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The Royal Prince, 1666

The Royal Prince, 1666

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The Royal Prince, 1666

This detail from a picture by Van de Velde the Elder shows the elaborate stern of the Royal Prince, a British flagship captured by the Dutch during the Four Days Battle.

Picture reproduced courtesy of Seaforth Publishing, and can be found in The Four Days Battle of 1666, Frank L. Fox

British Royal Family History

Elizabeth II has reigned for 69 years, 4 months, and 15 days.

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth on 6th February 1952. She is head of the British Royal Family, has 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, and is 95 years, 2 months, and 1 day old.

She is the 32nd great-granddaughter of King Alfred the Great who was the first effective King of England 871-899. See Royal Family Tree.

She was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953, nearly eighteen months after she succeeded her father, King George VI who died on 6th February 1952. As of today she has reigned for 69 years, 4 months, and 15 days. 2nd June 2013 was the 60th anniversary of her coronation. She will have reigned for 70 years on 6th February 2022 and plans are being put in place to stage a series of events from 2-5 June 2022 to celebrate her 70th Platinum Jubilee.

On 21st December 2007 she became the oldest reigning British monarch having lived longer than Queen Victoria who died 22nd January 1901 aged 81 years, 7 months and 29 days. On 20th November 2020 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 73rd wedding anniversary. On 21st April 2020 she became 94 years old.

On 10th September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in over 1,200 years of British History when the length of her reign surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 7 months from 20th June 1837 to 22nd January 1901. See British Kings & Queens by Length of Reign.

2017 was the 100th anniversary of the House of Windsor. It was founded by the Queen's grandfather King George V on 17th July 1917.

The Queen and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were married on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, and in 2020 celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. Prince Philip died at Windsor on 9th April 2021 just 2 months before his 100th birthday. He was the longest ever serving royal consort and oldest spouse of a reigning British monarch.

Their eldest son Prince Charles became 72 years old on 14th November 2020 and is the longest waiting and oldest ever heir to the throne. See British Kings & Queens by Age of Ascent.

On 29th April 2011 the Queen's grandson Prince William, who is 2nd in line to the throne, married Catherine (Kate) Middleton in Westminster Abbey. They are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and in Scotland the Earl and Countess of Strathearn. On 22nd July 2013 their first child Prince George was born. He is now 3rd in Line of Succession to the thone after his father, Prince William, and his grandfather Prince Charles. Their second child Princess Charlotte was born on 2nd May 2015 and is 4th in line. Their 3rd child, Prince Louis who is 5th in line, was born on 23rd April 2018.

The Queen's grandson Prince Henry (known as Harry), who is 6th in line to the throne, and Meghan Markle were married in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 19th May 2018. They are now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and in Scotland the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton. Their son Archie was born on 6th May 2019, and their daughter Lilibet on 4th June 2021. They have stepped down from their royal roles and now live in California.

The Queen's granddaughter Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in St George's Chapel on the 12th October 2018. Their first child August Philip was born on 9th February 2021. Her sister Princess Beatrice married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor, on 17th July 2020.

Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations. Great Britain was formed 310 years ago by the Act of Union between England and Scotland on 1st April 1707. More about Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

As well as the United Kingdom, she is Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, where she is represented by Governors-General. The sixteen countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth Realms, and their combined population is 150 million.

She is Head of the Commonwealth of Nations comprising 54 member states and over 20% of the Word's land in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The aims of the Commonwealth include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace. The 2.4 billion people in the member states account for almost a third of the world's population.

Her reign of over 69 years has seen 14 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, and numerous Prime Ministers in the Commonwealth Realms of which she is (or was) also Head of State between them she has had a total of over 170 Prime Ministers including 12 Canadian and 18 Australian Prime Ministers during her reign. There have been 14 US Presidents during her reign.

Great Fire of London begins

In the early morning hours, the Great Fire of London breaks out in the house of King Charles II’s baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. It soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died.

The Great Fire of London was a disaster waiting to happen. London of 1666 was a city of medieval houses made mostly of oak timber. Some of the poorer houses had walls covered with tar, which kept out the rain but made the structures more vulnerable to fire. Streets were narrow, houses were crowded together, and the firefighting methods of the day consisted of neighborhood bucket brigades armed with pails of water and primitive hand pumps. Citizens were instructed to check their homes for possible dangers, but there were many instances of carelessness.

So it was on the evening of September 1, 1666, when Thomas Farrinor, the king’s baker, failed to properly extinguish his oven. He went to bed, and sometime around midnight sparks from the smoldering embers ignited firewood lying beside the oven. Before long, his house was in flames. Farrinor managed to escape with his family and a servant out an upstairs window, but a bakery assistant died in the flames–the first victim.

Sparks from Farrinor’s bakery leapt across the street and set fire to straw and fodder in the stables of the Star Inn. From the Inn, the fire spread to Thames Street, where riverfront warehouses were packed full with flammable materials such as tallow for candles, lamp oil, spirits, and coal. These stores lit aflame or exploded, transforming the fire into an uncontrollable blaze. Bucket-bearing locals abandoned their futile efforts at firefighting and rushed home to evacuate their families and save their valuables.

It had been a hot, dry summer, and a strong wind further encouraged the flames. As the conflagration grew, city authorities struggled to tear down buildings and create a firebreak, but the flames repeatedly overtook them before they could complete their work. People fled into the Thames River dragging their possessions, and the homeless took refuge in the hills on the outskirts of London. Light from the Great Fire could be seen 30 miles away. On September 5, the fire slackened, and on September 6 it was brought under control. That evening, flames again burst forth in the Temple (the legal district), but the explosion of buildings with gunpowder extinguished the flames.

The Great Fire of London engulfed 13,000 houses, nearly 90 churches, and scores of public buildings. The old St. Paul’s Cathedral was destroyed, as were many other historic landmarks. As estimated 100,000 people were left homeless. Within days, King Charles II set about rebuilding his capital. The great architect Sir Christopher Wren designed a new St. Paul’s Cathedral with dozens of smaller new churches ranged around it like satellites. To prevent future fires, most new houses were built of brick or stone and separated by thicker walls. Narrow alleyways were forbidden and streets were made wider. Permanent fire departments, however, did not become a fixture in London until well into the 18th century.

In the 1670s, a memorial column commemorating the Great Fire of London was erected near the source of the calamity. Known as the Memorial, it was probably designed by the architect Robert Hooke, though some sources credit Christopher Wren. The column stands 202 feet above the pavement and features sculpture and engravings that tell the story of the conflagration. Even though an official inquiry into the Great Fire concluded that “the hand of God, a great wind, and a very dry season” caused it, an inscription on the Memorial (removed in 1830) blamed the disaster on the “treachery and malice of the Popish faction.”

In 1986, London’s bakers finally apologized to the lord mayor for setting fire to the city. Members of the Worshipful Company of Bakers gathered on Pudding Lane and unveiled a plaque acknowledging that one of their own, Thomas Farrinor, was guilty of causing the Great Fire of 1666.

Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward

Image: Courtesy of Atria Books.

For more about Prince Philip’s life, check out Ingrid Seward’s biography about the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip Revealed, Seward, a Majesty magazine editor who has been covering the British royal family for decades for, unravels the “enigma” that we know as Prince Philip. From his early childhood in Paris to his mother’s battle with schizophrenia to his military service in World War II, Seward covers topics that many royal followers may not know about or haven’t seen on The Crown. The book also discusses how Prince Philip was “initially distrusted” by the royal court before he found his place in Buckingham Palace.

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The Family of Charles IV

Perhaps no royal image has caused more controversy throughout history than Spanish master Francisco Goya’s 1800 portrait of the royal family of Charles IV. Although Goya’s (who was the official painter at the Spanish court) motives are unclear, there is no doubt he portrayed the family in a harsh, realistic and unflattering light, unheard of in official royal representation before this time.

Called by French writer and critic Theophile Gautier a “portrait of the owner of the corner grocery and his wife,” the painting of the extended Bourbon family has long been seen as political commentary of the weak, corrupt Spanish monarchy. One critic wrote that Goya, who makes a cameo in the painting, appears to place the family on a “stage facing the public, while in the shadow of the wings the painter, with a grim smile, points and says: ‘Look at them and judge for yourself!”

However, others believe the painting is revolutionary in a different way: by showing a fallible royal family, it allows viewers to see them not as the gods and goddesses of the past, but as real people. 𠇊 quick survey of the faces along a supermarket’s aisles,” a reader wrote to Harper’s Magazine in 1842, 𠇌onfirms that the Spanish royal family, as portrayed by Goya in 1800, was no more and no less ugly than the rest of us are now.” In other words: royals, they’re just like us!

Diana Princess of Wales sitting in front of the Taj Mahal during a visit to India, 1992. (Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Yikes: Prince Charles Is Reportedly &ldquoBoiling With Anger&rdquo at Prince Harry&rsquos Newest Royal Family Claims

It&rsquos a weekday, which means it&rsquos time for a member of the royal family to yet again be upset by something Prince Harry has said, amirite or amirite? This time, Prince Charles is royally pissed at Harry&rsquos comments during his appearance on his and Oprah&rsquos new Apple TV+ docuseries The Me You Can&rsquot See, which arguably made Charles sound like&hellipnot Father of the Year, to put it nicely.

Here&rsquos what Harry said about Charles while opening up about his mental health struggles, as a refresher:

Yeah&hellipCharles really isn&rsquot digging Harry&rsquos comments. In fact, an Us Weekly source says that &ldquoCharles is boiling with anger and feels tortured by Harry with his constant digs. He wishes he&rsquod just let it drop,&rdquo the insider explains. &ldquoThe general consensus within the royal family is to ignore Harry&rsquos behavior, to avoid fanning the flames, but Charles is finding it hard to hold back. He really wants to defend himself.&rdquo

This isn&rsquot too different from how Charles was feeling about Harry earlier in the month&mdashhe simply isn&rsquot here for Harry spilling royal tea. After sitting down for a talk with Harry and William following Prince Philip&rsquos funeral in April, a source told The Sun that &ldquoCharles felt aggrieved at how the family&rsquos personal affairs and family dramas were expressed in such an &lsquoinsensitive&rsquo way&rdquo during Harry&rsquos tell-all interview with Oprah.

It unfortunately seems like Charles and Harry&rsquos relationship has yet to improve, but hopefully they can work it out in the future. 😕

Prince Philip's Death Marks the End of Royal Dynastic Unions

In November 1947, a dynastic union was forged between the royal houses of Greece and Great Britain. It would be one of the last of this kind of royal marriages in history — a type of union that had knitted together the continent for 1,000 years.

When Philip, prince of Greece and Denmark married Elizabeth, princess of Great Britain, they reconnected two bloodlines descended from Queen Victoria. But they also renewed a kinship tie between Britain and Denmark that had been joined together numerous times, from Canute and Aelfgifu in 1015 to Edward VII and Alexandra in 1863.

For centuries, almost every European monarchy maintained diplomatic relationships with its neighbors through dynastic marriages, in a system that persisted all the way up to the 1930s, then rapidly faded away in the postwar era.

In stark contrast, before the second world war this practice was the absolute norm — particularly seen in the dense web of intermarriages between the royal families of Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the earlier decades of the 20th century.

One of the great dreams of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert — themselves the product of close dynastic union, as first cousins — was to unite the continent of Europe through kinship relations, hoping that close cousins would be less likely to go to war with one another.

This proved to be politically naive — disastrously so. The Great War that followed not long after Victoria's death pitted the forces of "Cousin Nicky" (Tsar Nicholas of Russia) and "Cousin Georgie" (King George V of Great Britain) against those of "Cousin Willy" (Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany), close kinship notwithstanding. By 1914, Britain, Russia and Germany had evolved as nation states, with modern governments, beyond the control of princely dynasticism as a political or diplomatic force.

Prince Philip's marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 thus represented one of the last iterations of this Queen Victoria's dream. It reunited two of her descendants: Elizabeth through her father's line, and Philip through the line of his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Victoria. Indeed, in the previous decade, three of Philip's four sisters had married other descendants of Victoria.

But in 1947, times had changed and postwar Britain was not so keen to see the heir to the throne married to a foreign royal. Particularly not one whose sisters had married prominent German officers and whose family had an extremely fragile position on its throne in Greece, with a dynastic history full of abdications, military coups and plebiscites. Prince Philip was therefore "rebranded" before his marriage as Philip Mountbatten, lieutenant in the Royal Navy, naturalised British subject. But where did the name Mountbatten come from? And why before he changed his name was he called "Prince of Greece and Denmark"?

Prince William and Kate Make Royal History at the G7

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and First Lady Dr Jill Biden, carrying carrots for the school rabbit, Storm, during a visit to Connor Downs Academy, during the G7 summit in Cornwall on June 11, 2021. WPA Pool

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The Queen and her family are making royal history today, sent as a group for the first time to the G7 Summit in Cornwall, as Britain seeks to woo the United States and present its best face to a global audience.

It is the first meeting between President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Biden will become the 13 th President to meet with the Queen during her reign—on Sunday she will host the President and First Lady Jill Biden for tea at Windsor Castle.

Jill Biden met with Boris Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, on Thursday, and on Friday morning it was Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge’s turn to show off the special relationship between the US and the UK. Kate showed off her best diplomacy skills when she and Jill Biden visited the Connor Downs Academy, where both women—who have supported education efforts in their respective countries—met with students.

The small town of Cornwall had never before played host to a First Lady or a member of the royal family and the presidential 8-car convoy only just fitted into the small playground. After meeting a group of four and five year olds the Duchess and the First Lady they attended a round table discussion with UK education experts to learn more about the challenges in the Early Years sector, which has been a primary focus of Kate’s.

During questions after the round table meeting Kate was asked by a US correspondent about Harry and Meghan’s new daughter Lilibet Diana. “I wish her all the very best,” Kate responded. “I can’t wait to meet her because we haven’t yet met her yet, so hopefully that will be soon.” She also confirmed that she has not yet met the baby in a video call.

Later on Friday, Prince Charles and Prince William will host a reception for CEOs from some the world’s largest companies to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle the climate emergency. The Queen is then set to host the Bidens at Windsor Castle for tea on Sunday, one day after celebrating her official birthday with a scaled-back Trooping the Colour ceremony.

It is deeply significant that the Queen, the Prince of Wales, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Cambridges are all participating in the G7 summit which is being seen as Britain’s chance to showcase itself on the world stage. It is the first time William and Kate have attended the summit, and the invitation only highlights their seniority within the royal family.

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Philip, duke of Edinburgh

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Philip, duke of Edinburgh, in full Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, also called Philip Mountbatten, original name Philip, prince of Greece and Denmark, (born June 10, 1921, Corfu, Greece—died April 9, 2021, Windsor Castle, England), husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

When and where was Philip, duke of Edinburgh, born?

Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921, in Corfu, Greece.

What is Philip, duke of Edinburgh, known for?

Prince Philip was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the father of the heir apparent, Charles, prince of Wales. Philip was also known for supporting numerous charities, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, and for his outspoken right-wing views.

How did Philip, duke of Edinburgh, become famous?

Prince Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families and gained greater fame when he married his distant cousin Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom) in 1947.

What was Prince Philip’s education?

Reared chiefly in Great Britain, Philip was educated at Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, and at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, England. From January 1940 to the end of World War II, he served with the Royal Navy in combat in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

What was Prince Philip’s family like?

Philip was born to Prince Andrew, a son of King George I of Greece, and Princess Alice. When he was an infant, his family was exiled, and it later disintegrated: his mother was institutionalized, his father ran off with his mistress, and Philip’s four elder sisters married. Philip later married Elizabeth and had four children.

Why wasn’t Prince Philip a king?

Prince Philip did not have the title of king because of British royal tradition whereby a man marrying into the royal family does not assume the male version of the title held by his wife. He became duke of Edinburgh prior to his marriage to Elizabeth in 1947, and she designated him a prince in 1957. Learn more.

Philip’s father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882–1944), a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes (originally Prince William of Denmark). His mother was Princess Alice (1885–1969), who was the eldest daughter of Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st marquess of Milford Haven, and Princess Victoria of Hesse and the Rhine, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Reared chiefly in Great Britain, Philip was educated at Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, and at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Devon, England. From January 1940 to the end of World War II, he served with the Royal Navy in combat in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

On February 28, 1947, Philip became a British subject, renouncing his right to the Greek and Danish thrones and taking his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. (His father’s family name had been Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.) His marriage to his distant cousin Princess Elizabeth took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. On the eve of his wedding, he was designated a royal highness and was created a Knight of the Garter, Baron Greenwich, earl of Merioneth, and duke of Edinburgh. The couple’s first child, Charles Philip Arthur George, was born in 1948. He was joined by Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (born 1950), Andrew Albert Christian Edward (born 1960), and Edward Anthony Richard Louis (born 1964).

Philip continued on active service with the Royal Navy, commanding the frigate Magpie, until Elizabeth’s accession on February 6, 1952, from which time he shared her official and public life. He attended an average of 350 official engagements a year on behalf of the royal household. In 1957 she conferred on him the dignity of prince of the United Kingdom, and in 1960 his surname was legally combined with the name of her family—as Mountbatten-Windsor—as a surname for lesser branches of the royal family. His outspoken right-wing views, the public expression of which he sometimes found hard to resist, occasionally embarrassed a monarchy trying to put aside its traditional upper-crust image.

While much of his time was spent fulfilling the duties of his station, Philip engaged in a variety of philanthropic endeavours. He served as president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) from 1981 to 1996, and his International Award program allowed more than six million young adults to engage in community service, leadership development, and physical fitness activities. In 2011, to mark his 90th birthday, Elizabeth conferred on him the title and office of lord high admiral, the titular head of the Royal Navy. In May 2017 it was announced that Philip—who was one of the busiest royals, with more than 22,000 solo appearances over the years—would stop carrying out public engagements in August. His last solo event took place on August 2, 2017.

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