Royal News: Sunday 24 July 2016

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Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: July 24 – July 30

Lord Nicholas Windsor and his brother George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, Photo Credit –

46th birthday of Lord Nicholas Windsor, son of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent; born at University College Hospital in London, England on July 25, 1970
Full name: Nicholas Charles Edward Jonathan
Wikipedia: Lord Nicholas Windsor



20th birthday of Samuel Chatto, son of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and grandson of Princess Margaret; born in London, England on July 28, 1996
Full name: Samuel David Benedict
Wikipedia: Lady Sarah Chatto: Marriage and Issue


Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, Photo Credit –

80th birthday of Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, sister of King Juan Carlos of Spain; born in Cannes, France on July 30, 1936
Unofficial Royalty: Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz


James Ogilvy and Julia Rawlinson, Photo Credit –

28th wedding anniversary of James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra of Kent, and Julia Rawlinson; married at St. Mary the Virgin in Saffron Waldon, Essex, England on July 30, 1988
Wikipedia: James Ogilvy
Wikipedia: Julia Ogilvy



5th wedding anniversary of Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, and Mike Tindall; married at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 30, 2011
Unofficial Royalty: Zara Phillips
Unofficial Royalty: Mike Tindall


July 24: Today in Royal History

William, Duke of Gloucester, Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 24, 1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots forced to abdicate her throne to her 1-year-old son King James VI of Scotland, the future King James I of England
Wikipedia: Mary, Queen of Scots
Unofficial Royalty: King James VI of Scotland/King James I of England

July 24, 1689 – Birth of William, Duke of Gloucester, son of Queen Anne of Great Britain, at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond, England
William was the only one of Queen Anne’s numerous children to survive a significant amount of time. A sickly child, who suffered from hydrocephalus, he died at age 11. The main street in Williamsburg in Virginia, the colonial capital of Virginia, was named after him. If you visit Colonial Williamsburg, you can walk on Duke of Gloucester Street which runs from the House of Burgesses to the main entrance of The College of William and Mary. It’s called DOG Street by the locals and college students.
Unofficial Royalty: William, Duke of Gloucester

July 24, 1817 – Birth of Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg at Biebrich Palace in Wiesbaden (Germany)
Adolphe became Grand Duke upon the accession of Queen Wilhelmina to the Dutch throne. The three previous kings of the Netherlands had also been Grand Dukes of Luxembourg. However, because of the Salic Law, Wilhelmina could not succeed to the throne of Luxembourg.
Unofficial Royalty: Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg

July 24, 1860 – Birth of Princess Charlotte of Prussia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, at Neues Palais in Potsdam, Prussia (Germany)
Full name: Viktoria Elisabeth Auguste Charlotte
Princess Charlotte was the daughter of Victoria, Princess Royal and Frederick III, German Emperor. She married her second cousin Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Charlotte of Prussia

Royal News: Saturday 23 July 2016

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July 23: Today in Royal History

Beatrice And Henry

Wedding of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom and Prince Henry of Battenberg (see below for who’s who in the photo); Photo Credit –

July 23, 1885 – Wedding of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and Prince Henry of Battenberg, at St. Mildred’s Church in Whippingham, Isle of Wight, England
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Henry of Battenberg
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

THE BACK: (L-R): Prince Alexander of Bulgaria, brother of the groom; Princess Louise of Wales; Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine; Princess Victoria of Wales; Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg, brother of the groom

THE MIDDLE: (L-R): Princess Maud of Wales; Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine; Princesses Marie Louise and Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein

THE FRONT: (L-R): Princesses Victoria Melita, Marie, and Alexandra of Edinburgh and bridal couple

July 23, 1892 – Birth of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
Wikipedia: Haile Selassie

July 23, 1952 – King Farouk of Egypt deposed by military coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Farouk is famous for saying, “In a few years there will be only five kings in the world — the King of England and the four kings in a pack of cards.”
Wikipedia: Farouk of Egypt

July 23, 1961 – Death of Mrs. Higashikuni Morihiro, formerly Princess Teru, at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital
Princess Teru was the eldest sister of Emperor Akihito.
Wikipedia: Princess Teru

July 23, 1986 – Wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Unofficial Royalty: Sarah, Duchess of York
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Andrew, Duke of York

July 23, 1999 – Death of King Hassan II of Morocco in Rabat, Morocco; buried at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco
Wikipedia: Hassan II of Morocco

July 23, 2007 – Death of Mohammed Zahir Shah, last king of Afghanistan, at the presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan; buried at Maranjan Hill at the presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan
Wikipedia: Mohammed Zahir Shah

Royal News: Friday 22 July 2016

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King Edward II of England

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

King Edward II of England was born on April 25, 1284 at Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd, Wales. Known as Edward of Caernarfon, he was the fourth son and the youngest of the 14-16 children of King Edward I of England and his first wife Eleanor of Castile.  Only six of their children survived childhood.

  • Daughter (stillborn in May 1255)
  • Katherine (before 1264 – 1264)
  • Joan (born and died 1265)
  • John (1266 – 1271)
  • Henry (1268 – 1274)
  • Eleanor (1269 – 1298), married Count Henry III of Bar, had issue
  • Daughter (born and died 1271)
  • Joan of Acre (1272 – 1307), married (1) in 1290 Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, had issue  (2) in 1297 Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer, had issue
  • Alphonso, Earl of Chester (1273 – 1284)
  • Margaret (1275 – after 1333), married John II of Brabant, had issue
  • Berengaria (1276 – 1278)
  • Daughter (born and died 1278)
  • Mary of Woodstock (1279 – 1332), a Benedictine nun in Amesbury, Wiltshire
  • Son (born in 1280 or 1281 who died very shortly after birth)
  • Elizabeth of Rhuddlan (1282 – 1316), married (1) in 1297 John I, Count of Holland, no issue (2) in 1302 Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford, 3rd Earl of Essex, had issue

Edward was born less than a year after his father King Edward I had taken complete control of Wales. At the time of his birth, Edward had only one surviving elder brother, Alphonso, Earl of Chester. However, ten year old Alphonso died four months after Edward’s birth, leaving his baby brother as heir to the throne. The tradition of conferring the title “Prince of Wales” on the heir apparent of the monarch is usually considered to have begun in 1301, when King Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon with the title at a Parliament held in Lincoln. Since then, the title has been granted (with a few exceptions) to the heir apparent of the English or British monarch.

Early 14th-century depiction of Edward I (left) declaring his son Edward (right) the Prince of Wales; Credit – Wikipedia

In 1290, Edward’s mother Eleanor of Castile died at the age of 49. When Eleanor died, only six children, five daughters and one son, Edward, were still living. Edward was the youngest child and only six years old. King Edward I had to be worried about the succession, and a second marriage with sons would insure the succession. On September 10, 1299 in Canterbury, 60 year old King Edward I and 17 year old Margaret of France were married.  Edward also had three half siblings from his father’s second marriage to Margaret of France:

Because his father was often away on military campaigns and was accompanied by his mother, Edward had seen little of his parents and lacked parental guidance for most of his childhood. He had no living brothers and four of his five surviving sisters (all were older than him) were married and the other sister was a nun. His half siblings were not born until after he was 16 years old. Therefore, Edward did not grow up surrounded by siblings. Edward did have an official household since he was an infant and staff that took care of his personal needs and education.

It is probable that Edward grew up as a lonely boy, longing for male companions of his own age, but his choices for favorites caused him many problems. His first favorite was Piers Gaveston from a family from Gascony (now in France). Gaveston had impressed King Edward I so he was assigned to Edward of Caernarfon’s household and he and Edward became inseparable companions. Gaveston became involved in conflicts between King Edward I and his son. The situation got so bad that shortly before his death, King Edward I banished Gaveston.

King Edward I died on military campaign on July 7, 1307. As child, Edward was betrothed Isabella of France, daughter of King Philippe IV of France and Joan I, Queen of Navarre in her own right, with the intention to resolve the conflicts between France and England over the England’s possession of Gascony and claims to Anjou, Normandy and Aquitaine.  However, King Edward I attempted to break the betrothal  several times and the marriage did not occur until after his death.  Isabella and King Edward II were married on January 25, 1308 in Boulogne, France.  The couple’s coronation was held in Westminster Abbey on February 25, 1308.  Isabella and Edward had four children.

Isabella of France; Credit – Wikipedia

One of King Edward II’s first acts as king was to recall to court his favorite Piers Gaveston.  From the start of her marriage, Isabella was confronted with the close relationship between her husband and Gaveston, described as “an arrogant, ostentatious soldier, with a reckless and headstrong personality.”  Edward and Gaveston enjoyed disrupting court ceremonies and the annoyance of members of the court when Gaveston called them rude nicknames. The true nature of their relationship is not known and there is no complicit evidence which comments directly on Edward’s sexual orientation.   Gaveston was part of the delegation that welcomed the young couple when they arrived in England after their marriage, and the greeting between Edward and Gaveston was unusually warm.  Edward chose to sit with Gaveston at his wedding festivities rather than his bride, and gave Gaveston part of the jewelry that belonged to Isabelle’s dowry.  Gaveston was created Earl of Cornwall, a title usually given to the sons of the king, and Edward arranged for Gaveston to marry his niece Margaret de Clare which greatly displeased the English nobility.

Eventually, with the influence of Isabella’s father,  Dowager Queen Margaret who was Isabella’s aunt, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward agreed to exile Gaveston to Ireland.  However, in a move which angered the barons, Edward made Gaveston  Regent of Ireland.  When Gaveston returned to England in 1312, he was hunted down and executed by a group of barons led by Edward’s uncle Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster and Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick.

In 1314, King Edward II took up arms in an attempt to complete his father’s campaign in Scotland. This resulted in a decisive Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn by a smaller army led by Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.

Depiction of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 from the Holkham Bible; Credit – Wikipedia

From 1312 – 1321, there is no evidence that Edward and Isabelle had a discordant marriage or that Isabella was not loyal to her husband.  Isabella took a role in the reconciliation between Edward and the barons, who were responsible for the execution of Gaveston. However, during this time period, Hugh Despenser the Elder became part of Edward’s inner circle, marking the beginning of the Despensers’ increased prominence at Edward’s court.  His son, Hugh Despenser the Younger, became a favorite of Edward II.  Edward was willing to let the Despensers do as they pleased, and they grew rich from their administration and corruption.

It is thought that Edward’s wife Isabella first met and fell in love with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London, which was both a royal palace and a prison at that time.  Isabella arranged for Mortimer’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.  In 1323, Isabella helped arrange Mortimer’s escape from the Tower and his subsequent flight to France.  During the next year, Isabella had had enough of the Despensers and left Edward, who made an unwise decision to send Isabella and their 12 year old son Edward on a mission to France.  Not surprisingly, Isabella met Mortimer in France where they planned to depose Edward II.  Isabella gathered an army and set sail for England, landing at Harwich on September 25, 1326.  With their with their mercenary army, Isabella and Mortimer quickly seized power. The Despensers were both executed and Edward II was forced to abdicate. Isabella’s son was crowned King Edward III, and Isabella and Mortimer served as regents for the teenage king.

An 15th-century depiction of Isabella capturing Edward II; Credit – Wikipedia

King Edward II was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and died there on September 21, 1327, probably murdered on the orders of Isabella and Mortimer.  His body was embalmed at Berkeley Castle and was shown to local town leaders. On December 20, 1327, King Edward II was buried at St. Peter’s Abbey in Gloucester. The abbey was dissolved in 1540 by King Henry VIII, and became Gloucester Cathedral in 1541. King Edward III arranged for his father’s tomb to be constructed with an alabaster effigy, a tomb-chest and a canopy made of oolite and Purbeck stone. King Edward II’s tomb, which was restored in 2007-2008, can still be seen in Gloucester Cathedral.

Tomb of King Edward II; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Effigy of King Edward II; By Philip Halling –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

In 1330, the 18 year old King Edward III conducted a coup d’état at Nottingham Castle where Mortimer and Isabella were staying.  Mortimer was arrested and then executed on fourteen charges of treason, including the murder of Edward II. After the coup, Isabella was first taken to Berkhamsted Castle and then held under house arrest at Windsor Castle. In 1332, Isabella was moved to her own Castle Rising in Norfolk where she was confined for the rest of her life, enjoying a regal lifestyle, until her death at the age of 63 in 1358.

Wikipedia: King Edward II of England


July 22: Today in Royal History

Princess Mary, last surviving child of George III at age 80, on the right with her niece Queen Victoria and two of Victoria’s children, Princess Alice and the Prince of Wales (future Edward VII), Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 22, 1210 – Birth of Joan of England, eldest daughter and third child of King John, in Gloucester, England
Joan was the eldest daughter and third child of King John and Isabella of Angouleme. She married King Alexander II of Scotland but they had no children. Joan died in London while on a visit to her brother Henry III. She was buried in the convent church at Tarrant Crawford, Dorset.
Wikipedia: Joan of England

July 22, 1461 – Death of King Charles VII of France at Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France; buried at Saint Denis Basilica near Paris
Wikipedia: Charles VII of France

July 22, 1478 – Birth of Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, husband of Queen Juana of Castile, in Bruges (Belgium)
Philip reigned with his wife as Philip I. After his death, his wife refused to part with his body and had it transported as she traveled. It was not buried for a couple of years.
Wikipedia: Philip the Handsome

July 22, 1535 – Birth of Katarina Stenbock, third wife of King Gustav I of Sweden, in Torpa, Västergötland, Sweden
Wikipedia: Katarina Stenbock

July 22, 1816 – Wedding of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III of Great Britain, and Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, her first cousin, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
At age 40, Mary married her first cousin William, son of her father’s brother. Mary was the last of George III’s children to die (in 1857) and was a favorite aunt of Queen Victoria.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Mary of Great Britain
Wikipedia: Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

July 22, 1832 – Death of Napoléon II, son of Napoleon Bonaparte, at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria; originally buried in the Kapuzinergruft in Vienna; his remains were transferred to Les Invalides in Paris, but his heart remains at the Herzgruft in the Augustinerkirche in Vienna, and his viscera remains at the Ducal Crypt in Stephansdom in Vienna
Wikipedia: Napoléon II

July 22, 1848 – Birth of Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Neustrelitz (Germany)
Wikipedia: Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

July 22, 1896 – Wedding of Princess Maud of Wales, daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and Prince Carl of Denmark, later King Haakon VII of Norway, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
Unofficial Royalty: Maud of Wales
Unofficial Royalty: Haakon VII of Norway

July 22, 2002 – Birth of Prince Felix of Denmark, son of Prince Joachim of Denmark, at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Felix of Denmark

July 22, 2013 – Birth of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, England
Full name: George Alexander Louis
Unofficial Royalty: Prince George of Cambridge

Royal News: Thursday 21 July 2016

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July 21: Today in Royal History

Leopold I, King of the Belgians; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 21, 1824 – Death of Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, Rama II of Thailand in Bangkok
Wikipedia: Buddha Loetla Nabhalai

July 21, 1831 – Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, uncle of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, ascends to the throne of Belgium
Unofficial Royalty: King Leopold I of the Belgians

July 21, 1858 – Birth of Maria Christina of Austria, second wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain, at Židlochovice Castle in Brno (Czech Republic)
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Christina of Austria, Queen of Spain