Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Engagement, 16 November 2010

prince william kate middleton

News of the royal engagement between Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton was welcomed by most Australians except by the Republican Movement. A statement from Clarence House said, “His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton are engaged to be married.” “Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a…

The Bombing of Darwin: Australia’s Pearl Harbor

The Bombing of Darwin was the largest attack against Australia by a foreign power, and the worst wartime disaster. It became known as Australia’s Pearl Harbor. The Japanese bombed Darwin on 19 February 1942 with 188 fighter planes. It was the largest attack since Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941). Chaos ensured as at least 240…

Lawrence of Arabia: War Hero and Writer

T E Lawrence’s role as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918 was immortalised in the 1962 film, “Lawrence of Arabia”, starring Peter O’Toole. Thomas Edward Lawrence was the second of five illegitimate sons born to Sir Thomas Robert Tighe, an Anglo-Irish landowner, and Sarah Junner. She was employed as his four…

The Sir Harry Oakes Mystery: An Unsolved Murder in the Bahamas

Flamboyant Canadian gold-mining millionaire, Sir Harry Oakes, was found brutally murdered on 8 July 1943 at his home in the Bahamas. This mystery remains unsolved today. Oakes’ family had left for their summer holiday in America but he entertained some guests, including personal friend Harold Christie, the night before, until the others left around 11.00…

Louis Mountbatten: 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India

British naval officer Lord Louis Mountbatten accepted the Japanese surrender during World War II. He was the last Viceroy of India, and also mentor to Prince Charles. Mountbatten, known as “Dickie” to family and friends, was born Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas on 25 June 1900 at Frogmore House, Windsor. His parents were Prince Louis…

The Coronation of Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen

Elizabeth I’s Coronation was a grand spectacle intimately involving her subjects where she combined grandeur with the common touch. It was also a personal success. Mary I died from influenza on 17 November 1558, ending her dream to restore Catholicism to England. Elizabeth faced serious allegations of treason, even death, during her sister’s reign. Elizabeth…

Mary I of England (1553-1558): Bloody Mary

Mary I survived a difficult childhood—separated from her mother, rejected by her father and suffered poor health—to restore Catholicism to England and produce an heir. Mary was born in 1516 at Greenwich Palace, the only surviving child of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Henry was initially disappointed but he proudly showed off his…

Lady Jane Grey (1553): The Nine Days Queen

Lady Jane Grey is best known as history as the Nine Days Queen. She survived an unhappy childhood only to become a pawn in a conspiracy to usurp the throne. Jane was born in 1537 at her family’s estate, Bradgate Manor, in Leicestershire. She was the eldest of three sisters born to Henry Grey, Marquess…

Edward VI (1547-1553): The Boy King

Nine-year-old Edward VI introduced the Reformation, established the English Church, understood international affairs and showed a keen interest in reforming the currency. Henry VIII’s lengthy wait for a male heir ended when Edward was finally born on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. However, Henry’s joy was short-lived as his third wife, Jane Seymour,…

The Rough Wooing: Uniting Scotland and England under Tudor rule

Henry VIII negotiated a marriage treaty for his son Edward and Mary Queen of Scots. He pursued an aggressive policy when the Scots rejected the treaty’s terms. The English defeated the Scots at Solway Moss on 24 November 1542 and took 1,200 captive. James V died three weeks later, leaving his week old daughter Mary…