Thursday, 25 June 2020

The Coronation of Queen Mary

This is a blog post all about feelings, a word rarely associated with Queen Mary. The consort of King George V has acquired a reputation for cool headedness, verging on the icy, and much of that, it has to be said, was of her own making. But perhaps that's why the feelings of Mary on the day she was crowned are so interesting to guess at. For Mary had carefully crafted her facade of duty above all when she was plucked from royal obscurity, if not shame, by Queen Victoria. She knew she had once been the laughing stock of the court but now she commanded it. Her feelings on the day of her coronation must have been intriguing.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The Coronation of Catherine of Aragon

After years of waiting, Catherine of Aragon was finally crowned Queen of England on June 24th 1509. The Spanish princess who had arrived in the country almost eight years earlier as bride for the heir to the throne finally got her crown - with his brother at her side.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

The Accession of Queen Victoria

In the early hours of June 20th 1837, while she slept, Victoria became queen. The sun had already risen when she was awoken by her mother who informed her that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain of the Household wished to see her. Obediently, Victoria got out of bed. It was the last time she ever had to obey anyone. For as she walked into a draughty room at Kensington Palace, her visitors fell to their knees. The great reign had begun.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Katherine of Valois, her sons

Without her there is no Tudor dynasty and her descendants more than made their mark on England. In the month we celebrate 600 years since her famous royal wedding, I'm looking at several different aspects of the life of Katherine of Valois and today, it's her sons. Three of them became integral to the political development of her adopted country and through one of them, she is the ancestress of kings and queens scattered through European history. And this isn't just being sexist and forgetting the girls. Katherine is said to have had two daughters but they disappear from history quickly, if they ever existed. It's her three eldest children, all boys, who held the destiny of the crown in their hands and that's why I'm looking at the men who were the sons of Katherine of Valois.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Anne Neville: an unfortunate queen?

I didn't get a chance to write about Anne Neville on the actual anniversary of her birth, June 11th. But given that it happened 564 years ago, it seems like a minor miss. I have to say I have always found Anne rather fascinating and rather sad in some ways. So my focus, a day late, is the misfortune of Anne Neville.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

The Second Wedding of Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon became a second time bride on June 11th 1509. After years of waiting, often in difficult circumstances, her story seemed to have finally reached a happy new beginning. Her wedding to Henry VIII ended a troubling period which had seen her bartered over and neglected. Her groom had insisted on marrying her in a sweeping rush to the altar that was as romantic as it was dramatic. And the events of June 11th began a new chapter in her story that would end in further trauma and an argument that changed Europe forever.

Friday, 5 June 2020

The Queens of Fontevraud Abbey

Fontevraud Abbey, France is the burial site of two Queens of England 
(By Pierre Mairé,CC BY 2.5, Wiki Commons)

It was one of the most well known religious houses of the 12th century, made more famous by its associations with the powerful dynasty that dominated parts of western Europe at the time. The Plantagenet links to the Abbey of Fontevraud were extensive. And in death it became the resting place of several of its most famous members. Among them, two Queens of England: Eleanor of Aquitaine and Isabella of Angouleme.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Death of a Queen: Isabella of Angouleme

Isabella, Queen of England died on June 4th 1246. Her tenure as consort was long over, almost three decades in the past but her reputation for controversy had continued until the moment she passed away.

Queen Jane of England

Jane Seymour was proclaimed Queen of England on June 4th 1536. It came just days after her marriage to Henry VIII. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Queens Born in June

Anne of Cleves

Two Queens of England have been born in June. So far. A medieval matriarch and a rejected consort who ended up being the biggest winner of the Tudor era - quite a collection of June queens.

Birthplace of a Queen: Hotel St Pol, Paris

On a street corner in Paris stands a faded stone wall. It's all that remains of a once famous royal residence that became the birthplace of a queen.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

The Coronation of Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2nd 1953. Billed as the beginning of a new Elizabethan era, it was a groundbreaking coronation for a history making Queen. Shown on TV, it was the first time millions had been able to watch a queen regnant crowned. 

The Most Important Royal Wedding in English history?

It was a marriage years in the making that would have ramifications for a country and a continent for decades to come. The wedding of Henry V, King of England, and Katherine of Valois, changed England, France and Europe forever. And it all happened six hundred years ago today.

Monday, 1 June 2020

The Coronation of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England on June 1st 1533. The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey after four days of pageants. It was a spectacle that cemented her place and her power as consort. The woman for whom a king had changed the known world was now, most publicly and definitely, Queen of England.

Katherine of Valois: parents of a queen

One of the most famous royal weddings in medieval Europe took place six hundred years ago this month. On June 2nd 1420, Katherine of Valois married Henry V of England in a ceremony that would seal the king's ambitions but set the course for decades of fighting. This month with be Katherine's month on the blog. And we'll start at the very beginning, with her parents.