Royal History For All Ages!

Royal History: Queen Victoria and her brood.

Royal History: Queen Victoria and her brood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calling all Anglophiles and royal fans!

Welcome to Mandy’s British Royalty, a site chock full of royal history. Here I present the royal family tree, iconic characters, royal babies, and more – all with a dash of American perspective. 

Enjoy your stay, and remember to contact me with any questions or comments here. Want more? Read on.

Richard III Reinterred in Leicester

By Sunday, March 22, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Over 500 years have passed since King Richard III was killed during battle at Bosworth Field in 1485. He was buried in a monastery, but it had been destroyed long ago. The rumor persisted that his bones had been tossed into the nearby river and washed away forever.

Today the mystery has been put to rest and now, in the year 2015, the king gets a second burial. Richard III has been reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in a simple oak coffin after a procession and proper funeral.

It all began in 2012 when excavation was underway in a parking lot in Leicester, England. While digging, human bones were discovered by workers. Grisly, to say the least.

When it was discovered where they were digging, archaeologists raced to the site of the excavation to determine who had been buried. After removing the bones and reassembling them, they saw that the spine had a curve that attested to the real Richard, described in life as a “hunchback”.

After tracking down descendants of Richard’s sister, Anne, scientists took DNA from cheek cells to ascertain the identity of the bones. Could it be?

The monastery in which the king had been buried was dissolved and the church was demolished in 1536. Richard’s remains were rumored to have been tossed into a nearby river, never to be seen again. Their whereabouts were one of the biggest historical mysteries in the world.

Philippa Langley, a screenwriter and researcher of Richard III, was convinced that Richard’s grave had not been desecrated during the dissolution of the monastery. She proposed that he still lay where he had been buried, and she was correct.

After the tests returned, the announcement was made: the king had been found, five centuries after his death.

Wax replicas of the king have been made to recreate his likeness. A recent figure contends that Richard III was actually blond and blue-eyed. Excitement grew over the discovery and the plans to reinter the king. Unfortunately, as excitement grew so did arguments. Where should the king be buried? The towns of Leicester and York disputed the other’s claim over the king. After judicial review, it was settled that Leicester would be the home of the remains.

Today the king was carried back to Leicester in an emotional but dignified procession, a more pleasant and modern-day recreation of the journey the king’s body originally made from the battle site.

In a wonderful and touching conclusion to the king’s reburial, it has been revealed that Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard’s sister, has made the king’s coffin.

Canadian-born Ibsen is a cabinet-maker by trade. After providing DNA from a cheek swab to identify Richard, Isben helped make history. For his contribution, Isben was asked to be further involved in the process of Richard’s reburial by putting his skills to work making the king’s coffin. It is a high honor, indeed.

Says Isben: “”When you’re working away you just focus on joining two bits of wood, but at the end of the day when you stand back and think ‘I’m building Richard III’s coffin,’ it’s incredible.”



Richard III Reburial Celebration – LiveScience

Know The United Kingdom

Know thy kingdom:
This blank map of the United Kingdom is downloadable. Use it to test yourself on the geography of the U.K. by locating:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Capital cities of each

BONUS: Republic of Ireland



Click to Enlarge

Royal Revenue

By Thursday, February 19, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Here is a list of the Royal revenue that provides funding to the monarchy (this was formerly located in the Queen’s biography).

  • The Crown Estate

To avoid confusion between Government property and Crown land, the latter was renamed The Crown Estate and was set up to be managed by an independent board called the Crown Estate Commissioners.

The Crown Estate – a property portfolio of royal lands – generates a large amount of revenue for the Exchequer (treasury) every year. It even surpasses the cost of the Civil List. In the year 2000, the Crown Estates generated a £132.9 million profit, a sum that greatly exceeded the Civil List allotment of £9.7 million per annum to Her Majesty.

In short, the Crown Estate pays into the Treasury in return for a Royal allowance of £7.9 million, the sum established in 1990.

  • Sovereign Grant (formerly The Civil List)

The Queen’s work as monarch was funded by what was known as a civil list payment and a number of separate grants. These all covered expenses for royal travel, property maintenance (for occupied residences), communications, and other expenses.

The Sovereign Grant, which is all of these separate grants rolled into one, is based on a certain percentage of surplus Crown Estate profits (currently 15%). It provides funding for Her Majesty and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. No other royals receive money from this grant.

During George III’s reign, taxes had become the prime source of revenue for the United Kingdom and Parliament. An agreement was reached that the lands owned by the Crown and the revenue generated from them would be surrendered to Government management. In return, Parliament would fund the Civil List, the fixed annual payment to the King.

Only the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh receive funding from the Civil List. The official duties and staff of other members of the Royal Family are funded from a Parliamentary Annuity – like the Civil List – the amount of which is repaid by the Queen from the private monies put into the Privy Purse from income from the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Duchy of Lancaster is one of the two Royal Duchies in England. The other is the Duchy of Cornwall, of which Prince Charles is Duke. These are the personal and inherited property of the monarch.

The Lancaster inheritance dates back to 1265, when Henry III granted to his younger son, Edmund, the lands forfeited by the Earl of Leicester. Later, Edmund’s grandson Henry of Grosmont was made Duke of Lancaster by Edward III. After Henry Grosmont’s death, a charter of 1362 conferred the dukedom on his son-in-law John of Gaunt.

The Duchy merged with the crown in 1399 when Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, became Henry IV of England.

Interestingly, the title does not change for a king or a queen. Her Majesty is loyally toasted as the Duke of Lancaster.

  • The Privy Purse

The Sovereign’s remaining private income, mostly from the Duchy of Lancaster. The Queen is not entitled to the Duchy’s capital, but its net revenues are the property of the Sovereign. The Privy Purse meets both official and private expenditure. The Keeper of the Privy Purse looks after the Sovereign’s personal financial affairs as well as the expenditure of public funds voted by the Parliament to the Sovereign.

The British Empire At Its Apex

By Thursday, February 19, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

British Empire at its apex: “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

It was an incredibly expansive empire that rivaled that of Rome. Like the Romans, the British left lasting cultural impressions upon the lands it controlled, both good and ill. The map below illustrates the parts of the globe that were under British rule (and some are still a part of the Commonwealth today). The empire reached its apex in the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901).


In 1867, Canada became the first colony to be transformed into a self-governing ‘Dominion’, a newly constituted status that implied equality with Britain. The empire was gradually changing and Lord Rosebury, a British politician, described it in Australia in 1884 as a “Commonwealth of Nations”.thecommonwealth.org

The empire would eventually become smaller as various nations began to declare independence. India, the “jewel” of the British empire, became an independent nation on August 15, 1947. In January of 1950 the Republic of India was officially proclaimed.

In 1949 The London Declaration recognized King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen is the head of the Commonwealth today.

Edward VII: The Uncle of Europe

By Thursday, February 19, 2015 0 No tags Permalink
English: Edward, Prince of Wales and Alexandra...

Edward, (as Prince of Wales) and Alexandra, his wife.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edward VII
Full name: Albert Edward
Nicknames: Bertie; The Uncle of Europe
Titles: Prince of Wales; King Edward VII
Reign: 1901-1910

Prior to his ascension to the throne, Edward was titled Prince of Wales. He loved hunting, traveling all over the world, and horse racing (a popular Windsor sport of today). He was 21 years old when he married Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the daughter of King Christian the IX. Alix, as she was known, was an elegant but shy girl who became a popular Princess of Wales.

They had several children: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence; Prince George, Duke of York; Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife; Princess Victoria; Princess Maud (became Queen of Norway); and Prince Alexander John of Wales.

Prince Albert Victor, known as Eddy within the family, was the next in line for kingship. Unfortunately, the young man died of pneumonia, brought on by influenza, in January 1892. He was only 28 years old. The next in line for the throne was George, the Duke of York.

Though his family was happy, and as lovely as Alexandra was, it did not keep Edward faithful. He had many mistresses, one of the most famous being Alice Keppel. She was the great-great-grandmother of Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla. Alix learned to live with his ways, but Edward’s mother, Queen Victoria, constantly fretted about his personal affairs affecting his public life. She even blamed his numerous indiscretions as the cause for the early death of Prince Albert, who succumbed to typhoid fever at the age of 42. The Queen felt that the best course of action for what she viewed as a gross injustice was to keep personal government documents away from Edward, which served only to increase Edward’s fondness for extracurricular activities while he waited to succeed his thriving mother.

Though Edward was flirtatious and had a knack for gambling, he proved to be a responsible King once crowned at age 59. He could speak fluent German and French, and was also a force in the creation of the Entente Cordiale. Edward was soon known as the “Uncle of Europe”.

The Entente Cordiale was an Anglo-French agreement signed in 1904, just three short years into Edward’s reign. It ended the traditional enmity between Great Britain and France (the French helped the British colonies rebel against their Mother Country. Britain was none too pleased). The diplomatic peace helped the two stand firm against increasing German aggression. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II, Edward’s nephew, watched with a mixture of awe and jealousy as his uncle became Britain’s national treasure.

The King took the monarchy to new heights of public esteem. After their father, Prince Albert, died of typhoid, Queen Victoria forbade her children celebrating any events. Even official duties were to be performed with the least amount of pomp possible. Once King, Edward and Queen Alexandra opened Parliament, held grand balls and shooting parties, and celebrated weddings and holidays. The personable Edward realized the wisdom of being seen by the public.

The King’s reign lasted for nine years. He passed away at the age of 68 on May 6, 1910.

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