Isabella and Ferdinand: Spain’s Catholic Monarchs

Isabella and Ferdinand’s reign heralded in a golden age and marked the beginning of Spain’s modern history with the Reconquista, Christopher Columbus and the Inquisition. Their marriage on 19 October 1469 united Spain. Isabella preferred Ferdinand as she turned down all other offers including the Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III). He was handsome, a…

Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen: Queen Consort of William IV of the United Kingdom

Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen proved a good influence on her husband William IV. The Australian capital Adelaide was founded in 1836 and named in her honour. Princess Adelheid Amalia Luisa Theresa Carolina was born at Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany on 13 August 1792. She was the eldest daughter of George I Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, and Louisa Eleanor…

Why Felix Youssoupov Killed Rasputin: Motives For Murder of Russian Holy Man

Prince Felix Yusupov believed it was his patriotic duty to kill Grigori Rasputin, the malevolent ‘holy man’, and deliver Russia from her most dangerous internal enemy. Two Montenegrin princesses, Militsa and Anastasia, who married into the imperial family, introduced Grigori Rasputin to the Tsarina in 1905, as they believed he could heal the Tsarevich Alexei. Alexei…

The Coronation of Edward II: A Monumental Blunder?

Edward II's coronation was a major fiasco as the nobility deplored Piers Gaveston's organisational skills. It affected the Anglo-French alliance at the time. Edward II’s Coronation on 25 February 1308 was badly organised. The ceremony finished late and the royal favourite, Piers Gaveston, caused outrage by upstaging the nobles and even the King himself! Gaveston…

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Tudor Times

Matrimony was essential to the Tudor concept of divine order. God ruled the universe; the King ruled his realm and husbands ruled their families, especially their wives. Marriages were purely business arrangements. A wife could not expect her husband to remain faithful. Adultery among men was common, especially when their wives were heavily pregnant. Royal…