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  The history of royalty from ancient to modern times. ••• Check out my website ⬇️

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A love letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn dated 1528. Around this time the French ambassador wrote to Francis I of France saying, "I now think the King so much in love that only God can get him out of this mess." #TudorTuesday

Ever heard the saying "Veni, Vidi, Vici", meaning "I came, I saw, I conquered"? Many don't know the phrase was coined by Julius Caesar, Roman general and later dictator, after a brief and decisive military campaign. Caesar's assassination was immortalized in Shakespeare's play "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar" which follows the events leading up to and after the famous murder. His influence has been so significant in history that languages have used his name for the word "ruler"—"kaiser" in German and "czar" in Russian. Finally, the month he was born in, Quintilus, was renamed Julius (July) in his honor.

Marguerite Louise of Orleans is among those royal women in history who were forced into marriages that were neither wanted or successful.
Growing up she was raised to be the wife of Louis XIV, her cousin. These plans fell through as the king had other intentions for her—a marriage to Cosimo III de Medici.
In April 1661, Marguerite married Cosimo by proxy. He was the complete opposite to the high spirited conversationalist that Marguerite was known to be.
So of course, their union proved unsuccessful. Now living with her husband, Marguerite began to hate all things Italian. She refused to learn the language and begged Louis XIV to let her enter a convent. At one point her childhood governess was sent to reason with her. She eventually withdrew herself to one of the Medici estates and warned Cosimo that if he followed her she'd hurl a missal (book containing instructions for Catholic mass) at his head.
She did eventually return but later demanded separation saying, "You make the unhappiness of my life, and I make the unhappiness of yours." She returned to France where her ridicule of the Italians amused Louis XIV.

Nell Gwyn, a mistress of King Charles II of England, was born to peasant parents. To earn money she took a job selling fruit in the King's company playhouse. This secured her a reputation as an orange seller, people who were known to sell not only fruit, but also sexual favors to their customers.
It was after Charles II's restoration that women were finally allowed to become stage actresses. Nell Gwyn quickly rose to this position. She found her niche in comedy and was the one of the first women to dress as a man on stage.
Seeking to replace Barbara Palmer, the Duke of Buckingham suggested 17 year old Nell as a possible companion to the king. She asked for £500 to compensate for leaving the stage. Her price was refused, but a year later a romance struck up between the king and Nell. Her two previous lovers had been named Charles, and so she called the king her Charles the Third.
Nell remained the king's mistress for twenty years, had 2 children by him, and even became a figurehead of the Protestant faction. On one occasion she was mistaken for another one of the king's mistresses, who was a French Catholic, and was attacked by a mob while in her carriage. She opened her window and said, "Good people, you are mistaken; I am the Protestant whore."

In her lifetime Empress Dowager Cixi rose through the ranks of Chinese society, beginning as a low ranking concubine and dying as China's last ever Empress.
Her rise to power began as a concubine of Emperor Xianfeng. When in 1856 she became mother to his only son, her status was immediately elevated. The emperor died in 1861, leaving his son by Cixi to become Emperor Tongzhi. Empress Ci'an, Xianfeng's senior consort, Cixi, and Prince Gong all ruled as regents.
Tongzhi died young at age 17, and Cixi's three-year-old nephew Guangxu was named heir. Tongzhi had no children at the time of his death, but his wife was pregnant. Alute, his wife, mysteriously died during the debate over the succession.
In 1881, Empress Ci'an died and in 1884 Cixi dismissed Prince Gong. She was now the sole holder of power.
The day before Cixi's death in 1908, Guangxu's death was announced. In 2008, Chinese researchers announced that the emperor had died of arsenic poisoning. Since then suspicious fingers have been pointed at Empress Dowager Cixi.

Today is the 179th anniversary of Queen Victoria's coronation! Her experience is well documented in her diaries, in which she writes "[I] shall ever remember this day as the proudest in my life." She made sure to document the smallest of details, such as Lord Melbourne's fatherly look of pride, how the Archbishop put the ring on the wrong finger and the subsequent difficulty in taking it off, and also the agitated feeling she felt beforehand that made her think something bad would happen to her during the ceremony.

On June 25, 1533, Mary Tudor died at the age of 37. She had briefly served as Queen of France when married to Louis XII of France, but for almost all of her adult life she would be married to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Brandon, a close friend of Henry VIII, had married Mary secretly on her return from France.
As the princess who made a secret marriage for love, Mary is a star of the Tudor era. While she was Queen of France, Anne Boleyn served in her court as a maid of honor. Over 15 years later, that same Anne threatened the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. The Duchess of Suffolk remained in staunch support of her sister-in-law Katherine, even refusing to come to court while Boleyn was there. In 1532, Mary is described by the Spanish ambassador as using "opprobrious language" about Boleyn. Her husband, Charles Brandon, remained in support of the king's affair, except for in 1530 when Anne offended him. He complained to the king and was temporarily banished from court.
In September of the same year as her death, Charles Brandon, now 48, married again, this time to 13 year old Katherine Willoughby. Their marriage was overshadowed by the birth of Elizabeth I, taking place the same day in the same palace. •••
Tudor Tuesday is back!
Want to read more about the Tudors? Click the link in my bio to read about Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon's coronation!

Princess Alix of Hesse preparing for her first ball. The princess later married Tsar Nicholas II, and as such was the last tsarina of Russia.

Cleopatra's relationship with Julius Caesar may be better known, but her affair with Mark Antony was more impactful. It last 11 years, through two of his marriages, produced at least three children, and caused war.
Their relationship began with his inquiring on her role after Caesar's assassination, welcomed the rage of Octavian, and ended in both their suicides. To read more about Cleopatra's life, and her relationships with the most powerful men of her day click the link in my bio and read my latest post on www.royalhistories.com! -
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Portrait of Louis XIV of France at the age of 17, by Charles François Poerson. Louis XIV is shown as the Roman god Jupiter, who was king of the gods.

Marie-Thérèse-Louise de Savoie-Carignan, princesse de Lamballe, was a close companion of Marie Antoinette and a tragic victim of the French Revolution.
In 1770, the young, widowed princesse de Lamballe went to live at the court of Versailles where she served the newly arrived Marie Antoinette.
During the revolution, her salon in Paris became the meeting place of royalists who continued to support Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. She was also accused of aiding Marie Antoinette's correspondence with foreign powers.
After the official overthrow of the French monarchy in 1792 the princesse was imprisoned with the queen, before being transported to La Force prison. Her crime was loyalty to the royal family.
At this point the princesse refused to swear an oath against the king, and as punishment she was given over to the crowds of Paris. What is known for sure is that she was decapitated and her head was paraded on a stick outside Marie Antoinette's window, however many accounts also suggest she was raped and mutilated by the crowd.
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Anne de Pisseleu, duchesse d'Étampes was the most influential of Francis I of France's mistresses. Anne came to court as a maid of honor to Francis's mother, Louise of Savoy, in 1522. She and Francis met when he returned from imprisonment in Spain in 1526 and in 1533 he married her to the governor of Brittany and made him the Duc d'Étampes.
Anne was well known for her intellect and beauty, but also her rivalry with Diane de Poiters, the mistress of Francis I's son and heir Henry—the future Henry II of France. Anne associated herself with the rival party of Henry II and when he became king in 1547 she was dismissed from the Valois court and died in obscurity.
In this Corneille de Lyon painting, Anne wears a pendant with the initial "A" and a pearl (remind you of someone?). The painting now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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