Since I don’t write in chronological order, I’ve decided to offer up another (hopefully easier) option that organizes historical posts. This isn’t an exact science since posts can span very different lengths of time, but if you read in this order you should be able to follow along! Going forward, all historical posts will be updated on this list after publication.
The Truth About the “Rough Wooing” of Matilda of Flanders – This post covers the mythology around the courtship and marriage of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders
Death of the Conqueror – Post covering the significance of the first Norman king’s passing and how he divvied up his domains among his four sons (setting up decades of conflict, naturally)
The Conqueror’s Daughters – So little is known of William and Matilda’s daughters, this post covers who these women were and what role they played in their father’s legacy
Was William II Murdered? – William’s death by “hunting accident” in 1102 has long been suspected as having been a murder, potentially at the hands of his younger brother, Henry I. This post covers what we know what happened in the New Forest that day.
The Almost Saint Matilda of Scotland – Henry I’s first wife and the mother of his children was a Scottish princess with Saxon blood. She is a unique queen consort in that she very nearly was canonized by the Catholic Church.
William Adelin & the White Ship – Henry I’s only legitimate son died in the 12th century’s version of the Titanic. A look at the shipwreck and its dynastic implications are captured in this post.
The Marriage That Could Have Stopped the Anarchy – This post covers Henry I’s second marriage to Adeliza of Louvain, a last desperate attempt to beget another legitimate son and secure the succession.
Geoffrey & Matilda: The Dawn of the Plantagenets – Henry I arranged for the second marriage of his only legitimate daughter to Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. Small problem was that it was an unpopular choice with both his daughter and nearly all of the English magnates.
The Other Matilda – This post covers King Stephen’s wife, Matilda of Boulogne. She is often dwarfed by history thanks to the “other” Matilda, her husband’s political rival.
When Eleanor of Aquitaine Left the King of France for the King of England – Eleanor bears the unique distinction of having been both queen of France and queen of England thanks to a scandalous divorce from Louis VII.
The Early Years of Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine: A look at the first 16 years of Henry and Eleanor’s marriage, during which time the House of Plantagenet was established in England and they produced their eight rather famous children.
A Clash of Church & State: The Murder of Thomas Becket – This post covers the breakdown in the relationship between Henry II and his one-time friend turned Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, as well as the assassination that ended it.
Joan Plantagenet, the English Queen of Sicily – This post covers the life of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s daughter, Joan, and her two marriages.
Lionheart’s Wife: Berengaria of Navarre – Here we take a look at Richard I’s queen consort, Berengaria, who never stepped foot in England.
A Legacy of Destruction: King John & Isabella of Angouleme – This post covers King John’s second marriage to Isabella of Angouleme, and the ways in which it further undermined his reputation.
Isabella, the Second English Holy Roman Empress – This covers the life of King John’s daughter, Isabella, who was the second English princess to ever become the Holy Roman Empress.
The Much-Detested Eleanor of Provence – The wife of Henry III was a lightning rod before and after her life, and the role of her family during her husband’s reign had serious implications for future consorts.
Margaret Plantagenet, Queen of Scotland – Henry III’s daughter, Margaret, was one of a few English princesses to end up in Scotland. Unfortunately this particular marriage led to war, not peace.
The Younger Brother & Almost King: Edmund Crouchback – A look at the second son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Though his mother tried to install him as the king of Sicily, his life in fact became that of a model “spare” to the heir, his elder brother, Edward I.
The Much-Beloved Eleanor of Castile – The first wife of Edward I was adored by her husband and hated by the public. Indeed, she never bothered to learn English. Her legacy is now remembered by the Eleanor Crosses, elaborate memorials marking her funeral passage.
Edward I’s Second Wife: Marguerite of France – Edward I’s second wife had a shorter tenure than his first, but she was more successful in producing sons and had a surprisingly happy marriage. This post covers her time as queen and Edward I’s last years.
Half-Brother to the King: Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent – Edward I and Marguerite of France’s son, Edmund, had the dubious honor of being half-brother to Edward II. His loyalty split between Edward and his queen, Isabelle of France, he ended up executed for treason.
The She-Wolf & Her Victim: Isabelle of France & Edward II – To say Edward II and Isabelle of France had an unhappy marriage would be an understatement. The King spent more time with his male favorites than his wife and fell far short of executing proper governance. Their marriage ended with Isabelle launching a coup with her lover and forcing her husband’s abdication.
Isabelle’s Daughter: Eleanor of Woodstock, Duchess of Guelders – Edward II and Isabelle of France’s daughter, Eleanor, ended up having to prove that she wasn’t a leper in order to preserve her marriage to the Duke of Guelders.
Joan of the Tower, Queen of Scotland – Edward II’s youngest daughter ended up queen of Scotland, but unfortunately her position was untenable thanks to none other than her brother, Edward III, and England’s continued war across the border.
The Mother of Too Many Sons: Philippa of Hainaut – Consort to Edward III, Philippa of Hainaut succeeded where so many queens failed: providing her husband with a plethora of sons. Arguably, in light of the dynastic wars that would follow, she had too many.
The Willful Isabel of England, Countess of Bedford – Edward III and Philippa of Hainaut’s daughter, Isabel, jilted her betrothed and then ended up separated from her eventual husband. She lived a life of notable independence for a Medieval woman.
Joan of England & the Black Death – Edward III and Philippa of Hainaut’s daughter, Joan, was the first royal casualty of the Black Death. The plague caught up with her as she was en-route to marry a prince of Castile.
Blanche: The Woman Behind the House of Lancaster – First wife of John of Gaunt and mother to Henry IV, Blanche’s inheritance ended up bankrolling the House of Lancaster’s later success.
The First Princess of Wales – This post covers the life of Joan of Kent, from that time she may have “accidentally” been married to two men at the same time, to her unexpected turn as the Black Prince’s wife and mother to Richard II.
The “Good” Parliament & the Death of Edward III – Here we cover the last year of Edward III’s life, from the death of his eldest son, the Black Prince, to the growing calls for government reform in his family’s ongoing strife with Parliament.
The Most Successful Mistress: Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster – This post covers Katherine’s time as John of Gaunt’s mistress and then third wife, including her role as the matriarch of the impressive Beaufort family and ancestor to the Tudors.
Henry IV’s First Wife: Mary de Bohun – Here we cover Henry IV’s wife before he ascended the throne, including the family dynamics of the Lancastrians during the reign of Richard II.
The Original Beaufort Children – The four children of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford – John, Henry, Joan and Thomas – went on to have impressive careers that dictated the success of the House of Lancaster.
The Wedding of Richard II & Anne of Bohemia – Though his reign didn’t end well and they were childless, the marriage of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia was a happy one.
Lancastrian Blood at the Portuguese Court – John of Gaunt’s daughter, Philippa, was married to the King of Portugal in the middle of his struggle to claim the Castilian throne on her stepmother’s behalf. She ended up a beloved figure and instrumental to an enduring alliance between England and Portugal.
Elizabeth of Lancaster & Her Three Marriages – Bad where her elder sister was good, John of Gaunt’s second daughter ended up married three times, including that time she had to have her father quickly annul one marriage because she was pregnant with another man’s child.
The Child Queen: Isabelle of Valois – As part of an effort to pause war with France, Richard II took the six-year-old Isablle, the King of France’s daughter, as his second wife. Unfortunately for her, her tenure as queen would be brief and she would end up caught up in Richard’s fall from power.
The Usurpation of Henry IV – Here we cover the events leading up to the usurpation of 1399 and the years of simmering resentment between Richard II and Henry IV.
Jeanne of Navarre: The Breton Duchess at the Lancastrian Court – When Jeanne of Navarre married Henry IV it was a second marriage for them both. While happy, Jeanne’s time in England conflicted with a time of extreme xenophobia in which foreigners and Bretons were particularly disliked.
The Loss of Blanche of England – Beloved daughter of Henry IV, Blanche ended up in Germany married to the future Elector Palatine. Her premature death devastated her father.
Princess Philippa & the Scandinavian Match – Henry IV’s daughter, Philippa, ended up queen of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, an entirely more popular figure than her unfortunate husband.
A Highly Convenient Match: Thomas of Clarence & Margaret Holland – Once upon a time, a prince married his paternal half-aunt by marriage. It wasn’t a popular choice, but it was certainly a financially savvy one.
Did Henry IV Repent? – This post covers Henry IV’s last days and the legend that has formed around his death courtesy of chroniclers and Shakespeare.
The Coronation of Katherine of Valois – Wife to the legendary Henry V, Katherine of Valois’s coronation marked a high point in English history thanks to the Treaty of Troyes and featured James I of Scotland, a long-time English prisoner and whose eventual reign would have implications for England’s success in France.
Set up for Failure: Henry VI, the Reverse Conquest & the Wars of the Roses – Here we cover the dynamics of Henry VI’s minority government and the enormous burden with which he and his government were faced in maintaining a dual empire.
The Marriage of Katherine of Valois & Owen Tudor – Very little is known about Katherine of Valois’s second marriage to Owen Tudor, save that they incidentally founded a dynasty. Here we take a look at what we do know.
Before Woodville: John, Duke of Bedford & Jacquetta of Luxembourg – Before becoming mother to Elizabeth Woodville, Jacquetta of Luxembourg was married to Henry V’s younger brother, the revered John, Duke of Bedford, and first lady of Normandy.
The Lost Childhood of Marguerite of Anjou – Historians remain divided as to whether Marguerite of Anjou grew up in Anjou or Naples. In this post we cover the House of Anjou and the French political situation that prompted her marriage to Henry VI.
Did John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset Commit Suicide? – In 1444 John Beaufort died after humiliating losses in France. Rumors have abounded since that he committed suicide. The single legitimate child he left behind, Margaret, ended up the first matriarch of the House of Tudor.
The Madness of Henry VI & His Son – When Henry VI went “mad” in 1453 it proved a breaking point for Lancaster and York, highlighted Marguerite of Anjou’s political mettle and corresponded with the birth of Henry VI’s only child.
The Fidelity of Marguerite of Anjou – Since the birth of her only child, Marguerite of Anjou was faced with gossip that her son wasn’t fathered by her husband, Henry VI. A look at the political context in which these claims were made and cast of characters rumored to be Prince Edward’s biological father.
The Motivation of Richard, Duke of York – Here we take a look at the career of Richard, Duke of York and theorize when his dissatisfaction with Henry VI’s government coalesced into ambition for the throne.
The Matriarch: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York – Richard, Duke of York’s wife, Cecily Neville, was almost queen of England, mother to two kings and an ancestor for all monarchs after Henry VII. Having lived until the age of 80, this post covers her long and eventful life.
Critical Math: The Birth Order of the Woodville Children – There’s a traditional view on the birth order of Elizabeth Woodville and her siblings, but here we take a second look at many presumptions about the family and Elizabeth’s age.
Margaret Beaufort & the Birth of Henry Tudor – Henry VII was born posthumously to a half-Welsh, have-French earl and a 13-year-old who barely survived labor. This post covers the tenuous position in which Margaret Beaufort found herself in the winter of 1457.
Margaret Beaufort & Her Four Husbands – By Margaret’s count, she married three times. By ours, she married four times. A look a the political oscillating required of a successful noblewoman at the heart of the Wars of the Roses and some of the more brutal sacrifices required of them.
Edward IV’s Marriage to Elizabeth Woodville in Context – There are a lot of differing opinions on why Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville and just how big a deal it really was, so this post lays it all out.
When Did Edward IV & Elizabeth Woodville Marry? – The traditional view is that Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville married in May of 1464, however here I lay out why I agree with those who believe it happened a few months later in August or early September.
The Long & Short of Elizabeth Woodville – There’s a lot to cover with Elizabeth Woodville, but this post captures her basic trajectory from the daughter of Lancastrian baron to the Yorkist queen consort.
When Anne Neville Was a Lancastrian – Before she married Richard III, Anne Neville was briefly married to the Lancastrian Prince of Wales. Here we take a look at the dynamics leading up to the marriage, her time in Marguerite of Anjou’s household and the situation in which she was placed once widowed.
Lancaster’s Decision to Stay in England After the Battle of Barnet – Here we zoom into the weeks between the Battle of Barnet in March 1471 and the Battle of Tewkesbury two months later, including the House of Lancaster’s fateful decision to fight to the end instead of retreating back to France.
The Marriage of Richard III & Anne Neville – Shortly after the death of her first husband, Anne Neville married the future Richard III, but not before a battle royale between him and his brother, George, Duke of Clarence, who was already married to Anne’s sister, Isabel.
The Divorce of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter – Brother to two Yorkist kings and first married to a Lancastrian, this post covers Richard of York and Cecily Neville’s daughter, Anne, and her eventual divorce from the Duke of Exeter.
The Case Against George, Duke of Clarence – This post covers the life of the middle York brother, George, and his impressively extensive history of treason against his elder brother, Edward IV.
The Rise of the Dukes of Norfolk – Though later associated with the House of Tudor, the dukes of Norfolk and the Howard family rose alongside the House of York, a link cemented through the marriage of Thomas Howard and Edward IV’s daughter, Anne of York. This covers the major players until the accession of Henry VIII.
The Accession of Richard III – This post breaks down the convoluted logistics around the death of Edward IV, the arrival of Edward V in London and the eventual proclamation of Richard III as king in the span of a few months.
The Crowning of Richard III & Anne Neville – Here we take a look at the coronation of Richard III and Anne Neville and what it foretold of what Richard’s reign could have looked like.
The “Ick Factor”: Richard III & Elizabeth of York – Rumors abounded in 1484 and 1485 that Richard meant to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York. Usually disregarded, this post is a look at what was said and what it meant.
The Question of Elizabeth of York – Like her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, there’s a lot to cover with Elizabeth of York. This post captures key moments in her life as daughter, sister, niece and wife to four kings before her death.
In Elizabeth of York’s Shadow: Cecily of York, Lady Welles – The dynamics between the York women is mysterious, but here we cover the life of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville’s daughter, Cecily, and her three marriages.
Katherine of York, Countess of Devon & the Courtenays – Another daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Katherine of York steps into the spotlight at the turn of 16th century when her husband was accused of treason.
Strange Bedfellows: Jasper Tudor & Katherine Woodville – Here we get into that time Elizabeth Woodville’s sister married Henry VII’s uncle, yet another merging of two rival houses during the dawn of the Tudors.
The Last Plantagenet: Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury – Born the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, Margaret was one of the last royal women to carry Yorkist blood well into the reign of Henry VIII. Her downfall would come during the dissolution of the monasteries and the King’s strife with her son, the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Tudor Myth – This post covers the theory of the “Tudor Myth,” or that the idea that the Tudors were responsible for England’s glory days in direct contrast to the House of York is propaganda. I disagree.
The Upbringing of Katherine of Aragon & Her Siblings – As England was digging itself out of civil war during Henry VII’s reign, Ferdinand and Isabella were leading Spain through a high point in power and prestige. This post covers their five children and their links through England, Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire.
Camelot & the Virginity of Katherine of Aragon – Katherine of Aragon always claimed her marriage to Arthur Tudor wasn’t consummated. Here we take a look at what Arthur Tudor signified during his father’s reign and the importance of Katherine’s presence within the family.
The Union of Tudor & Stuart – Here we take a look at the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s daughter, Margaret, to James IV of Scotland. It is through them that the House of Stuart eventually made its way to the English throne.
The Brief Life of Henry Tudor, Duke of Cornwall – In 1511 Katherine of Aragon delivered a son and heir to Henry VIII. The brief days that followed were a high point in their marriage.
Mary Tudor, Charles Brandon & a Match Made in (Dramatic) Heaven – Taking a page out of her brother’s book, Mary Tudor chose to secretly marry Henry VIII’s best friend after the death of her first husband, Louis XII of France. The news wasn’t well-received.
What Henry VIII Wanted From Women – Here we play armchair psychologist for Henry VIII and get into how and why this particular king made his way (violently) through six wives.
When Henry VIII Loved Anne Boleyn – Mystery shrouds when and how the relationship between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn began in the 1520s. This post covers the possibilities and lays out what we do know, and what we can piece together.
The King’s Great Matter: 1527 – A look at the year that kicked off Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon, from the Holy Roman Empire’s sack of Rome to Cardinal Wolsey’s reticence to rule on the marriage for the Pope.
The King’s Great Matter: 1528 – Part Two in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
The King’s Great Matter: 1529 – Part Three in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
The King’s Great Matter: 1530 – Part Four in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
The King’s Great Matter: 1531 – Part Five in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
The King’s Great Matter: 1532 – Part Six in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
The King’s Great Matter: 1533 – Part Seven in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.
When Anne Boleyn Became Queen – This post covers the events of 1532 and 1533, Anne Boleyn’s marriage and her introduction to Henry VIII’s court as his second queen.
The Birth of Elizabeth I & Anne Boleyn’s Pregnancies – Here we zoom into the 1533 birth of Elizabeth Tudor and Anne’s subsequent pregnancies leading up to her downfall in 1536.
The English Reformation: 1534 – 1536 – Part Eight in a series taking a closer look at the events throughout Europe that dictated the protracted divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. This post covers its aftermath and the English Reformation.
The Death of Katherine of Aragon – Katherine of Aragon’s death was a far cry from the prestige in which she was born. It also marked a high point for her rival, Anne Boleyn.
The Guilt of Anne Boleyn – Anne Boleyn’s conviction was a complete miscarriage of justice without a single law being broken. Here we look at the case drawn up against her and the mechanics of her fall from grace.
The Death of Anne Boleyn – Perhaps the most famous execution in English history, this post covers Anne Boleyn’s last days in the Tower of London and how Henry VIII spent them.
His “Favorite” Wife: Jane Seymour – This post covers Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, from her career as a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives, her brief tenure as queen and the birth of Edward VI.
The Flanders Mare: Anne of Cleves – Here we get into Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, and how it came to be that the marriage fell apart under one year, Anne remained amicable with the King and Thomas Cromwell lost power.
His Rose Without a Thorn: Henry VIII & Katherine Howard – This post covers the union of Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, particularly focusing on his mindset before and during his fifth marriage.
The Case of Katherine Howard – Here we discuss the case brought against Katherine Howard, from her premarital relationships to the claim she committed adultery, and question why she is presumed guilty when Anne Boleyn is presumed innocent by history.
Half-Tudor: Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox – Daughter of Henry VIII’s sister, Margaret Tudor, Margaret Douglas was the product of her mother’s second marriage to a Scottish earl. Repeatedly imprisoned for inappropriate relationships at her uncle’s court, Margaret ended up marrying another Scottish earl and bringing about the marriage of her son to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Henry VIII’s Last Execution & His Daughter-in-Law – This post covers Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond, daughter of the infamous Duke of Norfolk, and her marriage to Henry VIII’s bastard son, Henry Fitzroy, as well as her role in the execution of her brother, the Earl of Surrey.
The [Secretive] Death of Henry VIII – For three days after Henry VIII’s death it was kept secret from court and Parliament as his Council sped about the country preparing for the accession of a nine-year-old.
When the King’s Sixth Wife Took Her Fourth Husband – Here we take a look at Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Katherine Parr, during her brief widowhood and her fourth marriage to Thomas Seymour.
The Second Man in Elizabeth I’s Life – This post covers the period of time in which Elizabeth Tudor lived in the household of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour, and her relationship with the latter.
After Mary: Charles Brandon & Katherine Willoughby – After Mary Tudor’s death, Charles Brandon married again. Katherine Willoughby truly stepped into her own during her widowhood as a devout Reformer at Henry VIII’s court, and even spent a brief stint as a religious exile during the reign of Mary I.
Lady Jane Grey: The Nine Days Queen – Here we cover the dynamics leading up to Jane Grey’s nine-day reign, the rise of the Dudley family and how it was that she ended up executed after a several months-long imprisonment.
The Catholic Alliance: Mary I & Philip II of Spain – Mary I is given a bad shake over her supposed obsessions with her husband, but here we take a look at what actually went down during their marriage and the role of the Spanish in England in the mid-1550s.
The Rise of “Bloody Mary” – A look at the executions of hundreds of Protestants at the stake during Mary’s reign, from the terribly-handled PR disaster that it was to how religion and the counter-reformation was handled by the Queen and her government.
The Phantom Pregnancies of Mary I – Thanks to similar symptoms, Mary I and her doctors repeatedly thought she was pregnant over the course of her marriage. She never was.
The Death of Mary I & the Accession of Elizabeth I – The final days of Mary I’s reign saw a country preparing itself for the succession of the 25-year-old Protestant Elizabeth Tudor. This post covers the days before and immediately after Elizabeth I’s accession.
The Coronation of Elizabeth I – Here we cover the crowning of Elizabeth I, a ceremony in which her favorite, Robert Dudley, played a not insignificant role in planning.
Mary, Queen of Scots at the French Court – Though she was crowned queen of Scotland as an infant, Mary was sent to France in her youth to prepare her for her marriage to the future Francis II. This post covers her childhood and adolescence there, as well as her brief tenure as the French queen consort.
Elizabeth & Robin – This post covers the long and dysfunctional relationship between Elizabeth I and her childhood friend, Robert Dudley, the man she is believed to have come closest to marrying.
The Unholy Alliance: Mary, Queen of Scots & Henry, Lord Darnley – The marriage of Mary Stuart and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley strengthened both’s claims to the English throne. Their marriage, however, was a mess and ended in Darnley’s mysterious murder, in which many believed Mary had a hand.
The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots – After two decades of imprisonment in England after being forced out of Scotland, Mary was executed on the orders of her cousin, Elizabeth I.
The Royal Custody Battle – Before James I ascended the English throne, he and his wife, Anna of Denmark, were locked in a custody battle over their eldest son, Prince Henry. The struggle played out over the 1590s and ended only when James left Scotland for England in 1603.
From Tudor to Stuart: When James I Arrived in England – Here we take a look at the years leading up to James I’s succession of Elizabeth and what changed at the English court once a foreigner arrived to take over.
The Alternate Choice of Arabella Stuart – A Stuart and a Cavendish, Arabella had a distant claim to the English throne and represented an English-born alternative to James I towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign. When she married a Seymour without permission all hell broke loose.
Catholicism & Stuart England – This post provides an overview of the entire House of Stuart’s relationship to Catholicism, from James I’s Protestantism to Charles I’s and Charles II’s marriages to Henrietta Maria of France and Katherine of Braganza to the rise of James II’s Catholicism through his brother’s reign.
Pettiness & Politics: The Early Years of Charles I & Henrietta Maria of France – Though the two would end up happily married, the first five years of Charles I’s marriage to Henrietta Maria of France were full of fighting, homesickness and resentment.
The Flight of Henrietta Maria of France – In the middle of the English Civil War, and a few years before Charles I’s execution, Henrietta Maria secretly fled for France. Leaving behind an infant daughter, she was the first of her family to set up shop on the continent as an exile.
The First English Princess of Orange – The eldest daughter of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, Mary Stuart, left England for The Hague before the Civil War broke out, however she quickly became detested by the Dutch for her hauteur. An Englishwoman at heart, she was a port in the storm for her brothers during their exile.
Regicide: The Execution of Charles I – This post covers Charles I’s unprecedented execution at the close of the English Civil War and its significance in the history of the monarchy.
The Orleans at the Palais Royal – This post covers the life of Charles I’s youngest child, Henrietta Anne Stuart, who was raised in France and married Louis XIV’s younger brother, the Duke of Orleans. The couple were the toast of Versailles and almost continually embroiled in scandal.
Not So Merry England: Katherine of Braganza at the Court of Charles II – Unable to give her husband a legitimate heir and Catholic in a sea of Protestants, Katherine of Braganza didn’t have an easy go of it in England. Nor was she helped by her husband’s ceaseless line of mistresses. Nevertheless, Charles II refused to divorce her and insisted that she paid all respect as queen.
The Problematic Legacy of Anne Hyde, Duchess of York – Though she became the mother of two queens, Anne Hyde’s marriage to the future James II horrified both his family and hers. Her most lasting contribution to the Stuarts, however, was introducing James to the Catholicism that would eventually undo him.
The Marriage of James II & Mary Beatrice of Modena – Mary Beatrice of Modena arrived in England as a teenager, closer in age to her stepdaughters than her husband, and spent her marriage a threat to the Church of England and on the receiving end of Catholic hysteria.
William & Mary at The Hague – William and Mary of Orange became famous as co-monarchs, however this post covers the first 11 years of their marriage in Holland as they watched the events leading up the Glorious Revolution play out in England.
The Glorious Revolution – After the birth of James II’s son, William of Orange “conquered” England in a matter of weeks without any bloodshed.
Co-Monarchs: William III & Mary II – A look at the first five years after the Glorious Revolution in which William and Mary of Orange ruled jointly as co-monarchs.
The Third Daughter of James II – Born after the Glorious Revolution, Louisa Maria Stuart lived her entire life in France despite her debatable birthright as an English princess.
The Accession of Queen Anne – After eight years of William III’s solo reign, England was ready to be ruled by an Englishman – or rather, woman. Queen Anne’s accession as the first queen regnant to govern without a husband on equal footing was the first to take place since the Tudors and she had a careful line to tread following William’s tenure and the presence of her half-brother abroad.
The Almost Queen: Sophia of the Palatinate – The Germanic House of Hanover came into existence in England thanks to Sophia of the Palatinate, a granddaughter of James I, who had married the Elector of Hanover. In 1700 it became clear the Stuarts would die out and the widowed Sophia saw a second act for herself as the next British queen.
The Extraordinary Case of George I’s Wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle – George I was the first divorced monarch since Henry VIII and his dealings with his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, prior to his accession are just as twisted and morbid as anything a Tudor could have thought up.
Caroline of Ansbach Before Britain – Caroline survived an abusive stepfather to end up the Queen of Prussia’s favored pet at her court in Berlin. She married into the Hanoverian royal family knowing full well that she would end up the British queen. This post covers her life before her father-in-law’s accession in 1714.
When the Germans Arrived in Britain – The arrival in 1714 of a German royal family in London was as strange as it sounds, particularly after the tenor of the Stuarts’ rule. This post covers the mechanics of George I’s accession and how the British public reacted.
The Accession of George II & Caroline of Ansbach – After 13 years under a man who preferred Hanover to England, the accession of George II & Caroline of Ansbach was a welcome relief. Younger, better-acclimated and parents to a sizable brood of children, the dawn of the next George’s reign had all the hallmarks of turning over a new leaf.
George II & Caroline of Ansbach’s Hatred For Their Eldest Son – Left behind in Hanover when his family moved to England, Frederick grew up separately from his many siblings and, when he finally joined them as Prince of Wales, he wasn’t met with a warm welcome. This post examines his poor relationship with his parents and siblings and the motivating factors for how the situation grew into the disaster it did.
The Truth-Loving Princess Caroline – This post covers the life of George II and Queen Caroline’s third daughter, who never married and was obsessed with a catty courtier who made a name for himself writing about the inner-workings of her family.
The “Georges” & Their Women: Princess Mary, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel – Here we cover George II and Queen Caroline’s fourth daughter, Mary, who forged an unhappy marriage in Germany and ended up looking after the children of her younger sister, the Queen of Denmark.
Louisa, the Georgian Queen of Denmark & Norway – This post features George II’s youngest daughter, Louisa, who went on to become queen of Denmark and Norway and mother of the unfortunate Christian VII of Denmark.
Always a Princess, Never a Queen: Augusta of Saxe-Gotha – Prince Frederick’s adolescent wife, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, wasn’t an afforded a warm welcome to England, though she became devoted to her husband. This post covers her marriage as Princess of Wales, and then as a young widow raising a batch of princes and princesses as independently as she could.
The [Very] Quiet Rebellion of George & Charlotte – Hoping to undo the damage done by his family’s dysfunction, George III had very firm opinions for what he wanted in a wife and he met his match in Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though they were criticized for being boring, the two created a happy marriage and brought some level of respectability back to the Royal Family in the years before George’s mental illness set in.
Prince William & the Walpole Bastard – George III’s younger brother married the illegitimate Maria Walpole for love, destroying his relationship with his brother. The relationship unraveled under the strain of Maria’s pressure to be acknowledged by the Royal Family as William’s wife and duchess.
Scandal, Divorce & Exile: The Life of Caroline Matilda – This post covers the life of George III’s youngest sister, Caroline Matilda, who became the queen of Denmark. Thanks to mental illness and infidelity, her marriage to Christian VII ended in divorce and imprisonment. The entire sad affair was said to have scared George III away from the idea of ever marrying his daughters abroad.
The American Revolution & Britain’s Side of the Story – The American version of events is better known, so here we dig into this rather infamous war of independence from the British perspective.
The Madness of George III & the Regency – George III’s first bout with mental illness scarred his wife and damaged Queen Charlotte’s relationship with the Prince of Wales. This post covers the beginning of the end of George III’s reign and the unraveling of his family in the aftershock.
Maria Fitzherbert, George IV’s Catholic Wife – When the Prince of Wales, the future George IV fell in love with a Catholic widow and secretly married her. Here we cover the couple’s tumultuous and uneven relationship, spanning decades before and after the Prince’s legitimate marriage to Caroline of Brunswick.
The Worst Couple in Royal History: George IV & Caroline of Brunswick – George IV and Caroline of Brunswick were a disaster from the get-go – a look back at their tumultuous and short-lived marriage.
Guns, Gambling & Women: Frederick, Duke of York – A look back at the life of George III’s second son, Frederick, Duke of York, who arguably did more for the British military than any other member of the Royal Family.
William IV & the FitzClarences – William IV had 10 illegitimate children with his long-time mistress before marrying a proper Protestant princess and eventually ascending the throne.
The One Who Got Away: Charlotte, Queen of Wurttemberg – The eldest daughter of George III, she had a tricky relationship with her parents and siblings, but was the only one of her sisters to become the queen consort of a foreign court.
Queen Victoria’s Father: Edward, Duke of Kent – A rundown of the life of Queen Victoria’s father and George III’s fourth son, Edward, Duke of Kent. Devoted to the military, in love with his long-time mistress and almost constantly in debt, he was a fairly typical Hanoverian prince.
The Private Life of Princess Augusta – The second of George III’s daughters, Augusta’s personal life was a series of disappointments, however there is some evidence that she may have forged a secret marriage without her family’s permission.
Against All Odds: Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg – George III’s third daughter, Elizabeth, made a late in life marriage in which she finally gained her independence and made her own home abroad.
Ernest & Frederica: The “Sinister” Cumberlands – It would seem unlikely that both halves of a royal couple would come under suspicion of murder, but meet the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. This post takes a look at their marriage and their unfortunate relationship with the British Royal Family.
The Sussex Marriages – A son of George III, Augustus followed the House of Hanover prescription for a younger prince who entered the military and took on two marriages without the permission of his father or brother.
The Independent Beauty of Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester – Considered the most beautiful of George III’s daughters, Mary didn’t marry until she was 40, and even then it was to a cousin with whom she had a mostly unhappy marriage. As a widow she found some peace thanks to a newfound independence and a good relationship with her family.
Did George III’s Daughter Have an Illegitimate Son? – Princess Sophia, one of George III’s younger daughters, is believed to have secretly given birth to an illegitimate son following an illicit relationship with Colonel Thomas Garth. A rundown of the evidence and how this period of her life plagued her well into her old age is captured in this post.
The Poorly-Kept Secrets of Princess Amelia – Amelia was George III’s youngest daughter and reportedly the most beloved. She was plagued throughout her life by poor health and her death in 1810 is believed to have triggered her father’s final descent into insanity. There are also rumors that she secretly married an equerry with whom she was in love, but was considered an unsuitable match for a princess.
Before Victoria: Princess Charlotte of Wales – The product of her parents’ unhappy marriage, Charlotte grew up as a future queen regnant of Britain. Rebellious, bored and outspoken, she had a rocky adolescence until she finally settled on Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as a husband. In many ways, there are interesting parallels between her and her first cousin, the future Queen Victoria.
The Royal Marriage Race of 1818 – When Princess Charlotte prematurely died, three of her uncles raced to the altar with German Protestant princesses in the hopes of securing the succession. It was undignified, to say the least, but it did produce Queen Victoria.
The Example of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen – Adelaide was plucked from obscurity in 1818 to marry George III’s third son, the future William IV. She eventually became queen consort and was, in many ways, a model for good behavior among the dramatics of her royal in-laws.
When Kensington Palace Was a Prison: The Upbringing of Queen Victoria – A closer look at Queen Victoria’s childhood under the supervision of her mother, the Duchess of Kent, while she waited out the reigns of George IV and William IV.
All That Gossip: Queen Victoria & Lord M – Once she ascended the throne at age 18, Queen Victoria forged a close relationship with her first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. So close, in fact, that some believed there to be romantic feelings on one or both sides. Regardless, it was a mentorship that helped solidify Victoria’s political views and taught her how to rule.
The Courtship, Engagement & Wedding of Victoria & Albert – Here we take a look at how a young Queen Victoria, with little interest in marrying, ended up falling in love with and marrying Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a German cousin with whom she had not previously been impressed.
Victoria, Albert & That Newlywed Life – Despite mutual affection, if not adoration, the first three years of Victoria and Albert’s marriage were volatile thanks to an ongoing power struggle and a precarious balancing act between public and private.
Vicky, Fritz & the Fate of the German Empire – Victoria and Albert’s eldest daughter, Vicky, married the future Emperor Frederick III of Germany. Compared to her Prussian in-laws, Vicky was too foreign and too liberal to be trusted, and thanks to Fritz not reaching the “top job” for another 30 years, the couple were never able to carry out their plans to modernize Germany.
Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Britishness (& Left Arm) – Queen Victoria’s eldest grandchild was the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. This post takes a look at his poor relationship with his mother, Empress Frederick, and his complex relationship with his British family and his own British heritage.
Edward VII, Nellie Clifden & a Huge Overreaction – In 1860, Queen Victoria’s eldest son embarked on a relationship with an “actress” just as his parents decided it was time for him to take a wife. When Victoria & Albert found out, their reaction was a bit over the top.
The Death of Prince Albert – On December 14, 1861, Queen Victoria’s husband died and her 40-year widowhood began. It was a turning point in Victoria’s reign, and one which would have a huge impact on the trajectory of the Royal Family.
The Marriage of Bertie & Alix – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark spent 38 years together as the Prince and Princess of Wales, before taking on the “top jobs.” This post covers their marriage and how they handled the long wait.
Alexandra of Denmark & the Father-in-Law of Europe – While Queen Victoria is known as the grandmother of Europe, Alexandra of Denmark’s father is known as Europe’s father-in-law thanks to the careers and marriages of his children.
Congratulations and Condolences: Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse – This post covers the life of Queen Victoria’s third child, who became the Grand Duchess of Hesse. She championed nursing during the Crimean War and was the mother of the eventual Tsarina Alexandra of Russia.
The English Duke & the Romanov Bride – The marriage of Queen Victoria’s fourth child, Prince Alfred, with Marie of Russia began romantically and ended tragically. This post covers their courtship and relationship, which saw them move from Kent to Malta to Coburg.
The Middle Child: Helena, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein – Here we cover the life of Queen Victoria’s fifth child, Princess Helena, whose marriage to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein caused strife within the Royal Family.
The Beat of Her Own Drum: Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll – Queen Victoria’s sixth child was the only one to marry a commoner, the future Duke of Argyll. There’s a little rumor as to why that was…
Mary Adelaide of Cambridge’s Slow Walk to the Altar – Queen Victoria’s cousin was running the risk of spinsterhood, so she helped set her up with Francis of Teck. Her daughter would end up marrying the future George V and becoming Queen Mary.
Baby Gets Married: Princess Beatrice & the Battenberg Line – Queen Victoria was livid when she discovered her youngest child wanted to marry and didn’t speak to her for days. Beatrice’s daughter, meanwhile, would end up becoming the queen of Spain.
Albert Victor, Mary of Teck & Jack the Ripper – Before marrying the future George V, Mary of Teck was married to his elder brother, the Duke of Clarence, a man who has inspired conspiracy theories that he is none other than Jack the Ripper. It’s a quick look at their engagement and the man that was almost king.
Queen Victoria’s Third Son: Arthur, Duke of Connaught – Queen Victoria’s seventh child and third son, Arthur, lived until 1942 and had a distinguished career in the military, spending considerable time in Canada.
From Kent to Bucharest: Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania – Daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Marie came very close to marrying the future George V, but instead married the next king of Romania and was a pivotal national figure through World War I…with a complicated personal life.
Vicky’s Daughters, the Kaiser’s Sisters: Charlotte of Prussia – Here, we take a closer look at Charlotte of Prussia, eldest daughter of Frederick III of Germany and his British wife, Princess Victoria, who was one of the more difficult princesses of her generation.
Princess Royal: Louise of Wales, Duchess of Fife – Eldest daughter of Edward VII, Louise married “domestically” and was the Edward Era’s Princess Royal.
Bertie’s Daughter: Queen Maud of Norway – Edward VII’s second daughter unexpectedly became the queen of a newly-independent Norway, and while reluctant, she was crucial to the country’s development and identity in the 20th century.
Sophie of Prussia: The German Queen of the Hellenes – Daughter of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Empress Frederick of Germany, Sophie married into the Greek Royal Family, served as queen during the tumult of World War I and ended her days in exile on the continent. A poor relationship with her brother, Kaiser Wilhelm II, certainly didn’t help, nor did it erase suspicious around her German heritage.
Daisy: Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden – Arthur, Duke of Connaught’s daughter married the Crown Prince of Sweden, but despite a happy marriage and a plethora of children, she tragically died young. One of her cousins would end up serving as queen consort.
The York Children – George V and Mary of Teck were many things, but natural parents they were not. This post provides a rundown of their children’s upbringing when their father was second-in-line and then heir to the throne.
George, Mary & Britain’s Last Delhi Durbar – George V and Mary of Teck traveled to India for a traditional Indian coronation shortly after their first crowning in Westminster Abbey. It was a politically sensitive, ornate display of Britain’s presence in the country, and the last of its kind for the BRF.
The Mother-Son Relationship From Hell: Queen Mary & Edward VIII – To say Edward VIII and Mary of Teck had a tricky relationship would be an understatement, but there is something a bit tragic when piecing together their rapport from the King’s childhood to his isolated presence at her funeral in 1953.
Mary, Princess Royal & Countess of Harewood – George V’s only daughter, Mary, did the “Princess thing” right. Appropriate and hard-working, she played her part in the BRF with little fuss, save an unrelenting loyalty to her brother, Edward VIII.
Philip’s Grandmother: Victoria of Hesse, Marchioness of Milford Haven – Eldest daughter of Queen’s Victoria’s daughter, the Grand Duchess of Hesse, Victoria ended up living a very British life. Notably, she pitched in for the care of her young grandson at various times, the future Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the Queen.
The Assassination of Nicholas II & Alexandra – The assassination of Nicholas II of Russia and his family is one of the most pivotal moments in royal history around the world. It profoundly shook Europe in the middle of World War I, all the more so because of the Romanovs’ blood ties to so many royal houses, including Britain’s.
The Queen’s Birth, 92 Years Ago Today – When Queen Elizabeth was born she held the same rank that Princess Beatrice of York does today, and was in no way expected to someday wear the crown. A look at what was going on in the BRF and in London back in 1926.
Philip’s Parents: Alice of Battenberg & Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark – The Duke of Edinburgh’s parents were active members of the Greek Royal Family when they were twice forced into exile thanks to the political tumult of World War I. Here, we cover their marriage and the upbringing of their five children.
It’s Difficult to Beat Missy of Edinburgh’s Princess Game – This post covers Queen Marie of Romania’s later life, and her frequent interactions with the House of Windsor. Sometimes you have to do your own PR.
The Three Proposals of George VI to the Queen Mother – The Queen Mother rejected George VI’s marriage proposal not once, but twice. The third time was the charm, but here we take a look at their courtship, the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon’s hesitation and the future king’s patience.
George, Marina & the 1934 Royal Wedding – Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent, was the first glamorous figure of her generation in the British Royal Family and, in many ways, a throwback to a kind of “princess” that we rarely see anymore.
That Time Edward VIII Watched the Proclamation of His Kingship…With Wallis Simpson – Edward VIII wasn’t Britain’s most subtle monarch, nor was his love interest shy and retiring. A look at the days around the King’s accession and how his government viewed his relationship with Wallis Simpson.
England’s Most Awkward Dinner Party – It wasn’t received well by the future Queen Mother when her relationship with Edward VIII was compared to the Wars of the Roses at a dinner party. It was almost as socially unacceptable as the King gaming out his marriage to Wallis Simpson in light of how George IV had handled his relationship with his secret, Catholic wife, Maria Fitzherbert.
The Abdication Crisis of 1936 – A look at the weeks and days that brought about Edward VIII’s historic and shocking decision to abdicate the throne for Wallis Simpson.
The Duke & Duchess of Windsor’s Wedding 80 Years Later – How do you celebrate the wedding of an ex-king and an American divorcee? Modestly. And in France.
The Death of George, Duke of Kent – The premature death of George VI’s younger brother, the Duke of Kent, was so shocking that it’s stemmed conspiracy theories for decades.
Victoria Eugenie: The English Queen of Spain – Princess Beatrice’s daughter, Victoria Eugenie, became queen consort of Spain, but the political climate of the 1920s and early 1930s became untenable, prompting her husband to abdicate. For the next few decades, she lived throughout Europe, including her beloved England, hoping for the eventual restoration of her family to the throne. It came, but unfortunately she wouldn’t live to see her grandson, Juan Carlos, proclaimed king.
The Royal Wedding of 1947 – A look back the post-war excitement of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Birth of Prince Charles – A look back at the birth of the now-Prince of Wales. A lot has changed in royal births since the 1940s…and a lot hasn’t.
The Real Princess Margaret & Captain Peter Townsend – Long before her ill-fated marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, George VI’s younger daughter, Princess Margaret, fell in love with an equerry in her family’s employ. His status as a divorced man made their marriage impossible, but they came daringly and publicly close.
When the Kennedys Met the Windsors – The Kennedys and the Windsors came face-to-face in 1961 for a perfect intersection of mid-century glamour, albeit of two very different brands. A look at the couples’ meeting and subsequent relationship.
The Unnecessary War of the Snowdons – George VI’s daughter, Princess Margaret, married for love, but it didn’t end well. In fact, it was the first divorce of a senior member of the Royal Family in generations. A look at the Snowdons’ volatile relationship, where it went wrong and how they handled the fallout.
Charles at Gordonstoun – The Prince of Wales’s time at boarding school has become equal parts fact and myth – here we take a look at what’s actually on the record from his school days.
Royal Wedding ’70s-Style: Princess Anne & Mark Phillips – A look back on Princess Anne’s first marriage to Mark Phillips, the father of her two children. The first of the Queen’s children to marry, this was the precursor for an entirely new generation of royal marriages.
The Royal Wedding of 1981: Charles & Diana – It was the royal wedding to end all royal weddings, and to a certain extent that’s still true today. A look back at the day, the excitement and how the event was covered at the time.
The Other Tour of Italy – A rundown of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s 1985 tour of Italy, from the fashion to the inclusion of their two young sons to the fleeting sense of family togetherness.
The Implications of Charles & Diana’s Divorce – Charles’s relationship with Diana aside, the questions raised by their 1996 divorce were extraordinary for the time, particularly since the Prince of Wales would have become the first divorced monarch since George I in the 18th century.
“The Royal Family Acted as a Family” – The days following the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997 shook the monarchy and are without explanation…and yet, I wrote this post.
That Eulogy 20 Years Later – Earl Spencer’s eulogy at the Princess of Wales’s funeral has yet to be forgotten, and for good reason.
The Death of Queens – Plans are necessarily in place for the figurative earthquake that the Queen’s passing will someday bring – here we examine what we know about those, as well as the 2002 passing of the Queen Mother.
Home & Dry: Charles & Camilla 12 Years On – Everyone has an opinion on the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, so here we take a look back at their 2005 wedding, what it meant and how things stand today.
A Look Back at William & Kate’s Engagement – 2010 is history now, right? Either way, this is a quick rundown of Cambridges’ engagement interview and the first time most of the world ever heard the now-Duchess speak.