Palaces & Buildings

Westminster Abbey building work unearths Medieval burial site

Westminster Abbey has been the site of many weddings, coronations and of course funerals. Over 3,300 people are buried in Westminster from royalty to nobility to scientists, and now we can add to that number. Westminster Abbey has been demolishing a 1950s lavatory block to make room for a new tower, which will be used to bring visitors to the attics of the building. Westminster Abbey Underneath…
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The Battle of Lincoln and The Short Rule of the Empress Matilda

Henry I saw his worst nightmare come true on 25 November 1120. His only son and heir to the Kingdom of England drowned in the White Ship disaster. Without a son, he turned to his only surviving legitimate child, Matilda. Young Matilda had been married to the Holy Roman Emperor since 1114, but when he died in 1125 and Henry’s second marriage to Adeliza of Louvain produced no surviving…
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Isabella of Valois, The Child Bride of Richard II

In medieval times royal brides were often quite young when they married, though consummation was usually forbidden until a more appropriate age was reached. A certain young bridge might ring a bell as the founder of the Tudor Dynasty. Lady Margaret Beaufort was first married…

Marching down The Mall: Changing the Guard

Henry VII not only founded the Tudor Dynasty in 1485, he also founded the concept of the Royal Body Guard, and for the last 520 years elite soldiers have guarded the King or Queen. He probably never envisaged the spectacle that now draws the tourists to London. The ceremony…

The Execution of a Queen

Anne Boleyn is probably best remembered as the most controversial Queen in British history, which is perhaps not entirely deserved. Even though much is said about her, there are a lot things we don’t know, such as her birthday. Unfortunately for women of that time period, it was not uncommon for her birth date not to be recorded. Eric Ives settles on 1501 in his magnificent biography on…
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