Princess Bride

On May 13, 1515, Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor, Queen of France, were officially married at Greenwich Palace, more than two months after marrying in secret in France following the death of Mary’s first husband, the French King Louis XII. Mary, who was extremely close to her elder brother, Henry VIII, was reputed to be one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. Her marriage … Continue reading Princess Bride

Reading Hour Recommendations

In exactly one week, at 11 a.m. 30 November, The Reading Hour will begin. Part of Book Week Scotland, it’s a single hour in which everyone is encouraged to drop what they’re doing, pick up a book, and read. Just an hour out of your day, no big deal, right? But the question is, what will you read? Well, if you’re a fan of the … Continue reading Reading Hour Recommendations

Trivia Thursday: The Queens’ Vault

This Week’s Question: Arbella Stuart, who was once considered a successor to Queen Elizabeth I, was buried in the vault of what other famous queen? Last Week’s Question: Who was the first heir to the British throne to tour North America? Answer: Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. The charismatic eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert set off for a tour of Canada … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: The Queens’ Vault

The Invasion of the Isle of Wight

On 21 July 1545, the French landed for the last time on the Isle of Wight during the Italian Wars (makes sense, right?) and were firmly repulsed by the outnumbered English. This was not the first time the French tried to take the island, but it was the last. The French Invasion of the Isle of Wight was part of a string of battles that … Continue reading The Invasion of the Isle of Wight

Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances

It’s Valentine’s Day, and whether you have plans or expect to stay in, it’s a great opportunity to kick back, pop open some bubbly and a box of chocolates, and indulge in a few good old-fashioned romances. Everyone loves a good love story, and if it comes with tiaras, so much the better, so it’s no wonder royal romances have shown up onscreen in dozens … Continue reading Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances

If Only He’d Had Twitter…

I personally complain a lot about 24-hour news cycles and the overabundance of technology in the world today, but every now and then I read a story that makes me think: Wow, thank God for Facebook! (This doesn’t happen terribly often). I’m sure Thomas FitzGerald, the 10th Earl of Kildare, would have loved to have some fast, fairly reliable means of communication, because if he … Continue reading If Only He’d Had Twitter…

Farewell to All That

On January 7, 1558, England lost its last remaining possession on the continent when the French retook Calais. Calais was an important little spot to the English, since it served as a toehold on the mainland and a trading center for English wool that allowed English merchants to bypass the markets in the low countries (present day Netherlands). When the French tried to meddle in … Continue reading Farewell to All That

That’s One Way to Avoid Prison

Thomas Wolsey, a cardinal who was named Lord Chancellor under Henry VIII, became the subject of the children’s rhyme Humpty Dumpty when he suffered a “great fall” in 1530. His descent ended on November 29 when he died on his way to prison. Wolsey is thought to have been a spectacular example of social climbing: he was born around 1473 to Robert Wolsey, who may … Continue reading That’s One Way to Avoid Prison

Perkin Warbeck

Do you know what happened when someone got a little too big for his britches in 15th century England? Of course you do, you watched The Tudors. Unfortunately, Perkin Warbeck failed to get the memo that Tudor monarchs tended to execute first and ask questions later and went ahead and tried to claim the throne for himself, swearing he was the supposed-dead son of King … Continue reading Perkin Warbeck