The actual power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to completely autocratic. Traditionally and in most cases, the monarchs post is inherited and lasts until death or abdication, occasionally this might create a situation of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election. Finally, there have been cases where the term of a reign is either fixed in years or continues until certain goals are achieved. Thus there are widely divergent structures and traditions defining monarchy, Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Currently,47 sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state,19 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. The monarchs of Cambodia and Malaysia reign, the word monarch comes from the Greek language word μονάρχης, monárkhēs which referred to a single, at least nominally absolute ruler. In current usage the word usually refers to a traditional system of hereditary rule.
Depending on the held by the monarch, a monarchy may be known as a kingdom, duchy, grand duchy, tsardom, sultanate, khaganate. The form of societal hierarchy known as chiefdom or tribal kingship is prehistoric, the Greek term monarchia is classical, used by Herodotus. The monarch in classical antiquity is often identified as king, the Chinese and Nepalese monarchs continued to be considered living Gods into the modern period. Since antiquity, monarchy has contrasted with forms of democracy, where power is wielded by assemblies of free citizens. In antiquity, monarchies were abolished in favour of such assemblies in Rome, much of 19th century politics was characterised by the division between anti-monarchist Radicalism and monarchist Conservativism. Many countries abolished the monarchy in the 20th century and became republics, advocacy of republics is called republicanism, while advocacy of monarchies is called monarchism. In the modern era, monarchies are more prevalent in small states than in large ones, most monarchs, both historically and in the modern day, have been born and brought up within a royal family, the centre of the royal household and court.
Growing up in a family, future monarchs are often trained for the responsibilities of expected future rule. Different systems of succession have been used, such as proximity of blood and agnatic seniority. While most monarchs have been male, many female monarchs have reigned in history, rule may be hereditary in practice without being considered a monarchy, such as that of family dictatorships or political families in many democracies. The principal advantage of hereditary monarchy is the continuity of leadership
John II Casimir Vasa
John II Casimir was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648–1660. In Poland, he is known and commonly referred as Jan Kazimierz and his parents were Sigismund III Vasa and Constance of Austria. His older brother, and predecessor on the throne, was Władysław IV Vasa and his reign commenced amid the confusion and disasters caused by the great revolt of the Cossacks under Chmielnicki, who had advanced into the very heart of Poland. The power of the king had been stripped of almost all its prerogatives by the influence of the nobles. Russia and Sweden, which had long been enemies of Poland, availed themselves of its distracted condition. George II Rakoczy of Transylvania invaded the Polish territory, while diet after diet was dissolved by abuses of the liberum veto, Charles X Gustav of Sweden triumphantly marched through the country, and occupied Kraków while John Casimir fled to Silesia.
During these long disturbances John Casimir, though feeble and of a disposition, frequently proved his patriotism. In the following year he retired to France, where he was treated by Louis XIV. His wife had died without issue before his abdication, related to the Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, he was the third and last monarch on the Polish throne from the House of Vasa. He was the last ruler of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth bearing a connection to the Jagiellon dynasty. John Casimir was born in Kraków on 22 March 1609 and his father, Sigismund III, the grandson of Gustav I of Sweden, had in 1592 succeeded his own father to the Swedish throne, only to be deposed in 1599 by his uncle, Charles IX of Sweden. This led to a long-standing feud wherein the Polish kings of the House of Vasa claimed the Swedish throne and his mother, Queen Constance, was the daughter of Charles II of Austria and Maria Anna of Bavaria and the younger sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. John Casimir for most of his life remained in the shadow of his older half-brother and he had few friends among the Polish nobility.
He did, display talent as a military commander, between 1632 and 1635, Władysław IV sought to enhance his brothers influence by negotiating a marriage for John Casimir to Christina of Sweden, to an Italian princess, but to no avail. In 1637 John Casimir undertook a mission to Vienna, which he abandoned to join the army of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1636 he returned to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and fell in love with Baroness Guldentern, in return, Władysław attempted to make him the sovereign of the Duchy of Courland, but this was vetoed by the Commonwealth parliament. He was freed by a mission of the appointed Voivode of Smolensk. In 1641 John Casimir decided to become a Jesuit, in 1642 he again left the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, accompanying his sister to Germany
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
The ceremony can be conducted for the monarchs consort, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event. A ceremony without the placement of a crown on the head is known as an enthronement. Coronations are still observed in the United Kingdom, Tonga, in addition to investing the monarch with symbols of state, Western-style coronations have often traditionally involve anointing with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called. Wherever a ruler is anointed in this way, as in Great Britain and Tonga, some other lands use bathing or cleansing rites, the drinking of a sacred beverage, or other religious practices to achieve a comparable effect. Such acts symbolise the granting of divine favour to the monarch within the relevant spiritual-religious paradigm of the country, in the past, concepts of royalty and deity were often inexorably linked. Rome promulgated the practice of worship, in Medieval Europe. Coronations were once a direct expression of these alleged connections. Thus, coronations have often been discarded altogether or altered to reflect the nature of the states in which they are held.
However, some monarchies still choose to retain an overtly religious dimension to their accession rituals, others have adopted simpler enthronement or inauguration ceremonies, or even no ceremony at all. In non-Christian states, coronation rites evolved from a variety of sources, for instance, influenced the coronation rituals of Thailand and Bhutan, while Hindu elements played a significant role in Nepalese rites. The ceremonies used in modern Egypt, Malaysia and Iran were shaped by Islam, Coronations, in one form or another, have existed since ancient times. Egyptian records show coronation scenes, such as that of Seti I in 1290 BC, judeo-Christian scriptures testify to particular rites associated with the conferring of kingship, the most detailed accounts of which are found in II Kings 11,12 and II Chronicles 23,11. Following the assumption of the diadem by Constantine and Byzantine emperors continued to wear it as the symbol of their authority. Although no specific coronation ceremony was observed at first, one gradually evolved over the following century, the emperor Julian was hoisted upon a shield and crowned with a gold necklace provided by one of his standard-bearers, he wore a jewel-studded diadem.
Later emperors were crowned and acclaimed in a manner, until the momentous decision was taken to permit the Patriarch of Constantinople to physically place the crown on the emperors head. Historians debate when exactly this first took place, but the precedent was established by the reign of Leo II. This ritual included recitation of prayers by the Byzantine prelate over the crown, after this event, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the ecclesiastical element in the coronation ceremonial rapidly develop. This was usually performed three times, following this, the king was given a spear, and a diadem wrought of silk or linen was bound around his forehead as a token of regal authority
Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots, known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, reigned over Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. Mary, the surviving legitimate child of James V of Scotland, was six days old when her father died. She spent most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents and he ascended the French throne as King Francis II in 1559, and Mary briefly became queen consort of France, until his death in December 1560. Widowed, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561, four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, but their union was unhappy. In February 1567, his residence was destroyed by an explosion, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, was generally believed to have orchestrated Darnleys death, but he was acquitted of the charge in April 1567, and the following month he married Mary. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, on 24 July 1567, she was forced to abdicate in favour of James VI, her one-year-old son by Darnley.
After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, she fled southwards seeking the protection of her first cousin once removed, perceiving her as a threat, Elizabeth had her confined in various castles and manor houses in the interior of England. After eighteen and a half years in custody, Mary was found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth in 1586 and was beheaded the following year. Mary was born on 7 or 8 December 1542 at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland, to King James V and his French second wife and she was said to have been born prematurely and was the only legitimate child of James to survive him. She was the great-niece of King Henry VIII of England, as her paternal grandmother, Margaret Tudor, was Henry VIIIs sister. A popular legend, first recorded by John Knox, states that James, hearing on his deathbed that his wife had given birth to a daughter, ruefully exclaimed, It cam wi a lass and it will gang wi a lass. His House of Stewart had gained the throne of Scotland by the marriage of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce, to Walter Stewart, the crown had come to his family through a woman, and would be lost from his family through a woman.
This legendary statement came true much later—not through Mary, but through her descendant Queen Anne, Mary was baptised at the nearby Church of St Michael shortly after she was born. As Mary was an infant when she inherited the throne, Scotland was ruled by regents until she became an adult. From the outset, there were two claims to the Regency, one from Catholic Cardinal Beaton, and the other from the Protestant Earl of Arran, Beatons claim was based on a version of the late kings will that his opponents dismissed as a forgery. Arran, with the support of his friends and relations, became the regent until 1554 when Marys mother managed to remove and succeed him. King Henry VIII of England took the opportunity of the regency to propose marriage between Mary and his own son, Prince Edward, hoping for a union of Scotland and England. The treaty provided that the two countries would remain separate and that if the couple should fail to have children the temporary union would dissolve
Wallis, Duchess of Windsor was an American socialite. Her third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, Walliss father died shortly after her birth, and she and her widowed mother were partly supported by their wealthier relatives. Her first marriage, to U. S. naval officer Win Spencer, was punctuated by periods of separation, in 1934, during her second marriage, to Ernest Simpson, she allegedly became the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales. Two years later, after Edwards accession as king, Wallis divorced her husband in order to marry Edward. She was instead styled as Her Grace, a style reserved for non-royal dukes and duchesses. Before and after World War II, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were suspected by many in government, in 1937, they visited Germany and met Adolf Hitler. In 1940, the Duke was appointed governor of the Bahamas, in the 1950s and 1960s, the Duke and Duchess shuttled between Europe and the United States living a life of leisure as society celebrities.
After the Dukes death in 1972, the Duchess lived in seclusion and was seen in public. Her private life has been a source of speculation. An only child, Bessie Wallis Warfield was born in Square Cottage at Monterey Inn and her mother was Alice Montague, a daughter of insurance salesman William Montague. Wallis was named in honour of her father and her mothers sister, Bessie. Her father died of tuberculosis on 15 November 1896, they lived with him at the four-story row house,34 East Preston Street, that he shared with his mother. In 1908, Walliss mother married her husband, John Freeman Rasin. There she became a friend of heiress Renée du Pont, a daughter of Senator T. Coleman du Pont of the du Pont family, a fellow pupil at one of Walliss schools recalled, She was bright, brighter than all of us. She made up her mind to go to the head of the class, Wallis was always immaculately dressed and pushed herself hard to do well. In April 1916, Wallis met Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr. a U. S. Navy aviator, at Pensacola, Florida and it was at this time that Wallis witnessed two airplane crashes about two weeks apart, resulting in a lifelong fear of flying.
The couple married on 8 November 1916 at Christ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Win, as her husband was known, was a heavy drinker. He drank even before flying and once crashed into the sea, in 1920, the Prince of Wales, visited San Diego, but he and Wallis did not meet
Dominions were semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867. They included Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and from the late 1940s India and Ceylon. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as autonomous Communities within the British Empire, earlier usage of dominion to refer to a particular territory dates to the 16th century and was used to describe Wales from 1535 to 1801 and New England between 1686 and 1689. At the outset, a distinction must be made between a British dominion and British Dominions, all territories forming part of the British Empire were British dominions but only some were British Dominions. At the time of the adoption of the Statute of Westminster, there were six British Dominions, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, at the same time there were many other jurisdictions that were British dominions, for example Cyprus. The Order in Council annexing the island of Cyprus in 1914 declared that, from 5 November, Dominion, as an official title, was conferred on the Colony of Virginia about 1660 and on the Dominion of New England in 1686.
These dominions never had full self-governing status, the creation of the short-lived Dominion of New England was designed—contrary to the purpose of dominions—to increase royal control and to reduce the colonys self-government. Under the British North America Act 1867, what is now eastern Canada received the status of Dominion upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America. However, it was at the Colonial Conference of 1907 when the colonies of Canada. Two other self-governing colonies—New Zealand and Newfoundland—were granted the status of Dominion in the same year and these were followed by the Union of South Africa in 1910 and the Irish Free State in 1922. The Statute of Westminster 1931 converted this status into legal reality, following the Second World War, the decline of British colonialism led to Dominions generally being referred to as Commonwealth realms and the use of the word dominion gradually diminished. Nonetheless, though disused, it remains Canadas legal title and the phrase Her Majestys Dominions is still used occasionally in legal documents in the United Kingdom.
The phrase His/Her Majestys dominions is a legal and constitutional phrase that refers to all the realms and territories of the Sovereign, for example, the British Ireland Act,1949, recognised that the Republic of Ireland had ceased to be part of His Majestys dominions. The sense of Dominion was capitalised to distinguish it from the general sense of dominion. The word dominions originally referred to the possessions of the Kingdom of England, oliver Cromwells full title in the 1650s was Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging. In 1660, King Charles II gave the Colony of Virginia the title of dominion in gratitude for Virginias loyalty to the Crown during the English Civil War, the Commonwealth of Virginia, a State of the United States, still has the Old Dominion as one of its nicknames. Dominion occurred in the name of the short-lived Dominion of New England, in all of these cases, the word dominion implied no more than being subject to the English Crown.
The foundation of Dominion status followed the achievement of internal self-rule in British Colonies, Colonial responsible government began to emerge during the mid-19th century
A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia, ceremonies may have a physical display or theatrical component, dance, a procession, the laying on of hands. A declaratory verbal pronouncement may explain or cap the occasion, for instance, I now pronounce you husband, I swear to serve and defend the nation. I declare open the games of, both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy
Palace of Fontainebleau
The Palace of Fontainebleau or Château de Fontainebleau is located 55 kilometres southeast of the centre of Paris, and is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The medieval castle and château was the residence of French monarchs from Louis VII through Napoleon III, Napoleon I abdicated his throne there before being exiled to Elba. Today, it is a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located in the commune of Fontainebleau. The earliest record of a castle at Fontainebleau dates to 1137. It became a residence and hunting lodge of the Kings of France because of the abundant game. It took its name one of the springs, the fountain de Bliaud, located now in the English garden. He commissioned the architect Gilles le Breton to build a palace in the new Renaissance style and it included monumental Porte Dorée, as its southern entrance. As well as a monumental Renaissance stairway, the portique de Serlio, beginning in about 1528, Francis constructed the Gallery Francis I, which allowed him to pass directly from his apartments to the chapel of the Trinitaires.
He brought the architect Sebastiano Serlio from Italy, and the Florentine painter Giovanni Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino, another Italian painter, Francesco Primaticcio from Bologna, joined in the decoration of the palace. Together their style of decoration became known as the first School of Fontainebleau and this was the first great decorated gallery built in France. Broadly speaking, at Fontainebleau the Renaissance was introduced to France, in about 1540, Francis began another major addition to the chateau. Using land on the east side of the chateau purchased from the order of the Trinitaires, he began to build a new square of buildings around a large courtyard. It was enclosed on the north by the wing of the Ministers, on the east by the wing of Ferrare, the chateau was surrounded by a new park in the style of the Italian Renaissance garden, with pavilions and the first grotto in France. Primaticcio created more monumental murals for the gallery of Ulysses, following the death of Francis I, King Henry II decided to continue and expand the chateau.
The King and his wife chose the architects Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant to do the work and they extended the east wing of the lower court, and decorated it with the first famous horseshoe-shaped staircase. In the oval court, they transformed the loggia planned by Francois into a Salle des Fétes or grand ballroom with a coffered ceiling. Facing the courtyard of the fountain and the pond, they designed a new building. At Henris orders, the Nymphe de Fontainebleau was installed at the entrance of Château dAnet
Church of England
The Church of England is the state church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor, the Church of England is the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It dates its establishment as a church to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury. The English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII sought to secure an annulment from Catherine of Aragon in the 1530s, the English Reformation accelerated under Edward VIs regents before a brief restoration of papal authority under Queen Mary I and King Philip. This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles, Nicene, in the earlier phase of the English Reformation there were both Catholic martyrs and radical Protestant martyrs. The phases saw the Penal Laws punish Roman Catholic and nonconforming Protestants, in the 17th century and religious disputes raised the Puritan and Presbyterian faction to control of the church, but this ended with the Restoration.
Papal recognition of George III in 1766 led to religious tolerance. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used a liturgy in English, the church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three known as Anglo-Catholic and Broad Church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the ordination of women and homosexuality, the church includes both liberal and conservative clergy and members. The governing structure of the church is based on dioceses, each presided over by a bishop, within each diocese are local parishes. The General Synod of the Church of England is the body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament, according to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the 1st or 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the Roman Empire. The earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native Britons is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as Tertullian, three Romano-British bishops, including Restitutus, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314.
Others attended the Council of Sardica in 347 and that of Ariminum in 360, Britain was the home of Pelagius, who opposed Augustine of Hippos doctrine of original sin. Consequently, in 597, Pope Gregory I sent the prior of the Abbey of St Andrews from Rome to evangelise the Angles and this event is known as the Gregorian mission and is the date the Church of England generally marks as the beginning of its formal history. A archbishop, the Greek Theodore of Tarsus, contributed to the organisation of Christianity in England, the Church of England has been in continuous existence since the days of St Augustine, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its episcopal head. Despite the various disruptions of the Reformation and the English Civil War, while some Celtic Christian practices were changed at the Synod of Whitby, the Christian Church in the British Isles was under papal authority from earliest times. The Synod of Whitby established the Roman date for Easter and the Roman style of monastic tonsure in Britain and this meeting of the ecclesiastics with Roman customs with local bishops was summoned in 664 at Saint Hildas double monastery of Streonshalh, called Whitby Abbey
James II of England
James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch of England and Ireland, the second surviving son of Charles I, he ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II. Members of Britains Protestant political elite increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and he was replaced by his eldest, Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. James made one attempt to recover his crowns from William. After the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamites at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and he lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV. James, the surviving son of King Charles I and his wife. Later that same year, he was baptised by William Laud and he was educated by private tutors, along with his brother, the future King Charles II, and the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham and Francis Villiers.
At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral, the position was honorary, but would become a substantive office after the Restoration. He was designated Duke of York at birth, invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642, as the Kings disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War, James stayed in Oxford, a Royalist stronghold. When the city surrendered after the siege of Oxford in 1646, in 1648, he escaped from the Palace, aided by Joseph Bampfield, and from there he went to The Hague in disguise. When Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed Jamess older brother as Charles II of England, Charles II was recognised as king by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, and was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1651. Although he was proclaimed King in Jersey, Charles was unable to secure the crown of England and consequently fled to France, like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne against the Fronde, and against their Spanish allies.
In the French army James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he ventures himself, in the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, but France, although hosting the exiles, had allied itself with Oliver Cromwell. In 1656, Charles turned instead to Spain – an enemy of France – for support, in consequence, James was expelled from France and forced to leave Turennes army. James quarrelled with his brother over the choice of Spain over France. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace, doubtful of his brothers chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy. Ultimately, he declined the position, by the year the situation in England had changed. After Richard Cromwells resignation as Lord Protector in 1659 and the subsequent collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, although James was the heir presumptive, it seemed unlikely that he would inherit the Crown, as Charles was still a young man capable of fathering children
Richard II of England
Richard II, known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed on 30 September 1399. Richard, a son of Edward, the Black Prince, was born in Bordeaux during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III. Richard was the brother of Edward of Angoulême, upon whose death, Richard. Upon the death of Richards father prior to the death of Edward III, Richard, by primogeniture, with Edward IIIs death the following year, Richard succeeded to the throne at the age of ten. During Richards first years as king, government was in the hands of a series of councils, most of the aristocracy preferred this to a regency led by the kings uncle, John of Gaunt, yet Gaunt remained highly influential. The first major challenge of the reign was the Peasants Revolt in 1381, the young king played a major part in the successful suppression of this crisis. By 1389 Richard had regained control, and for the eight years governed in relative harmony with his former opponents. In 1397, Richard took his revenge on the appellants, many of whom were executed or exiled, the next two years have been described by historians as Richards tyranny.
In 1399, after John of Gaunt died, the king disinherited Gaunts son, Henry of Bolingbroke, Henry invaded England in June 1399 with a small force that quickly grew in numbers. Claiming initially that his goal was only to reclaim his patrimony, meeting little resistance, Bolingbroke deposed Richard and had himself crowned as King Henry IV. Richard died in captivity in February 1400, he is thought to have starved to death. Richard was said to have tall, good-looking and intelligent. Less warlike than either his father or grandfather, he sought to bring an end to the Hundred Years War that Edward III had started, modern historians do not accept this interpretation, while not exonerating Richard from responsibility for his own deposition. While probably not insane, as historians of the 19th and 20th centuries believed, Richard of Bordeaux was the younger son of Edward, the Black Prince, and Joan of Kent. Edward, heir to the throne of England, had distinguished himself as a commander in the early phases of the Hundred Years War.
After further military adventures, however, he contracted dysentery in Spain in 1370 and he never fully recovered and had to return to England the next year. Joan of Kent had been at the centre of a dispute between Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, and William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, from which Holland emerged victorious. Less than a year after Hollands death in 1360, Joan married Prince Edward, since she was a granddaughter of King Edward I and a first cousin of King Edward III, the marriage required papal approval