Edward III of England's eldest son, Edward of Woodstock, a.k.a. the Black Prince, was the first Prince of Wales not to ascend the throne and the first ever duke in England. He was a celebrated soldier and cast as a villain for his brutality.
Jane Austen wrote exceptional novels that still make readers laugh and sigh at the rich cast of characters and situations that she created. Who was Jane? When did she write her classic novels? This mini biography gives you a bitesize introduction to the delightful Miss Austen.
Prince John was King George V and Queen Mary's youngest son but he has been lost in the annals of royal history. Why?
Being royal has its challenges and when you are head of "the firm," as the British monarchy is known, this includes disloyal subjects taking potshots at your royal self. Queen Victoria managed to cheat death eight times at the hands of would-be assassins.
A lot has been written about Charles I in the English Civil Wars, but his son and heir, the future King Charles II, had an adventurous adolescence fighting for his father with the Royalists. Charles could not save Charles I from his fate of execution but he tried.
The athletic King Henry VIII loved to joust and had suffered injuries before the 24th January 1536. His jousting accident that day changed him forever.
Together Even When Apart and Familiarity were inspired by my grandparents Henry and Ivy who were amazing people. The Thorn and The Empty House happily fell out of my imagination.
Edward II of England and Isabella of France were married, happily at first. His tendencies to have favourites, make unpopular decisions and fight the English barons led Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer to overthrow Edward.
Queen Victoria is well known but the story of her father Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn is less familiar to people. He was a military man, devoted to his long term mistress but compelled to do his dynastic duty.
Long before Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland had the same king or queen these kingdoms had their own rulers. Scotland, then named Alba, had David as their king between 1124 and 1153. He led an interesting and exacting life. The "Davidian Revolution" changed his land forever.
Colonel Thomas Blood was an audacious criminal. Staggeringly, his attempt to steal the priceless crown jewels from the Tower of London led King Charles II to reward him for his actions rather than punish him.
Hans Holbein came from an artistic Bavarian family and is best remembered as Henry VIII and his ever-changing family's portrait painter. As "King's Painter" he gave us the images of Henry and his contemporaries that define them to this day. How did he find himself at the Tudor court?
Charles I was the king that lost his head and his throne. What did he do to finally enrage people so much that civil war was declared and why does no king or queen ever go in to the House of Commons in London's parliament?
In 1772 George III discovered that one of his brothers had married without his consent. He created the Royal Marriages Act to stop unions which could damage the monarchy. Days later another of his brothers made a confession. Not all of George's descendants have abided by the rules of the act.
The members of the British royal family hold multiple aristocratic, honorary and military titles. Take the highest ranking aristocrat, the Duke. Is a royal duke any different from a non-royal one? Who is a royal duke and who won't be in the future?
For over nine centuries the royal ceremony of Swan Upping has been held along a stretch of the River Thames. Its purpose today is different to its origins but Swan Upping attracts a crowd each July.
Buckingham Palace in London is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. It immediately conjures up images of grandeur, continuity and heritage. Its history is as interesting as its royal residents.
On 15th June 1215 King John of England placed his royal seal on the Magna Carta. The power balance in the land had slowly shifted between 1066, William the Conqueror's new reign, and Angevin King John's era (1199-1216.) English barons secured liberties that changed history.
Anne Neville was born in June 1456 at Warwick Castle in Warwickshire. She had a short life that featured family dramas, civil war, two marriages and a wealth of personal loss. She witnessed and participated in several pivotal moments in history, yet she is often overlooked.
George I from the House of Hanover earned the hatred his son George (II) at an early age. His drastic and hurtful actions towards his wife Sophia Dorothea of Celle shattered the family and created animosity. “Hanoverians, like pigs trample their young.” Anon. And their wives.
George III suffered with mental health issues from 1765. His most well known bout occurred in 1788. Porphyria has long been the preferred diagnosis but studies have revealed that there was another likely cause of his suffering.
The Imperial State Crown is the most frequently used British royal crown. It’s also the most often repaired item in the crown jewels. There have been several versions across the centuries and its eye catching jewels have mesmerising histories of their own.
Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) is best remembered for her rivalry with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England, her marriages and her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on the 8th February 1587. Did you know that Mary became queen at six days old?
Eleanor of Aquitaine (c.1121-1204) was one of the most powerful and unusually well educated women in 12th century Europe. She was nobody’s fool and proved herself equal to and better than her husbands Kings Louis VII of France and Henry II of England.
Before he became the Uncle of Europe Edward VII was well known as a playboy prince of Wales. In 1870 he found himself embroiled in the sensational Mordaunt divorce case. It was the first time that a Prince of Wales had appeared in a public court.
Many royals are popular. Most are remembered fondly. There are always exceptions to the rule. George IV was Britain's despised king. A man of gigantic appetites, he offered few appreciable characteristics or deeds for his family and people to remember him for.