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Alfred the Great (871-99)

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A new luxury (part three)

Old Farm, Lower Pentreath, Pentreath Lane, Praa Sands, Penzance, Cornwall

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Pindale Farm, Pindale Road, Hope, Hope Valley, Derbyshire

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Swaledale Camping, Hoggarths Farm, Keld, Richmond, North Yorkshire

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Departure

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Royal Realm
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Royal RealmFROM ALFRED THE GREAT in the 9th century to Elizabeth II in the 21st, the throne of England has been occupied by 56 very varied men and women as kings or queens. The separate reigns of princes of Wales ended in 1284 when Wales was annexed to the English Crown, and from 1603 the royal line of Scotland merged with that of England. Since then one monarch has reigned over all the United Kingdom.

Some of the rulers in this long line of succession occupied the throne for no more than a few months. Several spent little time in their kingdom, and one or two spoke hardly any English. The reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV alternated during the Wars of the Roses. There were kings who seized the Crown, like Richard III, and kings who won it on the battlefield, like Henry VII.

Charles I lost the Crown, and his head. The boy-king Edward V never had the Crown, Edward VIII gave it back, while Elizabeth I and Victoria survived early anxieties to reign long and gloriously, setting the seal of their names on the ages they lived through.

In this long line of monarchs, spread across the twisting branches of an ancient family tree, are kings and queens who were saints or scholars, heroes or villains, martyrs or murderers. They were feared and fearsome, witty and wise, amiable and amorous, innocent and guileful, hated and loved. Each left a distinc¬tive mark on the history of these islands, and on the lives of its people.

Coronation of a king The Litlyngton Missal, a treasure of Westminster Abbey, shows a coronation. The crown is a symbol of earthly power and the coronation a ceremony rich in worldly and spiritual symbolism.

Royal Realm


Sovereign’s orb The orb, symbol of Christianity over the world, is part of the regalia used since Charles II’s coronation (1660). The ancient crowns and scepters were destroyed after the execution of Charles I in 1649.

Royal Realm


The Lady Chapel The Chapel of Henry VII, the Lady Chapel, was begun in Westminster Abbey in 1503 on the king’s orders. It was planned as King Henry VI’s burial-place, but it was Henry VII who was laid to rest here after he died in 1509.

Royal Realm


Royal Arms
The coat of arms of the sovereign, quartering the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The three lions were first used by Richard the Lionheart (1189-99).

Royal Realm



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