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Today in 1066 the Battle of Hastings commenced between the forces of King Harold II and the invading army of William of Normandy. Both Harold and William claimed that the recently dead and childless King Edward the Confessor had left them as their heir. The battle was a decisive victory for the Normans, with Harold being killed in battle. It also marks the beginning of the English Monarchy as we know it.
Another battle today to mention is the Battle of Old Byland between King Edward II of England and Robert the Bruce of Scotland. The battle was a rout for the Scots, as Edward was not the military man is father was, and he was having problems keeping his own authority in England. This loss forced Edward to recognize the independance of Scotland and Robert Bruce as their King.
And in 1586 today, the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots started. Mary was accused to treason against Elizabeth I. Mary was implicated in whats called the Babington Plot which was a plan to assassinate the Protestand Elizabeth and place the Catholic Mary. Mary maintained her innocence, although letters in her hand writing had been found. She would be found guilty later in the month.
Lastly in 1957 today, Queen Elizabeth II would be the first Canadian monarch to open Parliament with her Speech from the Throne given in person in Ottawa.
Our first birthday today belongs to Marie of Anjou, Queen consort of France, in 1404. Marie became the wife of Charles VII in 1422, but he was not officially crowned King until 1429 after Joan of Arc’s victories in the Hundred Years War.
Next in 1630 we have the birth of Sophia of Hanover. Sophia was a grand daughter of King James I and VI of England and Scotland and a Protestant. When the 1701 Acts of Settlement were adopted, it named Sophia and her line as the heirs to the throne over other Catholic claimants. Sophia would pass away just 2 months before Queen Anne, so Sophia’s oldest son, George, became King of England.
In 1633 today, Sophia’s cousin and Queen Anne’s father, James II and VII of England and Scotland was born in London. James converted to Catholicism and caused what we refer to as the Glorious Revolution, where he was deposed by his daughter Mary, and her husband, William of Orange.
And in 1784 we see the birthday of Ferdinand VII of Spain. Ferdinand would be King of Spain twice technically, as he came to the throne in 1808, but was forced to abdicate later on after the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon set his brother up as King of Spain, but Ferdinand would be restored in 1813.
In not-so-dead royalty today we have the birth of Empress Farah Pahlavi in 1938. Farah was the wife of Iran’s last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and thus their last Queen. She is currently living in exile after the Iranian Revolution and shares her time between the US and Paris.
And one other death of note (besides that of Harold II of England), is that of Edward Bruce, brother to the Scottish King, Robert Bruce, and High King of Ireland in his own right, in 1318. Edward had fought in Ireland for years, but was unable to control it.
Have a great day!!

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