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

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 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…

Thomas More: The King’s Good Servant

Thomas More is best remembered for his refusal to acknowledge Henry VIII supremacy over the Church and later executed. More was considered a genius by his contemporaries. Thomas was born in London on 7 February 1478, the son of Judge John More. He was taken into the Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton’s household as a…

Katherine Howard: Rose Without A Thorn

Henry VIII thought his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, was perfect. Katherine Howard was a woman with a past when she came to court in 1539, as a maid-of-honour. Katherine’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, used his influence to find a place for her in anticipation of the King’s marriage to Anne of Cleves. Henry was…

Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s Third Queen

Henry VIII declared Jane Seymour was the most beloved of all his wives—she provided the desired heir. Jane’s quiet dignity hid a strong will and determination to succeed. Her father, Sir John Seymour, was knighted at the Battle of Blackheath in 1497 by Henry VII. He enjoyed royal favour during the next reign. Her mother,…

Mary Boleyn: A Short Biography

Mary Boleyn’s life is retold—somewhat inaccurately—in both the novel and the movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. She had numerous affairs including two kings. Not much is known about Mary’s early life. She was born c 1499 at Hever Castle, Kent—the home of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard. She was the eldest of three…

Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond: Henry VIII’s Illegitimate Son By Elizabeth Blount

Henry VIII regarded the birth of Henry Fitzroy as a sign from God he could hire a healthy living son. Fitzroy was illegitimate but he was also considered as an heir. Henry VIII’s affair with his teenage mistress, Elizabeth Blount, led to the birth of his only acknowledged illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Henry took an…

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…