The English Monarchy (and a bit more Shakespeare bashing)

Just a bit more Shakespeare criticism: In Henry VI, Richard Plantagenet is shown to have a deadly rivalry with Edmund Beaufort, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. The thing is, there were two people of that name running around during the Wars of the Roses: Richard, Duke of York and Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Shakespeare appears to have gotten the two mixed up, as the future Richard III is shown to hate Somerset, rather than the correct Duke of York.

The English Monarchy, then. It hasn’t actually been English in a long time. Until 1013, it was being held by widely-known incompetent, coward and general moron Ethelred the Unready, at which point is was taken by Sveyn Forkbeard (Danish names of this time are awesome). Ethelred the idiot took it back, was succeeded by Edmund Ironside (more cool names!) and had it taken by another Dane: Cnut (what?). A few more Danes follow Cnut, then Edward the Confessor and Harold II. At this point in 1066, the Normans (no they were not French, they were more akin to vikings) came and conquered and ruled, depending on your intepretation of “Norman/French” until either 1399 when Richard II was deposed, or 1485, when the Wars of the Roses ended. These Wars were fought between the Lancastrian and Yorkist factions of the House of Plantagenet, and ended when Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485. At this point, a Welsh guy nobody had ever heard of called Henry Tudor, who was the great-great grandson of one of the illegitimate sons of one of Edward III’s sons (fun fact: this line of claim actually is weaker than the one that the King of Portugal had) comes in and takes the throne in battle. if we consider the Tudors Welsh because of this, no English person has ruled since 1066, 400 years ago. When Elisabeth I dies in 1603 unmarried and childless, the Scots come in the form of James IV of Scotland , I of England. Scots are in power until 1649 when Charles I gets the chop. With Charles II and James II Stuarts (we’ll overlook Cromwell because he wasn’t a king) and therefore Scots, we”re at 1689 with no Englishman on the throne in 600 years. On to the Dutch. For a variety of political and religious reasons, Parliament gets rid of James II and brings in William III and Mary II, who are Dutch. They rule until 1714, when the Elector of Hanover, a German is brought to rule in the form of George I. This dynasty is the currently ruling one. Their name was actually Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but they changed it to Windsor during the First World War because they thought it sounded too German (amazing powers of observation here. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything more German than that). Therefore, there has been no English person sitting on the throne of England/Britain in 948 years, since 1066. Danes, Normans, Welshmen, Scots, Dutch, Germans.

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