This Week in Royal History

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

15 June to 21st June

15 June 1330

Edward, the Black Prince was born

Edward is granted Aquitaine by his father Edward III

Edward the Black Prince, also known as Edward of Woodstock (after his place of birth), was the eldest son of Edward III & Philippa of Hainaut. On 18 March, 1333, shortly before his third birthday, he was created Earl of Chester, & he was made Duke of Cornwall on 3 March, 1337.

During the next few years he was guardian of the kingdom while his father was absent on the Continent, & on 12 May, 1343, Edward was created Prince of Wales. At the age of 15 he was knighted by his father at La Hogue, & the following year Edward took an active role in the winning of the Battle of Crécy against the French. It was at this battle that he obtained the name of "the Black Prince," possibly because he wore black armour.

Visit last weeks blog for more about the Black Prince

15 June 1519

Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Richmond & Somerset was born

Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Henry VII of England

Henry was the illegitimate son of Henry VIII by Elizabeth Blount, a lady-in-waiting to Katharine of Aragon. Henry was given the surname 'FitzRoy' to make sure that all knew he was the son of the King (FitzRoy is an Anglo-Norman name originally meaning "son of the king".). The child was officially acknowledged by the King after the early deaths of the three sons born to the Queen.

Following his divorce from Katharine of Aragon & his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's attachment to Henry Fitzroy assumed a greater significance, particularly when his second wife also failed to produce a male heir. Appointed Knight of the Garter in 1525 & made Duke of Richmond & Somerset in the same year, Henry Fitzroy was given several important positions, including that of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

His education was entrusted to the distinguished classical scholar Richard Croke, who had taught Greek to Henry VIII, & was extended by attendance at the court of Francis I in France for eleven months in 1532. At the age of 14, on 28 November 1533 the Duke married Lady Mary Howard, the only daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Howard was an uncle of two of the wives of Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn & Catherine Howard,

It appears that Henry VIII may have contemplated making Henry Fitzroy his heir, but whatever the King's intentions may have been, the plan was spoiled by Henry Fitzroy's premature death of tuberculosis at the age of 17 in 1536.

15 June 1905

Princess Margaret of Connaught married Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden

Wedding of Princess Margaret & Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1905.

Princess Margaret of Connaught (b.15 January 1882 – d.1 May 1920), was the elder daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, (third son of Queen Victoria) & Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia.

On a trip to Egypt Margaret met Prince Gustaf, the future Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden (b.11 November 1882 – d.15 September 1973) the grandson of the Swedish King Oscar II. Originally, Margaret's sister Patricia had been considered a suitable match for Gustaf Adolf; without his knowledge, a meeting was arranged with the two sisters. Gustaf Adolf & Margaret fell in love at first sight. The Prince proposed at a dinner held by Lord Cromer at the British Consulate in Egypt, & Margaret accepted. Margaret had fallen completely in love with Gustaf Adolf, unusual for a 'marriage of state'. Her parents were very happy with the match.

On 15 June 1905, in St. George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle, Gustaf Adolf & Margaret married. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Ireland, & arrived in Sweden on 8 July 1905. One of Margaret's wedding presents was the 'Connaught tiara', which remains in the Swedish royal jewellery collection today.

When Gustaf Adolf's father, Crown Prince Gustaf, acceded to the throne as King Gustaf V in 1907, the couple became Crown Prince & Princess of Sweden. 

On 1 May 1920, her father's 70th birthday, Crown Princess Margaret died suddenly in Stockholm. The official announcement said infection set in following a mastoid operation. At the time, she was eight months pregnant & expecting her sixth child. Margaret was a dedicated mother to her children, & was determined to spend time with them. She was not keen on letting them be raised by nursery staff, as was the convention of the day.

Their five children were;

  • Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten (b. 22 April 1906 - d. 26 January 1947). He married Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, his second cousin; he died in a plane crash at Copenhagen Airport. He was the father of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

  • Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland (b. 7 June 1907 - d. 4 February 2002), later Sigvard Count of Wisborg.

  • Princess Ingrid (b. 28 March 1910 - d. 7 November 2000), later Queen of Denmark as the wife of Frederick IX of Denmark. She was the mother of the present Queen Margrethe II of Denmark & Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

  • Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland (b. 28 February 1912 - d. 5 January 1997). He married Lillian Davies.

  • Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna (b. 31 October 1916 -  d. 5 May 2012), later Carl Johan Count of Wisborg.

Gustaf Adolf with Margaret, & their children in 1912

The widowed Gustaf Adolf married Lady Louise Mountbatten, formerly Princess Louise of Battenberg, on 3 November 1923 at St. James's Palace. She was the aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, they had no surviving children. Gustaf became king of Sweden on 29 October 1950, thirty years after the death of his first wife Margaret. He was 67. He died in 1973 aged 90.

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden was the grandfather of his direct successor King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark & also of former Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Relation to the Queen; Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden is the 1st cousin 2 times removed-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Margaret of Connaught is the 1st cousin 2 times removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Their common ancestor is Queen Victoria.

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15 June 1215

King John puts his seal on the Magna Carta at Runnymede

One of four known surviving 1215 exemplars of Magna Carta.

Image: The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John. The original wax seal was lost over the centuries. This document is held at the British Library and is identified as "British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106".

The document known as the Magna Carta or Great Charter, is recognised as a fundamental part of the English constitutional tradition.

In 1215 King John of England (r.1199–1216) fought more than forty English barons & their followers in a civil war. The king had enraged the barons by extracting revenues based on their feudal obligations in order to fight his war in France. After John lost the war, the barons rebelled against their king.

The rebels demanded that the king confirm the Charter of Henry I, a coronation charter from 1100 in which King Henry I had promised to end all evil customs that oppressed the realm. Additional grievances were added to the charter, which King John was forced to accept at Runnymede, 15 June 1215, after the rebels occupied London.

Magna Carta contains sixty-three chapters. Many of the chapters defined the king's feudal rights over his vassals, preventing the king from collecting revenue from the barons as & when he pleased. Chapter 39 established the right to due process of law, & in chapter 40 the king promised that he would not sell, deny, or delay justice to anyone.

However, the Magna Carta didn't resolve the dispute between the barons & the King. Within months they were at war again. In August 1215 the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, John's feudal overlord, on the grounds that it had been executed under duress. In 1216, however, after John's death the charter was reissued with some modifications. At the conclusion of the civil war in 1217, it was reissued again with minor revisions. This version of Magna Carta became part of the English constitutional tradition; confirmed by later kings & interpreted by Parliament, it is still revered as a symbol of English liberties.

King John

Other royal news on 15 June;

844 – Louis II was crowned as king of Italy in Rome by pope Sergius II.

923 – Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France was killed & King Charles the Simple, arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.

1184 – The naval Battle of Fimreite was won by the Birkebeiner pretender Sverre Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson takes the Norwegian throne & King Magnus V of Norway is killed.

1553 – Archduke Ernest of Austria was born (d. 1595)

1808 – Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Spain.

1888 – Frederick III, German Emperor died (b. 1831)

1888 – Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II; he will be the last Emperor of the German Empire. Due to the death of his predecessors Wilhelm I & Frederick III, 1888 is the Year of the Three Emperors.

16 June 1487

The Battle of Stoke Field

The red rose of Lancaster & white rose of York

It was the last major engagement between contenders for the throne whose claims derived from descent from the houses of Lancaster & York respectively, & is seen as the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. Henry VII's victory at The Battle of Bosworth Field, two years previously, had established himself on the throne, ending the last period of Yorkist rule & the beginning of the Tudor dynasty. The Battle of Stoke Field was the decisive engagement in an attempt by leading Yorkists to unseat him in favour of the pretender Lambert Simnel, who claimed to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick.

Simnel was captured, but was pardoned by Henry in a gesture of clemency which did his reputation no harm. Henry realised that Simnel was just a puppet for the leading Yorkists. He was given a job in the royal kitchen, & later promoted to falconer.

To mark his victory, Henry raised his standard on Burham Furlong. The spot is marked by a large stone memorial with the legend "Here stood the Burrand Bush planted on the spot where Henry VII placed his standard after the Battle of Stoke 16 June 1487". Later in Henry's reign, the 1490's, another pretender to the throne emerged, in the person of Perkin Warbeck; however, this time the matter was resolved without having to fight a major battle.

16 June 1644

Henrietta of England was born

Henrietta of England

Henrietta was born on 16 June 1644, on the eve of the Second Battle of Newbury during the English Civil War, at Bedford House in Exeter, Her father was King Charles I of England, her mother was Henrietta Maria of France, daughter of Henry IV of France (Henry of Navarre) & Marie de' Medici.

In 1644 & with the ongoing civil war, & for the safety of the infant princess, the queen decided to head for Falmouth & then return to France to ask Louis XIV to aid her husband's war efforts. In July, Henrietta met her father, Charles I of England, for the first time. Prior to his arrival, the king had arranged for the princess to be baptised in accordance with the rites of the Church of England, & she was baptised Henrietta at Exeter Cathedral on 21 July. A canopy of state was erected in honour of her dignity as a Princess of England. Henrietta was moved to Oatlands Palace outside London, where the princess & her household lived for some three months before fleeing to France in June 1646, where she was re-united with her mother.

While living at the Château de Colombes, Henrietta Maria's personal residence outside Paris, mother & daughter heard of the restoration of the monarchy in England under Henrietta's brother Charles II of England, & they returned to Paris.

Henrietta's brother the Duke of Gloucester died of smallpox in September 1660. In October, Henrietta & her mother embarked at Calais for Dover. Henrietta's return to France was delayed by the death from smallpox of her elder sister Mary, Princess of Orange. She finally left England in January 1661. She married Philippe Duke of Orléans, brother of King Louis XIV of France at the Palais Royal on 31 March 1661.

Henrietta's husband, Philippe, Duke of Orléans

The marriage was elaborately celebrated & she & her husband moved into the Palais des Tuileries. As she had married Monsieur, Henrietta was styled Madame, la duchesse d'Orléans.

Their children were;

  • Marie Louise d'Orléans (b.26 March 1662 – d.12 February 1689) who married Charles II, king of Spain.

  • Philippe Charles d'Orléans, Duke of Valois (16 July 1664 – 8 December 1666) died in infancy.

  • A stillborn daughter (9 July 1665).

  • stillborn twin sons (1667) ; a miscarriage (1668).

  • Anne Marie d'Orléans (27 August 1669 – 26 August 1728), she married Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy (future king of Sardinia).

In April 1670 Henrietta began having severe digestive problems so severe that she could consume only milk. On 29 June, Henrietta drank a glass of iced chicory water. According to reports, immediately after drinking the water she felt intense pain in her side & cried out, "Ah! What a pain! What shall I do! I must be poisoned!". She assumed she had been poisoned & asked both for an antidote & for someone to examine the water. She was given common contemporary treatments for colic, as well as some anti-poisons. She died aged just 26 on 30 June 1670.

Some French & English physicians, the British ambassador & roughly 100 other onlookers oversaw the autopsy. The official report stated "death from cholera morbus (gastroenteritis) caused by heated bile," but many observers were in disagreement. Henrietta was interred at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis on 4 July, another service was held on 21 July.

Did You Know? Henrietta's eldest daughter Marie Louise also died in suspicious circumstances, at the age of 26 in Spain in 1689. The circumstances of her death were almost identical to those of her mother's death, & she was also believed to have been poisoned too.

Henrietta's descendants include Jacobean claimants to the English throne, Henri, Count of Paris, the Orléanist pretender to the French throne; the king of Spain Felipe VI; Philippe, king of the Belgians; Henri, the grand duke of Luxembourg & the pretender to the Italian throne, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples.

Henrietta's descendants include Jacobean claimants to the English throne, Henri, Count of Paris, the Orléanist pretender to the French throne; the king of Spain Felipe VI; Philippe, king of the Belgians; Henri, the grand duke of Luxembourg & the pretender to the Italian throne, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples.

Other royal news on 16 June;

1139 – Emperor Konoe of Japan was born (d. 1155)

1185 – Richeza of Poland, queen of León died (b. c. 1140)

1332 - Isabella, Countess of Bedford, daughter of Edward III & Philippa of Hainault was born

1454 – Joanna of Aragon, Queen of Naples was born (d. 1517)

1743 – Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, eldest daughter of King Louis XIV of France died (b. 1673)

1722 - John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough died (b.1650)

1858 – Gustaf V of Sweden was born (d. 1950)

17 June 1239

King Edward I was born

Edward I

Edward (also known as Edward Longshanks & the Hammer of the Scots) was born at Westminster, & was the son of Henry III & Eleanor of Provence.

In 1254, he married Eleanor of Castile. Edward's early adulthood took place against a backdrop of civil strife between his father Henry III & rebel barons. Edward was himself held captive at one point by the rebel leader Simon de Montfort before escaping & leading royalist forces to victory at the Battle of Evesham in August 1265, where de Montfort was killed.

In 1270, Edward left England to join the Eighth Crusade.

His father died in 1272 & Edward left the crusade, eventually returning to London, in August 1274. The new king was determined to enforce his primacy in the British Isles. The first part of his reign was dominated by his campaigns in Wales. He invaded in 1277, defeated the Welsh leader, Llywelyn ap Gruffyd & built a ring of castles to enforce his authority. After his rule provoked rebellion, he invaded again. Gruffyd was killed in battle in 1282 & his brother David executed, ending Welsh hopes of independence. Wales was brought into the English legal & administrative framework & in 1301 Edward's son was proclaimed prince of Wales - a tradition that persists to this day.

images: Caernarfon Castle

At home, Edward was responsible for a variety of legal & administrative reforms, asserting the rights of the Crown, promoting the uniform administration of justice & codifying the legal system.

His military campaigns necessitated increases in taxation which in turn required more regular meetings of parliament - by the end of Edward's reign, these had become an established feature of political life. The desire for financial gain contributed to Edward's expulsion of Jews from England in 1290.

In 1292, Edward was asked to arbitrate in a succession dispute in Scotland & nominated John Balliol as king. Balliol duly swore allegiance to Edward, but Edward's demands pushed the Scots into an alliance with France. Edward invaded & conquered Scotland. Opposition gathered around William Wallace, but he was captured by the English & executed in 1305.

Other royal news on 17 June;

850 – Tachibana no Kachiko, Japanese empress died  (b. 786)

1025 – Bolesław I the Brave, Polish king died (b. 967)

1361 – Ingeborg of Norway, princess consort and regent of Sweden died (b. 1301)

1397 – The Kalmar Union is formed under the rule of Margaret I of Denmark.

1462 – Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack at Târgovişte), forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

1463 – Catherine of Portugal, Portuguese princess died (b. 1436)

1497 – Battle of Deptford Bridge: Forces under King Henry VII defeat troops led by Michael An Gof.

1501 – John I Albert, Polish king died (b. 1459)

1631 – Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.

1631 – Gauharara Begum, Mughal princess was born (d. 1706)1682 – Charles XII, Swedish king was born  (d. 1718)

1696 – John III Sobieski, Polish king died (b. 1629)

1818 – Sophie of Württemberg, queen of the Netherlands was born (d. 1877)

18 June 1269

Eleanor of England, Countess of Bar was born

Eleanor was an English princess, the eldest surviving daughter of King Edward I of England & his first wife, Eleanor of Castile.

What evidence exists for Eleanor's early years suggests that while her parents were absent on the ninth Crusade between 1270 & 1274, she became close to her paternal grandmother, Eleanor of Provence. She was also close to her brother Henry. On one Pentecost Eve, Henry & Eleanor were given two partridges for dinner, as a special treat.

Eleanor married the French nobleman, Henry III, Count of Bar on 20 September 1293, & they had two children:

Edward I, Count of Bar (d.1336) & Joan (d.1361)

Eleanor died at Ghent on 29 August 1298. She was buried in Westminster Abbey but the location of her grave in the Abbey is unknown.

18 June 1318

Eleanor of Woodstock was born

She was an English princess & Duchess consort of Guelders by marriage. She was regent of Guelders as the guardian of her minor son from 1343 until 1344.

Eleanor was born at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire. Her parents were King Edward II of England & his queen Isabella of France. She was a younger sister of Edward III of England & the second wife of Reginald II of Guelders, "the Black". Eleanor's maternal grandfather was King Philip the Fair of France.

In May 1332 Eleanor married the reigning Count of Guelders, Reinoud II "the black" (English: Reginald), of the House of Wassenberg (born c. 1287), he was a widower with four daughters. Her wedding trousseau included a wedding gown of Spanish cloth, caps, gloves, shoes, a bed, rare spices & loaves of sugar. She was well received by the people of Guelders. They had two children; Reinald III "the fat" (1334–1371) & Edward, Duke of Guelders (1336–1371).

Eleanor suffered with anxiety & was over-eager to please her husband, who eventually tired of her & sent her from court (1338). He told people she had leprosy. Her husband then tried to annul the marriage. Eleanor turned up in Court in Nijmegen to contest the annulment, & proceeded to strip down, proving she was no leper, & thus forcing her husband to take her back. He died from a fall from his horse on 12 October 1343.

Eleanor became the regent of Guelders for her nine-year-old son Reginald, until she was forced to resign in 1344. She & Reginald later argued over making peace with his younger brother, & he confiscated her lands. On 22 April 1355, twelve years after she became a widow, Eleanor died in poverty in a Cistercian convent aged 36. She had been too proud to ask her brother Edward III for help & was buried in Deventer Abbey. Her tombstone had the simple inscription ELEANOR on it; however, in England, on the south side of Queen Philippa of Hainault's tomb in Westminster Abbey there is an image of her & her husband.

18 June 1525

Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Somerset & Richmond was born

Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond & Somerset, was the illegitimate son of Henry VIII by his mistress Elizabeth Blount, a lady-in-waiting to Katharine of Aragon. Henry was given the surname 'FitzRoy' to make sure that all knew he was son of the King (FitzRoy is an Anglo-Norman name originally meaning "son of the king".)

The child was officially acknowledged by the King after the early deaths of the three sons born to the Queen. Following his divorce from Katharine of Aragon & his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's attachment to Henry Fitzroy assumed a greater significance, particularly when his second wife also failed to produce a male heir. He was appointed Knight of the Garter in 1525 & made Duke of Richmond & Somerset in the same year, Henry was given several important positions, including Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. To be a duke was a significant honour, & was the highest rank of the peerage. Henry FitzRoy was now referred to in all formal correspondence as the “right high & noble prince Henry, Duke of Richmond & Somerset”. The king had granted his son the unprecedented honour of a double dukedom.

On 28 November 1533 the 14 year-old Duke married Lady Mary Howard, the only daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Howard was an uncle of two of the wives of Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn & Catherine Howard. It appears that Henry VIII even considered making Henry Fitzroy his heir, but Henry died of tuberculosis at the age of 17 on 23 July 1536.

image: Pat19999 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Other Royal News on 18 June;

618 – Li Yuan becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang dynasty rule over China.

741 – Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine emperor died (b. 685).

1291 – Alfonso III of Aragon died (b. 1265).

1429 – French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

1517 – Emperor Ōgimachi of Japan was born (d. 1593).

1633 – Charles I is crowned King of Scots at St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, seven years after being crowned king of England (2 February 1626).

1757 – Battle of Kolín between Prussian forces under Frederick the Great & an Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Years' War.

1815 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo results in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington & Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second & last time.

1866 – Prince Sigismund of Prussia died (b. 1864). He was a son of Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia (later King of Prussia & German Emperor as Frederick III), & Victoria, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of the British Queen Victoria.

1901 – Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was born (d. 1918).

19 June 1566

King James VI & I was born

James as a boy, after Arnold Bronckorst, 1574. National Portrait Gallery, London.

James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, & her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Both his parents were great-grandchildren of Henry VII of England through Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII.

James was born at Edinburgh Castle, & as the eldest son & heir apparent of the monarch, automatically became Duke of Rothesay & Prince & Great Steward of Scotland. He was baptised "Charles James" or "James Charles" on 17 December 1566 in a Catholic ceremony held at Stirling Castle. Mary's rule as Queen of Scotland was insecure, & being Roman Catholic, she faced a rebellion by Protestant noblemen. Her husband secretly allied himself with the rebels & conspired in the murder of the Queen's private secretary, David Rizzio.

James's father, Darnley, was murdered on 10 February 1567 at Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, possibly in revenge for the killing of Rizzio. James inherited his father's titles of Duke of Albany & Earl of Ross. Mary was already unpopular, & her marriage on 15 May 1567 to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was suspected of murdering Darnley only added to her problems. In June 1567, Protestant rebels arrested Mary & imprisoned her in Loch Leven Castle; she never saw her son again. Mary was forced to abdicate on 24 July 1567 in favour of the infant James & to appoint her illegitimate half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, as regent.

James VI & I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 & King of England & Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish & English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland & England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, & laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England, Elizabeth I, who died childless. He reigned in all three kingdoms for 22 years, a period known after him as the Jacobean era. After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England from 1603, & styled himself "King of Great Britain & Ireland". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for England & Scotland. In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster & British colonisation of the Americas began.

King James VI & I by John de Critz, c.1605

James was king of Scotland for 57 years & 246 days, the longest reign of any Scottish monarch. He achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 & repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. James was a talented scholar, & the author of works such as Daemonologie (1597), The True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), & Basilikon Doron (1599). He sponsored the translation of the Bible into English that would later be named after him: the Authorized King James Version. He was strongly committed to peace, & tried to avoid involvement in religious wars, especially the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) that devastated much of Central Europe.

He was married to Anne of Denmark (in 1589), they had seven children who survived beyond birth, of whom three reached adulthood, including the future king Charles I.

James VI & I's descendants include Queen Elizabeth II, Philippe, king of the Belgians, Felipe VI king of Spain, Carl XVI Gustaf king of Sweden, Margrethe II Queen of Denmark, Harald V king of Norway, Willem-Alexander king of the Netherlands, & Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

He is the 9th great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

19 June 1999

Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones

The Queen's youngest son Prince Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations executive with her own firm, at a tennis event in 1994. Their engagement was announced on 6 January 1999. Edward proposed to Sophie with an Asprey & Garrard engagement ring worth an estimated £105,000: a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold.

The wedding took place in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn (derived from the Welsh roots of the Countess's family), breaking from a tradition whereby sons of the sovereign were created royal dukes. It was however revealed that the Queen wished that he be elevated from the rank of Earl to Duke of Edinburgh after that dukedom, held by Prince Philip since 1947, reverts to the Crown (after the death of the current Duke & the Queen), & for his children to be styled as the children of an Earl, rather than as prince/ss & royal highness.

Edward & Sophie decided the wedding would not be turned into a state occasion, without ceremonial state or military involvement. The wedding ceremony was mainly a family occasion. Rather than court dress, the couple asked guests to wear formal evening gowns, & not to wear hats to reflect its wish for a more informal royal wedding. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wore a hat regardless, as she was rarely seen in public without one! Prince Edward's two brothers, the Prince of Wales & the Duke of York, both served as his supporters (the royal equivalent of the "best man"). Children of the couple's friends served as Sophie's attendants: Camilla Hadden, Olivia Taylor, Felix Sowerbutts, & Harry Warburton. The bride arrived with her father Christopher Rhys-Jones in a Rolls Royce owned by the Queen, & he walked her down the aisle while a fanfare by the Royal Marines was being played. Peter Nott, the Bishop of Norwich, performed the ceremony. Unlike previous royal weddings, like that of the Prince & Princess of Wales, Sophie chose to say the word "obey" in her vow "to love, cherish & obey". The couple said their respective vows properly, though some onlookers noted Edward had a little difficulty placing the wedding ring on Sophie's finger. In keeping with tradition, the wedding ring was crafted from Welsh gold from the Prince Edward mine in Gwynedd. The tradition of using Welsh gold within the wedding rings of the royal family dates back to 1923. 

The wedding dress worn by Sophie was designed by Samantha Shaw. It had a long, fitted coat with long sleeves, along with an ivory train that according to one source was "made from hand-dyed silk organza & hand-dyed silk crepe, with rows of pearls & crystal beading". The four girls & boys who carried her train were all commoners, the first time this has occurred in a royal wedding. Sophie wore a diamond tiara from the Queen's private collection, as well as a pearl necklace that was given to her by Edward for the wedding; Sophie in turn gave him an 18-karat gold pocket watch. Prince Edward's waistcoat was designed by John Kent.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds rode in an open, horse-drawn carriage to the reception in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, passing thousands of people en route. The Countess sent her wedding bouquet to Westminster Abbey to rest on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The tradition of Royal brides sending their bouquet to the Grave was started by Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later the Queen Mother) in 1923.

The couple's 10-foot-tall chocolate cake was made by Linda Fripp & adorned with daffodil & tennis rackets. The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the London Mozart Players & the band of the Royal Marines were in charge of providing the music for the reception ceremony. Geoffrey Shakerley photographed the wedding of Edward & Sophie. The couple spent their honeymoon at Balmoral Castle.

The newlyweds first overseas tour after their marriage was to the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island in 2000.

They have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, born 8 November 2003, & James, Viscount Severn, born 17 December 2007, They were born at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, They reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey. While their private residence is Bagshot Park, their office & official London residence is based at Buckingham Palace.

image: Heralder, all elements by Sodacan / CC BY-SA https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Did You Know? Sophie descends from King Henry IV of England.

Other Royal news on 19 June;

1282 – Eleanor de Montfort, Welsh princess died (b. 1252)

1306 – The Earl of Pembroke's army defeats Robert the Bruce's Scottish army at the Battle of Methven, during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

1364 – Elisenda of Montcada, queen consort and regent of Aragon died (b. 1292)

1500 - Edmund Tudor died (b.1599), he was a son of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York.

1747 – Nader Shah, Persian leader, died (b. 1688)

1850 – Princess Louise of the Netherlands marries Crown Prince Karl of Sweden–Norway.

1896 – Wallis Simpson, American wife of Edward VIII was born (d. 1986)

20 June 1837

King William IV died

William IV Portrait by James Lonsdale, 1830

The 71 year old monarch was seriously ill in June 1837, Queen Adelaide attended the dying William devotedly, not going to bed herself for more than ten days. William IV died in the early hours of the morning of 20 June 1837 at Windsor Castle, where he was buried. As he had no living legitimate issue, the Crown of the United Kingdom passed to Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, the only child of Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, George III's fourth son. He was succeeded in Hanover by his brother, Ernest Augustus I.

William was born on 21 August 1765. He was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland & King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. He was the third son of George III & younger brother & successor to George IV, he was the last king & penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.

'Sailor King'

William served in the Royal Navy in his youth & was, both during his reign & afterwards, nicknamed the "Sailor King". He served in North America & the Caribbean, but saw little actual fighting, though he was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780. He did his share of the cooking & got arrested with his shipmates after a drunken brawl in Gibraltar. His time in the navy was similar to other midshipmen,the only difference was he was accompanied on board ships by a tutor. He served in New York during the American War of Independence, making him the only member of the British royal family to visit America up to and through the American Revolution. He became a lieutenant in 1785 & captain of HMS Pegasus the following year. In late 1786, he was stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson, who wrote of William: "In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the [Naval] list; & in attention to orders, & respect to his superior officer, I hardly know his equal." The two were great friends, & dined together almost nightly. At Nelson's wedding, the future king insisted on giving the bride away. He was given command of the frigate HMS Andromeda in 1788, & was promoted to rear-admiral in command of HMS Valiant the following year. In 1789, he was created Duke of Clarence & St Andrews. He ended his naval service in 1790.

In the House of Lords, William spoke in opposition to the abolition of slavery, which although not legal in the UK still existed in the British colonies. Freedom would do the slaves little good, he argued. William had travelled widely &, in his view, the living standard among freemen in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland was worse than that among slaves in the West Indies. He was appointed Lord High Admiral in 1827. He abolished the cat o' nine tails for most offences other than mutiny, attempted to improve the standard of naval gunnery, & required regular reports of the condition & preparedness of each ship.

At Kew Palace on 11 July 1818, William married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen in a double wedding with William's brother, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent & Strathearn, & his bride Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen (Queen Victoria's parents),

William was 27 years her senior. The marriage, which lasted almost twenty years until his death, was a happy one. Adelaide took both William & his finances in hand. For their first year of marriage, the couple lived in economical fashion in Germany. William is not known to have had mistresses after his marriage. The couple had two short-lived daughters & Adelaide suffered three miscarriages.

He inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. During William's reign the British Parliament enacted major reforms, including the Factory Act of 1833 (preventing child labour), the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (emancipating slaves in the colonies), & the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 (standardising provision for the destitute). Though William didn't have any interest in politics unlike his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament. William had no surviving legitimate children but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years.

20 June 1837

Queen Victoria accession

Portrait: Victoria receives the news of her accession from Lord Conyngham (left) & the Archbishop of Canterbury. Engraving after painting by Henry Tanworth Wells, 1887.

On 20 June 1837, king William IV died at the age of 71, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent became Queen of the United Kingdom. The new Queen wrote in her diary,

"I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury & Lord Conyngham were here & wished to see me. I got out of bed & went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) & alone, & saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, & had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, & consequently that I am Queen."

The Official documents prepared on the first day of her reign described her as Alexandrina Victoria, but the first name was withdrawn at her own wish & not used again.

From 1714, Britain had shared a monarch with Hanover in Germany, but under Salic law women were excluded from the Hanoverian succession. Victoria inherited all the British Dominions, & her father's unpopular younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hanover. He was her heir presumptive while she was childless.

Victoria's coronation took place on 28 June 1838 at Westminster Abbey. Aided by the newly built railways, over 400,000 visitors came to London for the celebrations. The Queen became the first sovereign to take up residence at Buckingham Palace.

Queen Victoria's coronation by Sir George Hayter

Victoria would reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland until her death in 1901. She also adopted the additional title of Empress of India on 1 May 1876. Her reign of 63 years & seven months was known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, & military change within the United Kingdom, & was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

She was the only child of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent & Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), & Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She inherited the throne aged 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate children. Though a constitutional monarch, privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy & ministerial appointments; publicly, she became a national icon who was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

The Queen married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their nine children married into royal & noble families across Europe, earning Victoria the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning & avoided public appearances. She died on the Isle of Wight in 1901. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover, she was succeeded by her son Edward VII.

Queen Victoria photographed for her Diamond jubilee, 1897

Other news on 20 June;

840 – Louis the Pious, Carolingian emperor died (b. 778).

1389 - John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford was born (d. 1435). John was the son of Henry IV & brother to Henry V.

1405 – Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, fourth son of King Robert II of Scotland died (b. 1343).

1566 – Sigismund III Vasa, Polish and Swedish king was born (d. 1632).

1667 - James Stuart, Duke of Cambridge died (b. 1663). He was the second son of the Duke of York (later James II of England) & his first wife, Anne Hyde.

1685 – Monmouth Rebellion: Protestant James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declares himself King of England at Bridgwater. Scott was the illegitimate son of Charles II by one of his many mistresses Lucy Walter. His rebellion against his catholic uncle James II was doomed to fail, leading to his execution in 1685.

1840 – Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.

1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

1942 – The Holocaust: Kazimierz Piechowski & three others, dressed as members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, steal an SS staff car & escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

21 June 1377

King Edward III died

King Edward III, by unknown artist from the end of the 16th century.

King Edward III's fifty year reign came to an end when he died aged 65, after a stroke at Sheen Palace. He was succeeded by his ten-year old grandson Richard II, the son of Edward the Black Prince (d.1376).

Edward was born on 13 November 1312, the son of Edward II & Isabella of France. Before becoming king he was known as Edward of Windsor. He is known for his military success & for restoring royal authority after the disastrous & reign of his father, Edward II. He built the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His 50-year reign was the second-longest in medieval English history (behind Henry III, 56 years), & saw vital developments in legislation & government, such as the evolution of the English Parliament. His reign also saw the ravages of the Black Death.

Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, & her lover Roger Mortimer. At seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, & began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337. This ignited what became known as the Hundred Years' War between England & France (1337–1360). The first phase of the war went exceptionally well for England; with victories at Crécy & Poitiers leading to the Treaty of Brétigny, in which England made territorial gains, & Edward renounced his claim to the French throne. This phase would become known as the Edwardian War. Edward's later years were marked by international failure & domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity & poor health.

Battle of Crécy between the English & French in the Hundred Years' War

Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king whose main interest was warfare. He was the last common ancestor of the House of Lancaster & York. The Wars of the Roses were fought between the two houses for the succession after Edward's grandson Richard was deposed.

King Edward III of England & his wife, Philippa of Hainault, had eight sons & five daughters.

21 June 1982

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was born

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in 2016

Prince William was born at Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London, at 9:03 pm on 21 June 1982 as the first child of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II & Diana, Princess of Wales. His names, 'William Arthur Philip Louis', were announced by Buckingham Palace on 28 June. He was baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie  on 4 August, the 82nd birthday of his paternal great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. He was the first child born to a prince & princess of Wales since Prince John in 1905. Since his birth, William has been second in the line of succession to the British throne.

Prince William was educated at four schools in the UK & studied for a degree at the University of St Andrews. During a gap year, he spent time in Chile, Belize, & Africa.

In December 2006, he completed 44 weeks of training as an officer cadet & was commissioned in the Blues & Royals, a cavalry regiment of the British Army, & part of the Household Cavalry. In 2008, he completed pilot training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell, then helicopter flight training & became a full-time pilot with the RAF Search & Rescue Force in early 2009. His service with the British Armed Forces ended in September 2013. He then trained for a civil pilot's licence & spent over two years working as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

In 2011, Prince William was made Duke of Cambridge & married Catherine Middleton (b.1982). The couple have three children: Prince George (b.2013), Princess Charlotte (b.2015), & Prince Louis (b.2018).

Other royal news on 21 June;

1307 – Külüg Khan is enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan.

1377 - Richard II of England accession to the throne.

1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.

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