Avignon, Charles IV of France, Clericis Laicos, Edward I of England, Guillaume de Nogaret, History Channel, Jews, Joan I of Navarre, Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Navarre, Knightfall, Knights Templar, Papal Bull, Philip the Fair, Philippe IV of France, Pope Boniface VIII, Pope Clement V, Roman Catholic Church, Unam Sanctam
Knightfall is an upcoming historical fiction drama television series on the History Channel. The 10-episode series is set to premiere on December 6, 2017. It recounts the fall, persecution, and burning at the stake of the Knights Templar as orchestrated by King Philippe IV of France on October 13, 1307. The series focuses on Templar leader Sir Landry, a brave warrior discouraged by the Templars’ failures in the Holy Land who is reinvigorated by news that the Holy Grail has resurfaced.
While I love historical fiction it contains just that, fiction. So here is some historical background that goes into the events of the series Knightfall.
Philippe IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), also known as Philippe the Fair and the Iron King was King of France from 1285 until his death in 1314. Through his marriage to Joan I, Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne 1274-1305, (daughter of King Henri I of Navarre and Blanche d’Artois) he was also Philippe I, King of Navarre from 1284 to 1305. Though his wife was Countess of Champagne in her own right, Philippe IV briefly took the reigns of government into his own hands by Right of his wife. Philippe IV was known as handsome, however, his obstinate character won him from friends and enemies. His fierce opponent, Bishop Bernard Saisset of Pamiers, said of the king, “He is neither man nor beast. He is a statue.”
The mounting Crisis.
In 1290, King Edward I of England (1272-1307) had ordered the Jews to leave England. In turn, Philippe IV, the Iron King, also expelled the Jews from France in July of 1306. With the Jews out of France, Philippe IV had to appoint royal guardians to collect the loans made by the Jews, with the money being passed to the Crown. These actions did not go well in France. The Jews were looked upon as honest and good businessmen who not only satisfied their customers but were held in high esteem by the general populace. In contrast the king’s money collectors were universally reviled.
In 1315 the people of France complained and complained loudly, to the point where the Jews were invited back to France and were given a guarantee of 12 years free from government interference. In 1322, the Jews were expelled once again by the King Charles IV of France and Navarre 1322-1328, third son of King Philippe IV, who did not honour his fathers commitment after the great leper scare of 1321.
Philip IV’s financial treatment of the Jews was anti-semitic, but Christians, the wealthy and poor, clergy and lay people alike all suffered due to the Kings actions. Another prominent group wounded by Philippe IV’s policies were wealthy abbots and Lombard merchants. The merchants, who had made extensive loans on the pledge of repayment from future taxation, were expelled from France and their property sized. To further demonstrate his cruelty Philippe IV reduced the value of French coinage. In 1306 these policies which had a harsh impact on all less-wealthy people of France, led to a two-thirds loss in the value of the livres, sous and deniers in circulation. This financial crisis led to rioting in Paris which forced Philippe IV to briefly seek refuge in the Paris Temple – headquarters of the Knights Templar.
Philippe IV vs. Boniface VIII.
Pope Boniface VIII 1294-1303 condemned Philippe IV for his damaging policies along with his spendthrift lifestyle and his treatment of the Jews. The king levied taxes on the French clergy, calling for at least half their annual income, causing a major conflict with the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy, prompting Pope Boniface VIII to issue a Papal Bull, Clericis Laicos (1296), which forbade the transference of any church property to the French Crown.
In response to the Papal Bull, Philippe IV convoked an assembly of bishops, nobles and grand bourgeois of Paris in order to condemn the Pope. This assemble was a precursor to the Etats Généraux, appeared for the first time during his reign. This assembly was viewed as a measure of the professionalism, order and legitimacy that his ministers were trying to implement into the government. This assembly gave support to Philippe IV’s condemnation of the pope. Pope Boniface VIII retaliated and escalated the conflict with the ground breaking Papal Bull, Unam Sanctam* (1302) which declares papal supremacy.
King Philippe IV emerged as the victor in the conflict. Philippe sent his agent Guillaume de Nogaret to arrest Pope Boniface VIII at Anagni. Prior to the arrival of the French garrison Boniface excommunicated both Philippe IV and Nogaret. However the pope was able to escape, after being beaten, but died soon afterward. With the Holy See vacant French archbishop Bertrand de Goth was elected pope as Clement V beginning the Babylonian Captivity of the papacy (1309–77), during which the official seat of the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon, an enclave surrounded by French territories, and was subjected to French control and became a virtual puppet of the French monarchy.
Suppression of the Knights Templar
With the aid and refuge given to Philippe IV by the Knights Templar the king was substantially indebted to them. The Knights Templar were a monastic military order whose original role was that of protectors of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Crusades. By the time of Philippe IV’s war against Pope Boniface VIII the influence and need for the Knights Templar had waned. In order to free himself from his indebtedness to the Knights, Philippe IV used a disgruntled complaint of heresy ** against the Knights Templar as an excuse to move against the entire organization and destroy both its religious and financial power and influence in France.
Another prime motive for Philippe to squash the Knights Templar was in order to consolidate power into a royal theocracy where the monarchy had both secular and spiritual power/authority in France. This foundation was built upon the Franco-papal rift at the time of Boniface VIII. With the Papacy now a fixture in France, Philippe IV saw himself as the ultimate defender of the Catholic faith, and felt empowered with a Christlike function giving him authority above the pope. This places the need for the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam of 1302 by Boniface VIII, in a proper historical context.
At daybreak on Friday, October 13, 1307, hundreds of Templars in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Philippe IV, and were later tortured into admitting heresy into the Order. In their view the Knights rejected the spiritual authority claimed by Philippe IV and believed they were only answerable to only the Pope. With Pope Clement V under the direct control of the French king, ordered the Knights Templar to disband. At first Pope Clement V did attempt to hold proper trials, but Philippe IV used previously forced and coerced confessions to condemn the Knights Templars who were promptly burned at the stake before a proper defense could be made.
* The Bull lays down dogmatic propositions on the unity of the Catholic Church, the necessity of belonging to it for eternal salvation, the position of the pope as supreme head of the Church, and the duty thence arising of submission to the pope in order to belong to the Church and thus to attain salvation. The pope further emphasizes the higher position of the spiritual in comparison with the secular order.
** The heresy levied against the Knights Templar stem from claims that were made that during Templar admissions ceremonies recruits were allegedly forced to spit on the Cross, deny Jesus Christ, and engage in indecent kissing. The Nights were also accused of worshipping idols, and the order was said to have encouraged homosexual practices. None of these claims have ever been historically verified.
In the majority monarchies a new monarch generally retains his given name upon succession. However, there are times when a monarch either changes his or her name completely or shortens the name they will be known by during their reign. For example, Emperor Friedrich III of Germany (1888), was known as Fritz to his family, and was officially known to the public as Friedrich-Wilhelm while he was Crown Prince.
In the English/British monarchy changing names has been a recent development and even then there are only a few example. Up until the time of William IV of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King of Hanover, I cannot find any King or Queen of England that changed their name when they wore the crown. There was one King of Scotland that did change his name. King Robert III of Scotland (1390-1406) was born with the name John. One month after his accession in April of 1390 the Scottish Parliament granted John permission to change his regnal name to Robert, to maintain the link back to Robert I the Bruce but also to disassociate himself from the unpopular and disastrous reign of King John Balliol.
When King George IV of the United Kingdom died in 1830 his brother, The Duke of Clarence, christened Prince William-Henry, wanted to call himself King Henry IX until it was pointed out to him that the Scottish Pretender, Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, also claimed to be Henry IX by himself and his supporters. Given that Henry Stuart died 30 years prior and many still remembered him the King was persuaded to be known by his first name, William.
King William IV’s niece, Queen Victoria, was christened with the double name Alexandrina-Victoria and was known as Drina within the family during her youth. The day she became queen she was actually proclaimed Queen Alexandrina-Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, the next day she let it be known that she simply wanted to be called Victoria.
In homage to her sainted husband, Prince Albert,* Queen Victoria named her son, the Prince of Wales, Albert-Edward in hopes that he would become King Albert I of the United Kingdom. That did not happen and in an effort to forge his own identity he chose to reign as King Edward VII. Up until he succeeded his mother the Prince of Wales was known as Bertie within the family. Albert-Edward’s eldest son was christened Albert Victor Christian Edward and was known as Eddy within the family. Albert-Victor died of pneumonia in 1892 and never assumed the crown. Since he was known as Eddy within the family it is logical to concluded that had he lived he would have become King Edward VIII.
The next name change we find is with Queen Mary, the wife of King George V. Queen Mary was christened HSH Princess Victoria-Mary of Teck and known as May within the family, had to choose her regnal name when her husband came to the throne in 1910. As Princess of Wales she was known by her double name Victoria-Mary and since George V detested double names he told his wife to choose between which two she wanted be known by. She believed that to be called Queen Victoria was out of the question seeing that it was only 9 years ago that the great queen had passed, so the obvious choice was Queen Mary.
The son of King George V and Queen Mary, King Edward VIII, was christened Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David and although he was known as David within the family, his official public name was Edward and so when he became King Edward VIII for a short period in 1936 it cannot be considered a name change. However, his brother and next-in-line to the throne, Prince Albert The Duke of York, and known as Bertie in the family, did change his regnal name to George VI in order to show continuity with his father George V after the scandalous abdication crisis. It is understandable then, given this short tradition of name changes, to question the new Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 to ascertain what name she wanted to reign under. Without a question she chose her own name.
For years there have been rumors flying around that when the current Prince of Wales comes to the throne instead of being known as King Charles III he will be known as King George VII. The rumor is that King Charles I and II are unpopular and associated with bad reigns and it is well known that the Prince of Wales holds a great affection and admiration for his ancestor, King George III. First off, I do not put much faith in this rumor and I do not think King Charles II had such a bad reign or negative connotations are associated with him. However, if the Prince of Wales does choose to reign under a different name there is some precedence for it.
- Speaking of Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, his first name was actually Franz (Francis) and Albert was one of his many names. He was christened HSH Prince Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Delhi Durbar, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, King George V of Great Britain, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain
On this date in History: January 20th, 1936. Death of HM King George V of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India. The king had reigned for 25 years.
He was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. From the time of his birth, he was third in the line of succession behind his father and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George’s father became King-Emperor of the British Empire, and George was created Prince of Wales. He succeeded his father in 1910. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.
His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–18) the empires of his first cousins Czar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany fell while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations. He had health problems throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, King George VI of the United Kingdom, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria, Royal Family, Sandringham Estate, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In a few short weeks, on February 6, 2017, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will celebrate 65 years on the throne technically inaugurating 2017 as her Sapphire Jubilee Year. In September 2015 she surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in world history. In October 2016, she became the longest currently reigning monarch and head of state following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Her Majesty became Queen on February 6, 1952 when her father, King George VI, passed away in his sleep at the Sandringham estate.
From what I have read there will be no official celebration for her Sapphire Jubilee and I for one think this is a good idea. On April 21 of this year Her Majesty will also be 91 and although this dedicated monarch will continue to carry out her royal duties there are already signs that she will be slowing down a bit as she hands off some of her duties to other members of the Royal Family. I think this is a good idea. After a long battle with a severe cold, which can be be quite serious for the elderly, I would like to see Her Majesty slow down a bit and take care of herself. I do not want to see her abdicate and nor will she ever, I just would like to see her slow down a little.
BREAKING NEWS: The Queen has cancelled her plans to travel to Sandringham today.
Further details to follow when available.
I do not want to be an alarmist, but when I first saw the picture attached here, I didn’t think Her Majesty looked too well. I hope this is nothing and that things will be alright.
Taken earlier this year! Not sure who took this picture but it is wonderful! Wonderful picture of HM the Queen with HRH The Prince of Wales!
EDIT: Info from my friend Karen. The photo was taken by photographer Nick Knight back in May, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle before the night of the celebrations at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Okay, I am a few months behind on this. The Norman Conquest of England occurred on October 14, 1066. The Battle of Hastings was fought between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy (who became King William I of England) and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. That was 950 years ago. In 50 years from now, the year 2066, this historic even will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary. Will this be something to celebrate or not?
Maybe celebrate is not the correct word? How about honor…or even mark the date? No matter how you want to note this historic event the topic is very controversial. Even though this was a significant date that forever changed England’s entire culture, language and structure of society; this event helped shape England and the United Kingdom into what it is today. The truth is, this is the date when England was conquered and defeated and then occupied by a foreign power. Who wants to celebrate or honor that!?
However, is there anything positive that can be acknowledged on this anniversary? Without the Norman Conquest England would have developed very differently. Certainly the end result of this conquest, the by product of this invasion, is something to honor? The monarchy itself, although it did exist pre-1066, also was significantly changed and a descendant of William the Conqueror sits on the throne today. In fact, many people alive in Britain are descendants of William the Conqueror.
Much of this is speculative. In 50 years I will be 103 so chances are I will not be here, but you never know!? I am sure the occasion will be marked in someway and maybe a balance can be found and the good and the bad from this can be acknowledged.
After more than five years of marriage to HRH The Duke of Cambridge, his wife, the former Kate Middleton, is still often called Kate Middleton or many other incorrect titles. Her correct title, simply is, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. I swear if by some unfortunate tragedy the Duke of Cambridge were to wake up tomorrow to find that he is the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain the press and others would still call his wife Kate Middleton!
She is a Princess of the United Kingdom via her marriage to HRH The Duke of Cambridge, but because she was not born a member of the royal family she is not entitled to be called Princess Catherine. That right is reserved for women who are the daughter of the sovereign or the granddaughter of the sovereign in the male line. (an exception has been made for little Princess Charlotte of Cambridge who is a great-granddaughter of the sovereign in the male line…more on that in another post).
This was the same case/situation for the late Diana, Princess of Wales (her correct title after the divorce). While Diana was married to HRH The Princes of Wales her correct title was, again simply, HRH The Princess of Wales. Since Diana was not born either as daughter of the sovereign or the granddaughter of the sovereign in the male line it was not correct to call her “Princess Diana.”
The press never got that right and that is why they and others flounder in what to call the wife of the Duke of Cambridge…Duchess Kate: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (this way of referring to her indicates she is divorced for that is how Diana was referred to after her divorce): Princess Catherine: Princess Kate and a combination of all the above. All are wrong. Her correct style is, Her Royal Highness, and her correct title is…The Duchess of Cambridge. That is it! If you have a peerage title you are known by that peerage title (along with the style His or Her Royal Highness in the case of the royal family members that hold peerage titles) and not your first name. If you are a wife of a peer you take the feminine form of your husband’s title…in the case of the lovely lady formerly known as Kate Middleton, the title is Duchess of Cambridge.
In the future HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will be known as HRH The Princess of Wales when her father-in-law (the current Prince of Wales) becomes king and eventually invests his son as Prince of Wales. Further in the future, and God willing, when the Duke of Cambridge becomes King, as King William V of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (assuming he doesn’t select another regnal name) and the simple correct way to refer to him will be, His Majesty the King, and his his wife’s correct style and tittle will be Her Majesty The Queen. So lets stop calling her Kate Middleton.
Maybe tomorrow or very soon I will write a post on the history of titles and their correct forms and usage.
In examining the grief born by the Prince of Wales-Edward VII from July 1900 to August of 1901 our story turns to the relationship he had with his brother, HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
HRH Prince Alfred Ernest Albert was born on August 6, 1844 and was the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was created Duke of Edinburgh by his mother in 1866 and he succeeded his paternal uncle Ernst II as the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Empire on August 22, 1893.
On 23 January 1874, the Duke of Edinburgh married Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, the second (and only surviving) daughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and his wife Marie of Hesse and by Rhine (daughter of Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Wilhelmine of Baden) at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg. The marriage was not a happy one and the Duchess of Edinburgh was thought haughty by London Society. Perhaps there was great truth to this claim and it is evident by her displeasure when she learned that she had to yield precedence to the Princess of Wales and all of Queen Victoria’s daughters.
The Duchess of Edinburgh persistently insisted on taking precedence before the Princess of Wales (the future Queen Alexandra) because she considered the Princess of Wales’ family (King Christian IX and the rest of the Danish Royal Family) as inferior to their own. The Duchess ‘ father, Emperor Alexander II of Russia, shared this opinion. However, Queen Victoria refused this demand, yet in the end compromised with her daughter-in-law and granted her precedence immediately after the Princess of Wales.
To his credit, Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales did not allow this issue to dampen relations with his brother. In fact, shortly after the incident, The prince of Wales invited the Czarevitch (future Emperor Alexander III) and his family to Marlborough House, the London residence of the prince and Princess of Wales. During this visit he forged a close relationship with his nephew, the future Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. What I find interesting, and need to read more about this prejudice the Emperor Alexander II had toward the family of King Christian IX of Denmark, is that Alexander II’s own son, future Emperor Alexander III, was, like the prince of Wales, married to a daughter (Princess Dagmar) of King Christian IX of Denmark! Does this mean he didn’t approve of his own daughter-in-law?
On the death of his uncle, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on August 22, 1893, the duchy fell to the Duke of Edinburgh, since The Prince of Wales had renounced his right to the succession before he married. Alfred thereupon surrendered his seats in the House of Lords and the Privy Council, but he retained Clarence House as his London residence. At first regarded with some coldness as a “foreigner”, he gradually gained popularity. By the time of his death in 1900, he had generally won the good opinion of his subjects.
Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died of throat cancer on July 30, 1900. He was buried at the ducal family’s mausoleum in the Friedhof am Glockenbergin Coburg. Alfred was succeeded as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by his nephew, Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, the posthumous son of his youngest brother, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany because Alfred’s next brother, The Duke of Connaught, and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught, had renounced their succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
The Prince of Wales attended his brother’s funeral and at that time learned that his sister, Victoria, the Princess Royal (Empress Frederick) was also suffering from spinal cancer and was in great pain. Upon his return to London and his Marlborough residence it was reported that the grief stricken Prince of Wales sunk into a “black depression.”
Part III next week!!