One of the things that always springs to mind about Westminster Hall is the amazing hammerbeam roof, for which we have our 14th-century monarch, Richard II, to thank. He didn’t build the hall itself, of course, because that accolade goes as far back as King William II “Rufus” in 1079. And Rufus was disappointed… Continue reading Who was first to lie in state in Westminster Hall….?
Tag: Queen Mother
A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….
I have now watched all of the Channel 5 series Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors, which is so packed with information that I hardly know where to begin with this review. Aha, did I hear you say the beginning might be a good idea? You’re right, so here goes with a selection of descriptions from… Continue reading A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….
Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!
The illustration above is from Dan Jones’s book Summer of Blood: the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Part of the caption is “Queen Joan, Richard II’s mother, pleading with the rebels as the Savoy burned”. Elsewhere in the same book, Joan is referred to as the queen mother. According to Merriam Webster, the first known… Continue reading Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!
So wrong he could be right?
This article, by the former MP Norman Baker, appeared in the Mail on Sunday. Actually, the original version was much longer and referred to Elizabeth II as a descendant of Henry VIII. This is an egregious howler, surely, because all of his actual descendants died by 1603 (or the last day of 1602/3 in the… Continue reading So wrong he could be right?
Another Howard riddle
It is widely known that Elizabeth I was the only English monarch to be descended from John, 1st Duke of Norfolk, as her grandmother was a Howard, his granddaughter. There is a British monarch who can trace their maternal ancestry to this dynastic founder – Elizabeth II, who also shares the “Treetops” coincidence with her… Continue reading Another Howard riddle
More Royal marital irregularity
Edward IV was not the only British late mediaeval king to play fast and loose with canon law. The other case dates from a century and a quarter before 8 June 1461 and had consequences for that king’s heirs; in particular his grandson: Today in 1337, a first son, John, was born to Sir Robert… Continue reading More Royal marital irregularity
The complex alliances at the siege of Roxburgh
Today marks the 555th anniversary of the dramatic conclusion of this siege, being a Bank Holiday in most of Scotland. Tomorrow in 1900, the late Queen Mother was born, in London or Hitchin, but of Scottish parentage. We posted about the siege last year but what about the underlying events? James II’s mother was Joan… Continue reading The complex alliances at the siege of Roxburgh