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This Week In History - 19th May 1623 - The Queen Mother of Mughal India dies

In the western world, the date ‘19th May’ famously corresponds to the death of a very famous Queen known as Anne Boleyn, the first ‘beheaded’ wife of Henry VIII. However in the East, this day corresponds to the death of another Queen almost a century later: Mariam-uz-Zamani, inaccurately known as Jodhaa Bai today.

Born as Heera Kunwari, daughter of the Rajput king of Amer, she was offered to the Mughal Emperor Akbar in marriage to avoid succumbing their kingdom to Akbar’s expanding empire. The marriage was key in changing Akbar’s policies to the native Hindus of India (as Heera was a Hindu Princess, particular devotee of the Lord Krishna), to a more diplomatic approach that gained him support from many of the regional kingdoms in India. He allowed her to freely practice her religion and apparently took part in many of her pujas.

Although she was Akbar’s third wife, she was given the status of ‘chief wife’ and the Muslim title ‘Mariam-uz-Zamani’ which means ‘Mary of the Ages.’ Mariam uz-zamani was reported to have been a highly astute business woman, who ran an active international trade in spices, silk, etc, and thus, amassed a private fortune which dwarfed the treasury of many a European king. She would use her riches to build many palaces and gardens. 

Mariam was mother of the next Mughal emperor, Jahangir, who carried out her dying wish to be buried next to her beloved Akbar who had given her so much for almost nothing in return

She is known as the Queen Mother of India due to her line carrying the most crowns of India as the reigning Mughals including, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb.

I love unmade beds. I love when people are drunk and crying and cannot be anything but honest in that moment. I love the look in people’s eyes when they realize they’re in love. I love the way people look when they first wake up and they’ve forgotten their surroundings. I love the gasp people take when their favorite character dies. I love when people close their eyes and drift to somewhere in the clouds. I fall in love with people and their honest moments all the time. I fall in love with their breakdowns and their smeared makeup and their daydreams. Honesty is just too beautiful to ever put into words.
—  Jamie Campbell Bower
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This Week In History - 15th March 44BCE - Julius Caesar is Assasinated

cave idus martias

Julius Caesar, the ”dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus.

Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war on March 18 and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar’s decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar’s underlings. Cassius Longinus started the plot against the dictator, quickly getting his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join.

Caesar should have been well aware that many of the senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head.

Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, “You, too, my child?” In the aftermath of the assassination, Antony attempted to carry out Caesar’s legacy. However, Caesar’s will left Octavian in charge as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally a Republican army and Brutus even issued coins celebrating the assassination, known as the Ides of March. Octavian vowed revenge against the assassins, two years later Cassius and Brutus committed suicide after learning that Octavian’s forces had defeated theirs at the Battle of Philippa in Greece.

Antony took his armies east, where he hooked up with Caesar’s old paramour, Cleopatra. Octavian and Antony fought for many years until Octavian prevailed. In 30 B.C., Antony committed suicide. Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years.

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This Week In History - 9th November 1989 - The Berlin Wall Falls

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defences. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with an estimated death toll of over 100 in and around Berlin, although that claim is disputed.

In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc’s authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.

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The Darling Buds @The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood! Pure heaven! This is from the meet and greet a bit after the show. Surprise to me! I probably talked their ears off…lol :p But they made me feel welcome. The guys are so talented and very sweet. I had so much fun! <3

Big thanks to my super amazing, patient, kind friend JW for shooting these for me. Please don’t use them without permission or remove the watermark. Ty!

This Week In History - 26th June 1483 - Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is crowned King of England

After Edward IV’s premature death in April 1483, a power struggle emerged between the Gloucester faction and the Woodville faction. It was no longer a battle for the throne between York and Lancaster.

As Edward V was only 12 years old at the time of his father’s death, Richard, his uncle, was name Lord Protector having proved himself to be loyal to Edward throughout his reign (in comparison to George, Duke of Clarence). However this caused a slight disagreement between the Duke of Gloucester and the Woodvilles, married to House of York via Elizabeth’s marriage to Edward, as they had fostered the young king in Ludlow under the Guardianship of Anthony Woodville and wanted to continue such influence.

Richard, although debated whether it was out of duty in preventing England from another disastrous minority/regency rule such as Henry VI, or whether it was for his own ambition to protect himself from the ambitious Woodvilles, seized the 12 year old king at Stony Stratford 30th May and arrested Anthony Woodville also. In fear, Elizabeth Woodville fled into sanctuary as there seemed to be suspicion that there would be a usurpation.

However, Richard arrived in London in early May with the young King and for a few weeks tension eased again as there were preparations for Edward’s coronation, with the date set on 22nd June. Relations between the mother of the King and Gloucester became more amiable again until 13th June when he summarily executed his personal friend, Hastings, on rumours that he was conspiring with Elizabeth Woodville. Thus the suspicion around Richard arose again, confirmed on 22nd June, the day when the coronation was supposed to take place, when Friar Shaw declared Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville’s marriage illegitimate, and thus their children too. 

At this point, the Princes were already in the Tower, as was the custom for Kings and Queens to stay there before coronation, and with the Princes safely away, the Duke of Buckingham and other Nobles demanded for Richard to assume the crown, surpassing the Earl of Warwick, who was in inheritance before him. Gloucester accepted and was crowned in Westminister Abbey, 26th June 1483. 

Although his reign is widely debated about, it’s commonly agreed that the his violent and sudden usurpation set the foundations for the instability in his reign of rebellions and also gave way for the previously unknown Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor.

Richard’s reign ended on 22nd August 1485 at Bosworth, and was the last English king to ever die on the Battlefield. 

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