More tragic royals
(1284-1327) During his reign, Edward endured disagreements with his barons due to his habit of showering offices on his favourites at court. His wife, Queen Isabella, became the lover of one of Edward’s exiled barons, Roger Mortimer, and together they invaded England and had Edward imprisoned. Edward and Isabella’s son, Edward III, was put on the throne, with Isabella ruling as regent. Edward II died in mysterious circumstances – rumoured to have been murdered on the orders of his wife.
RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
(1473-c1483) It is still not clear exactly what happened to the Princes in the Tower, the only sons of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. On the death of their father they were taken to the Tower of London, supposedly for safekeeping in preparation for Edward’s coronation. Instead, their uncle took the throne for himself as Richard III and the boys disappeared. Rumours of their murder circulated, and in the 17th-century two young bodies were found in the Tower. It’s not known whether they belong to the missing princes.
LADY JANE GREY
(1537-1554) At VI was in the next 1553, death in his line of sister Edward according Mary to the will of their father, Henry VIII. Yet Mary’s strong Catholicism frightened the nobles who had supported the Reformation, and the dying Edward was persuaded to declare his 16-yearold cousin Lady Jane Grey his successor. She was deposed after nine days, then beheaded on Mary’s orders in 1554.
(1738-1820) George was the first Hanoverian monarch to be born in England and speak English as his first language. He suffered several bouts of mental illness during his reign, which coincided with the American Revolution – leading to the unfortunate moniker of the “Mad King who lost America”. For the last decade of his life he was permanently incapacitated, with his son ruling as Prince Regent. For many years, it was thought that George suffered from a physical condition called porphyria.
(1796–1817) Hailed nation, as the the only hope child of of a George IV was loved by the people who disapproved of the scandalous lives of her family. She died in childbirth at the age of 21 – plunging the country into mourning for George III’s only legitimate grandchild. Charlotte’s uncle, Prince Edward, quickly married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg to ensure an heir – the future Queen Victoria would be born 18 months after Charlotte’s death.
(1905-1919) The George of the youngest public V was eye child kept throughout of out his short life due to epilepsy, learning disabilities and possibly autism. From the age of 11, he stopped appearing in public, living in a cottage at the edge of the Sandringham estate – with a nanny and local children as companions.
(1930-2002) The Elizabeth a popular younger II, royal Margaret sister who of tried was to balance her party-girl lifestyle with her duty. Her doomed relationship with RAF officer Peter Townsend saw her consider marrying the divorced equerry, before changing her mind in favour of her responsibility to the Commonwealth. She would later marry photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones; their marriage ended in divorce after infidelities on both sides.