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1. She was barely five feet tall.
Queen Victoria’s outspoken nature and imposing reputation belied her tiny stature–the monarch was no more than five feet tall. In her later years, she also grew to an impressive girth. Some accounts claim she had a 50-inch waist by the end of her life, a conclusion supported by the impressive size of a nightgown and pair of bloomers (underwear) belonging to Victoria that were auctioned off in 2009.
2. She proposed to her husband, Prince Albert, and not vice versa.
Victoria first met her future husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, when she was 16. He was her first cousin, the son of her mother’s brother; their mutual uncle, the ambitious Leopold, engineered the meeting with the idea that the two should marry. Victoria enjoyed Albert’s company from the beginning, and with Leopold’s encouragement she proposed to Albert (as she was the queen, he could not propose to her) on October 15, 1839, five days after he arrived at Windsor on a trip to the English court. They were married the following year. Their marriage was passionate — she wrote in her diary that “Without him everything loses its interest” — and produced nine children. On the other hand, Victoria was notoriously disenchanted by pregnancy and childbirth, calling it the “shadow-side of marriage.”
3. She was raised by a single mother, and later became a single mother herself.
Victoria was the only child of Edward, duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III. Her father died of pneumonia in 1820, when Victoria was less than a year old, and she was raised primarily at Kensington Palace, where she lived with her mother, the German-born Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg, duchess of Kent. Third in line for the throne (after the duke of York, who died in 1827, and the duke of Clarence, third son of George III, who would become William IV), the future queen became estranged from her mother, who was driven by the influence of her advisor Sir John Conroy to isolate the young Victoria from her contemporaries as well as her father’s family. Instead, Victoria relied on the counsel of her beloved uncle Leopold, as well as her governess Louise (afterward the Baroness) Lehzen, a native of Coburg. When she became queen and moved to Buckingham Palace, Victoria exiled her mother to a distant set of apartments and fired Conroy. After Albert’s untimely death from typhoid fever in 1861, Victoria descended into depression, and even after her recovery she would remain in mourning for the rest of her life.
4. Queen Victoria was the first known carrier of hemophilia, an affliction that would become known as the “Royal disease.”
Hemophilia, a blood clotting disorder caused by a mutation on the X chromosome, can be passed along the maternal line within families; men are more likely to develop it, while women are usually carriers. Sufferers can bleed excessively, since their blood does not properly coagulate, leading to extreme pain and even death. Victoria’s son Leopold, Duke of Albany, died from blood loss after he slipped and fell; her grandson Friedrich bled to death at age 2, while two other grandsons, Leopold and Maurice, died of the affliction in their early 30s. As Victoria’s descendants married into royal families throughout the Europe, the disease spread from Britain to the nobility of Germany, Russia and Spain. Recent research involving DNA analysis on the bones of the last Russian royal family, the Romanovs (who were executed in 1918 after the Bolshevik Revolution) revealed that Victoria’s descendants suffered from a subtype of the disorder, hemophilia B, which is far less common than hemophilia A and now appears to be extinct in the European royal lines.
5. At least six serious assassination attempts were made against Victoria during her reign — most of which while she was riding in a carriage.
In 1840, an 18-year-old named Edward Oxford fired two shots at the young queen’s carriage while she was riding in London. Accused of high treason, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Another would-be assassin, John Francis, made not one but two attempts to shoot the queen in her carriage in 1842. That same year, young John William Bean tried to fire a gun loaded with paper and tobacco at the queen, but the charge was insufficient. Two more carriage attacks came in 1849 and 1850–the first by “angry Irishman” William Hamilton and the second by ex-Army officer Robert Pate, who hit the queen with his cane. Finally, in March 1882, a disgruntled Scottish poet named Roderick Maclean shot at Victoria with a pistol while her carriage was leaving the Windsor train station. It was supposedly Maclean’s eighth attempt to assassinate the queen; he was also found to be insane, and sentenced to life in an asylum. In the wake of an assassination attempt, Victoria’s popularity usually soared among the British public.
Queen Victoria Trivia
Queen Victoria was Britain's monarch for 63 years, from 1837 until her death in 1901. Because her reign spanned so much of the 19th century and her nation dominated world affairs during that time, her name came to be associated with the period.
The woman for whom the Victorian Era was named was not necessarily the stern and remote figure we assume we know. Indeed, Victoria was far more complex than the foreboding image found in vintage photographs. Here are six major pieces of trivia about the woman who ruled Britain, and an empire that spanned much of the world, for six decades.
9 Her Mother Couldn&rsquot Handle Her
Victoria was a stubborn child. She fought every order her mother gave her. Her mother nicknamed her &ldquoPocket Hercules&rdquo for her strong will. It was a cute name for a child but not one that came from affection. Instead, it came from the vicious struggles in an unhappy home.
&ldquoToday the little mouse was so unmanageable that I nearly cried,&rdquo her mother wrote in her diary. In Victoria&rsquos early years, her mother&rsquos diary was filled with these desperate cries for help against the tyranny of her toddler.
Victoria&rsquos very first memory was of fighting with her mother. She had gotten in trouble, and her mother had threatened that her uncle would punish her if she cried. Ever defiant, Victoria spent the next weeks screaming as loud as she could every time her uncle walked by.
Henry V: 5 facts you might not know about the king’s softer side
Fretting about the dispossessed and trying to save heretics from the flames aren't acts often associated with one of England's great military heroes. But King Henry V did a lot more than put hapless Frenchmen to the sword on the battlefield. As Malcolm Vale reveals, the hero of Agincourt was also a sovereign with a softer side.
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Published: November 1, 2019 at 9:08 am
As Netflix releases The King, starring Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson, find out more about the caring side of Henry V…
Henry V was genuinely worried about the plight of the poor
Henry V was an exceptionally hard-working king. He spent as much, if not more, of his time dealing with the burdensome affairs of church and state as he did on military matters. Henry’s direct intervention in the business of ruling, his speaking voice, and his decisive – often abrupt – manner are spelt out in the surviving documents. Some of these are endorsed with his signature, or ‘sign manual’, in the form ‘RH’ (Rex Henricus or Roy Henry).
Around one in 10 of these documents survive today, and some are annotated in the king’s own hand. His extraordinary grasp of detail and his concern that a just resolution be reached, are striking. Humble men and women, not only the great and good (or not so good), sought his judgment, his pardon and his mercy. Their petitions to him are witness to that.
So, after receiving a petition from some needy supplicants, in April 1419 he ordered his officers:
“To do justice unto them, and especially so that the poorer party shall suffer no wrong.” Similarly in May 1421, petitioned by a poor woman, he instructed that she should “receive justice the more favourably, considering the poverty of the said Margery”.
A particularly striking case was that of Robert Gunthorpe, a London carter, who in February 1419 told the king that he had been in charge of a brewer’s dray, carrying a consignment of ale for the royal household, which had to be delivered to the Tower of London. But, as he got near to the Barbican, the cart was overturned, and the barrels of ale broken open, for the horses had “bolted, because of the great fear they had of the roaring of the king’s lions [in the Lion Tower there] and… unless he receives your merciful grace and succour… he will be forced to pay for the said ale… but as he is only a poor labourer, who has to work for his living, he requests pardon for its loss…” Henry granted his petition.
Here then was a king who felt what seems a genuine concern for the welfare of his subjects.
The king tried to save the lives (and souls) of heretic
“It seemed to him that he was better suited to be a man of the church than a soldier, and that his eldest brother seemed to him to be more suited to being a soldier than the said king…” Remarkable as it may appear today, given the king’s reputation as one of England’s great military heroes, this contemporary description of Henry V wasn’t so far from the truth.
Henry was a vigorous monastic reformer. He created two new monastic foundations during his reign – the Carthusian monastery of Sheen and the Brigittine convent of Syon, both on the Thames – and also attempted a reform of the older-established religious orders. The black monks – the Benedictines – rich and heavily endowed, should, he thought, be restored to the ascetic and austere religious life advocated by their founder, St Benedict. In May 1421, the king assembled 60 English abbots and priors, and over 300 monks of the order, at Westminster and personally addressed them on their shortcomings. If the church could, or would not set its house in order, he would do it for them.
Henry was a studious, bookish prince, and he listened to the dictates of his conscience. That conscience may not have been unduly disturbed by episodes such as the notorious killing of prisoners at Agincourt, yet this was by no means unprecedented in later medieval warfare.
Here was a king who at least tried to practise what he preached. He was not a bigot. He remonstrated with the dissident Sir John Oldcastle, attempting to persuade him of (what Henry regarded) as the error of his ways. In 1410, Henry, as prince, tried to save the life (and soul) of John Badby as he was being burned as a condemned heretic. And he pardoned large numbers of Sir John’s Lollard followers (religious radicals fiercely critical of the established church) convicted for their parts in the Oldcastle rising of 1414.
Henry V played the harp, the flute and the recorder
The hero of Agincourt has traditionally been more associated with trebuchets than treble clefs. But, in reality, Henry V loved music – and he wasn’t content with passively listening to it. Henry, like the biblical king David, had learned the harp at an early age, and continued to play into later life. We know that a new harp, with a leather case and 12 spare strings, was dispatched across the channel to him in France, while was on campaign there in September 1421.
Henry also played the recorder and the flute. And he found time to compose settings of the Gloria and Sanctus from the Mass. (Musicological opinion once attributed these to Henry IV but is now confident that they were crafted by his son.) This is sophisticated choral polyphony, worthy of the best composers of church music of his time. Its authorship is identified by the words ‘Roy Henry’ in the British Library’s Old Hall manuscript of contemporary musical Mass settings.
Henry’s band of secular minstrels went everywhere with him. He even remembered them as he lay dying at the Castle of Vincennes to the east of Paris, when he gave, “by word of mouth”, life annuities to 11 of them.
The king spoke the people’s language
“Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well.” With these opening words of address in some of his letters, Henry V made himself part of a momentous process in the history of our language and our political culture. If we’re looking for that rare phenomenon – a permanent legacy left by a medieval ruler – the establishment of English as a language of government, administration, politics and diplomacy was, in large part, the work of Henry V.
Before Henry’s reign, England’s rulers corresponded with their subjects in Latin and Norman French. Middle English had gained ground as a literary medium in the so-called ‘Age of Chaucer’ (1350–1400). But it was not until Henry V composed his first letters, instructions and memoranda in English that it began to be used in diplomatic and political circles.
Henry’s subjects soon followed his example. The London Brewers’ Guild, in July 1422, resolved to keep their records no longer in French but in English. They were in turn followed by the London Goldsmiths, while other civic bodies – at Bristol (1416) and York (1419) – had already begun to do so.
It’s been claimed that the ‘triumph of English’ was a form of ‘redemption’ of the language from its subservience to foreign tongues. But there may be another explanation. In May 1420, Henry V’s Treaty of Troyes with France upheld the separate existences of the two kingdoms in a future Anglo-French dual monarchy. Both countries were to keep their own laws, customs, governments and, it seems, languages.
In 1417 Henry began to write from France to his English subjects in their vernacular tongue. But his Norman and other French subjects were always addressed in their own vernacular language. The creation of the Anglo-French union enhanced, rather than suppressed, the separate political and linguistic identities of the two peoples.
The English language had little impact outside the British Isles for hundreds of years – it had to wait until the 18th century to be ‘discovered’ in continental Europe. But Henry V had started an unstoppable movement. To this day, Royal Letters of Assent to Acts of Parliament begin with the words ‘Trusty and well-beloved…’
Henry V gave peace a chance
For 600 years, Henry V’s legacy has been dominated by his feats on the battlefield. Historian Keith Dockray captured this reputation perfectly when he wrote that Henry was “a warlord… who clearly enjoyed campaigning and felt most at ease in the company of his comrades in arms”.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that Henry was a peace-maker, who actively sought to reconcile the two warring kingdoms of England and France. Towards the end of his reign, he wrote in Anglo-German diplomatic instructions: “What good and profit might arise if there were peace and rest among Christian princes.” He was, he said, “now [in December 1421] at the final point and conclusion of his labours and, through God’s grace and the help of his allies and friends, shall soon bring this war to an end”.
In the event, Henry didn’t realise this ambition – his premature death in August 1422 put paid to that. But there’s evidence that, during his last two years, he was seeking a resolution of the conflict that had set England and France at odds for a century. Intermediaries, both papal and secular, were acting on his behalf to explore avenues leading towards a peace settlement. We do not know what form that might have taken, and whether a long-term partition of the kingdom between the English and French kings might have resulted from it – or whether a longer-lasting dual monarchy of England and France, as set out in Henry’s peace treaty with France at Troyes in May 1420, might have been a viable option.
With hindsight, it’s easy for us to dismiss such possibilities, supporting the inevitable collapse of any Anglo-French union – but the picture was by no means so clear in 1422. At the time there were those, even in France, who saw Henry as a potential saviour, rather than destroyer, of the French kingdom. And he stood head and shoulders above contemporaries.
Unlike the insane Charles VI of France, his disinherited, inexperienced and untried son the Dauphin Charles, or the bankrupt and embattled German emperor Sigismund, Henry V was a true king.
Malcolm Vale is emeritus research fellow in modern history at St John’s College, Oxford. He specialises in Anglo-French history during the late Middle Ages.
At 6 a.m. on June 20, 1837, Victoria was woken from her bed at and informed that her uncle, King William IV, had suffered a heart attack and died during the night. Less than a month after turning 18, Victoria was Queen.
Less than a year after Queen Victoria's birth, her father, Edward, Duke of Kent (the fourth son of George III) died of pneumonia, leaving the young princess to be raised by her mother. Following his death, Victoria's mother, Duchess Victoria, was prepared to rule alongside her daughter if Victoria's uncle died and she ascended to the throne before she was officially of age. For this reason, Victoria's mother used a strict code of discipline to shape the Queen-to-be. Later known as the "Kensington System," it involved a strict timetable of lessons to improve Victoria's morality and intellect.
This meant she rarely got to interact with children her own age because of the demands on her time. Princess Victoria was under constant adult supervision and was also made to share a bedroom with her mother until she became Queen.
10. There lots of places around the world named after Victoria
Cities, towns, schools and parks are just some of the places named after Victoria. The queen inspired Lake Victoria in Kenya, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Victoria Park in Bhavnagar, India. Canada named two of its cities after her (Regina and Victoria), while Australia named two of its states after the monarch (Queensland and Victoria).
20 Things You Didn't Know About Victoria Day
There’s a joke about the weather Toronto’s been experiencing for the last week or two – it’s been ‘raining’ longer than Queen Victoria.
Actually, that’s not true – the British monarch was the longest sitting sovereign in history, keeping her seat on the throne for an astounding 63 years, 216 days.
And Canada has been celebrating the date of her 1819 birth since it was declared a holiday in this country in 1845. It became a legal day off after the monarch’s death in 1901.
But while the day bears her name, it’s actually come to be the date that all ruling monarch’s birth dates are marked in this country – including the current Queen, who actually entered the world on April 21.
Everyone knows about the sometimes repressed times known as the Victorian era. But there’s a lot about the woman we owe the first unofficial long weekend of our summer to every year that you may not have realized.
With that in mind, here are the 20 things you never knew about Queen Victoria or her holiday – or had long since forgotten.
1. Victoria Day is a Canadian tradition and doesn’t actually exist in most of England. But it is celebrated in parts of Scotland, especially Edinburgh, where it remains an official holiday.
2. While the holiday moves around a lot now (falling this year on May 19th), the original rules stated it be celebrated annually on May 24th, regardless of what day that was, unless it was a Sunday – and then the observance would be moved to the 25th.
That changed with an amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952, when the government declared Victoria Day would come on the Monday preceding the 25th of May. It’s been there ever since.
And those of us who appreciate our long weekends are glad they made the change or we’d all be working on Monday – and getting Sunday off.
3. Victoria Day is a legal Canadian stat, which means it’s also observed in Quebec. But the idea of honouring a British monarch doesn’t sit well with many in Le Belle Province, where it’s known it be another name. Up until three years ago, it was called Fête de Dollard after Adam Dollard des Ormeaux a French hero who helped lead a force in what is now Montreal against the Iroquois in 1660.
In 2003, it was renamed National Patriots Day in Quebec, ignoring the Queen reference altogether.
4. When Victoria was just a little girl, she was known by her nickname, Drina.
5. Despite being born in England, Victoria only spoke German up until the age of three.
6. She was the first member of the Royal Family known to suffer from hemophilia, a fact that had many questioning the circumstances of her parentage.
7. She married Prince Albert in 1840, although they’d known each other since she was 16. And it really was a family affair. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was her first cousin and his father was her mother’s brother!
8. Because she was Queen, she had to propose to Albert, and not vice versa.
9. She took over the throne in 1837, after the death of William IV. She was just 18 years old.
10. Despite the somewhat imposing figure she’s been portrayed as in history, the real Victoria didn’t completely measure up. She stood just 5 feet tall.
11. She was the subject of at least six serious assassination attempts.
In 1840, an 18-year-old named Edward Oxford took two shots at her carriage as she was riding in London. He was accused of high treason but found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Two years later, a man named John Francis fired a gun at her carriage, but missed. He was caught, convicted of treason, but avoided the death penalty and was shipped to a penal colony.
Less than two months later, a youngster named John William Bean fired ammo made out of tobacco and paper at the Queen.
And in 1849, it happened again when William Hamilton, who history books describe as an ‘angry Irishman’, fired a pistol at her carriage. He pled guilty and was also exiled to a penal colony.
They say if you stay around in politics long enough, you’re bound to make enemies. And Victoria was living proof of that. The Queen was set upon again in 1850, when ex-Army officer Robert Pate hit her with his cane. He pleaded insanity but the courts didn’t buy it, leaving him to the same fate as Hamilton.
Incredibly, in 1882, there was yet another attempt on her life, this time by Roderick Maclean, who also missed her with a bullet from a gun. He was found insane and sent to an asylum for life.
12. When you see pictures or actresses playing Victoria, she’s almost always wearing black. That’s because when her husband died in December 1861, she went into seclusion and a perpetual state of mourning and never wore any other colour.
It’s long been rumoured she later married her Scottish butler John Brown, but that’s never been proven. She didn’t get back into the public eye until the early 1870’s.
13. She became a grandma at 39 and a great grandmother twenty years later.
14. The mother of nine suffered one of the major drawbacks of such a long life, tragically outliving three of her own children.
15. She was the first Queen of Canada, sitting on the throne when this country was founded in 1867.
16. She liked to drink a concoction called Vin Mariani. One of its main ingredients? Cocaine.
17. It’s said it was Victoria who started the tradition of a bride wearing white. Before her wedding a woman would simply wear her best dress, no matter what colour it was.
18. She was named the 18th greatest Briton in a BBC poll conducted in 2002. Winston Churchill was number one. Victoria was beaten out by, among others, Princess Diana (#3), William Shakespeare (#5) and John Lennon (#8). She was followed on the list by Paul McCartney.
19. We all know that Victoria in B.C. is named after her, but so is the capital of Saskatchewan – Regina.
20. She was the only British monarch in modern music history to be honoured by name in the title of a rock and roll song. “Victoria”, by the Kinks, reached number 62 on the Billboard charts in 1970, although the record did understandably better on this side of the border.
Paul McCartney famously wrote his 23-second ditty “Her Majesty” tune for the Beatles’ Abbey Road LP, but it wasn’t put out as a single and it never mentioned the current Queen by name.
The Mall in front of Buckingham palace and the Queen Victoria memorial, 18 April 2004. Photo credit Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images.
Victoria gave the world the Playboy King
Before Prince Andrew, there was Edward VII, The Playboy King. Bertie set a new royal standard in affairs, drinking, gambling, and basically being an extremely accomplished all-round ne'er-do-well. Bathing in champagne was one of his preferred pastimes and just the tip of a rather debauched iceberg. Being born in such a repressive society may have instilled a need in Bertie to rebel, but more likely an indulgent yet distant mother led to Bertie behaving like a hell-raising and party-loving rock star before the likes of Led Zeppelin had even strummed a chord, banged a drum, or screamed, "Oh baby, baby, baby."
According to Factinate, Bertie once remarked, "I don't mind praying to the eternal Father but I must be the only man in the country afflicted with an eternal mother." Like most people who act out, inside there was probably a little, lost child looking for the attention their parents never gave them. To rub salt into an already raging wound, Bertie also had to wait 60 long years before he got to step up to the throne and wear the crown. That's gotta hurt. Sadly for Bertie, his reign was rather short-lived compared to his mother's epic 63-year stint. After nine years, three months, and 12 days of rule, he died of pneumonia in 1910. The moral of the story is — mothers don't let your sons grow up to be cowboys or irresponsible and frustrated princes.
Bedroom Door Locks and More: 5 Things to Know About Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's 'Full-On Passionate Marriage'
Victoria was the teen queen who went on to have the longest reign until Queen Elizabeth passed that milestone in September 2015. And just like Elizabeth, Victoria’s youth and determination aided her well early in her reign. “Victoria was tiny and very, very strong willed,” says historian Daisy Goodwin, the creator of the PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, which premieres January 15.
And those characteristics are attracting a new wave of fans of the show, which stars Dr. Who’s Jenna Coleman. “Most period dramas are watched by the over-50s, but in the U.K., this has the youngest demographic of any period drama ever,” adds Goodwin, who also wrote the novel, Victoria, based on the royal’s diaries.
Here are five things to know about the real Queen Victoria:
1. She was the “Taylor Swift” of the royals. Just 18 when she inherited the throne in 1837, “overnight she was the most famous and most powerful woman in the world,” says Goodwin. “That is a huge deal. After a succession of old men, they had teenage woman running the country.”
2. Victoria and Albert were a “genuine” love match. “They had this real bond because they had both lost a parent — she was fatherless and Albert was motherless,” says Goodwin. “He is an interesting character as, unlike most men of his generation, he was not fooling around. He fell for Victoria but never looked at another woman.”
3. Theirs was a “passionate” relationship. Having “nine children is a testament to that,” adds Goodwin. “We think of Victoria as a boot-faced old bag, but she was a young woman who loved dancing, sex and all those things.”
4. The royal couple valued their privacy. When Albert designed Osbourne House (a retreat on the Isle of Wight), he wanted “to make sure when they got into bed he could lock the bedroom door from the bed, in true James Bond style,” she says. “If they wanted to get it on, they could make sure they weren’t disturbed.”
5. Victoria was a trailblazer for Queen Elizabeth. “Victoria and Albert made [the monarchy] respectable and popular – it had been neither of those things before they came to the throne. They had children, they were public servants – they were a model of bourgeois virtue, role models,” the historian adds. “In 1848, three or four monarchies were deposed, but not in Britain, and that’s because the British monarchy didn’t seem remote.”
FREE LESSON PLANS
Queen Isabella I
6 AP Spanish Lesson Plans Based On
The Life and Times of Queen Isabella I of Spain
1. Discovered the New World by Sponsoring Christopher Columbus
Quite possibly her most impactful accomplishment on the world, Queen Isabella funded Christopher Columbus’ mission to sail to India by heading west. The Spanish Queen agreed to pay a sum of money as a concession from monarch to subject. Columbus would set sail on his famous voyage on August 3, 1492 and as history would show, he did not reach his intended destination but instead discovered the Americas. After his return to Spain, Columbus was greeted with a hero’s welcome and started a Golden Age of exploration and colonization, which brought even more fame and fortune to Queen Isabella I.
2. Her Husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, was Her Cousin
The marriage between Isabella and Aragon was arranged when she was just six years old. Isabella’s half-brother King Henry IV of Castile arranged it as well as attempting to line up several other suitors. Isabella managed to evade all of them and remained adamant on marrying Ferdinand. To legally marry Ferdinand, she needed to obtain a dispensation from the Pope. The couple then secretly married in 1469, which subsequently united Eastern and Western Spain turning the nation into a dominant European power.
3. The Spanish Inquisition was Established Under Her
Isabella was a pious Catholic and in accordance with the Catholic Monarchs, pursued a policy of religious and national unity. She believed it was necessary to ensure doctrinal uniformity to the Church and with her husband started the Spanish Inquisition in 1478. It was dictated that all Jews and Muslims in Spain either convert to Christianity or be exiled. An estimated 40,000 Jews (half of the Jewish population) emigrated from the country. In an attempt to bring unity this caused massive religious tension and violence.
4. She Was the First Woman to Appear On a US Coin
Queen Isabella was the first named woman to appear on a United States coin. In 1893, 400 years after Christopher Columbus’ maiden voyage, a commemorative quarter was issued. That same year, she also became the first woman featured on a commemorative US postage stamp. Isabella was featured alongside Columbus on the eight-cent stamp.
5. She Was Outlived by Only 3 of Her 5 Children
Isabella and Ferdinand had five children: Isabella, John, Joanna, Maria and Catherine. All five of the children married but Isabella and John died before the Queen without lasting offspring. Joanna was nicknamed “Joanna the mad” for her mental instability and married Philip the Handsome. Catherine of Aragon first married Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, and then after his death the brother King Henry VIII of England. Catherine’s marriage made Isabella the grandmother of Mary I of England.
Interested in learning more about Isabella I? Check out our latest set of lesson plans in our Monarchs Who Shaped History series about the Spanish Monarch!
13 Things You Didn't Know About Lily of the Valley
Like why the delicate flower is a favorite of royal brides, for starters.
This lily isn't even really a lily.
Legend has it that Lily of the valley sprang from Eve's tears when she was exiled from the Garden of Eden.
Queen Victoria, Princess Astrid of Sweden, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton all used the white, bell-shaped buds in their wedding bouquets.
Another reason it's a wedding-bouquet favorite.
Its scientific name majalis or maialis, means "of or belonging to May," so if you were born in that month, Lily of the valley is your birth flower.
Including Asia, Europe, and North America, where it grows naturally in temperate forests.
Lily of the valley can live for decades in cool climates, but doesn't survive for long in hot weather.
It became Finland's national flower in 1967 and was the floral emblem of Yugoslavia. France also celebrates La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day) on May 1.
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Emeralds stand in nicely for the color on these Van Cleef & Arpels earrings.
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Despite its name, the flower is not a lily and is scientifically classified as part of the Asparagaceae family.
The flower is delicate and beautiful, but can be poisonous when ingested causing abdominal pain, blurred vision, drowsiness, and reduced heart rate.
Lily of the valley was used to combat gas poisoning particularly during WWI, and used as a treatment of heart disorders, epilepsy, and skin burns.