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The quizz of Great England

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#1
offline Little Miss Urchin

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At a quizz night this weekend (I shall refrain from mentioning where) I was told about the question...

'Who was the first Queen of England?'

Anyone want to hazzard a guess at the answer as I am amazed at how many people don't know.

#2
offline Rob_the_Saint

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I'll hazzard (sic) a guess at Mathilda.

#3
offline Mr Happy

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Yep. I'd concur with that one.

#4
offline Little Miss Urchin

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Who!? That's not the answer I had.

#5
offline Mr Happy

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Matilda is the Latin form of Maud, and the name of the only surviving legitimate child of King Henry I. She was born in 1101, generally it is said at Winchester, but recent research indicates that she was actually born at the Royal Palace in Sutton Courtenay (Berkshire).

In something of a political coup for her father, Matilda was betrothed to the German Emperor, Henry V, when she was only eight. They were married on 7th January 1114. She was twelve and he was thirty-two. Unfortunately there were no children and on the Emperor's death in 1125, Matilda was recalled to her father's court.

Matilda's only legitimate brother had been killed in the disastrous Wreck of the White Ship in late 1120 and she was now her father's only hope for the continuation of his dynasty. The barons swore allegiance to the young Princess and promised to make her queen after her father's death. She herself needed heirs though and in April 1127, Matilda found herself obliged to marry Prince Geoffrey of Anjou and Maine (the future Geoffrey V, Count of those Regions). He was thirteen, she twenty-three. It is thought that the two never got on. However, despite this unhappy situation they had had three sons in four years.

Being absent in Anjou at the time of her father's death on 1st December 1135, possibly due to pregnancy, Matilda was not in much of a position to take up the throne which had been promised her and she quickly lost out to her fast-moving cousin, Stephen. With her husband, she attempted to take Normandy. With encouragement from supporters in England though, it was not long before Matilda invaded her rightful English domain and so began a long-standing Civil War from the powerbase of her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester, in the West Country.

After three years of armed struggle, she at last gained the upper hand at the Battle of Lincoln, in February 1141, where King Stephen was captured. However, despite being declared Queen or "Lady of the English" at Winchester and winning over Stephen's brother, Henry of Blois, the powerful Bishop of Winchester, Matilda alienated the citizens of London with her arrogant manner. She failed to secure her coronation and the Londoners joined a renewed push from Stephen's Queen and laid siege to the Empress in Winchester. She managed to escape to the West, but while commanding her rearguard, her brother was captured by the enemy.

Matilda was obliged to swap Stephen for Robert on 1st November 1141. Thus the King soon reimposed his Royal authority. In 1148, after the death of her half-brother, Matilda finally returned to Normandy, leaving her son, who, in 1154, would become Henry II, to fight on in England. She died at Rouen on 10th September 1169 and was buried in Fontevrault Abbey, though some of her entrails may possibly have been later interred in her father's foundation at Reading Abbey.

SO NOW YOU KNOW


#6
offline Little Miss Urchin

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Oh. I thought it was Lady Jane Gray.

#7
offline Colin, Germany

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Surely if Matilda failed to secure her coronation, a good case can be made for Lady Jane Gray being the first Queen of England?

#8
offline Little Miss Urchin

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Most of my English colleagues don't know who Lady Jane Gray is - and people complain that education now is poor!

#9
offline The Invisible Man

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Didn't she marry the Earl and make a fortune by importing tea?

Not many people know that their long lost descendant now works for Sky TV.

#10
offline Colin, Germany

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Since Lady Jane Gray was executed while waiting for her coronation, perhaps there is a better case to be made for Mary being the first Queen of England. It really depends on the interpretation of the declaration at Winchester.

Earl Grey tea was named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, (March 13, 1764 - July 17, 1845), who was prime minister from 1830-1834.

Corrections to this posting will follow shortly from Mr. Happy.

#11
offline Little Miss Urchin

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So theoretically, the question in the quizz could have turned into a big argument with a few punches thrown in if it didn't refer to a crowned Queen.

<img src="/images/graemlins/boxing.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/argue.gif" alt="" />

#12
offline The Invisible Man

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I'm more interested in who's going to be the last queen of England, quite frankly!

Long live the Republic....... off with her head!

#13
offline Mr Happy

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Off with your head you republican fool. The Queen and the close members of the royal family cost the nation a lot less than they bring in in tourism and overseas trade. I would get rid of the hangers-on though (mind you beheading them is going a bit too far).

#14
offline Colin, Germany

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All members of the royal family with a negative return on investment should be sacked immediately. Bring on the auditors.

#15
offline The Invisible Man

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Happy, you outdated royalist throwback, I'd be interested to see where you got your figures from, and how they were derived. Just because you met the old german bat the other day!

I would also suggest that this country and its people are not a theme park, whose only purpose is to attract foreign visitors with clowns and imbeciles dressed up in funny costumes, but a mature modern self-respecting democracy.

Beheading's too good for 'em!

#16
offline Colin, Germany

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Tourism is a very important industry in Great Britain. Far more Germans visit Britain for leisure than Britons visit Germany, for instance. No tourists go to see the German president's official residence.

#17
offline The Invisible Man

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But they go to see other stuff, great big gates, forests where they grow cakes, beer festivals, that sort of thing.

Are there no tourists in Paris, then?

How can it be conclusively demonstrated how many visitors to the UK come exclusively or largely to see the old bat, or her gormless braying family? Sure they come to see castles and palaces and stuff, but people go to see stately homes even if there's not some inbred Norman half-wit living there.

But maybe we could have the whole family stuffed and put on display in the British Museum, or the Museum of London, and charge an admission fee. That would cut down on the running costs, and we could house asylum seekers in Bucknigham Palace.

#18
offline Colin, Germany

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The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are two great attractions for foreign visitors. There's no-one living in the Tower of London, but Buckingham Palace would lose some of its appeal if the Queen were not there from time to time.

#19
offline The Invisible Man

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So is Stratford on Avon, but Shakespeare's not there. Yes visitor numbers to Buck House would would drop because it's such a crap building in its own right, but that's hardly an argument for retaining an anachronistic and frankly offensive system. As you say, people flock to the Tower.

Buck House could become a museum - a museum of royalty, even - or the HQ of a new GLC, all sorts of possibilities. It could even be demolished and the space used as a park, with some other kind of leisure attraction in it. After all, it's only a theme park at present, as you and Happy have confirmed.

#20
offline Colin, Germany

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Buckingham Palace should be left running as long as it makes money, just as BA did with the Concorde. Just because it's anachronistic is no reason for shutting it down. Changes can be made, as we have seen with charging for admission, but these should be to increase the profit.




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