Royals

Dmitry The Undead

Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ – […]

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Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ –

The Duel That Shocked France

King Henri III of France had a favourite group of young courtiers – his ‘mignons’ (or ‘cuties’, ‘sweeties’, or ‘‘darlings’) – known for dressing in an effeminate and eye-catching style. On 27th April, 1578, they  engaged in a bloody duel with a rival gang in a battle that came to be known as ‘The Duel

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King Henri III of France had a favourite group of young courtiers – his ‘mignons’ (or ‘cuties’, ‘sweeties’, or ‘‘darlings’) – known for dressing in an effeminate and eye-catching style. On 27th April, 1578, they  engaged in a bloody duel with a rival gang in a battle that came to be known as ‘The Duel

Murder at the Masked Ball

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

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RETRO

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

The Prince Who Drowned in Wine

Sentenced to death for treason against his brother King Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence was executed on 18th February, 1478 – and, according to legend, chose to be drowned in a butt of his  favorite tipple: malmsey wine.  It was apt punishment for years of plotting against his brother alongside his father-in-law, the Earl

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Sentenced to death for treason against his brother King Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence was executed on 18th February, 1478 – and, according to legend, chose to be drowned in a butt of his  favorite tipple: malmsey wine.  It was apt punishment for years of plotting against his brother alongside his father-in-law, the Earl

Soundtracking the Royal Wedding

Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s ‘Here Comes The Bride’ and departing to Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’ remains a popular choice at wedding ceremonies – a precedent established by the Princess Royal Victoria and Prince Frederick of Prussia, who married at St James’s Palace on 25th January, 1858. Unfortunately for Mendelssohn, he’d been dead eleven

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RETRO

Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s ‘Here Comes The Bride’ and departing to Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’ remains a popular choice at wedding ceremonies – a precedent established by the Princess Royal Victoria and Prince Frederick of Prussia, who married at St James’s Palace on 25th January, 1858. Unfortunately for Mendelssohn, he’d been dead eleven

Henry VIII’s Head Injury

Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life – weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive. Jousting was his

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RETRO

Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life – weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive. Jousting was his

England’s First Lottery

With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that

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With a top prize of £5,000 and a celebrity backer in the form of Queen Elizabeth I, England embarked on its first ever national lottery draw at St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th January, 1569. The results continued to be announced, day and night, for four months; a particularly prolonged process due to the fact that

Elizabeth of Russia’s Bloodless Coup

Wearing an armoured breastplate, clasping a silver cross and seizing an Army spontoon, 31 year old Elizabeth Petrovna appeared at the HQ of the elite Preobrazhensky Regiment guards in St. Petersburg on 25th November, 1741 – intent on over-throwing Tzar Ivan VI (a baby), and seizing the Russian throne for herself. Although she was the

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Wearing an armoured breastplate, clasping a silver cross and seizing an Army spontoon, 31 year old Elizabeth Petrovna appeared at the HQ of the elite Preobrazhensky Regiment guards in St. Petersburg on 25th November, 1741 – intent on over-throwing Tzar Ivan VI (a baby), and seizing the Russian throne for herself. Although she was the