English royalty

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Beautiful pink silk and Honiton lace parasol, featuring an enamel hand wearing a bracelet inscribed with the words ‘I GOVERN’, acting as the opening mechanism.

Thought to have been presented to Queen Victoria at the opening of Prince Alberts Great Exhibition on the 1st of May 1851.

Royal Collection

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I spent 3 hours doing this. Hope you’ll like it. Also, you can send me a message with information about some kings and queens. I’d gladly “create” their story.

Princess Aethelflaed, of Mercia

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, was born over 1100 years ago in dark-age England, an was the daughter of Alfred, the first king of England. She eventually ruled Mercia in the English Midlands from 911 until her death. She was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, an was born around 870 in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. The name Æthelflæd is old English an means ‘noble beauty’ ~ an it is pronounced ‘ef-el-fled’. 

After the Battle of Edington in 878 the foundation of England was born, as the Wessex-controlled western half of Mercia came under the rule of Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians, who accepted Alfred’s overlordship. In the mid-880s, Alfred sealed the strategic alliance between the surviving English kingdoms by marrying Æthelflæd to Æthelred. Æthelred and Æthelflæd fortified Worcester against vikings raids several battle. 

After her husbands health declined early in the next decade, Æthelflæd was mainly responsible for the government of the Mercian kingdom. After Æthelred died in 911, Æthelflæd then ruled Mercia as Lady of the Mercians. The accession of a female ruler in Mercia is described by historians as “one of the most unique events in early early-medieval history”. 

Alfred had built a network of fortified boroughs and in the 910s King Edward and Æthelflæd embarked on a programme of extending them. In 917 she sent an army to capture Derby, the first of the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw to fall to the English, a victory described by historians as “her greatest triumph”. 

In 918 Leicester surrendered without a fight. Shortly afterwards the Viking leaders of York offered her their loyalty, but she died on 12 June 918 before she could take advantage of the offer, and a few months later Edward completed the conquest of Mercia. Æthelflæd was succeeded by her daughter Ælfwynn.

Historians agree that Æthelflæd was a great ruler who played an important part in the conquest of the Danelaw. She was praised by Anglo-Norman chroniclers such as William of Malmesbury, who described her as “a powerful accession, the delight of the kings subjects, the dread of his enemies, a woman of enlarged soul”. Like Queen Elizabeth I, she became a wonder to historians in later ages.

English actress Millie Brady plays her the historical tv-drama ‘The Last Kingdom’

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A 22-year-old Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in chalk by Hungarian artist, Charles Brocky, 1841. Commissioned that same year after Victoria saw his portrait of Georgiana Liddell, one of her maid’s of honour, and fell in love with his work. This romantic pair of portraits resides today in the Queen’s sitting room at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Tudor history is so great because, as crazy as it is, there’s always one truly human moment you can truly relate to:  *Katherine Parr when she realizes Henry VIII wishes to marry her* (Context: He has had two wives beheaded and is courting her.)  “Um, can’t I just be your mistress instead?”

She absolutely did *not* want to marry that guy, you understand.

I’d have felt the same. 

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b-e-h-a-v-e never more, you gave up being good when you declared a state of war

i was supposed to sleep but then i got caught up looking through my (embarrassingly vast) collection of suit references and listening to too much grimes

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Armor Garniture, Probably of King Henry VIII of England (reigned 1509–47)

This is the earliest dated armor from the royal workshops at Greenwich, which were established in 1515 by Henry VIII (reigned 1509–47) to produce armors for himself and his court. It is also the earliest surviving Greenwich garniture, an armor made with a series of exchange and reinforcing pieces by which it could be adapted for use in battle and in different forms of the tournament. Furthermore, the overall etching and gilding place it among the most richly decorated of all Greenwich armors. The design of the decoration is attributed to the German-born Swiss artist Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543), who worked at the English court from 1526 to 1528.

The surviving exchange elements of this armor are a reinforcing breastplate with lance rest for use in the field or in the mounted tournament with lances; a left-hand gauntlet reinforce, or manifer, also used in the tournament with lances; and a right-hand locking gauntlet for the mounted tournament with swords.

A highly unusual and innovative feature is the ventral plate, which was worn strapped to the chest beneath the breastplate in order to lessen the weight supported from the shoulders. A ventral plate is found on only one other armor, made in Greenwich in 1540 for Henry VIII.

This armor is believed to have been made for Henry VIII and presented by him to the French ambassador François de La Tour d’Auvergne, viscount of Turenne, who led a diplomatic mission to London in 1527. After the viscount’s death in 1532, the armor presumably passed to his friend Galiot de Genouilhac, grand master of artillery and grand ecuyer (master of the horse) of France, from whose descendants it came to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Alix … matured into a remarkably beautiful young woman. Queen Victoria, always preoccupied with marital plans for members of her large family, had already decided the ideal match for her favourite grandchild. The Queen revealed her plans to Princess Victoria:

“I must tell you, who have so much influence with Papa & generally in the family, that my heart and mind are bent on securing dear Alicky for either Eddie or Georgie. You must prevent further Russians or other people coming to snap her up.”

The Queen greatly desired to keep Alix as close as possible, in fact she already pictured her as the future Queen of England, in light of which she considered Albert Victor “Eddie” the most convenient match imaginable for the Hessian Princess. After loosing Ella, the Queen was determined to disrupt any effort the Russians would make to ensnare Alix as well. Impressionable, weak-willed Eddie accepted the idea of being deeply in love with his cousin as soon as his grandmother suggested it. The prospective bride could not be as easily convinced. When Eddie proposed to her early in 1889, she respectfully but firmly declined, breaking her grandmother’s heart rather than his, as the Prince quickly moved on to another of the love affairs he was famous for. The Queen inquired from Alix’s sister:

“Is there no hope abt. E.? She is not 19 - & she shld. be made to reflect seriously on the folly of throwing away the chance of a very good Husband, kind, affectionate & steady & of entering a united happy family & very good position wh. is second to none in the world!… What fancy she got in her head?" 

Given Eddie’s tarnished reputation, which the Queen conveniently ignored, it is doubtful Alix would have agreed to the marriage even if she had not already fallen in love…

Alena Dufková: Victorian Influence on the Russian Imperial Court Through the Family Ties Between the English and Russian Royal Houses at the End of the 19th century (aka me and my bachelor thesis)