. She was buried at the Church of St Mary de Castro, Leicester.

Mary de Bohun born, c. 1368, was the first wife of King Henry IV of England & the mother of King Henry V. Mary was never queen, as she died before her husband came to the throne.

Mary de Bohun was the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford, & Joan FitzAlan, the daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel, & Eleanor of Lancaster. Through her mother, Mary was descended from Llywelyn the Great (King of Gwynedd in north Wales & eventually ruler of all Wales).

As a child Mary faced pressure into becoming a nun. However, John of Gaunt (Mary's future father-in-law), with the aid of Mary's mother, Joan, abducted her from the convent to be married to his son, the future Henry IV. Mary married Henry then known as Bolingbroke on 27 July 1380, at Arundel Castle. At the time of her marriage, Mary was perhaps little more than twelve years old.

It was at Monmouth Castle, one of her husband's possessions, that Mary gave birth to her first two children, both boys. Henry, the surviving son, was later to become Prince of Wales when his father seized the throne from Richard II in 1399. On the death of his father in 1413, he became King of England as Henry V.

Her children were;

  • Henry V, King of England (1386–1422), married Catherine of Valois

  • Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence (1387–1421), married Margaret Holland

  • John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford (1389–1435), married (1.) Anne of Burgundy; (2.) Jacquetta of Luxembourg (later married Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers, among their children were; Elizabeth Woodville, later Queen of England as the wife of Edward IV)

  • Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390–1447), married (1.) Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut; (2.)

  • .Blanche of England (1392–1409) married in 1402 Louis III, Elector Palatine

  • Philippa of England (1394–1430) married in 1406 Eric of Pomerania, King of Denmark, Norway & Sweden.

4 June 1394

Philippa of England was born

Philippa of England, Queen of Denmark, Sweden & Norway

Philippa of England, also known as Philippa of Lancaster, was Queen of Denmark, Norway & Sweden from 1406 to 1430 by marriage to King Eric of the Kalmar Union. She was the daughter of King Henry IV of England by his first spouse Mary de Bohun & the younger sister of King Henry V. Queen Philippa participated significantly in state affairs during the reign of her spouse, & served as regent of Denmark from 1423 to 1425.

The wedding between Philippa & Eric of Pomerania took place on 26 October 1406 in Lund Cathedral. Philippa was the FIRST documented princess in history to wear a white wedding dress during a royal wedding ceremony: she wore a tunic with a cloak in white silk bordered with grey squirrel & ermine. The wedding ceremony was followed by her coronation. The festivities lasted until November, & Philippa's dowry was officially received by the court chamberlain & clerics from the three kingdoms. Philippa was granted dower lands in all three kingdoms: Närke & Örebro In Sweden, Fyn with Odense & Nasbyhoved in Danmark, & Romerike in Norway.

Queen Philippa & King Eric lived in Kalmar Castle in Sweden with their court the first three years of their marriage. From 1409 onward, & particularly after the death of Queen Margaret in 1412, when Eric became King de facto, the royal couple mainly resided in Denmark. However, Philippa frequently returned to Sweden, she had a close relationship to Sweden, of the three Kingdoms, from the beginning.

During the pilgrimage of King Eric from 1423 until May 1425, Queen Philippa served as regent of the three kingdoms from Copenhagen.

In the spring of 1426, Philippa was sent to Sweden by Eric where she summoned the Swedish council in Vadstena & managed to secure support & funds for the Dano-Hanseatic War (1426–35) despite the Swedish opposition to this war.

In March 1427 she returned to Denmark where she stayed for three years during the war. In 1428, Philippa successfully organized the defence of the Danish capital against the attack of the Hanseatic League during the 1428 bombardment of Copenhagen. She was hailed as a heroine by the people of Copenhagen for rallying the citizens to fight the Hanseatic fleet in Copenhagen Harbour.

In late 1429, Philippa left for Sweden, officially on a mission from Eric to secure support for his war in Sweden, where the war had been opposed from the start. In Sweden, she traveled to Vadstena Abbey. Shortly after her arrival, she fell ill. The queen bore a stillborn boy. She died on 5 January 1430 at the age of 35 & was buried in the Cloister Church at Vadstena, close to Linköping in Östergötland, Sweden.

4 June 1738

King George III was born

George III coronation portrait

George was born in London at Norfolk House. He was the grandson of King George II, & the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, & Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. As Prince George was born two months premature & was thought unlikely to survive, he was quickly baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, who was both Rector of St James's & the Bishop of Oxford.

George III was King of Great Britain & King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke & prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814.

He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in England, spoke English as his first language, & never visited Hanover.

George's life & reign of 59 years & 96 days, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, & places farther afield in Africa, the Americas, & Asia. Early into his reign, Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America & India. Many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence. Further wars against revolutionary & Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

George had recurrent, & eventually permanent, mental illness in later life. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. His eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death in 1820, when he succeeded as George IV.

He married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 8 September 1761 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London. whom he met on their wedding day. A fortnight later on 22 September, both were crowned at Westminster Abbey. George never took a mistress (unlike his grandfather & his sons), & the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage. They had 15 children—nine sons & six daughters. Buckingham House (on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace) was purchased for his Queen in 1762, for use as a family retreat. His other residences were Kew Palace & Windsor Castle. St James's Palace was retained for official use. He did not travel extensively & spent his entire life in southern England.

Did You Know? The King & his family took holidays at Weymouth, Dorset, which he thus popularised as one of the first seaside resorts in England.

George was deeply devout & spent hours in prayer, but his piety wasn't shared by his brothers. George was disgusted by what he saw as their loose morals. In 1770, his brother Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland & Strathearn, was exposed as an adulterer, & the following year Cumberland married a young widow, Anne Horton. The King considered her inappropriate as a royal bride. George insisted on a new law that essentially forbade members of the Royal Family from legally marrying without the consent of the Sovereign. The subsequent bill was unpopular in Parliament, including among George's own ministers, but passed as the Royal Marriages Act 1772. Shortly afterwards, another of George's brothers, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh, revealed he had been secretly married to Maria, Countess Waldegrave, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole. The news confirmed George's opinion that he had been right to introduce the law: Maria was related to his political opponents.

In 1800, the British & Irish Parliaments passed an Act of Union that took effect on 1 January 1801 & united Great Britain & Ireland into a single state, known as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland". George used the opportunity to abandon the title "king of France", which English & British Sovereigns had maintained since the reign of Edward III. The title "Emperor of the British Isles", was suggested but he refused.

George III lived for 81 years & 239 days & was king for 59 years & 96 days: both his life & his reign were longer than those of any of his predecessors & subsequent kings. Only Queens Victoria & Elizabeth II have since lived & reigned longer.

Under George III, the British Agricultural Revolution reached its peak & great advances were made in fields such as science & industry. There was unprecedented growth in the rural population, which provided much of the workforce for the concurrent Industrial Revolution.

Coat of arms used from 1801 to 1816 as King of the United Kingdom

George III is the 3rd great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II

4 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert

Other Royal News on 4 June;

1134 - Magnus I of Sweden died

1941 - Wilhelm II, German Emperor died

5 June 1296

Edmund Plantagenet (known as Crouchback) died aged 51

Miniature of Edmund with Saint George, from an early 14th-century manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 231)

Edmund was born in London on 16 January 1245, as a member of the House of Plantagenet. He was the second surviving son of Henry III of England & Eleanor of Provence. In 1265 he was granted all the lands of Simon de Montfort & from 1267 he was titled Earl of Leicester. In the same year he began to rule Lancashire, but he did not take the title Earl of Lancaster until 1276.

His nickname, "Crouchback" (meaning "crossed-back"), indicating that he was entitled to wear a cross stitched into the back of his garments due to his participation in the Ninth Crusade. He had a reputation for being a ruthless & ferocious warrior. In 1271 he accompanied his elder brother Edward on the Ninth Crusade to Palestine. Edmund was loyal to his brother, Edward I, & frequently acted as an ambassador abroad.

On his return from the Crusade of 1271–2 he seems to have made Grosmont Castle his favoured home & undertook much rebuilding there. Edmund's duty to the church included the foundation of a Nuns of Clara or Poor Clares nunnery at Minories, St Aldate's. In 1291, he paid for the establishment for the Chapel of Savoy, in memory of his mother, at St Clement Danes. Filial piety was part of the chivalric code of an honourable knight. He was a generous benefactor to the monastery of Grace Dieu in Leicestershire, & the nuns at Tarrant Crawford. He helped establish a major Grey friars monastery at Preston.

In 1281 he supervised the construction of Aberystwyth Castle for King Edward I to subjugate the Welsh. The next year he accompanied Roger Mortimer on campaign against Llywelyn, defeating & capturing the prince. He took an army to Bordeaux for his brother. Amongst the nobles was the Earl of Lincoln & 26 banneret knights. During the siege of Bayonne the English ran out of money, so the army melted into the countryside. Broken-hearted the warrior-prince Edmund Crouchback died on 5 June. His body was carried to England & was interred on 15 July 1296 at Westminster Abbey, London.

image: Sodacan / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Edmund married (1st) 8 April 1269 Aveline de Forz, the daughter of William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle & Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon. She died just 4 years after the marriage.

He married (2nd) in Paris, on 3 February 1276 Blanche of Artois, widow of King Henry I of Navarre

With Blanche he had three children:

Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster & John of Lancaster.

Edmund Crouchback is the 20th great grand uncle of Queen Elizabeth II

5 June 1972

Duke of Windsor funeral

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

On 28 May 1972, ten days after the Queen Elizabeth II's visit, while on a state visit to France, the Duke died at his home in Paris, less than a month before his 78th birthday. His body was returned to Windsor, lying in state at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. On 5 June 1972 the funeral service took place in the chapel in the presence of the Queen, the royal family, & the Duchess of Windsor, who stayed at Buckingham Palace during her visit. He was buried in the Royal Burial Ground behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert at Frogmore. Until a 1965 agreement with the Queen, the Duke & Duchess had planned for a burial in a cemetery plot they had purchased at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, where the Duchess's father was interred. The Duchess died in 1986, & was buried alongside her husband.

Other Royal News on 5 June;

1316 - Louis X of France died

1341 - Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, son of king Edward III of England was born. (He is the 17th great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II)

1610 - The masque Tethys' Festival was performed at Whitehall Palace to celebrate the investiture of Henry Frederick, Prince Of Wales. He was the eldest son of James VI & I, he died aged 18 from typhoid fever.

1771 - Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover was born. He was the fifth son of George III. (He is the 2nd great grand uncle of Queen Elizabeth II)

6 June 1848

Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom funeral

Princess Sophia portrait by Thomas Lawrence

Princess Sophia (b.3 November 1777 – d.27 May 1848) was the twelfth child & fifth daughter of King George III & Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

After having been blind for over ten years, & on the morning of 27 May 1848, Princess Sophia became ill at her residence at Vicarage Place, Kensington; she was visited by her sister Mary, sister-in-law Queen Adelaide, & nephew-in-law Prince Albert. Sophia's died later that day, when Mary, the Duchesses of Kent & Cambridge were present.

The princess was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, rather than at Windsor Castle, as she wished to be near her brother, Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (who lies on the opposite side of the path).

Like her sister-in-law the Duchess of Kent (mother of Queen Victoria), Sophia fell under the spell of Victoria's comptroller Sir John Conroy & let him manage her money.  After her death, it was discovered that Conroy had squandered most of her money & that the princess had virtually no estate to bequeath. Charles Greville wrote an entry in his diary on 31 May: "The Princess Sophia died a few days ago, while the Queen [Victoria] was holding the Drawing-room for her Birthday. She was blind, helpless, & suffered martyrdom; a very clever, well-informed woman, but who never lived in the world."

Princess Sophia is the 2nd great grand aunt of Queen Elizabeth II

6 June 1931

Trooping the Colour

Pictured: Photograph of Queen Mary (1867-1953) returning from Trooping the Colour with the Duchess of York (1900-2001) (later Queen Elizabeth) and Princess Elizabeth (b.1926) (later HM Queen Elizabeth II) driving in an open-top carriage.

Other Royal News on 6 June;

1714 - Joseph I of Portugal was born

1808 - Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte was crowned king of Spain.

1809 - Charles XIII was elected to succeed Gustav IV Adolf as King of Sweden.

1857 - Sophia of Nassau married the future king Oscar II of Sweden-Norway

1872 - Alix of Hesse and by Rhine was born. She was later Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia as the wife of Nicholas II, the last ruler of the Russian Empire.

1921 - Southwark Bridge in London was opened to traffic by King George V & Queen Mary.

1934 - Albert II of Belgium was born.

7 June 929

Ælfthryth, Countess of Flanders died

Baldwin II of Flanders Ælfthryth, Countess of Flanders

Ælfthryth of Wessex (born. 877 was also known as Elftrudis (Elftrude, Elfrida). She was an English princess & a countess consort of Flanders.

She was the youngest daughter of Alfred the Great, the Saxon King of England & his wife Ealhswith. Her siblings included King Edward the Elder & King Æthelflæd.

Between 893 & 899, Ælfthryth married Baldwin II (died 918), Count of Flanders.

They had the following children:

Arnulf I of Flanders (c. 890–964/65)

Adalulf, Count of Boulogne (c. 890 – 933)



Ælfthryth Wessex is the 32nd great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II

7 June 1394

Anne of Bohemia died from the plague

Anne & Richard's coronation in the Liber Regalis

Anne of Bohemia, was born on 11 May 1366 in Prague, The Kingdom of Bohemia. She was Queen of England as the first wife of King Richard II. Anne was a member of the House of Luxembourg. Her father was of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor & King of Bohemia, & her mother was Elizabeth of Pomerania.

Anne had four brothers, including Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, & one younger sister, Margaret of Bohemia, Burgravine of Nuremberg. She also had five half-siblings from her father's previous marriages.

The Evesham chronicler said, "this queen, although she did not bear children, was still held to have contributed to the glory & wealth of the realm, as far as she was able. Noble & common people suffered greatly at her death". Nevertheless, her popular legacy as "Good Queen Anne" suggests that this lack of children was unimportant to many contemporaries.

Anne died from the plague, at Sheen Manor. The king was so grief-stricken that he completely demolished Sheen Manor, where she had died. She was known for having a calming influence on her volatile husband, after her death his conduct eventually lost him the throne.

Anne is buried at Westminster Abbey beside her husband. Their joint tomb, now damaged, once showed them clasping hands. The inscription on her tomb describes her as "beauteous in body & her face was gentle & pretty." When her tomb was opened in 1871, it was discovered that many of her bones had been stolen by relic hunters, via a hole in the side of the casket.

Anne's funeral

Did You Know? Anne of Bohemia is known to have made the sidesaddle more popular to ladies of the Middle Ages.

She also influenced the design of carts in England when she arrived in a carriage, presumably from Kocs, Hungary, to meet her future husband Richard. She also made the horned, Bohemian-style headdress the fashionable for Englishwomen in the late 14th-century.

7 June 1897

Princess Mary was baptised

Mary's baptism took place at St Mary Magdalene's Church near Sandringham on 7 June 1897 by William Dalrymple Maclagan, Archbishop of York.

Her godparents were: the Queen Victoria (her great-grandmother); the King of the Hellenes (her great-uncle); the Dowager Empress of Russia (her paternal great-aunt); the Prince & Princess of Wales (her paternal grandparents); the Duchess of Teck (her maternal grandmother); Princess Victoria of Wales (her paternal aunt); & Prince Francis of Teck (her maternal uncle).

Mary was the third child & only daughter of King George V & Queen Mary.

Prince Albert (later George VI), standing in sailor dress; Sheik Abdullah holding Princess Mary in his arms; & Prince Edward (later Edward VIII)

Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

She was the sixth holder of the title of Princess Royal, awarded in 1932 by George V. Mary held the title of princess with the style Highness from birth.

Did You Know? After a nursing course at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which she began in June 1918, the Princess worked at the hospital two days a week until 1920.

After her marriage, she held the title of Viscountess Lascelles & , from 1929, Countess of Harewood. The couple had two sons, George, 7th Earl of Harewood and The Honourable Gerald Lascelles. 

Other Royal news on 7 June;

1002 - Henry II, a cousin of Emperor Otto III, was elected & crowned King of Germany.

1099 - First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem began.

1329 - Robert I of Scotland (popularly known as Robert the Bruce) died aged 54.

1502 - John III of Portugal was born.

1628 - The Petition of Right, a major English constitutional document, was granted the Royal Assent by Charles I & becomes law. It was reportedly of equal value to Magna Carta & the Bill of Rights 1689.

1654 - Louis XIV was crowned King of France.

1840 - Frederick William III of Prussia died aged 69.

1940 - King Haakon VII, Crown Prince Olav & Norwegian government fled Tromso & went into exile in London.

Further interest;

Visit The Royal Collection

My recommended books;

Thank you for reading

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