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Thursday, December 20, 2007



...The longest reigning monarch in English and British history was Queen Victoria? She ruled the United Kingdom for 64 years. She ascended the British throne in 1837 on the death of her childless uncle, William IV. 

... The shortest reign was that of Lady Jane Grey known to history as the "nine days Queen of England", she was King Henry VIII's great niece. Henry's son and successor, Edward VI, named her as his successor, ignoring his two half sisters Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. But the idea was thought to be fabricated by the Duke of Northumberland, who acted as adviser of the young King. Nine days after Lady Jane's accession, the Duke's whole scheme collapsed, Queen Mary led the uprising, capturing the Duke of Northumberland, Lady Jane was imprisoned and beheaded seven months later. Her short reign was never mentioned in British history and her name was not included in the official list of monarchs of the United Kingdom.

...The oldest to become monarch was William IV, 3rd son of George III, he was 75 years old at the time of his accession, he died seven years later without legitimate heirs.

... The youngest monarch was Henry VI, he was only nine months old when his father died from camp fever, his uncle John, the Duke of Bedford acted as his regent until his adulthood.

... The first Prince of Wales was Edward II, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, he was born in Caernavon Castle in Wales. Since then, that title has always been the permanent title of the future British King. But the title is not automatically earned, it is given at the pleasure of the monarch which is conferred through an investiture ceremony at Caernavon Castle in Cardiff, Wales. Interestingly, not all heirs were titled Prince of Wales. King Edward VII's successor was given a title of the Duke of Clarence but he did not live long to be crowned as King, he predeceased his father, his younger brother was the one who became King and reigned for 25 years as George V, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

... The first Duke of York was Edmund of Langley, 2nd son of Edward III. Ironically, it was on this family branch that the famous "War of the Roses" originated. Considered as the bloodiest civil war in English history, "War of the Roses" lasted for three decades. Since the early 20th century, the Duke of York is the unconditional title of the second son of the sovereign. The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew,said to be the favorite son of the Queen.

... The first Princess Royal was Princess Anne, daughter of Charles I (Stuart). This courtesy title is always given to the first born daughter of the monarch. But like the Prince of Wales title, it is not automatically acquired, it is only granted at the pleasure of the monarch. The current Princess Royal is also named Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

... The oldest monarch to ascend the throne in modern day europe is King Albert II of Belgium, a descendant of Queen Victoria through her 3rd son Prince Arthur of Connaught and that of Victoria's uncle, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, the first Belgian King, thus the name of the Royal House of Belgium is Saxe-Coburg Gotha. Albert ascended the Belgian throne in 1993 on the death of his childless older brother, King Bouduin I.

... The last true blooded Princess to be married into the British royal family was Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She married Prince George, the Duke of Kent, youngest son of King George V.

... The last aristocrat to be married in the British royal family was the late Princess of Wales, Diana. She was the former Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of a wealthy nobleman Johnny Spencer, the 8th Earl of Althorp, a direct descendant of King Charles II of Britain. The very famous, Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire (her story is now a major hollywood film starring Keira Knightley) was Earl Spencer's great aunt.

... The childhood nickname of Diana was Duchess? It was given to her by her stepfather Peter Shand-Kydd. Until her death, she was casually called by her sisters as "Duch".

... The oldest surviving great great grandchild of Queen Victoria is Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh?he is two months older than Prince Carl Johan of Sweden, his 3rd cousin.

... Both Prince Albert II of Monaco and King Juan Carlos of Spain are Olympians? Albert represented Monaco in the Bobsled event while King Juan Carlos took part in the sailing event representing Spain.

... King Juan Carlos of Spain and his consort Queen Sophia are the only royal couple in the present day Europe whose marriage in 1962 was not arranged?Queen Sophia was the former Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King Paul I of Greece, a first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

... Earl Spencer, the father of Diana was once considered by the royal family as suitable consort of the future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. After the second world war, the royal family noticed that the heir presumptive started blossoming into a beautiful woman and therefore marriage is on the way, they began listing names of suitable bachelors as her future husband.

British noblemen who were considered were Lord David Mountbatten, the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (first cousin of Prince Philip), David Ogilvy, the 13th Earl of Airlie (whose younger brother Angus married Princess Alexandra of Kent the Queen's cousin), Charles Manner, the Duke of Ruthland and John Spencer who was then Viscount Althorp, son of Albert Spencer the 7th Earl of Althorp(King George VI's closest friend) and his wife Lady Cynthia Hamilton, daughter of the 4th Duke of Abercorn and Lady-in-waiting of the King's consort, Queen Elizabeth. European Royal's who were considered suitable are Prince Bertel of Sweden (Elizabeth's 3rd cousin), Prince Gorm of Denmark (her second cousin), Prince Charles of Luxembourg and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (her third cousin through Queen Victoria and second cousin through King Christian IX of Denmark).

Eventually the future Queen chose the latter, and according to some accounts "it was hardly an arranged marriage because they both fell in love". Philip changed his identity to be more suitable, he took the name Mountbatten and joined the Anglican faith, he was created HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and married in November 20, 1947.

... The Royal Protection Unit of Scotland yard is the security force protecting the British royal family. They provide full protection to the monarch, her husband, her heir and all her children. They are selected for diplomacy and sense of duty. They are highly skilled at security and armed at all times.

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