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In this final part on England I will look at a few royals who may or may not have been king or queen of England and speculate whether or not any future monarch with their name will receive an ordinal number. First up is King Felipe II of Spain. Felipe (Philip) of Spain was the eldest son of King Carlos I of Spain (who was also Holy Roman Emperor Karl V). On July 24, 1554 Prince Felipe married England’s first queen regnant, Mary Tudor, or Mary I. Prior to the marriage Felipe’s father ceded his kingdoms of Naples and Jerusalem to his son in order for him to have equal rank with Mary.

England’s Parliament enacted Queen Mary’s Marriage Act to regulate the marriage. According to the Act Felipe was granted the title King of England and Ireland and it was stipulated that as long as their marriage lasted Felipe was considered co-sovereign along with his wife but with Mary retaining the majority of authority. When Mary I died in 1558 and was succeeded by her half sister as Elizabeth I, Felipe ceased to be King of England and Ireland. This was one of the motivations for Felipe seeking the hand of Elizabeth so he could retain the title of King of England and Ireland. Although he was technically a King-consort and not a king of England in his own right, as William III was, he is not generally counted as one of the Kings of England. However, since Parliament did grant him co-sovereignty some historians think it is plausible that if there were to be a future King Philip of the United Kingdom he could be called King Philip II.

Is it possible for there to be a Queen Matilda II? The first Matilda was the only surviving legitimate child of King Henry I (1100-1135). Henry tired to pass the succession to his daughter, Empress Matilda, widow of Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich V, by forcing the nobles and barons to swear an oath of allegiance supporting Matilda’s claim to the the throne. When Henry died Matilda was in Anjou with her husband Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou. Matilda’s cousin, Count Stephen of Blois, seized upon the opportunity of Matlida’s absence to grab the throne supported by the aforementioned nobles and barons. A civil war erupted and in February 1141 Matilda’s army defeated and captured King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln. Matilda went to London for her coronation and was welcomed into the city. Matilda adopted the title of Lady of the English and planned to assume the title of queen upon her coronation. When Matilda refused to lower the taxes on the citizens of London she was exiled from the city and the civil war was reignited that June. Stephen was released and resumed his kingship until his death in 1154. A compromise was made between Matilda and Stephen when Stephen agreed that Matilda’s son, Henry Fitzempress, would mount the throne upon Stephens death. For a short while Matilda did hold power and her legal claim to the throne was superior to Stephen’s so it is entirely plausible that if there is a future Queen Matilda of the United Kingdom she may call herself Matilda II.

 Is it possible for there to be a Queen Jane II? Lady Jane Grey is known as the 9 day queen and some lists of the kings and queens of England do include her on this list. In reality she was a pawn in a deadly game between Catholics and Protestants. Lady Jane was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII by his younger daughter Mary making Jane a first-cousin-once-removed to Edward VI. In May of 1553 Jane married Lord Guildford Dudley, who was the younger son of Edward VI’s chief minister, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Northumberland knew the king was dying and that the rightful heir, Mary Tudor, was a Catholic who would return the realm to Catholicism. Northumberland persuaded the king to name Jane as his successor, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth under the Third Succession Act. When the king died the Privy Council proclaimed Jane Queen of England and Ireland. Jane moved into the Tower of London where most monarchs stayed awaiting their coronation. Nine days later the Privy Council had a change of heart and proclaim Mary as Queen on 19 July 1553. Jane was retained in the tower and after a short trial was convicted of high treason. At first the death penalty was rescinded as Queen Mary knew Jane was but a pawn in the entire plan. However, with the breakout of Wyatt’s rebellion with Jane’s father as one of the conspirators, this once again placed Jane’s life in jeopardy. The rebellion was initiated with the aim of dethroning Mary due to her unpopular upcoming marriage to the Catholic Felipe of Spain with the intent of replacing her with Jane. With the 16 year old Jane a constant threat to her throne Mary signed the orders and Jane and her husband were beheaded on the morning of February 12, 1554. Since there are some historians who do recognize Jane as queen it is technically possible for there to be a Queen Jane II of the United Kingdom in the future.

 

 

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