Royal History For All Ages!

By 0 , , Permalink 0
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.

Queen Elizabeth II Longest Reigning Monarch in British History

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...

Queen Elizabeth II, long she has reigned! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The moment that once seemed so distant has now arrived: Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history.

People all across the UK – and the world – are celebrating the Queen’s record-breaking achievement, well aware that this is not something every generation gets to do.

As a long-time fan of the Queen, I have to say that I am extremely proud of this moment. This is history that will be talked about for generations, and it is unlikely that another British monarch will reach this achievement for a very long time.

Despite this momentous occasion, the Queen herself is not celebrating the milestone. At least, not publicly. Elizabeth is sticking to her business-as-usual repertoire because A.) she doesn’t want to be seen as being triumphant over her great-great-grandmother, the venerable Queen Victoria.  We must also note that B.) the Queen IS publicly celebrating her 90th birthday next year. With barely a year between events, combined with her reverence for Victoria, Elizabeth is right in keeping this year’s milestone low-key.

Elizabeth has personified grace and decorum since her earliest days, and her time as queen is no exception. Not only is she impressive on the surface, underneath the glamour of pageantry and tiaras lies a solid work ethic and devotion to representing her people. After a life of service, it seems as though there is nothing that the Queen doesn’t know or hasn’t experienced. More to the point, it has been a life of duty and tradition under a bright spotlight, something that only a handful of people could tolerate. Where most would crack, the Queen carries on.

It is hard to say what hasn’t already been said. Reams of paper and columns of digital space have been devoted to Her Majesty’s record-breaking for days. I think, however, I can speak for all of us as I wrap up: Queen Elizabeth II has been, and will continue to
be, a distinct figure upon whom the hopes of better days can be seen. Long she has reigned, and may she continue to do so.

Richard III Reinterred in Leicester

By 0 No tags Permalink 0

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 0 No tags Permalink 0

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 0 No tags Permalink 0

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.

error: Content is protected.