Remains of Alexander the Great's Father Confirmed Found

A team of Greek researchers has confirmed that bones found in a two-chambered royal tomb at Vergina, a town some 100 miles away from Amphipolis mysterious burial mound, indeed belong to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father.

The anthropological investigation examined 350 bones and fragments found in two larnakes, or caskets, of the tomb. It uncovered pathologies, activity markers and trauma that helped identify the tomb’s occupants.

Along with the cremated remains of Philip II, the burial, commonly known as Tomb II, also contained the bones of a woman warrior, possibly the daughter of the Skythian King Athea, Theodore Antikas, head of the Art-Anthropological research team of the Vergina excavation, told Discovery News. Read more.

Alexander the Great's Father Found — Maybe

A decades-old mystery about the body of Alexander the Great’s father has been solved, anthropologists claim.

A new analysis of bones from a Macedonian tomb complex reveals a skeleton with a knee injury so severe that it would have caused a noticeable limp in life. This injury matches some historical records of one sustained by Philip II, whose nascent empire Alexander the Great would expand all the way to India.

The skeleton in question, however, is not the one initially thought to be Philip II’s — instead, it comes from the tomb next door. The skeletons are the subject of an entrenched debate among experts on ancient Greece and Macedonia. While some praised the new study, others pushed back, suggesting the new research will not quell 40 years of controversy. Read more.

An anthropological team investigating cremated remains found in a royal tomb in Vergina, Greece, has claimed that the remains belong to King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and an unknown woman warrior. Theodore Antikas, head of the Art-Anthropological research team of the Vergina excavation, suggests that she may have been the daughter of Scythian King Ateas. The tomb was one of three excavated from the same mound in the late 1970s by Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. This tomb, known as Tomb II, had been intact, and it contained silver and bronze vessels, gold wreaths, weapons, armor, and two gold larnakes, or caskets.

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Philip II, King of Spain (1527 - 1598). Husband of Mary I. Royal Consort from 1554 - 1558. His wife was desperately in love with him, but for him the marriage was political. In 1555 Mary suffered a false pregnancy and Philip left England for France due to embarrassment. He visited her in 1557 and she once again claimed to be pregnant and due in 1558, but it was another false pregnancy. After her death he proposed to her half sister, Elizabeth I, but she rejected him. He remarried twice more.

Behind the scenes, last-minute preparations were not without mishap. The moment had come for Princess Elizabeth to leave the palace when she suddenly realised she was not wearing her pearls, a gift from her father. She was determined to have them with her as she walked down the aisle. Her private secretary, Jock Colville, came to her rescue … But before he could commandeer the car, a distinguished-looking gentleman ‘ablaze with Orders and Decorations’ intervened. 'You seem to be in a hurry, young man. By all means have my car but do let me get out first.’ It was Uncle Charles of Norway who quickly grasped the princess’s urgent dilemma.

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip 

Princes At War by Deborah Cadbury

Palace of Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France

The older château on this site was already used in the latter part of the 12th century by King Louis VII. Fontainebleau was a favourite residence of Philip Augustus (Philip II) and Louis IX. Broadly speaking, at Fontainebleau the Renaissance was introduced to France.

Notable residents, and visitors, of Fontainebleau include:

  • King Henry II and Catherine de Medici
  • King Henry IV
  • King Philip IV
  • King Henry III
  • King Louis XIII
  • Queen Christina of Sweden
  • Peter the Great of Russia
  • King Christian VII of Denmark

By the late 18th century, the château had fallen into disrepair; during the French Revolution many of the original furnishings were sold, in the long Revolutionary sales of the contents of all the royal châteaux, intended as a way of raising money for the nation and ensuring that the Bourbons could not return to their comforts. Nevertheless, within a decade Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte began to transform the Château de Fontainebleau into a symbol of his grandeur, as an alternative to the empty Palace of Versailles, with its Bourbon connotations. Napoleon hosted Pope Pius VII there in 1804, when he came to consecrate the emperor, and again in 1812–1814, when he was Napoleon’s prisoner. At Fontainebleau Napoleon bade farewell to his Old Guard and went into exile in 1814. Fontainebleau was also the setting of the Second Empire court of his nephew Napoleon III.

On this day: Birth (1512) and death (1580) of King Henry of Portugal.

The son of King Manual I, Henry chose an ecclesiastical career, first becoming the archbishop of Braga, Evora and Lisbon and eventually becoming a cardinal. He served as regent for his grandnephew Sebastian until his early death in 1578, leaving Henry as King of Portugal. However, the Pope was unable to let him renounce his vows in time for the king to produce an heir, leaving no clear succession. He appointed five governors to act as regent upon his death, but only eight months later Spain was able to retake Portugal and place Philip II on the throne.

‘I was so proud of you and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey … But when I handed your hand to the Archbishop I felt that I had lost something very precious …’

King George VI to his daughter, future Queen Elizabeth II 

Princes At War by Deborah Cadbury