wedding day

The 26th April 1923 saw the marriage of a royal couple in Westminster Abbey.

This couple were not destined for the throne, their Dukedom was York, and their role would be mostly ceremonial, in terms of the royal family.

Albert Frederick Arthur George and Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, pledged their troths in the ancient Abbey, which had not been used for royal weddings since 1383.

Albert, known to his family as Bertie, had become Duke of York and Earl of Inverness in 1920 at the age of 24.  Later that year, he met the socialite, Elizabeth, and fell in love.  She was not of direct royal lineage, but of noble birth, so he was granted permission to court her.

He proposed marriage in 1921 but she refused.  He persisted and again proposed to her in 1922.  She again said no, claiming to be unable to adapt to the requirements of the royal family.

Eventually, he convinced her to marry him, and it was said that theirs was a very close and loving partnership.

They had two daughters together, before the death of his father in 1936 would change the lives of the young family in unexpected ways.

AlbertElizabethWeddingColorPhoto

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Bad news/good news

Another death to write about today, though as it is the death of a King, it is also about the accession of another King, so…….bad news, good news !!!!

King Henry VII died on the 21st April 1509.  His son promptly became King Henry VIII.

Henry VII was not as popular a King as some would have you believe.  Many saw him as a usurper.  Not for killing King Richard, but because there were many in the Lancastrian line with as good a claim as his, if not better.  He was simply the one who had caught the luck to meet Richard on that fateful day at Bosworth and watch as the king was killed.

Henry had built up large coffers during his reign, leaving a nice little nest egg for his son, though this fortune had come at the expense of the lower classes in England, through taxation and the like (hmm a lot like our current ‘ruling class….’).

His son was nicknamed Bluff King Hal when he came to the throne and was popular in London.  In those days, he would not have been very well known by sight to people outside the court and the city.  Young Henry was tall, handsome, athletic, what more could be asked for in a Prince??

Shortly after his father’s death, he would announce his intention to marry his former sister-in-law, Catherine of Aragon (whose personal claim to the English throne was at least as strong as Henry’s own, if family history trees are followed), who was herself quite popular among the people.

Soon they were crowned as the golden couple of the English royal family, and court was overflowing with nobles and well wishers, eager to help the King spend his father’s savings!!

And the Tudor story from there is well known………….

well………

I had planned a nice historical post about an aspect of my new book today, then once again the political system of this country throws a curve ball and the country is up in the air again.  Geez…..

Anyone who knows me will know my colour is yellow and always will be, the SNP are the only party who deserve the vote, for mainly keeping their promises and working for the good of the people.  NOne of the other parties have even tried to do that as far as I have seen.

I used to be a Labour voter, was brought up in a Labour heartland, and if I was in England still and did not have the SNP as an option, then I probably would still vote Labour, as Corbyn is a far better bet than the Tories any day.

Please God, I will spend every day praying, that you will let Britain get rid of these cruel, heartless Tories, who only work for the good of the rich, and punish the poor.

The Liberals don’t need much said about them, they only returned 8 MPs in the last election, after all.  (Just please please, Orkney and Shetland, open your eyes and get rid of the lying Carmichael, you deserve so much better!!)

So……deep breath…..here we go with capaigning once again……………………….see you on the other side………….

age

I read today that the oldest person in the world had died.

She was 117 years and 137 days old !!!!

The Italian lady, Emma Morano, was born on november 29th 1899, it is said that she was the last person living who had been born in the 19th century.  It is claimed that the oldest person now is a Jamaican lady who was born in March 1900.

Emma survived both world wars (will we all survive the coming war that seems to be threatened?), and outlived all of her 8 siblings.  She married in the mid 20’s and only had one child, who unfortunately died as an infant.  I could maybe make a joke about her not being aged by looking after bairns over the years, but my own children might read this one day 🙂

By all accounts, she enjoyed reasonably good health throughout her life, apart from a diagnosis of anaemia when she was young, which she treated by eating 3 eggs per day !

Imagine the changes in the world that she had seen in her long life.  Apart from the wars, countries changing, splitting up, moving borders (I always have trouble keeping up with my geography as it is, without all the border changes!), terrible disasters like the Titanic, hurricanes, earthquakes, changing leaders in the world orders, the ruling monarchs across the world losing their power and the growth of democracies, her life history would have been an amazing read, had she ever written it down.

It is always sad when someone dies, but wow! what a life to have led.

RIP Ms Morano.

Death of the Kingmaker

Today, in 1471, one of the major figures from the Wars of the Roses, died, on the field of battle.

He died on the opposite side than he had started the war, many years earlier.

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, also known to history as the ‘Kingmaker’, had switched to the Lancastrian side around a year earlier, following a number of disagreements with the Yorkist King Edward IV (whom he is credited with putting on the throne, gaining him the Kingmaker moniker).

He had attempted, unsuccessfully, to place his daughter on the throne by marrying her to the Yorkist heir, George of Clarence.  When this had failed, he saw a better chance of power on the Lancastrian side, in charge, he thought, of the insane King Henry VI.

He may have ended his life as a traitor, but his successes as a warrior stand tall to show his bravery and leadership ability.

In the early years of the Wars, working to place his brother in law, the Duke of York, on the throne instead of the mad Lancastrian King, Warwick was at the head of most of the charges and was the most feared of the warriors of the day.  York trusted his heir, Edward to Warwick, which was to prove a good move when York and his son were caught out at Pontefract and slaughtered by Queen Margaret and her armies.

Warwick led the new Yorksit claimant to war in retaliation and won, leading him to London to claim his crown.

The first disagreement would come over Edward’s choice of wife.  Warwick favoured a rich foreign match, but Edward had already pledged his troth in secret, to an English widow (possibly more than one, depending what evidence you believe).

The relationship between the relatives (Warwick’s sister Cecily was married to the Duke of York, hence was mother to King Edward, this made Warwick his uncle) deteriorated rapidly, Warwick not being given the power at court that he thought he deserved.

Soon Warwick would return to the battlefield, this time in opposition to the Yorkist King.  He won a few small battles but lost overall and was forced to flee the country.

He returned to the country in 1470, after making an agreement with the Lancastrian Queen Margaret, taking Edward by surprise and forcing the King to flee instead.  Replacing the insane King  Henry on the throne, Warwick had power over him briefly until the return of his domineering Queen.

She would land on the morning of the Barnet battle, but her armies headed towards Wales looking for recruits under the Tudor banner there.  The end to her hopes would come soon after, at the battle of Tewkesbury, where her only son and the Lancastrian heir was killed and she was taken prisoner.

In history, Warwick is seen as a somewhat controversial figure, but then, aren’t most strong historical characters??  He was a man of his time, fighting to get the best for himself and his family.  Maybe he made dodgy decisions along the way, but we all do that to some extent.  His decisions were just more prominent than most people’s were and affected far more people!

Found

On the 11th April 1951, a stone was discovered upon the altar at Arbroath Abbey in Scotland.

So what?  you might think.  Stones are found all over the place.  But this was no ordinary stone, it had been stolen over 3 months earlier from London.  For this was the famous, and controversial, Stone of Scone.

It was stolen from beneath the throne in Westminster Abbey by a group of Scottish Nationalists, who wanted it brought home.

It had originally been stolen from Scotland by Edward I, known as Longshanks, who had the stone built into the throne in the Abbey, to signify his power over the Scots.

It is said that the stone broke when being taken from the throne, but surprisingly the stone that was discovered at Arbroath Abbey was in one piece, alledgedly repaired.  Stones are not that easy to repair…….

It has been asked whether the stone that was returned to London was the actual one upon which Scots monarchs were traditionally crowned, and rumours abound as to the whereabouts of it, to this day.

The recovered stone was brought to Edinburgh Castle in the early 90’s, where it currently resides.

Will it be allowed to stay with there when Scotland gets it’s independance, one wonders…………..

Titanic

105 years ago today, the Titanic left Southampton on her maiden voyage to America.

On board she carried over 2200 passengers and crew.  Some travelled for fun, eager to experience this new unsinkable ship, some travelled for necessity, to work or see relatives on the other side of the atlantic, others travelled with hearts full of hope, seeking a new life across the water.

For most of the people on board, their lives had begun the countdown to the end as soon as that ship pulled away from the dock.

It is an extremely sad story, and in some ways an avoidable accident.

My mind goes to the young families, probably travelling in third class.  I can imagine them chattering about the new land that they were going to, what their new lives would be like, how happy they would be.  Then for it all to come to a dramatic and painful end in the middle of one cold April night.

We all have hopes and dreams for our future, even at my age !!  My biggest hope is that I live to see all of my children settled and happy in whatever they choose to do.  My dream is that people enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

I send out a prayer for those people who lost their hopes and dreams on that ship, and wish everyone who may be reading this, the best of luck with their own futures.