William & Kate Hand Out Shamrocks to the Irish Guards

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Ok, another year, another St. Patrick’s Day for the Cambridges! First off, there was speculation from some, including myself, that this would be the Duchess’s last engagement before maternity leave, however Kensington Palace announced two new engagements for her on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Either Kate is working closer to her due date than she has in the past, or this baby isn’t expected until close to the end of April (supporting recent guesses that she’s due right around St. George’s Day on the 23rd).

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The Dynastic Dispute

Payne, Henry Arthur, 1868-1940; Plucking the Red and White Roses in the Old Temple Gardens

Two days ago, we covered the usurpation of 1399 and the events leading up to it. Today, we’re going to examine the issue raised at its end, which dealt with the supposed dynastic crime against nature that the accession of Henry IV rendered. This, of course, links the beginning of the royal House of Lancaster with its end, when Henry IV’s grandson, Henry VI, was deposed in favor of his cousin, Edward IV.

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Kate Hosts a Meeting on Tennis at KP


Kensington Palace announced towards the end of the day that the Duchess of Cambridge hosted a meeting with British Tennis, Wimbledon, Coach Core and Scottish tennis coach Judy Murray. The discussion was focused on children’s tennis and facilitating access to the game at a grassroots level, per the Palace’s tweet.

Given Kate’s known love of tennis and her patronage of  the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and The Lawn Tennis Association, this may well have been an enjoyable royal duty for her(!) Regardless, it’s unsurprising that meetings like this are taking place right about now, before the weather turns and well ahead of Wimbledon. Frankly, this also gives me hope that we’ll get at least one sighting of Kate at Wimbledon this year, despite maternity leave.

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The Usurpation of Henry IV

Henry IV

The usurpation of the English throne by Henry IV in 1399 is an issue we’ve touched upon a number of times, but never directly covered. It’s a significant one, for it not only brought about an abrupt end to the House of Plantagenet, but it arguably set into motion the dynastic divide that would later feed into the Wars of the Roses half a century later. The latter question is one that we’ll delve into in a bit more detail later this week, but for the purposes of today I want to cover the events of the actual usurpation, from its causes to its immediate impacts.

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Commonwealth Day 2018 Was a Marked Improvement [UPDATE-2]

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Happy Commonwealth Day. Let’s take a moment before we dive in to mark the one-year anniversary of the Duke of Cambridge’s rather epic Verbier ski trip smack dab in the middle of this ceremony, while most other members of his family were filing into Westminster Abbey just as they’ve done today. Throw in some 20-something blondes and some questionable 4 am drunk dancing and you’ve got yourself a royal scandal just as William and Kate were preparing for their much-anticipated mini-tour of Paris.

Fast forward to the present and William and Kate are expecting their third child, all is well in the House of Cambridge and both are dutifully seated inside the Abbey for this important occasion, marking a one-month countdown until the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings in London next month. Good for them.

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Mention of Camilla as Future “Princess Consort” Removed from Couple’s Website


Clarence House overhauled the official website for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and in doing so removed all reference to Camilla becoming known as the “Princess Consort” once Charles ascends the throne. This particular style of address was first announced back in 2005 when the couple married, by way of a concession to their unpopularity in light of all things “Diana.” As such, Camilla is known as the Duchess of Cornwall instead of the Princess of Wales, a title still closely associated with Diana.

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Harry & Meghan are in Birmingham for International Women’s Day

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Today, on International Women’s Day, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle carried out two engagements in Birmingham. The first was with an organization, Stemettes, meant to support young woman pursuing the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while the second was with Coach Core.

Given Meghan’s past advocacy work on behalf of women, not to mention her recent comments during the Royal Foundation forum, the two making an appearance today seems altogether fitting.

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Kate Opens New Place2Be Headquarters

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Today, the Duchess of Cambridge was in London to open up new headquarters for children’s mental health charity Place2Be. In addition to meeting with students and staff, Kate also delivered a short speech and unveiled a plaque commemorating the day.

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Kate’s in Oxford for Family Links UK

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The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Pegasus Primary School in Oxford today on behalf of Family Links UK. The organization’s work is in line with Kate’s focus on the mental  health of women and children, with a focus on early intervention.

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The Upbringing of Katherine of Aragon & Her Siblings


At some point I realized that despite having written at least five posts on Anne Boleyn, I’ve written maybe two that were solely dedicated to Katherine of Aragon. Despite her coming up on a regular basis when we cover Tudor history and having posted about all of her successors, I’ve neglected the OG of Henry VIII’s wives and we’re definitely going to rectify that over the next few weeks and months. Today, admittedly, we will still not cover Katherine as queen, but that’s because I’d like to start at the beginning and Katherine had an eventful and significant childhood in Spain as the daughter of the rather famous Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile.

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