Prognathism is well recorded as a trait of several historical individuals. The most famous case is that of the House of Habsburg, among whom mandibular prognathism was a family trait; indeed, the condition is frequently called “Habsburg Jaw” as a result of its centuries-long association with the family. Among the Habsburgs, the most prominent case of mandibular prognathism is that of Charles II of Spain, who had prognathism so pronounced he could neither speak clearly nor chew as a result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding.
Things were different back in the Middle Ages on so, so many levels. You didn’t get to vote your leaders in, they pretty much decided themselves. Well, that is if other country leaders allowed them to. You see, these were not lawless times … there were processes and agreements … and by-and-large the rule of the day was: if you die, your oldest son takes the reins. And it doesn’t get any simpler than that, right?
Except things can get messy, real fast, if blood legitimacy, the lack of a son, a son by from a casual fling in the hay, previous promises from generations prior, or IOU notes are brought into the mix. Suddenly “my eldest son,” becomes “what, that bastard child from the farmhand? My ass he’s taking the crown! Anyway, it was promised to my uncle Phil six generations back, so I’m cashing in!”
nd thus we find ourselves in the early part of Medieval times; times in which English rulers – following the Norman conquest of 1066 – are vassals of France for anything that they happened to own in France; yeah, you’re a king over THERE, but the minute to come and hang out playing croquet in Gascony, you’re my VASSAL, and you’ll damn well kiss my feet.
And then you have the whole problem that French aristocracy spent way too much time stealing back everything that belonged to England that used to have a French flag in it; “Guyenne? Ours now, get your arse back across the channel!”
Let’s just say that the situation was … tense.
“But what has this got to do with birthright and such?” I hear you ask. Well …
Through his mother, Isabella of France, Edward III of England was the grandson of Philip IV and nephew of Charles IV, both of France. Which means that the English king had some mighty fine French royal blood pumping through those veins of his. Shoot, if something were to happen to Charles IV, well old Edward III would have a GREAT claim on the throne, right?
Well Charles did die.
And he died without a male heir.
And with him the senior lineage of the House of Capet went with him.
France had a succession issue.
But … but hold on a second! He had a 1 year old daughter, Mary, surely she coul-NOPE! You see, France passed a law twelve years prior that forbid “the wimmen folk” from being eligible to succeed to the throne, so Mary could never become queen. France still had a problem.
But wait, all was not lost! His wife – Jeanne – was pregnant with his child when his passed, so holy heck in a handbasket, there was hope that she would have a boy! Philip of Valois – the next most senior branch of the Capetian dynasty – was set up as the heir presumptive, and the country sat on their hands for the next two months in wild anticipation of the royal birth.
*bites knuckles* I’m excited.
“It’s a GIRL!!!!!”
Oh … poo.
So, Philip became the King of France, there was wild rejoicing, lots of bunting, a few drinks, and the Medieval times rolled on as peaceful as a Barry Manilow concert.
On this day in 1314 Jacques de Molay, the twenty-third and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake. The Templar knights were a major fighting unit of the Crusades, aiming to preserve Christendom and regain control of the Holy Land. After control the Holy Land was lost to Muslim forces, support for the Knights Templar started to fade. King Philip IV of France began to mistrust the
group and wanted to free himself of his debts to the Templar; he thus had
many leading Knights burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the
group in 1312, and the hunt continued for remaining members. The Knights
were tortured until they confessed to a range of crimes, including
heresy, obscene rituals, and idolatry. De Molay had been forced to make
such a confession, and despite retracting the confession, he was charged
with heresy and burned at the stake. Pope Clement died a month later, and King Philip died that year. With their
leader gone, the remaining Templars were arrested or removed from the
group and the Knights Templar were no more.
“God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death" - De Molay’s words from the stake
Happy birthday to Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. Velázquez (1599–1660) is arguably one of the greatest European painters, admired in particular for his sensuous handling of paint. He created most of his work as the official painter to the King of Spain, Philip IV, including many portraits such as this one of the king’s daughter Maria Teresa, probably made for her future husband, Louis XIV of France. Here, Maria Teresa is shown in an extraordinary dress and an elaborate wig decorated with silver butterfly ribbons. The painting was most likely an official copy produced by Velázquez’s studio. The original is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and it seems to have been cut down drastically in size at some point—it shows only the infanta’s head and shoulders.
These pendant portraits are commemorative of the pledge of Philip as heir to the Portuguese crown on 14 July 1619, in a ceremony held in Tomar, Portugal. Philip and Elisabeth, married in 1615, are portrayed with the lavish Portuguese white-and-gold ceremonial garments they wore when they arrived to Lisbon.
The dwarf Miguel Soplillo (d. 1659) was sent as gift by the Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia (sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands and Philip’s aunt) to Madrid in 1614, and remained a favourite of Philip IV for 44 years. "The fact of being objectified as a gift did not prevent dwarfs attendants becoming long-standing and much-loved court subjects.“ (source)
Rodrigo de Villandrando (c. 1588–1622) was a court painter during the reign of Philip III of Spain. His death opened the road to court for the young painter Diego Velázquez, who became Philip IV’s royal painter in 1622.