Christmas in Exile

Better exiled than beheaded, I guess. On December 23, 1688, James II of England finally got the hint that he was no longer welcome and fled to Paris. James, a Catholic, was never a particularly popular king, but the people were prepared to tolerate him so long as his Protestant daughters remained his sole heirs. When his wife, Mary of Modena, unexpectedly gave birth to … Continue reading Christmas in Exile

Mary of Modena

On October 5, 1658, in the pretty town of Modena in Italy, Mary Beatrice d’Este, future wife of James II and last Stuart Queen of England, was born. She was the daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena, and was therefore expected to marry into a European royal family. She was given a thorough education to prepare her for her future role and particularly excelled … Continue reading Mary of Modena