Saturday, 5 March 2016

Edward The Confessor: A journey to the throne

The Long and Winding Journey of How Edward The Confessor became King Of England 
It wasn't an easy journey and took a lot of effort.
Edward's father, Ethelred-I-Need-To-Prepare-Some-More, was king. But he abdicated in favour of an invading Cnut.
Not a misspelling. I'm pretty sure he was called worse back in the day.
It was actually Sweyn Forkbeard, the Cnut the Great's father, who seized the throne from Ethelred The Unready, Edward The Confessor's father.
Have you noticed how difficult it is to make jokes out of the names of Kings back in the day?
As a result of the new change in leadership in England, Ex-King Ethelred-The-Unready, Edward-Not-Yet-A-Confessor, Alfred-Brother-Of-Edward (keep an eye on him), and the sister with the weird name, fled into exile to Normandy.
There went a bit of back and forth for the next few years.
Sweyn-Facial-Hair-Shaped-Like-A-Utensil died. Ethelred-Still-Unready was re-king'd (a real made-up term).
Then Ethelred died, and Edward's older half-brother, Edmund, was crowned.
Then Edmund died and Sweyn's son, Cnut the Great, became king.
Then Cnut dies and his son, HarthaCnut becomes king.
But, Half-A-Cnut can't be bothered with England and leaves a guy called Harold Harefoot in charge as regent.
Are we still following?
In 1036 Edward and his big brother, Alfred, both keen to get back the throne from those Cnuts, return to England.
However, Alfred gets captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and he gives him to Harold Harefoot, who then forces red-hot pokers into poor Alfred's eyes. Because that's how you make it so someone is unsuitable for kingship. It also happens to kill them. Yep, Alfred died.
Edward returns to exile in Normandy. At this point he can probably claim non-dom status and get tax relief (a little in-joke for anyone following the election campaign in the UK today).
In 1037 Harold-Thumps-His-Feet-A-Lot decided being a regent is boring and proclaims himself King.
Harthacnut is cnuting fuming, and planned to invade England to reclaim his kingship. However, the Bunny kicks the bucket in 1040, and Half-A-Cnut comes back unopposed.
Then Harthacnut dies and Edward, finally, at long last, it took forever, became King of England.

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