This Week in Royal History

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

8 June to 14 June

8 June 900

Edward the Elder coronation

Edward the Elder, eldest son of Alfred the Great

Edward the Elder (c. 874 – 17 July 924) was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until his death. He was the elder son of Alfred the Great & his wife Ealhswith. When Edward succeeded to the throne, he had to defeat a challenge from his cousin Æthelwold, who had a strong claim to the throne as the son of Alfred's elder brother & predecessor, Æthelred. Alfred had succeeded Æthelred as king of Wessex in 871, & almost faced defeat against the Danish Vikings until his decisive victory at the Battle of Edington in 878. After the battle, the Vikings ruled Northumbria, East Anglia & eastern Mercia, leaving only Wessex & western Mercia under Anglo-Saxon control. In the early 880's Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians, the ruler of western Mercia, accepted Alfred's lordship & married his daughter Æthelflæd, & around the year 886 Alfred adopted the new title King of the Anglo-Saxons as the ruler of all Anglo-Saxons not subject to Danish rule.

Britain in 886, Alfred adopted the new title King of the Anglo-Saxons

In 910 a combined Mercian & West Saxon army inflicted a crushing defeat on an invading Northumbrian army, ending the threat from the northern Vikings. In the 910's, Edward conquered Viking-ruled southern England, with his sister Æthelflæd, who had been named as Lady of the Mercians following the death of her husband in 911. After Æthelflæd's death in June 918, her daughter Ælfwynn briefly became second Lady of the Mercians, but in December her uncle Edward took her into Wessex & imposed direct rule on Mercia. By the end of the 910's he ruled Wessex, Mercia & East Anglia, & only Northumbria was still under Viking control. In 924 he faced a Mercian & Welsh revolt at Chester, & after defeating the revolt he died at Farndon in Cheshire on 17 July 924. He was succeeded by his eldest son Æthelstan.

Edward was greatly admired by medieval chroniclers, & William of Malmesbury wrote he was "much inferior to his father in the cultivation of letters" but "incomparably more glorious in the power of his rule".

Anglo-Saxon coronations

'Kingston' upon Thames is a town, former manor, ecclesiastical parish & borough now within Greater London, England. It is situated on the River Thames, southwest of Charing Cross (deemed the geographical centre of London). It is notable as the ancient market town in which Saxon kings were crowned & today is the administrative centre of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. Kingston was called 'Cyninges tun' in 838 AD, Chingestune in 1086, Kingeston in 1164, Kyngeston super Tamisiam in 1321 & Kingestowne upon Thames in 1589. The name means 'the king's manor or estate' from the Old English words cyning & tun. It belonged to the king in Saxon times & was the earliest royal borough.

The first surviving record of Kingston is from AD 838 as the site of a meeting between King Egbert of Wessex & Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury. Kingston lay on the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex & Mercia, until in the early tenth century when King Athelstan united both to create the kingdom of England. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states, two tenth-century kings were consecrated in Kingston: Æthelstan (925), & Æthelred the Unready (978). There are certain other kings who are said to have been crowned there, but for whom the evidence is less substantial: Edward the Elder (902), Edmund I (939), Eadred (946), Eadwig (956), Edgar the Peaceful (circa 960) & Edward the Martyr (975). It was later thought that the coronations were conducted in the chapel of St Mary, which collapsed in 1730. Tradition dating to the 18th century holds that a large stone recovered from the ruins played a part in the coronations. It was initially used as a mounting block, but in 1850 it was moved to a more dignified place in the market before finally being moved to the grounds of the Guildhall.

8 June 1042

King Harthacnut died aged 23 or 24

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

Harthacnut (Danish: Hardeknud; "Tough-knot"), sometimes referred to as Canute III, was King of Denmark from 1035 to 1042 & King of England from 1040 to 1042.

He was the son of King Cnut the Great (who ruled Denmark, Norway, & England) & his second wife Emma of Normandy. When his father died in 1035, Harthacnut struggled to keep hold of his father's possessions. Magnus I took control of Norway, but Harthacnut succeeded as King of Denmark & became King of England in 1040 after the death of his half-brother Harold Harefoot (son of Cnut & his first wife Elgifu). Harthacnut died suddenly in 1042 & was succeeded by Magnus in Denmark & Edward the Confessor in England. Harthacnut was the last Scandinavian to rule England.

Was he murdered?

On 8 June 1042, Harthacnut attended a wedding in Lambeth, London. The groom was Tovi the Proud, former standard-bearer to his father Cnut, & the bride was Gytha, daughter of the courtier Osgod Clapa. Harthacnut was said to have consumed large quantities of alcohol. As he was drinking to the health of the bride, he "died as he stood at his drink, & he suddenly fell to the earth with an awful convulsion; & those who were close by took hold of him, & he spoke no word afterwards..." The likely cause of death was a stroke, "brought about by an excessive intake of alcohol".

Sten Körner noted that the death of Harthacnut could be part of a plot, but did not further explore the notion, though the implication would be that Edward the Confessor was behind this plot. Brewer 2000, pp. 13, 14 states that Edward benefited from the sudden death of Harthacnut & that while Godwin, Earl of Wessex, was the father-in-law to Edward, he had once led an uprising against his son-in-law. He died suddenly after dining with said son-in-law, again pointing suspicion at Edward as the probable culprit behind both deaths. Katherine Holman was certain that Harthacnut was poisoned but felt that the culprit will never be known with certainty due to a list of potential enemies"

8 June 1376

Edward, the Black Prince died

He was the eldest son & heir of King Edward III, he was aged 45. He died before his father & so his son, Richard II, succeeded to the throne instead.

Edward is granted Aquitaine by his father king Edward III

The Black Prince was regarded by his English contemporaries as a model of chivalry & one of the greatest knights of his age. He was created Duke of Cornwall, the first English dukedom, in 1337. He was named 'guardian of the kingdom' in his father's absence in 1338, 1340, & 1342. He was also created Prince of Wales in 1343 & knighted by his father at La Hogne in 1346. He was created Prince of Aquitaine & Gascony in 1362.

Edward married his cousin, Joan, Countess of Kent (1328–1385), on 10 October 1361. She was the daughter & heiress of Edmund, Earl of Kent, the younger son of King Edward I by his second wife Margaret of France.

They had two sons, both born in Aquitaine: Edward, born at Angoulême on 27 July 1364. He died immediately before his father's return to England in January 1371; & the future king Richard II who succeeded his grandfather on the throne as Richard II of England.

The Prince died of dysentery at Westminster Palace. He requested to be buried in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral rather than next to the shrine, & a chapel was prepared there as a chantry for him & his wife Joan, Countess of Kent. However, this was overruled after his death & he was buried on the south side of the shrine of Thomas Becket behind the quire. Edward's tomb consists of a bronze effigy beneath a tester depicting the Holy Trinity, with his heraldic achievements hung over the tester. The achievements have now been replaced by replicas, though the originals can still be seen nearby. The tester was restored in 2006.

Epitaph inscribed around his effigy;

Such as thou art, sometime was I.

Such as I am, such shalt thou be.

I thought little on th'our of Death

So long as I enjoyed breath.

On earth I had great riches

Land, houses, great treasure, horses, money & gold.

But now a wretched captive am I,

Deep in the ground, lo here I lie.

My beauty great, is all quite gone,

My flesh is wasted to the bone.

Why the Black Prince ?

Although Edward is often referred to as the "Black Prince", there isn't actually any record of this name being used during his lifetime, nor for more than a century & a half after his death. He was instead known as Edward of Woodstock (after his place of birth), or by one of his titles. The "Black Prince" sobriquet was first found in writing in two manuscript notes made by the antiquary John Leland in the 1530s or early 1540s: in one, Leland refers in English to "the blake prince"; in the other, he refers in Latin to "Edwardi Principis cog: Nigri".

The name was also used by Shakespeare, in his plays Richard II (written c.1595) & Henry V (c.1599). It later appears prominently in the title of Joshua Barnes's The History of that Most Victorious Monarch, Edward III, King of England & France, & Lord of Ireland, & First Founder of the Most Noble Order of the Garter: Being a Full & Exact Account Of the Life & Death of the said King: Together with That of his Most Renowned Son, Edward, Prince of Wales & of Aquitain, Sirnamed the Black-Prince (1688).

The origins of the name are uncertain, though many theories have been proposed., such as;

  1. that it is derived from Edward's black shield, &/or his black armour.

  2. his brutal reputation on the battlefield

  3. wearing his black armour, he was described in French as clad at the battle of Crecy "en armure noire en fer bruni" – in black armour of burnished steel"

Effigy of Edward the Black Prince, Canterbury Cathedral, 1376

Image: Josep Renalias / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)

8 June 1492

Elizabeth Woodville died

Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483.

She was born about 1437 at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, the first-born child of Sir Richard Woodville & Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Elizabeth's mother, was the widow of the Duke of Bedford, uncle of King Henry VI of England. In about 1452, Elizabeth Woodville married Sir John Grey of Groby, the heir to the Barony Ferrers of Groby. He was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461, fighting for the Lancastrian cause. This would become a source of irony, since Elizabeth's future husband Edward IV was the Yorkist claimant to the throne. Elizabeth & Sir John had two sons, Thomas, later Marquess of Dorset, born in 1455, & Richard, born in 1457. Richard was aged about 26 when executed on the orders of Richard III in June 1483.

Edward IV & Elizabeth Woodville wedding, miniature Wavrin Anciennes Chroniques d'Angleterre Francais

Edward IV married the widowed Elizabeth Woodville secretly &, though the date is not recorded, it is traditionally said to have taken place at her family home in Northamptonshire on 1 May 1464. Only the bride's mother & two ladies were in attendance. Edward married her just over three years after he had assumed the English throne after his overwhelming victory over the Lancastrians, at the Battle of Towton, which resulted in the displacement of King Henry VI. Elizabeth Woodville was crowned queen of England on 26 May 1465. In the early years of his reign, Edward IV's governance of England was dependent upon a small circle of supporters, most notably his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the Kingmaker). About the time of Edward IV's secret marriage, Warwick was negotiating an alliance with France in an effort to thwart a similar arrangement being made by his sworn enemy Margaret of Anjou, wife of the deposed Henry VI. The plan was that Edward IV should marry a French princess. When his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, who was both a commoner & from a family of Lancastrian supporters became public, Warwick was both embarrassed & deeply offended, & his relationship with Edward IV never recovered. 

Warwick eventually conspired with his son-in-law George, Duke of Clarence, the king's younger brother. Warwick & Clarence twice rose in revolt & then fled to France after defeat. Warwick then formed an uneasy alliance with the Lancastrian Queen Margaret of Anjou & restored her husband Henry VI to the throne in 1470. But the following year, Edward IV, returned from exile & defeated Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, & the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry VI was killed soon afterwards, possibly on the orders of Edward himself.

Following her husband's temporary fall from power, Elizabeth sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey, where she gave birth to a son, Edward (later King Edward V of England). Her marriage to Edward IV produced a total of ten children, including another son, Richard, Duke of York, who would later join his brother as one of the Princes in the Tower. Five daughters also lived to adulthood.

Elizabeth engaged in acts of Christian piet, her acts included making pilgrimages, obtaining a papal indulgence for those who knelt & said the Angelus three times per day, & founding the chapel of St. Erasmus in Westminster Abbey.

Following Edward IV's sudden death, in April 1483, Elizabeth became queen dowager. Her young son, Edward V, became king, with his uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, acting as Lord Protector. Gloucester then moved to take control of the young king & had the king's uncle Earl Rivers & half-brother Richard Grey, son to Elizabeth, arrested. The young king was transferred to the Tower of London to await the coronation. With her younger son & daughters, Elizabeth again sought sanctuary.

On 25 June 1483, Gloucester had Elizabeth Woodville's son & brother executed in Pontefract Castle. Then by an act of Parliament, the Titulus Regius (1 Ric. III), it was declared that Edward IV's children with Elizabeth were illegitimate on the grounds that Edward IV had a precontract with the Lady Eleanor Butler, which was considered a legally binding contract that in effect rendered any other marriage contract invalid. The act also contained charges of witchcraft against Elizabeth, but gave no details & had no further repercussions. The Duke of Gloucester & Lord Protector was offered the throne & became King Richard III. Edward V, who was no longer king, & his brother Richard, Duke of York, remained in the Tower of London, never to be seen again after the summer of 1483.

Now referred to as Dame Elizabeth Grey, she & the Duke of Buckingham now allied themselves with Lady Margaret Stanley (née Beaufort) & espoused the cause of Margaret's son Henry Tudor, a great-great-great-grandson of King Edward III, the closest male heir of the Lancastrian claim to the throne with any degree of validity. To strengthen his claim & unite the two feuding noble houses, Elizabeth Woodville & Margaret Beaufort agreed that the latter's son should marry the former's eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, who upon the death of her brothers became the heiress of the House of York. Henry Tudor agreed & in December 1483 publicly swore an oath to that effect in the cathedral in Rennes, France.

Richard III's first Parliament of January 1484 stripped Elizabeth of all the lands given to her during Edward IV's reign. In March 1484, Elizabeth & her daughters came out of sanctuary after Richard III publicly swore an oath that her daughters would not be harmed or molested & that they wouldn't be imprisoned in any prison. He also promised to provide them with marriage portions & to marry them to "gentlemen born". The family returned to Court, apparently reconciled to Richard III.

After the death of Richard III's wife Anne Neville, in March 1485, rumours arose that the newly widowed king was going to marry his beautiful & young niece Elizabeth of York.

In 1485, Henry Tudor invaded England & defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. As King, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York & had the Titulus Regius revoked & all found copies destroyed. Elizabeth Woodville was accorded the title & honours of a queen dowager.

Scholars differ about why Dowager Queen Elizabeth spent the last five years of her life living at Bermondsey Abbey, to which she retired on 12 February 1487. Among her modern biographers, David Baldwin believes that Henry VII forced her retreat from the Court, while Arlene Okerlund presents evidence from July 1486 that she was already planning her retirement from court to live a religious, contemplative life at Bermondsey Abbey. Another suggestion is that her retreat to Bermondsey was forced on her because she was in some way involved in the 1487 Yorkist rebellion of Lambert Simnel, or at least was seen as a potential ally of the rebels.

At Bermondsey Abbey, Elizabeth was treated with respect due to a dowager queen. She lived a regal life on a pension of £400 & received small gifts from Henry VII. She was present at the birth of her granddaughter Margaret at Westminster Palace in November 1489 & at the birth of her grandson, the future Henry VIII, at Greenwich Palace in June 1491. Her daughter Queen Elizabeth visited her on occasion at Bermondsey, although another one of her other daughters, Cecily of York, visited her more often.

Elizabeth died at Bermondsey Abbey, on 8 June 1492.  With the exception of the queen, who was awaiting the birth of her fourth child, & Cecily of York, her daughters attended the funeral at Windsor Castle; Anne of York, Catherine of York (the future Countess of Devon) & Bridget of York (a nun at Dartford Priory). Elizabeth's will specified a simple ceremony. She was laid to rest in the same chantry as her husband King Edward IV in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Did You Know? Elizabeth Woodville was called "the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain" with "heavy-lidded eyes like those of a dragon."

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Other Royal News on 8 June;

1042 - Edward the Confessor became king of England.

1191 - Richard I Lionheart arrived in Acre, beginning the crusade.

1795 - Louis XVII of France died (b.1785)

9 June 1923

Princess Helena of the United Kingdom died;

Princess Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, died at Schomberg House on 9 June 1923.

Princess Helena (b.25 May 1846) was the third daughter & fifth child of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert.

She was educated by private tutors chosen by Prince Albert & his close friend & adviser, Baron Stockmar. Her childhood was spent with her parents, travelling between royal residences in Britain. On 14 December 1861, her father died & her mother entered a period of intense mourning.

In the early 1860's, Helena began a relationship with Prince Albert's German librarian, Carl Ruland. Although the nature of the relationship is largely unknown, Helena's romantic letters to Ruland survive. After the Queen found out in 1863, she dismissed Ruland, who returned to Germany. Three years later, on 5 July 1866, Helena married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. The couple remained in Britain, close to the Queen, who liked to have her daughters close-by. Helena, along with her youngest sister, Princess Beatrice, became the Queen's unofficial secretary. Queen Victoria's died on 22 January 1901.

Helena was the most active member of the royal family, carrying out a large programme of royal engagements. She was also a patron of charities, & was one of the founding members of the British Red Cross. She was founding president of the Royal School of Needlework, & president of the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association & the Royal British Nurses' Association. As president of the latter, she was a strong supporter of nurse registration against the advice of Florence Nightingale.

Did You Know? In 1916 she became the FIRST member of her family to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary, but her husband died a year later.

Helena outlived her husband by six years, & died aged 77 at Schomberg House on 9 June 1923. Her funeral, described as a "magnificently stage-managed scene" by her biographer Seweryn Chomet, was headed by her nephew King George V. The regiment of her favourite son, Prince Christian Victor, lined the steps of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Although originally interred in the Royal Vault at St George's on 15 June 1923, her body was reburied at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, a few miles from Windsor, after its consecration on 23 October 1928.

Helena had six children with Prince Christian, four of whom lived to adulthood. They had one grandchild, Valerie Marie zu Schleswig-Holstein, who died in 1953 as their last descendant.

  • Prince Christian Victor (b.14 April 1867 - d. 29 October 1900) His mother's favourite son; died while serving in the Boer War.

  • Prince Albert (28 February 1869 - 27 April 1931). Succeeded as head of the House of Oldenburg in 1921.

  • Princess Helena Victoria (3 May 1870 - 13 March 1948). Never married.

  • Princess Marie Louise (12 August 1872 - 8 December 1956), Married 1891 to Prince Aribert of Anhalt; no children; marriage was dissolved in 1900.

  • Prince Harald (12 May 1876 - 20 May 1876). Died an infant at eight days old.

  • An unnamed stillborn son (7 May 1877 - 7 May 1877)

Helena's daughter, Princess Marie Louise, described her as;

very lovely, with wavy brown hair, a beautiful little straight nose, & lovely amber-coloured eyes ... She was very talented: played the piano exquisitively, had a distinct gift for drawing & painting in water-colours ... Her outstanding gift was loyalty to her friends ... She was brilliantly clever, had a wonderful head for business.

Some of Princess Helena's artwork

Other Royal news on 9 June;

1500 - Henry VII & Elizabeth of York visited Calais.

1595 - Wladyslaw IV Vasa, Polish king was born (d.1648).

1640 - Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor was born (d.1705).

1661 - Feodor III Tsar of Russia was born (d.1682).

1672 - Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia was born (d.1725).

10 June 1711

Princess Amelia of Great Britain was born

Princess Amelia by Jean-Baptiste van Loo, c. 1738

Princess Amelia was born at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany, on 10 June 1711. At the time of her birth, her father was The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the son of the Elector of Hanover. Her mother was Caroline of Ansbach, daughter of Johann Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. She was known to her family as 'Emily'.

In August 1714, Queen Anne of Great Britain died. Princess Amelia's grandfather succeeded her to become George I of Great Britain, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701. Her father, now heir apparent to the throne of Great Britain, was made Duke of Cornwall & created Prince of Wales. Amelia moved to Great Britain with her family & they moved into St James's Palace in London.

In 1722, her mother, who had progressive ideas, had Amelia & her sister Caroline inoculated against smallpox by an early type of immunisation known as variolation, which had been brought to England from Constantinople by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu & Charles Maitland. On 11 June 1727, George I died & her father succeeded him as George II. She lived with her father until his death in 1760.

Amelia's aunt Sophia Dorothea, Queen in Prussia suggested Amelia as a suitable wife for her son Frederick (later known as Frederick the Great) but his father Frederick William I of Prussia forced his son to marry Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Bevern instead.

In 1751, Princess Amelia became ranger of Richmond Park after the death of Robert Walpole, 2nd Earl of Orford. The Princess caused major public uproar by closing the park to the public, only allowing few close friends & those with special permits to enter. This continued until 1758, when a local brewer, John Lewis, took the gatekeeper, who stopped him from entering the park, to court. The court ruled in favour of Lewis, citing the fact that, when Charles I enclosed the park in the 17th century, he allowed the public right of way in the park. Princess Amelia was then forced to lift the restrictions.

The Princess was generous & donated regularly to charitable organisations. In 1760 she donated £100 to the society for educating poor orphans of clergymen to help pay for a school for 21 orphan daughters of clergymen of the Church of England. In 1783 she agreed to become an annual subscriber of £25 to the new County Infirmary in Northampton. In 1761, Princess Amelia became the owner of Gunnersbury Estate, Middlesex, & at some time between 1777 & 1784, commissioned a bath house, extended as a folly by a subsequent owner of the land in the 19th century, which still stands today with a Grade II English Heritage listing & is known as Princess Amelia's Bathhouse.

The Princess also owned a property in Cavendish Square, Soho, London, where she died unmarried on 31 October 1786. She was the last surviving child of King George II & Queen Caroline. A miniature of Prince Frederick of Prussia was found on her body. She was buried in the Henry VII Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

Did You Know? Amelia Island in Florida, United States, is named for her, as is Amelia County in Virginia, United States.

Image by: SodacanThis W3C-unspecified vector image was created with Inkscape. / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

10 June 1713

Princess Caroline of Great Britain was born

Princess Caroline Portrait by Jacopo Amigoni, 1730's

Princess Caroline was born at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany, exactly two years to the day that her older sister Princess Amelia was born. Her father was George Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Hanover, the eldest son of George Louis, Elector of Hanover. Her mother was Caroline of Ansbach. As a granddaughter of the Elector of Hanover, she was styled Princess Caroline of Hanover at birth. Under the Act of Settlement 1701, she was seventh in the line of succession to the British throne. She was baptised the day after her birth at Herrenhausen Palace.

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

When Queen Anne of Great Britain died in 1714, Caroline's grandfather became George I & her father Prince of Wales. Caroline accompanied her mother & elder sisters, the Princesses Anne & Amelia, to Great Britain, & the family moved into St James's Palace, in London. She was then styled as a Princess of Great Britain. Princess Caroline was her mother's favourite, & became known as "the truth-telling Caroline Elizabeth" (or "the truth-loving"). When a disagreement took place among the children, her parents would say, "Send for Caroline, & then we shall know the truth!" According to Dr. John Doran, "The truth-loving Caroline Elizabeth was unreservedly beloved by her parents, was worthy of the affection, & repaid it by an ardent attachment. She was fair, good, accomplished, & unhappy."

It was said Caroline's unhappiness was due to her love for the married courtier Lord Hervey. When Hervey died in 1743, Caroline retired to St. James's Palace for many years prior to her own death, accessible to only her family & closest friends. She gave generously to various charities. Caroline died, unmarried & childless, on 28 December 1757, aged 44, at St James's Palace, & was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Horace Walpole, wrote: "Though her state of health had been so dangerous for years, & her absolute confinement for many of them, her disorder was, in a manner, new & sudden, & her death unexpected by herself, though earnestly her wish. Her goodness was constant & uniform, her generosity immense, her charities most extensive; in short, I, no royalist, could be lavish in her praise."

Princess Caroline coat of arms

Image: SodacanThis W3C-unspecified vector image was created with Inkscape. / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

10 June 1921

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Life up to the wedding, in 1947

Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu. He was the only son & fifth & final child of Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark & Princess Alice of Battenberg.

As member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, itself a branch of the House of Oldenburg, he was a prince of both Greece & Denmark by virtue of his patrilineal descent from George I of Greece & Christian IX of Denmark, & he was from birth in the line of succession to both thrones; the Danish Act of Succession 1953 removed the succession rights of his branch of the family in Denmark. Philip's four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora, Cecilie, & Sophie. Philip was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George's Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu.

After Philip's birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, then known as Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven, died in London. Louis was a naturalised British subject, who, after a career in the Royal Navy, had renounced his German titles & adopted the surname Mountbatten an Anglicised version of Battenberg during the First World War, owing to anti-German feelings in Britain. Philip attended his grandfather's memorial service in London with his mother. His father had remained in Greece to command an army division fighting in the Greco-Turkish War.

The war was disastrous for Greece, & the Turkish army made large gains. On 22 September 1922, Philip's uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate, & the new military government arrested Prince Andrew, along with others. The commander of the army, & five senior politicians were executed. Prince Andrew's life was believed to be in danger, & Alice was under surveillance. In December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life. The British ship HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family. The family went to France, where they settled in Paris in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece & Denmark.

Did You Know? Philip was carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box

British Royal Navy light cruiser HMS CALYPSO.

Because Philip left Greece as a baby, he does not speak Greek. In 1992, he stated that he "could understand a certain amount". Philip has said that he thought of himself as Danish, & his family spoke English, French, & German.

Philip was first educated at The Elms, an American school in Paris. Donald MacJannet, described Philip as a "know it all smarty person, but always remarkably polite". In 1928, he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School, living with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace & his uncle, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. His four sisters married German princes & moved to Germany, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia & placed in an asylum, & his father moved to Monte Carlo. Philip had very little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood. In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem, a school in Germany. Nazism was taking a hold of Germany, & Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution & founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland, to which Philip moved after two terms at Salem.

In 1937, his sister Cecilie, her husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her two young sons, Ludwig & Alexander, her newborn infant, & her mother-in-law, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, were killed in an air crash at Ostend; Philip, attended the funeral in Darmstadt.

After leaving Gordonstoun in early 1939, Philip completed a term at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, then moved to Greece, living with his mother in Athens for a month in mid-1939. George II, king of Greece, instructed Philip to return to Britain in September to resume training for the Royal Navy. Philip graduated from Dartmouth the next year as the best cadet in his course. During the Second World War, he continued to serve in the British forces, while two of his brothers-in-law, Prince Christoph of Hesse & Berthold, Margrave of Baden, fought on the opposing German side. In January 1940 he was appointed as a midshipman, & spent four months on the battleship HMS Ramillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean, followed by shorter postings on HMS Kent, on HMS Shropshire, & in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). After the Italian invasion of Greece in October 1940, he was transferred to the battleship HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean Fleet.

Philip was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant after a series of courses at Portsmouth in 1941. He was involved in the battle of Crete, & was mentioned in dispatches for his service during the battle of Cape Matapan, in which he controlled the battleship's searchlights. He was also awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour. In June 1942, he was appointed to the V & W-class destroyer & flotilla leader HMS Wallace, which was then involved in convoy escort tasks on the east coast of Britain, as well as the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Philip served aboard HMS Valiant in the Battle of the Mediterranean

In 16 July 1942 he was promoted to Lieutenant. & in October he became first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, at 21 years old one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. During the invasion of Sicily, in July 1943, as second in command of Wallace, he saved his ship from a night bomber attack. He devised a plan to launch a raft with smoke floats that successfully distracted the bombers, allowing the ship to slip away unnoticed. He moved to the new destroyer, HMS Whelp in 1944, where he saw service with the British Pacific Fleet in the 27th Destroyer Flotilla. Philip was present in Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed. In January 1946 Philip returned to the United Kingdom, & was posted as an instructor at HMS Royal Arthur, the Petty Officers' School in Corsham, Wiltshire.

In 1939, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth toured the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During the visit, the Queen & Louis Mountbatten asked Philip to escort the King's two daughters, Elizabeth & Margaret, who were Philip's third cousins through Queen Victoria, & second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark. Elizabeth fell in love with Philip, & they began to exchange letters when she was 13.

In the summer of 1946, Philip asked George VI for his daughter's hand in marriage. The King granted his request, provided that any formal engagement be delayed until Elizabeth's 21st birthday the following April. By March 1947, Philip had abandoned his Greek & Danish royal titles, had adopted the surname Mountbatten from his mother's family, & had become a naturalised British subject. on 10 July the engagement was announced to the public.

King George VI bestowed the style of Royal Highness on Philip &, on the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, & Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. Already being a Knight of the Garter, he bore the unusual style His Royal Highness Sir Philip Mountbatten, & is so described in the Letters Patent of 20 November 1947.

Philip & Elizabeth were married in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The service was recorded & broadcast by BBC radio to 200 million people around the world. After their marriage, the Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh took up residence at Clarence House. Their first two children were born before Elizabeth succeeded her father as monarch in 1952: Prince Charles in 1948 & Princess Anne in 1950. Their marriage is now the longest of any British monarch.

The Prince's current style & title in full: "His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Knight of the Order of Australia, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to His Majesty King George VI, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom"

10 June 1974

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester died

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, c.1945

Prince Henry suffered a series of strokes in later years, & was too ill to attend the funeral of his elder brother, Edward, Duke of Windsor, or the wedding of his younger son, Prince Richard, both in 1972. Henry's first stroke was in 1965 while he & his wife, Alice, were returning from Sir Winston Churchill's funeral ceremony in their vehicle which resulted in a car crash. Together with later strokes, they left him needing the use of a wheelchair & he was unable to speak for his last few years. His last public appearance was for the unveiling of Queen Mary's plaque at Marlborough House in 1967, where he appeared weak & considerably older than the Duke of Windsor.

On 28 August 1972, the Duke's elder son, Prince William, died in a plane crash. The Duke was in such poor health that his wife wasn't sure whether to tell him. She later admitted in her memoirs that she did not, but, that he may have learned of it through the television coverage.

The Duke was the last surviving child of King George V & Queen Mary. He died on 10 June 1974. He was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. His second son, Prince Richard, inherited the title of Duke of Gloucester. The Duke's wife, Alice, received permission from Queen Elizabeth II to be styled Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, to distinguish herself from Prince Richard's wife.

Did You Know? Henry's wife Princess Alice lived until 2004, became the longest-lived member of the British Royal Family in history, aged 102.

Some life facts;

Prince Henry was born on 31 March 1900, at York Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate.

Among his godparents were; Wilhelm II, German Emperor (his first cousin once removed); & his his paternal aunt, Maud, Queen of Norway.

As a young boy, Prince Henry suffered from ill health just like his older brother Albert (later George VI). He also had knocked knees, & had to wear painful leg splints. And also like his brother, Henry had a combination of speech disorders. They both had rhotacism, which prevented them from pronouncing the sound r, but while Albert's pronunciation was slightly reminiscent of the "French r", Henry was completely unable to pronounce it, causing the intended r to sound like [w].

Prince Henry became the FIRST son of a British monarch to attend school. He went on to study at Eton in 1913, then later to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1919.

Unlike his brothers who joined the Royal Navy, Prince Henry joined the British Army. He attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1919, & was commissioned a second lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps on 16 July 1919. On 16 July 1921 he was promoted to lieutenant in the 10th Royal Hussars, with whom he continued to serve. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the British Expeditionary Force. The Prince was slightly wounded in 1940 when his staff car was attacked from the air. Although he was a capable soldier, as the King's son he was prevented from joining his regiment abroad, & this meant he was generally seen as an outsider to his fellow officers.

On 31 March 1928, his father created him Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, & Baron Culloden, three titles that linked him with three parts of the United Kingdom, namely England, Northern Ireland & Scotland.

In 1934, his father made him a Knight of St Patrick, Ireland's chivalric order. It was the second to last time this order was awarded (the last appointment being the Duke of York, later George VI, in 1936); at the time of his death, the Duke of Gloucester was the ONLY remaining knight.

Prince Henry proposed to Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott, sister of one of Henry's best friends Lord William Montagu Douglas Scott. The proposal, wrote Lady Alice many years later, was not at all romantic as "it was not his way", instead he just "mumbled it as we were on a walk one day". They married on 6 November 1935 at Buckingham Palace in the Private Chapel, the original location was to be Westminster Abbey, but due to the death of Lady Alice's father they decided on a private wedding.

After suffering two miscarriages, the Duchess of Gloucester gave birth to two sons:

  • Prince William of Gloucester (18 December 1941 – 28 August 1972). He was born in Monken Hadley Common, He died unmarried, killed in an airplane crash.

  • Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (born 26 August 1944), He was born at St Matthew's Hospital in Northampton, He married a Danish commoner, Birgitte van Deurs, on 8 July 1972. The couple later had three children.

In late 1944 the Duke was unexpectedly appointed Governor-General of Australia. The Duke had made a successful visit to Australia in 1934. Because the Duke was shy, he sometimes appeared stiff & formal, but he & the Duchess travelled widely in Australia using his own plane during their time in office. When Prime Minister Curtin died in 1945, the Duke appointed Frank Forde as prime minister.

He left Australia in March 1947, after two years in the post, due to the need to act as Senior Counsellor of State during a visit by King George VI & Princesses Elizabeth & Margaret to South Africa. As a parting gift, he left his own plane for use by the government & people of Australia.

Stamp of Australia, 1945, showing the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, when the Duke became Governor-General

Other Royal News on 10 June;

1190 - Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the river Saleph while leading his army to Jeruselem.

1437 - Joan of Navarre, Queen Consort of Henry IV of England died (b.1370)

1688 James Francis Edward Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', claimant to the English & Scottish throne died (b.1766).

1719 - Jacobite Rising: Battle of Glen Shiel.

1897 - Grand Duchess Titiana Nikolaevna of Russia was born (d.1918).

11 June 1456

Anne Neville was born

Illuminated scroll of Queen Anne Neville & King Richard III of England.

Anne Neville was an English queen, the younger of the two daughters & co-heiresses of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (the "Kingmaker"). She became Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster (only son & heir apparent of King Henry VI) & then Queen of England as the wife of King Richard III.

She was born at Warwick Castle. Her father was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, & mother, Anne de Beauchamp. Her father was one of the most powerful noblemen in England & the most important supporter of the House of York. Her grandfather's sister, Cecily Neville, was the wife of Richard, Duke of York, who claimed the crown for the House of York.

As a member of the powerful House of Neville, Anne played a critical part in the Wars of the Roses fought between the House of York & House of Lancaster for the English crown. Her father Warwick betrothed her as a girl to Edward, Prince of Wales, the son of Henry VI. The marriage was  arranged in order to seal an alliance to the House of Lancaster & halt the civil war between the two houses of Lancaster & York.

After the death of Prince Edward at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, she married Richard, Duke of Gloucester (in 1472), younger brother of King Edward IV & of George, Duke of Clarence, the husband of Anne's elder sister Isabel Neville. Anne became queen when Richard III ascended the throne in June 1483, following the declaration that Edward IV's children by Elizabeth Woodville were illegitimate. Anne Neville died on 16 March 1485, five months before her husband. Her only child was Edward of Middleham, who predeceased her (d. April 1484).

11 June 1509

Henry VIII married Katharine of Aragon

Eighteen-year-old Henry VIII after his coronation in 1509

Henry VIII married Katharine of Aragon on 11 June 1509, seven years after her first husband Prince Arthur's death. She married Henry VIII, who had only just acceded to the throne, in a private ceremony in the church of the Observant Friars outside Greenwich Palace. She was 23 years of age. The opportunity for celebrations came two weeks later when they were both crowned King & Queen.

Katharine of Aragon, 18th-century copy of a lost original portrait

11 June 1727

George I died

George I (born. 28 May 1660 in Hanover) was King of Great Britain & Ireland from 1 August 1714 & ruler of the Duchy & Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire from 23 January 1698 until his death in 1727. He was the first British monarch of the House of Hanover.

George died during his sixth trip to his native Hanover since his accession as king of Great Britain. The king suffered a stroke on the road between Delden & Nordhorn on 9 June 1727, & was taken by carriage to the Prince-Bishop's palace at Osnabrück where he died in the early hours before dawn on 11 June 1727. He was buried in the chapel of Leine Palace in Hanover, but his remains were moved to the chapel at Herrenhausen Gardens after World War II. Leine Palace had burnt out entirely after British aerial bombings & the king's remains, along with his parents', were then moved to the 19th-century mausoleum of King Ernest Augustus in the Berggarten.

He married Sophia Dorothea of Celle in 1682, they divorced in 1694. They had two children; George II & Sophia Dorothea.

Other Royal News on 11 June;

323 BC - Alexander the Great, Macedonian king died (b.356 BC). possibly died on the 10th.

980 - Vladimir the Great consolidated the Kievan realm from Ukraine to the Baltic Sea. He was proclaimed ruler (knyaz) of all Kievan Rus'.

1183 - Henry the Young King died (b.1155).

1430 - Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond was born, he was the father of Henry VII, king of England.

1488 - James III, king of Scotland died (b.1451).

1557 - John III of Portugal died (b.1502).

1560 - Mary of Guise, queen of James V of Scotland died (b.1515).

1726 Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain was born (d.1746).

1879 - William, Prince of Orange died (b.1840).

1903 - Alexander I of Serbia (b.1876) & his wife Draga Mašin (b. 1864) were assassinated.

1917 - King Alexander became king of Greece after his father Constantine I abdicated.

12 June 918

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians died


Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians died at Tamworth on 12 June 918 & her body was then carried 75 miles to Gloucester, where she was buried with her husband Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians in their foundation, St Oswald's Minster. According to the Mercian Register, Æthelflæd was buried in the east porticus. A building suitable for a royal mausoleum has been found by archaeological investigation at the east end of the church & this could have been St Oswald's burial place. Placement next to the saint would have been a prestigious burial location for Æthelred & Æthelflæd. William of Malmesbury later wrote that their burial places were found in the south porticus during building works in the early twelfth century. He may have been misinformed about the position but it is also possible that the tombs were moved from their position next to the saint, when the couple became less known over time or when tenth-century kings acted to minimise the honour paid to their Mercian predecessors.

Æthelflæd died a few months too early to see the final conquest of the southern Danelaw by her brother Edward. She was succeeded as Lady of the Mercians by her daughter, Ælfwynn, however, in December 918 Edward deposed her & took Mercia under his control.

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians was born c. 870. She ruled Mercia in the English Midlands from 911 until her death. She was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, king of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, & his wife Ealhswith.

When her husband Æthelred died in 911,  Æthelflæd ruled Mercia as Lady of the Mercians. The accession of a female ruler in Mercia is described by the historian Ian Walker as "one of the most unique events in early medieval history".

Alfred had built a network of fortified burhs & in the 910's Edward (her brother) & Æthelflæd embarked on a programme of extending them. Among the towns where she built defences were Wednesbury, Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, Warwick, Chirbury & Runcorn. In 917 she sent an army to capture Derby, the first of the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw to fall to the English, a victory described by Tim Clarkson as "her greatest triumph". In 918 Leicester surrendered without a fight. Afterwards the Viking leaders of York offered her their loyalty, but she died on 12 June 918 before she could take advantage of the offer.

Other Royal News on 12 June;

1758 - Prince Augustus William of Prussia died (b.1722)

1997 - Queen Elizabeth reopened the Globe Theatre in London

13 June 1625

Charles I married Henrietta Maria of France

In May 1625 king Charles I was married by proxy to the fifteen-year-old French princess Henrietta Maria in front of the doors of Notre Dame de Paris in France. The married couple met in person on 13 June 1625 in Canterbury. Charles delayed the opening of his first Parliament until after the marriage was consummated, to forestall any opposition. Members of the Commons were deeply opposed to the king's marriage to a Roman Catholic, fearing that Charles would lift restrictions on Catholic recusants & undermine the official establishment of the reformed Church of England.

Although he told Parliament that he would not relax religious restrictions, he promised to do exactly that in a secret marriage treaty with his brother-in-law Louis XIII of France. Also, the treaty loaned to the French seven English naval ships that would be used to suppress the Protestant Huguenots at La Rochelle in September 1625. Charles was crowned on 2 February 1626 at Westminster Abbey, without his wife at his side because she flatly refused to participate in a Protestant religious ceremony.

13 June 1987

Princess Anne made Princess Royal

Princess Royal is a substantive title customarily (not automatically) awarded by a British monarch to his or her eldest daughter. There have been seven Princesses Royal. Princess Anne is the current Princess Royal. Queen Elizabeth II was never known as the Princess Royal because her aunt, Princess Mary, held the title.

The title Princess Royal came into existence when Queen Henrietta Maria (1609–1669), wife of King Charles I (1600–1649), wanted to imitate the way the eldest daughter of the King of France was styled "Madame Royale". Thus Princess Mary (born 1631), the daughter of Henrietta Maria & Charles, became the first Princess Royal in 1642. Mary was also The Princess of Orange as husband of William II, & the mother of William III of England.

Princess Mary (later Queen Mary II) (1662–1694), eldest daughter of King James II & VII, & Princess Sophia Dorothea (1687–1757), only daughter of King George I, though eligible for this honour they didn't receive it.

Other Royal News on 13 June;

1886 - Ludwig II, king of Bavaria died

1982 - Fahd, became king of Saudi Arabia

14 June 1170

Coronation of Henry the Young King

The Young king is crowned

Henry the Young King is the only King of England since the Norman Conquest to be crowned during his father's reign.

Henry the Young King (b.28 February 1155 – d.11 June 1183) was the eldest surviving son of Henry II of England & Eleanor of Aquitaine. Beginning in 1170, he was titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou & Maine. Despite being crowned king he was frustrated by his father's refusal to grant him meaningful autonomous power.He died aged 28, six years before his father, leaving his brother Richard (Lionheart) to become the next king.

In June 1170, the fifteen-year-old Henry was crowned king of England during his father's lifetime, something that was originally practised by the French Capetian dynasty. The physical appearance of Henry at his coronation in 1170 is given in a contemporary court poem written in Latin, where the fifteen-year-old prince is described as being handsome, "tall but well proportioned, broad-shouldered with a long & elegant neck, pale & freckled skin, bright & wide blue eyes, & a thick mop of the reddish-gold hair".

During his own lifetime he was known as "Henry the Young King" to distinguish him from his father Henry II. But because he was not a 'reigning' king, he is not counted in the numerical succession of kings of England. According to a correspondent of Thomas Becket, Henry was knighted by his father before the coronation, but the biographer of William Marshal asserts that the king was knighted by William in the course of the rebellion in 1173 (Georges Duby, Guillaume le Maréchal. Le meilleur chevalier du monde. 1984).

At his coronation banquet, the Young King is served by his father, King Henry II (Becket Leaves, c.1220-1240).

14 June 1381

The Peasant Revolt - Attack on London

Richard II meets the rebels on 14 June 1381 in a miniature from a 1470s copy of Jean Froissart's Chronicles.

The Peasants' Revolt, was a major uprising across large parts of England in the year of 1381. The revolt had several causes, including the socio-economic & political tensions generated by the Black Death pandemic in the 1340's, high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years' War, & the instability within the local leadership of London. The final trigger for the revolt was the intervention of a royal official, John Bampton, in Essex on 30 May 1381. As he attempted to collect unpaid poll taxes in Brentwood a violent confrontation erupted, which spread across the south-east of the country. People from all backgrounds of rural society, including many artisans & village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records & setting free prisoners. They sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom, & the removal of the King's senior officials & law courts.

The rebels were inspired by the radical cleric John Ball & led by Wat Tyler. A contingent of Kentish rebels arrived at London & were met at Blackheath by representatives of the government, who unsuccessfully tried to persuade them to return home. King Richard II, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London. at the time most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London. They were joined by many Londoners, & they attacked the gaols, sacked the Savoy Palace, set fire to law books & buildings in the Temple, & executed anyone associated with the royal government. On 14 June 1381 the king met the rebels at Mile End & agreed to most of their demands, including the end of serfdom. Richard issued charters that announced the abolition of serfdom, which immediately began to be sent around the country. He declined to hand over any of his officials, instead promising that he would personally implement any justice that was required.

While Richard was at Mile End, around 400 rebels operating separately from Tyler got into the Tower of London, & hunted down their targets. They killed the Lord Chancellor & the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside, beheading them out on Tower Hill. Their heads were shown to people around the town, before being affixed to London Bridge. The rebels found the future Henry IV, son of John of Gaunt & were about to execute him too, until one of the royal guards, John Ferrour saved the future king. They also stole all the armour & royal paraphernalia they could find.

On 15 June, king Richard II met Tyler & the rebels at Smithfield. Fighting broke out, & Richard's party killed Tyler in the melee. The king managed to defuse the situation long enough for London's mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city & push out the rebel forces.

The rebel leader's head was cut off & displayed on a pole &, with their leader now dead & the royal government backed by the London militia, the rebel movement began to disintegrate. Richard knighted Walworth & his leading supporters for their services. The king re-established order in London & rescinded his previous grants to the rebels. The revolt had also spread into East Anglia, where the University of Cambridge was attacked & royal officials were killed. Unrest continued until the intervention of Henry Despenser, who defeated a rebel army at the Battle of North Walsham on 25 or 26 June. Trouble even extended north to York, Beverley & Scarborough, & as far west as Bridgwater in Somerset. Richard put together an army of 4,000 soldiers to restore order. The majority of the rebel leaders were tracked down & executed; by November, at least 1,500 rebels had been killed.

Image:14th-century depiction of William Walworth killing Wat Tyler; the King is represented twice, watching events unfold (left) & addressing the crowd (right). British Library, London.

Other Royal News on 14 June;

1216 - First Barons' War: Prince Louis of France captured Winchester & soon conquered half of England.

1404 - Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndŵr, having declared himself Prince of Wales, allied himself with the French king againsy Henry IV of England.

1645 - English Civil War: Battle of Naseby: 12,000 Royalist forces of Charles I were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.

1667 - The Raid on Medway by the Dutch fleet in the Second Anglo-Dutch War ends. it lasted five days & was the worst ever defeat of the Royal Navy.

1690 - William III of England (William of Orange) arrived in Ireland to face former king James II of England.

1870 - Sophia of Prussia, Queen consort of Greece was born

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