History is scattered with monarchical milestones which tell the story of the reigns that have shaped a realm. June, that sunniest of months, is no different. Some of the most famous rulers in British history had landmark moments in its midsummer days. Here’s a Calendar of Kings for June.
Birth of a King
June is a busy month for kingly arrivals. Edward I was the first male English monarch born in the month, arriving at the Palace of Westminster sometime in the night of June 17th – 18th 1239. His actual date of birth remains unclear. As you might expect given his character, the next king born in June was more definite about his arrival. Henry VIII was born on June 28th 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich.
James I of England, otherwise James VI of Scotland, was born on June 19th 1566 at Edinburgh Castle. The longest reigning king in British history, George III, arrived on June 4th 1738 at Norfolk House in London.
The founder of the House of Windsor, George V, was born on June 3rd 1865 at Marlborough House in London while his first son, Edward VIII, was another June baby. The king who would famously give up his crown arrived on June 23rd 1894 at White Lodge, Richmond Park.
Marriage of a Monarch
Two kingly weddings have taken place in June. Henry V married Catherine of Valois on June 2nd 1420 at Troyes Cathedral. Less than a century later, a descendant of the dynasty Catherine had controversially formed after the death of Henry took part in one of the most talked about royal weddings in history. Henry VIII married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, on June 11th 1509.
All kings need a coronation and June has seen three. Edward IV, conquering king of the House of York, was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 28th 1461. The grandson who idolised him, Henry VIII, was crowned on June 24th 1509 at Westminster Abbey. Over four centuries passed until the next June coronation of a king. George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 22nd 1911.
Death of a King
The reigns of four famous kings came to an end in June. Edward III, who had ruled for half a century, died on June 21st 1377 at Sheen Palace, Richmond. The first Hanoverian to rule Britain, George I, died on June 11th 1727 at Schloss Osnabruck on a trip back to his beloved Hanover. George IV died on June 26th 1830 at Windsor Castle while the brother who succeeded him, William IV, passed away on June 20th 1837, also at Windsor.
The Start of a Reign
June has also seen a quartet of reigns begin. The death of Edward III led directly to the accession of his grandson and heir who became Richard II on June 21st 1377. Richard III’s reign also began on a June day. After claiming his nephew, Edward V, was illegitimate, Richard was declared King of England on June 26th 1483.
George II became King on June 11th 1727 on the death of his father, George I, while William IV, that most unexpected of monarchs, also saw his reign begin in that sunny month. He ascended the throne on the death of his brother, George IV, on June 26th 1830.
A Calendar of Kings will return in July.