EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Culture & Literature
Royal Dynasties

Royal Dynasties

Royal Dynasties 2016

From William the Conqueror to William and Kate, this new compendium of the best articles from BBC History Magazine, combined with several new pieces, explores 1000 years of Britain’s royal families. Expert historians reveal the love affairs that rocked the monarchy and show how kings and queens battled to create stable dynasties. Inside you will find: ◆ Stories of great royal romances ◆ A guide to raising princes and princesses ◆ Medieval family dramas ◆ Elizabeth II’s life in pictures

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

1 min.
welcome

Families matter, especially when you are a king or queen. Throughout history, nothing has been more important to Britain’s monarchs than creating a stable dynasty, and to do so has nearly always required a successful marriage and a brood of potential heirs. Get it right – as the likes of Edward III and Victoria did – and the benefits are clear. But family troubles, of the kind that afflicted Henry VIII and Richard III, can lead to disarray for the crown and the country. In this collector’s edition, we have compiled a selection of the best articles on royal families to have appeared in BBC History Magazine over the years, accompanied by several new pieces. Over the pages that follow you will meet some of the most fascinating royal couples and…

11 min.
matilda the queen who rewrote the rules

A NEW KIND OF QUEEN The statue of Matilda – Queen of England and the benevolent counterweight to William I’s brutality – in the gardens of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris In late autumn 1066, a diminutive woman of 35 prayed fervently in the Benedictine priory of Nôtre Dame du Pré, a small chapel that she had founded in 1060 on the banks of the river Seine near Rouen. Flanked by her ladies, she had spent many hours at her devotions during the previous few days. It was with good cause that she had kept such an anxious vigil. Her husband William ‘the Bastard’, Duke of Normandy, had set sail for England more than two weeks before, determined to wrest the throne from Harold Godwinson. At last, a messenger arrived with news…

11 min.
did anne boleyn crave the crown?

OBJECT OF ROYAL DESIRE A portrait thought to depict Anne Boleyn, a woman who, says George Bernard, “stood up for her interests as she understood them” BACKGROUND A copy of a letter that Henry wrote to Anne in 1527. The king’s missives in this period suggest that he was the one holding back from full sexual relations Henry VIII’s passion for Anne Boleyn has never been in doubt. In one of his love letters to Anne, Henry lamented her absence, “wishing myself specially an evening in my sweetheart’s arms whose pretty dukkys [breasts] I trust shortly to kiss”, noting that the missive was “written with the hand of him that was, is and shall be yours”. But while his desire isn’t in question, other aspects of the beginnings of their relationship need…

13 min.
queen elizabeth i’s great love

THE VIRGIN QUEEN Dismayed by the fate of her mother Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I (1533–1603) vowed never to marry, but she played various suitors off each other in order to suit her political ends Elizabeth I is remembered in history as the Virgin Queen. She was the daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife Anne Boleyn and in stark contrast to her much-married father, she famously declared: “I will have but one mistress here, and no master.” During the course of her long reign, she was besieged by many suitors but gave each one nothing more than “fair words but no promises”. Yet it is generally accepted that there was one man who, more than any other, tempted Elizabeth to relinquish her single state. Robert Dudley (1532/33–88), was the fifth son of…

12 min.
charles ii too randy to rule

In late summer 1662, King Charles II stood on the roof of his banqueting house looking over his palace below. Beside him stood his famously voluptuous mistress, Barbara Castlemaine. King and concubine watched a dazzling procession arrive at the palace. It carried Charles’s new queen, Catherine of Braganza, who was from a noble house of Portugal. She was moving from Hampton Court, a royal palace on the river Thames a few miles west of the capital, where she and the king had recently honeymooned, to take up residence at Whitehall Palace, London. This scene – the king and his mistress watching the queen arrive, in effect, alone – is the quintessence of Charles II’s hedonistic reign. He was besotted by sensuality. During his 25 years on the throne, he spent more…

14 min.
the a to z of royal weddings

A is for Arthur… The wedding of Arthur, Prince of Wales, the eldest son and heir of King Henry VII, to Catherine of Aragon (a princess from Spain) in 1501 proved to be one of the most controversial in royal history. The source of the controversy was exactly what happened during the wedding night. The 15-year-old Arthur boasted that he had spent the night “in Spain”. He died four months later, and Catherine married his younger brother Henry VIII. When this marriage failed to produce the longed-for male heir, Henry sought to annul it on the grounds that the Bible forbade a man to take his brother’s wife. Catherine insisted that her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated. The debate still rages today. B is for Bridesmaid… Victoria set a new trend…