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The Week in Royal History: a story of kings


By National Media Museum from UK, Wiki Commons

The royal diary is filling up after the summer break and autumn is bringing its own fair share of fresh stories all about the past. Royal history continues to fascinate and dominate with an eternally controversial king leading the way this week. Here’s Royal Central’s round up of the best history stories from the past week.

The Face of a King

He is one of history’s most talked about monarchs and Richard III made headlines again this week when a rediscovered portrait of him went on show for the first time. The painting, which has been in private collections for decades, was unveiled by Dr. David Starkey at Hever Castle in Kent on October 2nd, the anniversary of the king’s birth.

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It shows Richard in a typical stance, placing a ring on one finger. Some historians argue this depicts him as a schemer. Others point out that a ring in his time was a universally recognised symbol of love and claim the portrait painter was showing Richard’s charitable nature. Visitors to the castle can now make up their own minds.

The Mind of a Monarch

Westminster Abbey is giving us all the chance to read the mind of a medieval monarch. Two rare manuscripts, written at crucial times during the reign of Henry III (1216 – 1272) are now on show in the Abbey’s Galleries.

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One, dating from 1246, outlines Henry III’s wishes to be buried in Westminster Abbey near to the tomb of King Edward the Confessor to whom he was devoted. Henry was renowned in his lifetime for his piety but another manuscript, written in 1267, shows he had to consider pawning some of the rare jewels in Westminster Abbey’s treasures as he desperately needed money. The document shows Henry promised to restore the jewels in time for the re-dedication of the Abbey in 1269. The exhibition runs until October 28th 2019.

The Remnants of a Reign

He was king for less than a year but in that time, Edward VIII left his mark on royal history. Now a coin minted in the brief time that he held the throne has sold for a record sum at auction.

The penny was part of a trial set, minted once Edward succeeded his father, King George V, in January 1936 but never put into circulation as he abdicated his throne just eleven months later to marry Wallis Simpson. The coin sold for over £130,000, a record for a UK sale of a copper coin.

History fans can always find something to interest them and there’s plenty on Royal Central to tempt those interested in all eras



About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.