Lady Iris Mountbatten: Royal Black Sheep

Who was Iris Mountbatten? When she was fourteen years old,she was a train-bearer at the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece. Two years later, she performed the same function at the coronation of George VI. She grew up to have sultry film star looks. She was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and at one time was fourteenth in line to the throne. She was one of the most photographed debutantes of her time. Yet...

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge. On 19th July, 1981, Carole and Mike Middleton sat down in front of their television – as did millions throughout the world – to watch the wedding of Diana Spencer to Prince Charles. Little did they know that thirty years later, they would see their as yet unborn daughter marrying the son of the happy couple. At the time Charles married Diana, Carole Middleton was in the early stages of pregnancy...

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Why Did Henry VIII Marry Six Times?

Why did Henry VIII marry six times? There was a very good reason indeed. But I was talking to someone recently who truly believed that Henry VIII married six women because he was a horny old goat who just liked to trade wives in for a newer model. Henry had a much greater goal and one that was, in those times, incredibly important to the country. In 1524, King Henry was in his early thirties. He was incredibly tall and good looking,...

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The Curious Life and Death of Empress Elisabeth

 Who was Empress Elisabeth? The Curious Life and Death of Empress Elisabeth. Elisabeth, or Sisi as she was known, wasn’t destined to be the Empress of Austria but that became her role, nevertheless. She was born into the royal family of Bavaria – her parents were both related to the upper-crust of Europe. It was the fact that her mother, Ludovika, was the sister of Sophie, the mother of Emperor Franz Joseph that sealed her...

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Did Prince Charles send Harry to rehab?

Did  Prince Charles send Harry to rehab? There is a persistent rumour abounding that in January 2002, the then teenaged Prince Harry of England was sent by his father, Prince Charles, to rehab because Harry had been exposed by the newspapers for ‘smoking drugs’. In other words, having a joint at a local pub. This is, according to a recent book, totally nonsense. It was (apparently) a typical example of the...

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Prince George – The Forgotten Royal

Who was Prince George? Prince George was a member of the British royal family but his name is little-known today. He was a good looking prince – he was rather dashing and loved fast airplanes, fast cars and, as you might imagine, fast women too. There are still stories coming to light about his life – we may still find out more about this somewhat mysterious character. His life was a short one and we were left with three...

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Andrew Morton: 17 Carnations

17 Carnations: The Duke & Duchess of Windsor and the Nazis. Less than two years before the Second World War began, the king of England abdicated from the throne. And the Nazis wanted to use him for their own ends. After the war, the Allies spent ten years recovering secret German files that revealed their plans. That sounds like the basis for an excellent novel but this book is non-fiction. In addition, American industrialists...

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Behind the Scenes: Royal Wedding 1947

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth & Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The 20th November, 1947 was a day that the population had been looking forward to. The recent war was still fresh in everyone’s memory. Rationing was still enforced. Towns and cities still showed the battle scars inflicted by the German bombs. So everyone was looking forward to the royal wedding – a happy occasion full of pageantry and romance -to bring...

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The Tragic Story of Princess Cecilie

The royal tragedy of Princess Cecilie. There have been so many tragedies that have befallen royal families. This was especially the case in the twentieth century. The story of Princess Cecilie and her family must be one of the saddest of all. It was 1937 – just  couple of years before the Second World Way broke out. Celilie was a beautiful young woman married to handsome Georg Donatus, the Grand Duke of Hesse. They had two small...

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Prince Charles

Prince Charles: The writers’ moneymaker Here’s a cool way to make money. Write a book that contains ‘revelations’ about that famous British soap opera, the royal family. Publicise some of its more extreme stories. It doesn’t matter if you’ve simply made them up -newspapers do it all the time. Pretend, if you like, that this is authorised by Prince Charles. Never mind that it’s not true. Claim...

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Queen Senna of England

Queen Senna of England: A New Zealand Maori. It does take a bit of a stretch of the imagination but in theory at least, it is possible (although improbable) that England could have a queen named Senna. What’s more, the small girl who bears that name is a New Zealand Maori. How is this? Well firstly, quite a lot of the existing members of the royal family would have to be wiped out before Senna could take the throne. She is...

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Did You Know? Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II: A few facts you may not know. Do you know how the queen starts her day? At 8 am her dresser enters the royal bedroom and places a tray with Earl Grey tea by the bedside. At the same time, the corgis rush into the bedroom. Then the dresser opens the heavy curtains wide to ensure that the light streams in. At 9 am the queen walks through her sitting room and into her dining room and enjoys a comparatively frugal...

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Queen Elizabeth II & Marilyn Monroe

The day Queen Elizabeth met Marilyn Monroe. In very different ways, the two women were destined to become icons. What many of us don’t realise is that Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were born only ten days apart. (April 21st and Jun 1st respectively – in 1926). And they met on October 29th, 1956. The occasion was the London premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in Leicester Square. It was the only time the two...

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Will we ever know the truth about Wallis Simpson?

It’s a famous story, of course. In the 1930s the King of England was the unmarried Edward VIII. When he ascended to the throne, he had a long-time mistress, Wallis Simpson. Although many members of the public believed that the king should be able to marry whoever he wished, the establishment were horrified at the possibility of their monarch marrying an American divorceé. Famously, the king announced his abdication, declaring...

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Richard III: The Final Battle

Richard III: The Final Battle. In 2012 the battle scarred bones of Richard III were unearthed. Three years later the sealed tomb has finally been unveiled at Leicester Cathedral. This event followed a week long funeral-fest which included a procession from Bosworth Field to Leicester Cathedral for a ceremony with everything from speeches to songs to second cousins 16 times removed and ending with an eye roll from Ashdown-Hill –...

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Princess Viktoria’s Disastrous Marriage

Princess Viktoria of Prussia: Ruined by her young lover She was born into a privileged and wealthy royal position. And yet when Princess Viktoria died at the age of  sixty three she was penniless and disgraced – thanks to her choosing the wrong man. Her grandmother was Queen Victoria. Her mother was Victoria’s eldest daughter and had married Frederick III, the German Emperor and King of Prussia. Her brother was Wilhelm II,...

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Royal Feud: York and Lancaster

Queen Elizabeth and Wallis Simpson: The Houses of York and Lancaster. In the fifteenth century, as all good students of Yorkshire history know, there were battles in England for the throne. The combatants were the House of York and the House of Lancaster. These were known as the Wars of the Roses as each house used a rose as its emblem; white for York, red for Lancaster. But in the twentieth century there was another ‘war of the...

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Queen Elizabeth II: The longest serving monarch

Queen Elizabeth II: Longest serving monarch On 9th September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II  became the longest-reigning monarch in British history. On the date, she had been on the throne for almost sixty four years. At that time, she was eighty nine years old. She surpassed the current record holder, her great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for 63 years 216 days. You might admire the royal family or it may be that you...

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Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès

Who is Princess Gabriella? You see, the thing is this. I have decided who Prince George ought to marry. OK, I know that he was born in 2013 so marriage is hardly on his list of priorities right now.  So yes, I’m a bit premature. Marriage might not be on the cards for another twenty five or thirty years by which time I might no longer be around (I’ll be amazed if I am) so I’m going to get my selection in now. I know...

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The Best Royal Wedding Dress – Ever!

I don’t know about you but royal wedding dresses are usually a disappointment for me. They are either remarkably plain (apologies to the Duchess of Cambridge but hers was boring) or they compete in fluffiness with the wedding cake (the eighties was a bad time for this – Princess Diana’s and The Duchess of York’s are good examples). But there was a royal wedding in 2011 when the dress was simply perfect. In...

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The Short and Sad Life of Lady Catherine Grey

The short and sad life of Lady Catherine Grey. Catherine Grey was born in 1540 and was in direct line to the English throne. When she was born, King Henry VIII was still alive and ruling the country. When the throne passed to his son, Edward VI, the young king named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey – Catherine’s older sister – as his heir. Queen Jane’s reign only lasted for a couple of weeks before Henry’s...

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What Was Squidgygate?

What was Squidgygate? On 23rd August, 1992, the Sun – a British tabloid newspaper – published the transcript of  phone call between Diana,Princess of Wales and her then-lover, James Gilbey. The call lasted for thirty minutes and during that time, Gilbey called Diana ‘Squidgy’ or ‘Squidge’ fifty three times and ‘darling’ fourteen times. Therefore, latching onto the Nixon Watergate...

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Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend

Princess Margaret’s married lover Peter Townsend. Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, when thirteen when she first saw Group Captain Peter Townsend. He had arrived at Buckingham Palace to be interviewed for the position of equerry to her father, the king. He was twenty-nine, a war hero, good-looking … and married. He had married a woman called Rosemary – a woman who was attractive, fun-loving and...

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Princess Anne

Princess Anne: Forgotten royal. These days, we are more aware of the more ‘glamourous’ members of the royal family. In particular, this applies to the younger generation, royal babies, fashions and lifestyle. But one of the older members of the family, Princess Anne, has had an interesting life, a touch of scandal and yet is known for being one of (if not the) hardest working of the British royals today. Born in 1950, she...

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Queen Mother

Ten things you didn’t know about the Queen Mother. Elizabeth Bowes Lyons was the mother of England’s Queen Elizabeth II. She was one of the most popular members of the royal family until her death in 2002 at the age of one hundred and one. Even though 2002 doesn’t seem too long ago, it seems that she is largely forgotten these days but she was a very popular and influential woman in the twentieth century. She is, in...

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The Curious Life of Rosemary Leveson-Gower

The tragic story of the girl who almost changed the course of British history. In fact, had circumstances turned out differently, Rosemary Leveson-Gower could have changed the course of world history. But it was not to be. The story has its true beginnings in the First World War. It is a love story that involves tragedy and includes the people who were the main players in what was called ‘The Love Affair of the Century’....

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British Prince Charles Edward: Nazi

The British prince who was a Nazi official. The grandson of Queen Victoria who was a top Nazi. Born in 1884, Prince Edward Charles was a member of the British royal family. His father, Prince Leopold, had been Victoria’s youngest son. Nevertheless, during the Second World War he was a top-ranking member of the Nazi Party. Because of this, you’re unlikely to find details of him in most history books, especially those...

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Will Camilla be Queen?

Will Camilla be Queen? In 2005, it was announced that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker -Bowles would be married. They had been living together for quite some time. The queen and the practically-minded royal family approved wholeheartedly. Princes William and Harry had come to know her well and were delighted. And yet a poll showed that only seven percent of British people wanted her to eventually be queen. Yet ten years later, as the...

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Prince John: The Hidden Royal

What is the truth about Prince John? For many years, few members of the public had even heard about Prince John. And a lot of the ‘information’ that exists about him is actually incorrect. The story that many people have heard about Prince John has often been used to ‘demonstrate’ that the British royal family are a heartless, unfeeling bunch. The myth is that John, who was the youngest of George V’s...

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Did Queen Victoria write Alice in Wonderland?

Did Queen Victoria write Alice in Wonderland? Yes, you read that correctly. There are some people who firmly believe that Alice in Wonderland wasn’t the work of Lewis Carroll but that of the recently widowed Queen Victoria. Her beloved husband Albert had died in December of 1861 and proponents of the theory believe that writing the book was a comfort to her. But what about Lewis Carroll? It’s generally supposed that on...

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The Queen’s Cousins: Scandal

Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins. In 1987 the media uncovered what seemed to be a huge scandal. Newspapers reported that two sisters had been discovered in what they called an ‘asylum for mental defectives’ and what’s more, they were cousins of the queen, Elizabeth II. It was said that the two women were living in the most basic conditions and that they had no visitors. It seemed that this was a case of the royal...

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Queen Victoria’s Daughters

Queen Victoria’s daughters Queen Victoria had nine children and understandably, the one who is the most well-known was Albert Edward, her eldest son who became King Edward VII when Victoria died in 1901. Little is generally known about her daughters however. In most cases,they married into European royalty. Queen Victoria wanted her daughters to marry for love – as she had done herself – but that didn’t mean...

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Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley

Robert Dudley, the lover of the Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth the First went down in history as the Virgin Queen, simply because she didn’t marry. But if we’re talking about virginity as a physical state, rather than a euphemism for ‘unmarried’ then it’s highly unlikely that it was the case. Elizabeth was strong minded – even as a girl. She inherited this to some extent from her father – King...

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Royal proposal: William and Catherine

How did Prince William propose to Kate Middleton? William and Catherine were secure in their relationship. It had survived a great deal and William was not sure that Catherine was the girl for him. But before he proposed, there were two important issues to sort out first. The first was, like all members of the royal family, he had to get permission to marry from his granny – or as we know her, Queen Elizabeth II. She queen had...

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Prince Philip’s letter: After Diana

Prince Philip’s letter: After Diana. In February, 2015, a letter was sold at auction. This was highly significant in the history of the British royal family.It was written by Prince Philip, five days after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Eighteen years previously, Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris. Prince Philip,pictured on the left with Queen Elizabeth II, wrote the letter to his niece expressing his feelings...

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Prince Philip

Ten facts you might not know about Prince Philip. Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) in 1947. Few marriages have lasted as long. The prince has been hugely misunderstood in the press during all his public life but he is quite a character and there are many misconceptions about him. Here’s a selection of interesting facts that you might now know. Amaze your friends with your knowledge of royal...

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After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen?

After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen? The last time a monarch died was in 1952.  That is more than a lifetime ago for many of us and the world is a very different place now. Although many believe in the line from the National Anthem ‘long to reign over us’, we have to admit that, having been born in 1926, she may be coming to the end of her time as monarch. No, I don’t believe she will abdicate and it may be...

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Wallis Simpson’s Wedding Dress

Wallis Simpson’s wedding dress. Not a fashion success. In the nineteen thirties, when King Edward VIII gave up the throne of England for Mrs Wallis Simpson, many people just couldn’t understand what this highly eligible bachelor saw in her. Many  still don’t understand the attraction. In those days, and ever since, she has been described as a ‘fashion icon’. There is little photographic evidence to...

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The Sad Story of Prince Friedrich

The sad story of Prince Friedrich of Hesse. Who was the prince? He was a grandchild of Queen Victoria – the son of her daughter Alice. Princess Alice married Grand Duke Louis, a member of the German royal family. Friedrich was their fifth child. When just a toddler, he was diagnosed as having haemophilia which, as we know, was hereditary  and passed down from Queen Victoria herself. Although Friedrich’s parents were...

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Queen Victoria and her Indian Servant

Queen Victoria and the Munshi.   It was Queen Victoria whose catchphrase supposedly was ‘we are not amused’. And yet there is no evidence to show that she actually uttered this phrase. Ever. When we think about her,it’s easy to think only of that elderly woman we know from photographs but I suspect that she was a much more interesting character than is sometimes thought. When her husband,Prince Albert,died,she...

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George VI: The Unprepared King

George VI: The Unprepared King. The problems of King George VI. George didn’t expect to be the king. He was the second son and therefore it was his older brother who was brought up to know that one day, he would be the sovereign. And just as expected, when their father died, Edward ascended to the throne and became King Edward VIII. Just as is the case with Prince Harry today, George had no desire whatsoever to become the...

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All the Queen’s … Pigeons

The Queen and her racing pigeons. It’s widely known that Queen Elizabeth II is extremely fond of horse racing but did you know that she’s also a pigeon fancier? She keeps a stable (if that’s the right word) of racing pigeons in the grounds of the Norfolk royal residence, Sandringham. She has over two hundred pigeons and is said to be extremely knowledgeable about the birds, their care and of course, about pigeon...

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The Princesses and V.E Day

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, 1945. On May 7th, 1945, the BBC interrupted a broadcast of piano music to declare that the following day would henceforth be known as ‘Victory in Europe Day’. Hitler had killed himself several days before and the German forces had surrendered. On the following day the crowds outside Buckingham Palace were greater than they had been for the coronation of the king, George VII.  The crowds...

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The Mysterious Death of Wallis Simpson

What happened to Wallis Simpson after the Duke of Windsor died? Wallis was of course, the Duchess of Windsor. Her husband the duke had formerly been King Edward VIII and famously he abdicated in 1936 so that he could marry her. Their affair and subsequent marriage had tongues wagging on both sides of the Atlantic and was the constitutional crisis of the twentieth century. They had a curious, scandalous and rather sad married life but...

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Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch

Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch. Princess Elizabeth became queen on 6th February, 1952. Little did she know that she would become the oldest monarch in the world. On 23rd January, 2015, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at the age of ninety making the queen the oldest sovereign. She was born in 1926. Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 216 days, a record the queen topped in September 2015. Victoria lived...

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Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the-then Camilla Parker Bowles before 2005? She knew, as the world knew, that Prince Charles wanted to marry her. Charles’ mother, the queen, knew and liked Camilla. So did his two sons. But what about the world’s public? The consensus of the British people was that he should be able to marry exactly who he wanted to and, after all, the relationship had...

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Headline of the week: Prince Charles on tits

Great tits no guarantee of success in the bedroom, says Prince Charles. The above headline was seen in the Daily Express on April 7th, 2015. Readers were surprised to see that the prince has extended his career to include that of sex expert. As the future sovereign, then it’s true to say that he should have the welfare of the people of Great Britain at heart. But isn’t becoming a sex counselor over stepping the mark a bit?...

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Princess Mary

 Who was Princess Mary? It’s likely that you’ve never heard of England’s Princess Mary but it’s highly possible that even after all these years you are familiar with the story of her brother. For Princess Mary was the sister of Edward VIII, the English king who famously abdicated so that he could marry his American mistress, Wallis Simpson. When you look at the photograph of her on the right, you can see the...

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The Kidnapping of Princess Anne

The 1974 kidnapping attempt on Princess Anne. Princess Anne is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and in March 1974, four people were shot by a man who was trying to kidnap the princess for ransom. Anne, or the Princess Royal as she is known today, is not one of the younger, more popular members of the royal family such as Harry, William and Catherine, but she’s widely acknowledged to be the most hard-working member with a...

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King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family

King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family. What does King George I of Greece have to do with the British royal family of today?  Did you know that most of the royal family are descended from him? This is because he was the grandfather of today’s Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. He became ruler when he was just seventeen and remained on the Greek throne until he was assassinated. It seems strange to us today, but...

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1964: The Year of Royal Babies

Four royal babies: 1964. Today there is a media frenzy when a royal baby is born. This wasn’t always the case in the previous century because the media hadn’t become quite as intrusive and the general population was more inclined to allow the royal family more privacy than they do today. Yet imagine what today’s media would have made of the news in 1964 when four royal babies were born, including one to Queen...

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Who Was Lillie Langtry?

 Lillie Langtry’s royal illegitimate baby. At various times in her life,Lillie Langtry was an entertainer, a racehorse owner, an American citizen, a resident of Monte Carlo and most notably, a mistress of members of the British aristocracy and royal family. But what is often forgotten is that she had a royal illegitimate daughter whose descendants are related by blood to today’s heirs to the British throne. Lillie was born...

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Thelma Furness: Wallis Simpson’s Rival for Edward

Thelma Furness: Wallis Simpson’s rival for Edward’s affections The name of Wallis Simpson is well-known. The one time king to England, Edward VIII, famously gave up his throne for the sake of Mrs Simpson,choosing to marry her rather than remain sovereign. A lesser known name is that of Thelma Furness but without her presence in Edward’s life,the abdication crisis, as it was known, might have never happened. Thelma...

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Princess Vicky & Prince Frederick William: Royal Romance

Princess Vicky & Prince Frederick William: Royal Romance. Princess Vicky was the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She was a lively and intelligent girl and was well-trained by her parents to occupy a regal position. They expected her to marry well into another European royal house. They didn’t exactly arrange her marriage but they tried their best to facilitate it. When the Great Exhibition took place in...

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The Windsor Faction: If Edward VIII hadn’t Abdicated

What would have happened if Edward VIII hadn’t abdicated for Wallis Simpson? When King Edward VIII renounced the throne of England to marry his twice-divorced American mistress it undoubtedly had a bearing on world history. This is particularly true in the case of the early stages of the Second World War. This novel explores that very possibility. Ever since he abdicated in 1935, historians have been wondering just how  –...

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The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Review

The Grey sisters, Elizabeth I & Mary Queen of Scots Although the nobility the the sixteenth century believed that women should have no place occupying the throne, in the second half of the century, its claimants were all female. And they were all young women; born within a dozen years of each other. These young women were: Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth I, born in 1533 Lady Jane Grey, who ruled for just a few days, born in...

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Royal Scandal: The Prince of Wales

The question on everyone’s lips; would the Prince of Wales be a good king? Everyone wondered. Of course, he was born with certain advantages like any member of the royal family but he had a strict and somewhat domineering father. His mother of course was  the Queen of England and concerned with her duty. Both parents seemed to expect so much from their eldest son. It’s said that his childhood wasn’t happy and went he...

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana tie the Knot!

For many years, the world was wondering when and if the Prince of Wales was ever going to marry and give the British People and the Monarchy some good news. Prince Charles was the most eligible bachelor in the world, and rumours were all around about who might be the “lucky” lady, that would be the next Princess to be and be with her husband the next in line to the throne. Well on this day in 1981, Prince Charles indeed had the whole...

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So, Prince Philip swears

And this is news? In July 2015, the newspapers and the internet were full of the news that Britain’s Prince Philip had ‘appeared to use’ the f-word during a photo shoot.  Have they nothing better to report? Blimey. Royals today are no longer expected to don suits of armour and go jousting. Neither do they live in fear of being usurped and sent to the Tower to have their heads cut off.  But it does seem a little...

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Royal Feud: Wallis Simpson and Elizabeth

The royal feud between Queen Elizabeth & Wallis Simpson. The great feuds of history usually involve the desire for power. What makes this twentieth century royal feud extraordinary is that this feud of over fifty years was brought about because of unwanted power and position. This battle royal persisted from 1935 until 1986 and its protagonists were Queen Elizabeth and Wallis Simpson (later the Duchess of Windsor). The two women...

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Royal Scandal: Prince Edward

Prince Edward: A virtually unknown member of the royal family. You might not have heard of Prince Eddy. It’s true that over the years he has been largely considered to be homosexual and, to put it nicely, mentally challenged. It’s true that his existence has been overshadowed by his the life of his brother but why did poor Eddy slip into obscurity? I say ‘poor Eddy’ because no-one seems to challenge the general...

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Trooping the Colour 1981

Shots fired at Queen Elizabeth II. In June 1981, Queen Elizabeth was taking part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London. In those days, she rode on horseback during the event. And it was during the ceremony, attended by cheering people, that six shots were fired at her from the crowd. It was  testament to her skills as  horsewoman and her unflappable character because she did not panic even in the face of what was seemingly an...

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King Edward VII. The truth about his death

King Edward VII. The truth about his death. One of history’s myths regards the death of King Edward VII,  the actions of his wife Queen Alexandra and of his mistress Alice Keppel. The king was in his late seventies when he was taken ill – at first with a series of chills. He had always enjoyed what we might call the pleasures of the flesh – fine dining, splendid wines and of course, a series of beautiful and charming...

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Royal Baby: Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Royal Baby: It’s a girl! May 4th: The new princess has been named. It seems that the British punters were right when they placed their bets. (I got only one right). Welcome to Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. May 3rd: We have a conspiracy theory! A Russian newspaper is claiming that the duchess actually gave birth a few days before. They say that this is because Catherine looked too well-groomed and gorgeous when she appeared...

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Should the throne go to William and skip Charles?

Should William be king instead of Charles? Every time the press bring up the idea of the queen abdicating – as they do increasingly as she was born in 1926 and getting no younger – there are invariably those who say that if she was to do so, the throne should go directly to Prince William and miss out Prince Charles altogether. Why? I simply don’t get it. Quite apart from the fact that succession simply doesn’t...

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The king, the prince and the caterpillar

Edward VII and his grandson Edward VIII Edward VII, before he became king, was known as the playboy prince. As the eldest son of the long-lived Queen Victoria, he had a long wait before he ascended to the throne. And he spent much of that time to his own advantage. Well-dressed, fun-loving and wealthy, he enjoyed his earlier manhood to the utmost. He enjoyed parties,gambling … and his mistresses. His parents had regarded him as...

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What names would you choose for the new royal baby?

What names would you choose for the new royal baby? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – William and Catherine – are expecting their second child in April, 2015. This baby will be the sibling of George Alexander Louis, born in the summer of 2013. In the UK, bookmakers are taking (and will presumably make) a fortune as people bet on a) the birth date b) whether the child will be  boy or a girl and c) what the names will be....

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William & Kate: Baby number two

William & Kate: Baby number two On March 20th, 2015, it seems that American magazine were tired of waiting the required nine months for the expected royal baby. Not one but two of them reported that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, had given birth to a girl in dramatic  circumstances. See the screenshot below from the Daily Mirror, a British newspaper. As you can see, it was announced that the baby had been born, that it was a...

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Who was Dodi Al Fayed?

Who was Dodi Al Fayed? In 1997 Dodi Al Fayed, aged forty two, died in a car crash in Paris. With him was his new love, Princess Diana. But how had this relationship started? Largely, it was engineered by his father, Mohamed. Mohamed Al Fayed had been a friend of Diana’s father, Earl Spencer. Diana didn’t know him well at that time but later, when as the Princess of Wales she shopped at Harrods in London, Mohamed would be...

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King Edward VII: The King in Love

The King in Love: By Theo Aronson Edward, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, had to wait until he was sixty to become the king. Before he did, and when he was the Prince of Wales, there was a danger that he would be under-occupied. Unlike today’s royal family, there were no overseas tour to undertake, no media to satisfy and no supermarkets to open. To Edward’s discomfort, his mother the queen wouldn’t allow his...

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Prince Charles – New biography

Charles: Heart of a King The author of this new biography about Prince Charles claims that it was authorised and that she had exclusive access to the prince and to members of his household at Clarence House. The BBC is reporting that this simply isn’t true. They say that they have been informed directly from Clarence House that the book certainly wasn’t authorised by the prince, the palace or the royal family. The book,...

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Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis

The queen’s dogs: Corgis In many ways, it’s a bit of a joke and a cliché. These Welsh dogs were first introduced into the royal family by Elizabeth’s parents. She grew up with these cute little dogs. She has owned more than thirty corgis during her years on the throne. She even took one on her honeymoon. But this tradition may be drawing to a close. We have to remember that the queen was born in 1926. By any stretch...

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Intimate Letters of England’s Queens

The Intimate Letters of England’s Queens For lovers of history, or simply those who want to know more about fascinating lives – discovering Intimate Letters of England’s Queens is like finding a treasure trove. After all, there’s no better way about finding out about who these people really were than reading letters written at testing times in their lives. For example, we know the facts about Anne Boleyn. We...

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A day in Biarritz with King Edward

King Edward VII & Alice Keppel: Annual trip to Biarritz King Edward VII was remembered with affection but he certainly enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh. He was known for enjoying fine foods, wines … and the company of his mistresses.Plural. His final mistress was Alice Keppel; the great-grandmother of today’s Duchess of Cornwall – the former Camilla Parker Bowles. For about a month every year, Edward would...

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The royal scandal of Prince Eddy

Who was Prince Eddy? As we know, due to Queen Elizabeth’s uncle abdicating from the throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, the lineage to the British throne was altered. But that was also the case in the reign of Queen Victoria – in 1892. Victoria reigned for many years and, like the current situation today, the Prince of Wales had to wait a long time to become the sovereign. Similarly to Prince Charles today, he had grown up...

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A day at Sandringham

A day at Sandringham House in Victorian times Sandringham House in Norfolk is a royal residence. You can visit the house these days – it has a museum,splendid grounds, a restaurant – but what was it like in Victorian times when it first came into royal possession? Today’s royal family prefers Balmoral for their family get-togethers and holidays but in Victorian times it was a favourite of the family and the residence...

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The Queen’s Fool

The Queen’s Fool From the 12th to 17th century, most English monarchs paid jesters and fools to amuse and entertain them at court. Jesters were the equivalent of stand-up comedians today – they would clown around and joke; make people laugh (or sneer) at their antics. Royal fools could do these things too, but they often had a closer, more subtle relationship with a king or queen. Royal fools fell into two groups. There were the...

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Queen Victoria and haemophilia

Does haemophilia show Queen Victoria’s true paternity? When Queen Victoria gave birth to her eighth child, Leopold, both parents were surprised to see how small the baby was. They had previously produced healthy, bouncing babies so Leopold came as something of a shock. When he was just  few months old, bruises appeared on his body as he was diagnosed as having haemophilia – ‘the bleeding disease’. This was the...

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British pub receives Prince Charles’ gas bill

The Prince of Wales pub receives power bill allegedly intended for Prince Charles The English have always been fond of naming pubs after royalty and in January 2014, this caused an embarrassing mistake when British Gas sent the Prince of Wales pub a gas bill that was actually that of Prince Charles. Except it wasn’t. All very confusing indeed. Inns and pubs have been a feature of the British Isles since Anglo Saxon times and...

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Royal Scandals

Prince Andrew: Royal Scandals. In January 2015, the press had a field day reporting that Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth II, was under investigation for child abuse. Of course, this has been denied wholeheartedly by the palace. The ‘abuse’ evidently refers to the allegation that he had sexual encounters with a minor. That does sound pretty bad, doesn’t it? But the ‘minor’ in question was...

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Prince William’s secret lover

Prince William: the wrong royal choice At one time, European royalty would marry for what we would consider the wrong reasons. Marriages were arranged to consolidate lands, to gain wealth or for purely political reasons. And members of any royal house was supposed to marry someone of equal standing. Luckily, in those days,there were plenty of them to go round. But as time went on, things became more relaxed.There’s little doubt...

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King George VII: The king that never was

The search for a king Many years in the future, it’s likely that England will have King George VII. If the ascension to the throne follows true to form and tradition Prince Charles will follow Queen Elizabeth II. She was born in 1926 and her mother lived to be one hundred and one years old so it’s unlikely to be imminent. Following that, Prince William will take over and then, many years into the future, his son Prince...

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The British Royal Family: What is their surname?

What surname do the British royal family use? This has been a huge controversy on a few occasions in the past. It was brought to a head again in 1952 when the new Queen Elizabeth II was advised by her private secretary and the prime minister (Winston Churchill) to retain the name the family had been using since the First World War,that of Windsor. This was a problem for Prince Philip. His family name was Mountbatten and he was heard...

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Phil the Greek

Is Prince Philip really Greek? Prince Philip is often knows as ‘Phil the Greek’. Often, when people use this nickname, they also make sniggering comment about kebab shops. But is it really the case? It’s true that he was born on Greek soil – on the island of Corfu to be precise – but it’s also true that he doesn’t have a drop of Greek blood. The fact remains though that he is a prince of...

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The Royal Standard

The Queen’s Royal Standard and its usage The royal standard is actually a banner of arms and it used by members of the royal family, notably Her Majesty the Queen. It flies above her royal homes when she is in residence. Traditionally, it is the only flag that is flown from royal properties  Why the flag is never at half mast The flag exists in order to show that the monarch is in residence and is never flown at half mast (or...

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The secret branch of the British Royal Family?

Is there a secret branch of the British royal family? It’s very possible isn’t it? And many people believe that there are unknown direct descendants of Queen Victoria alive and well in Britain today. Royal princes of course were encouraged to sow their wild oats and there were several children resulted but in one case, it’s thought that family of hidden royals exists which began when one of Queen Victoria’s...

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