Royal News: Wednesday 31 August 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Bahrain

Denmark

Jordan

Monaco

Multiple Monarchies

Netherlands

Norway

Sweden

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

King William II Rufus of England

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

King William II Rufus of England was born in Normandy (now in France) between 1056 and 1060. He was the third of the four sons of King William I of England (the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders.  At the time of William Rufus’ birth, his father was the Duke of Normandy. Besides his three brothers, WIlliam Rufus had at least five sisters. The birth order of the boys is clear, but that of the daughters is not.

William Rufus had red hair and a ruddy complexion which earned him the nickname Rufus, by which he was known. He was educated with his brothers by Lafranc, then the abbot of the Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen, later Archbishop of Canterbury. As the third son of the Duke of Normandy, William Rufus was destined to enter Holy Orders. However, the death of Richard, the second son, between 1069 and 1075, changed the situation. William Rufus was knighted and then served with his father in preparation for eventually being the heir to a portion of his father’s land. Chroniclers of the time described William Rufus as a good boy and respectful, loyal and faithful to his father.

In 1066, William, Duke of Normandy invaded England and defeated the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings. The Duke of Normandy was now also King William I of England. Even before the division of land occurred, William Rufus and his brothers had a strained relationship. The contemporary chronicler Orderic Vitalis, wrote about an incident that occurred at L’Aigle in Normandy in 1077. William Rufus and Henry grew bored with playing dice and decided to make mischief by emptying a chamber pot on their brother Robert from an upper gallery. Robert was infuriated, a brawl broke out and their father had to intercede to restore order. Angered because his father did not punish his brothers, Robert and his followers then attempted to siege the castle at Rouen (Normandy), but were forced to flee when the Duke of Normandy attacked their camp. This led to a three year estrangement between Robert and his family which only ended through the efforts of Robert’s mother.

In 1087, King William I divided his lands between his two eldest surviving sons. Robert Curthose was to receive the Duchy of Normandy and William Rufus was to receive the Kingdom of England. Henry was to receive 5,000 pounds of silver and his mother’s English estates. King William I of England (the Conqueror) died on September 9, 1087. Robert Curthouse became Robert II Curthouse, Duke of Normandy and William Rufus became King William II Rufus of England. Henry received the money, but no land. William Rufus never married and had no children.

William Rufus and Robert Curthose continued having a strained relationship. William Rufus alternated between supporting Robert against the King of France and opposing him for the control of Normandy. Henry was constantly being forced to chose between his two brothers and whichever brother he picked, he was likely to annoy the other. After William I died and his lands were divided, nobles who had land in both Normandy and England found it impossible to serve two lords. If they supported William, then Robert might deprive them of their Norman land. If they supported Robert, then they were in danger of losing their English land.

The only solution the nobles saw was to reunite Normandy and England, and this led them led them to revolt against William in favor of Robert in the Rebellion of 1088, under the leadership of the Bishop Odo of Bayeux, the half-brother of William the Conqueror. The rebellion was unsuccessful partly because Robert never showed up to support the English rebels.

In 1096, Robert left for the Holy Land on the First Crusade. In order to raise money for the crusade, he mortgaged the Duchy of Normandy to his brother King William II Rufus. The two older brothers made a pact stating that if one of them died without heirs, both Normandy and England would be reunited under the surviving brother. William then ruled Normandy as regent in Robert’s absence. Robert did not return until September 1100, one month after William’s death.

Probably the most famous part of William Rufus’ life was his death. On August 2, 1100, King William II Rufus rode out from Winchester Castle on a hunting expedition to the New Forest, accompanied by his brother Henry and several nobles. His elder brother Richard, in 1099, and his nephew Richard, illegitimate son of his brother Robert, in May 1100, had both been killed in hunting accidents in the New Forest.

According to most contemporary accounts, William Rufus was chasing after a stag followed by Walter Tirel, a noble.  William Rufus shot an arrow, but missed the stag. He then called out to Walter to shoot, which he did, but the arrow hit the king in his chest, puncturing his lungs, and killing him. Walter Tirel jumped on his horse and fled to France.

The next day, William Rufus’ body was found by a group of local farmers. The nobles had fled to their Norman and English lands to secure their possessions and insure law and order following the death of the king. The farmers loaded the king’s body on a cart and brought it to Winchester Cathedral where he was buried under a plain flat marble stone below the tower with little ceremony.

William Rufus’ elder brother, Robert Curthose, was still on Crusade, so Henry was able to seize the crown of England for himself. Henry hurried to Winchester to secure the royal treasury. The day after William’s funeral at Winchester, the nobles elected Henry king. Henry then left for London where he was crowned three days after William’s death by the Bishop of London. Henry would not wait for the Archbishop of Canterbury to arrive.

Was there a conspiracy to assassinate William Rufus? Walter Tirel was an excellent archer, but he badly missed his shot. William’s brother Henry was among the hunting party that day and would have benefited directly from William’s death. Some modern historians find the assassination theory credible. Others say that hunting accidents were common (William’s brother and nephew did die in hunting accidents) and there is not enough hard evidence to prove murder. In the New Forest, a memorial stone, known as the Rufus Stone, claims to marks the spot where William Rufus died.

Rufus Stone; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

In 1107, the tower at Winchester Cathedral near William Rufus’ grave collapsed and the presence of William Rufus’ remains was considered to be the cause. Around 1525, the royal remains in Winchester Cathedral were rearranged. William Rufus’ remains were transferred to one of the mortuary chests next to the mortuary chest of King Cnut the Great atop the stone wall around the high altar.

Mortuary Chest on Presbytery Screen

King Cnut the Great’s mortuary chest atop the wall; Photo Credit – http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/

In 1642, Winchester Cathedral was sacked by Parliamentary Troops during the English Civil War. The remains in the mortuary chests were scattered around the cathedral. Later the remains were returned to the mortuary chests in no particular order. On February 3, 2015, this press release was published: “The Dean and Chapter of Winchester has announced that, as part of an initial assessment of the Cathedral’s Renaissance Mortuary Chests and an inventory of their contents, a project to record and analyze the contents has begun. The Chests are thought to contain the mortal remains of some of the early Royal Families of Wessex and of England, and three bishops, amongst other artefacts and mortal remains.” For more information, see Winchester Cathedral: The Mortuary Chests.  All the mortuary chests were brought to the Lady Chapel at Winchester Cathedral where a laboratory was set up. The chests are to be restored and conserved and modern technology will attempt to identify the remains.

Mortuary Chests in Lady Chapel

Mortuary Chests in the Lady Chapel at Winchester Cathedral; Photo Credit – http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/

Wikipedia: William II of England

August 31: Today in Royal History

Diana, Princess of Wales; Photo Credit – http://www.npg.org.uk/

August 31, 1422 – Death of King Henry V of England at Bois-de-Vincennes, France, buried at Westminster Abbey
Unofficial Royalty: King Henry V of England

August 31, 1678 – Death of Louis VII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in Gotha (Germany)
Wikipedia: Louis VII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt

August 31, 1724 – Death of Louis I of Spain in Madrid; buried at Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in Spain
Wikipedia: King Louis I of Spain

August 31, 1880 – Birth of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in The Hague, The Netherlands
Full name: Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands

August 31, 1970 – Birth of Rania Al-Yasin, wife of King Abdullah II of Jordan, in Kuwait City, Kuwait
Unofficial Royalty: Rania Al-Yasin, Queen of Jordan

August 31, 1989 – Anne, Princess Royal separates from her first husband Mark Phillips
BBC: On This Day 1989: Royal couple to separate
Unofficial Royalty: Mark Phillips
Unofficial Royalty: Anne, Princess Royal

August 31, 1997 – Death of Diana, Princess of Wales in Paris, France; buried at Althorp in Northamptonshire, England
Unofficial Royalty: Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
Unofficial Royalty: Diana, Princess of Wales

Royal News: Tuesday 30 August 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Bahrain

Belgium

Denmark

Jordan

Multiple Monarchies

Norway

Saudi Arabia

Serbia

Sweden

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

August 30: Today in Royal History

Mathilde of Bavaria, wife of Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

August 30, 1483 – Death of King Louis XI of France at Plessis-lez-Tours, France; buried at Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica in Orléans, France
Wikipedia: King Louis XI of France

August 30, 1813 – Birth of Mathilde of Bavaria, wife of Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, in Augsburg (Germany)
Wikipedia: Mathilde of Bavaria

August 30, 1831 – Death of Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, wife of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in Paris, France; buried at the Ducal Family Mausoleum, Glockenburg Cemetery in Coburg (Germany)
Louise was the mother of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. Six years after marrying Ernest, the marriage was dissolved. Louise died five years later of cancer.
Unofficial Royalty: Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

August 30, 1946 – Birth of Anne-Marie of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark, wife of King Constantine II of Greece, at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid
Unofficial Royalty: Anne-Marie of Denmark

Royal News: Monday, 29 August 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Denmark
Daily Mail: Dazzling in designer! Princess Mary steps out in her favorite $2,500 Dolce & Gabbana floral dress as she views a new royal portrait of herself
Daily Mail: Crown Princess Mary stuns in a summery white lace number as she meets her young fans at a music festival

Greece
Daily Mail: Is Isabel Getty the new It girl? Double heiress who’s related to the Greek royal family and Diane von Fürstenberg smolders on the cover of Tatler

Multiple Monarchies
Getty Images: In Focus: The Royal Week

UK
BBC: Queen Victoria’s crown has to stay in the UK
Daily Mail: We definitely ARE amused! How the ‘grumpy’ Queen Victoria laughed like a drain and was unfairly judged as having no sense of humor
Daily Mail: Race to save crown for the nation: How ministers are backing a £6million campaign to keep Queen Victoria’s iconic coronet in Britain
Daily Mail: Hands off MY balloon dad! Little Mia Tindall gets into the festival fun with Mike and Zara
Daily Mail: SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Life’s just bootiful for Chelsy: Harry’s ex spotted with a large plastic cast on her foot to protect a mystery injury
Daily Mail: Sorry Harry, it looks like Jenna’s found love with her TV prince: ALISON BOSHOFF explores romance rumors between Queen Victoria actress and her on-screen co-star
Daily Mail: Online retailer Notonthehighstreet.com, favored by Prince George and his family, raises £21m from investors to expand
Guardian: Victoria review – Jenna Coleman goes back in time to become a future queen
Mirror: Prince Harry calls for hero wounded troops to be given Purple Heart medal
Telegraph: Why Queen Victoria was so much more than a miserable monarch
Telegraph: Does Jenna Coleman look like the real Victoria? British Monarchs in TV and Film
Telegraph: The young Victoria most certainly did not fancy her fat, ageing prime minister
The Sun: PRINCE OF HEARTS Prince Harry thinks brave Brits wounded in action should be awarded Purple Heart-style medal to commend their sacrifice

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England

by Susan Flantzer

Statue of Matilda of Flanders in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Matilda of Flanders, wife of King William I of England (the Conqueror), was born around 1031 in the County of Flanders.  Today the lands of the County of Flanders include parts of Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Matilda was the middle child and the only daughter of the three children of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Adela of France, the daughter of King Robert II of France.

Matilda had one older brother and one younger brother:

Matilda was a direct descendant of the famous Anglo-Saxon king, Alfred the Great, King of Wessex. Alfred’s youngest child Ælfthryth married Baldwin II, Count of Flanders. This line of ancestry from Alfred the Great through the Counts of Flanders to Matilda was appealing to William II, Duke of Normandy since he was eight years old. William’s childless first cousin once removed, Edward the Confessor, sat upon the throne of England. In 1151, William visited Edward the Confessor, King of England (also a direct descendant of Alfred the Great) and apparently Edward named William as his successor. Despite there being other claimants to the English throne, William was now ambitious to be the heir and marrying Matilda could only help his cause.

In 1051 or 1052, William married Matilda of Flanders, without the approval of the Pope. Finally, in 1159 papal approval was received, but both William and Matilda were required to found an abbey in Caen as penance: the Abbaye-aux-Hommes (St. Stephen’s) and the Abbaye-aux-Dames (Holy Trinity). William and Matilda were devoted to each other and there is no evidence that William had any illegitimate children.

William and Matilda had four sons and at least five daughters. The birth order of the boys is clear, but that of the daughters is not. Despite her royal duties, Matilda oversaw the upbringing of her children and all were known for being well educated. Her daughters were educated and taught to read Latin at the Abbaye-aux-Dames (Holy Trinity) in Caen. For her sons, she secured Lanfranc, later Archbishop of Canterbury as their teacher.

In January of 1066, Edward the Confessor died and Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, the most powerful person in England after the king, was named King of England by the Witan, the king’s council. When William heard that Harold Godwinson had been crowned King of England, he began careful preparations for an invasion of England. During the summer of 1066, he assembled an army and an invasion fleet. When William was preparing to invade England, Matilda outfitted a ship out of her own funds and gave it to him. This ship, the Mora, became William’s flagship. William and his fleet left Normandy for England on September 27, 1066. Matilda was appointed regent of Normandy in William’s absence, and a position she often held when William was in England after he became king.

The Bayeux Tapestry’s depiction of the Norman invasion fleet, with the Mora in front, marked by the papal banner on the masthead; Credit – Wikipedia

Harold Godwinson, King Harold II of England, was defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. On Christmas Day 1066, William was crowned King William I of England at Westminster Abbey. In March of 1067, William returned to Normandy and remained there until early December of 1067. It was during William’s last days in December that Matilda and William’s last child, the future King Henry I of England, must have been conceived. The pregnant Matilda left Normandy for England in the spring of 1068. She was crowned queen on May 11, 1068 at Westminster Abbey.

Later in 1068, Matilda accompanied William while he was on campaign to subdue unrest in northern England. Her only child to be born in England, the future King Henry I, was born probably in September 1068 in Selby, Yorkshire, England. Most of Matilda’s time was spent in Normandy where she took care of affairs of the duchy and the abbeys she had founded. In 1080, she was the godmother of Edith of Scotland, the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland and Saint Margaret of Scotland. The infant Edith pulled at Matilda’s headdress, which was seen as an omen that she would be a queen one day. Years later, with her name changed from the Anglo-Saxon Edith to the Norman Matilda upon her marriage, that infant became the first wife of Queen Matilda’s son King Henry I of England.

In 1083, Matilda became ill. William rushed from England to Normandy to be at her bedside. She died in Caen, Normandy on November 2, 1083 at the age of about 52. Matilda was buried at the Abbaye-aux-Dames (Holy Trinity) in Caen founded by Matilda and William at the time of their marriage. Her grave is at the back of church under the original black stone inscribed with her epitaph.

Tomb of Matilda of Flanders; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Wikipedia: Matilda of Flanders

August 29: Today in Royal History

Astrid of Sweden, wife of King Leopold III of Belgium; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

August 29, 1189 – Wedding of King John of England and Isabel of Gloucester, at Marlborough Castle in Wiltshire, England
This marriage was annulled in 1199.
Unofficial Royalty: King John of England
Wikipedia: Isabel of Gloucester

August 29, 1790 – Birth of Leopold I, Grand Duke of Baden, in Karlsruhe (Germany)
Wikipedia: Leopold I, Grand Duke of Baden

August 29, 1815 – Wedding of Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, son of King George III of the United Kingdom, and Frederica of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, at Carlton House, London
Ernest became King of Hanover in 1837 when his niece Victoria acceded to the British throne because Hanover did not allow female succession.
Wikipedia: Ernest, Duke of Cumberland
Wikipedia: Frederica of Mecklenberg-Strelitz

August 29, 1935 – Death of Astrid of Sweden, wife of King Leopold III of Belgium, in a car accident near their villa at Küssnacht am Rigi in Schwyz, Switzerland; buried at the Church of Our Lady in Brussels, Laeken, Belgium
Tragically, Queen Astrid and her unborn child died in a car accident when the car, driven by her husband, plunged down a ravine. Astrid was the mother of the two Belgian kings, Baudouin and Albert II, and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg.
Unofficial Royalty: Astrid of Sweden, Queen of the Belgians

August 29, 1966 – Death of Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, wife of King Manuel II of Portugal, in Münchhöf, Baden, Germany
Manuel II was deposed in 1910 and died in 1932. In 1939, Augusta Victoria married Swedish Count Robert Douglas.
Unofficial Royalty: Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen

August 29, 1968 – Wedding of King Harald V of Norway and Sonja Haraldsen at Olso Cathedral in Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Sonja Haraldsen
Unofficial Royalty: Harald V of Norway

Royal News: Sunday 28 August 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Thailand

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: August 28 – September 3

17th birthday of Prince Nikolai of Denmark, son of Prince Joachim of Denmark; born at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 28, 1999
Full name: Nikolai William Alexander Frederik
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Nikolai of Denmark

*************************************************************************

King Harald V of Norway and Sonja Haraldsen, Photo Credit – http://www.royalcourt.no

48th wedding anniversary of King Harald V of Norway and Sonja Haraldsen; married at Olso Cathedral on August 29, 1968
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Sonja of Norway
Unofficial Royalty: King Harald V of Norway
Royal House of Norway: The Royal Wedding in 1968

*************************************************************************

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

70th birthday of Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark, wife of former King Constantine II of Greece; born at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 30, 1946
Full name: Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

************************************************************************

Queen Rania of Jordan, Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

46th birthday of Rania Al-Yasin, wife of King Abdullah II of Jordan, in Kuwait City, Kuwait on August 31, 1970
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Rania of Jordan