In light of the increasing number of spurious "royal experts" infiltrating the media, Princess Palace has created this online testing and training center/centre (a.k.a. trivia quizzes) to facilitate the recognition and certification of actual royal experts. Anyone receiving certification may add C.R.E. (certified royal expert) after one's name. This site is created and maintained entirely for fun. Its creator asserts no authority for certifying anyone's qualifications for anything. ;)

26 March 2011

Glorious Bastards Answers

Many royals have enjoyed 'a bit of stuff' on the side, sometimes resulting in illegitimate children. Even some of today's royal men have confirmed that they have fathered children out of wedlock. For this quiz, our Royal Experts were asked to answer, "Who's the daddy?"

1. James Duke of Monmouth
Monmouth is the eldest and probably the most famous of King Charles II's numerous illegitimate children. The son of Lucy Walter, he was born in The Netherlands a few months after his father became king. He was well-liked by his father, who gave him several titles and a rich wife. However, when Monmouth and others claimed that his parents had been married and that he therefore was the rightful heir, the king officially proclaimed that he had not married Lucy. After the king's death, the Protestant Monmouth reasserted this claim and led a rebellion against his Catholic uncle King James II, who had him executed. Sarah Duchess of York is one of Monmouth's many descendants.

2. Robert Earl of Gloucester
Another eldest and most famous illegitimate son, Gloucester was the son of Henry II of England. When the sinking of the White Ship left Henry without a legitimate male heir, the popular and powerful Gloucester might have sought the throne for himself--only two generations had expired since another bastard seized the English throne (see below). Instead, he became a diehard supporter of his royal half-sister Empress Matilda in her war against their usurping cousin King Stephen. He died before Matilda's son succeeded Stephen, but Gloucester's granddaughter Isabella later married Matilda's grandson King John, uniting the legitimate and illegitimate lines, but their marriage was later annulled because they were too closely related.

3. Alexandre Coste
Perhaps the most recent royal bastards, Alexandre is the seven-year-old son of the reigning Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has also acknowledged that he is the natural father of an American teenager named Jazmin Grimaldi. Alexandre's lives on a French estate provided by his father for him and his mother, Nicole Coste a Togolese airline hostess. With Albert planning to marry Charlene Wittstock this summer, he may have legitimate children to succeed him. If not, he has the option of adopting Alexandre or Jazmin and making them his heir; a solution adopted by his great-grandfather, Prince Louis II whose only child was illegitimate. This is unlikely, however, as Albert has confirmed his sister Princess Caroline and her children as his heirs if he has no legitimate children.

4. Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond
Richmond was living proof that King Henry VIII was capable of fathering boys, which perhaps helped seal the fate of his many son-less wives. Born not long after his royal half-sister Mary, the future Bloody Mary, the boy was acknowledged by the king: not only does his surname mean "king's son" but his title Duke of Richmond was derived from the family of the king's father, Henry VII. After Henry's second wife failed to have a son, Parliament was preparing an act that could have lead to making Richmond the king's royal heir. However, the 17-year-old boy became ill and died that same summer. A year later, Henry's third wife finally gave him a legitimate son, Edward VI, who outlived his royal father but who, like his bastard half-brother, died as a teenager.

5. William the Conqueror
In an age when might equalled right, William the Conqueror, did not let his bastardy stand in his way. As a child, William the Bastard, as he was known during his lifetime, was selected to succeed his father Robert as Duke of Normandy. Supported by powerful lords, he was able to maintain this position into adulthood. Later, he convinced the childless English king to name him his heir and then used his military prowess to defeat the English earl, Harold Godwinson, whom the king named heir upon his deathbed. In less than a year, William had firmly established himself as King of England. His legacy lives on in the daily life of today's royal family for it was William who first constructed Windsor Castle nearly a millenium ago.

6. The Fitzclarences
Before becoming the "Sailor King", William IV was the very virile Duke of Clarence, who showed great loyalty to one woman, actress Dorothy Jordan. They lived together for more than 20 years and produced 10 children, all of whom lived to adulthood. By the time, William made a royal marriage, Dorothy had died, but his royal wife accepted the lively Fitzclarences, even though she had no living children of her own. The oldest Fitzclarence was made Earl of Munster, a title that passed down through six generations until the 7th Earl died without male heirs in 2000.

7. Enrique II of Castile
Better known as Henry of Trastamara, Enrique was the son of Alfonso XI. He seized the throne from his royal half-brother, Pedro the Cruel, and had him beheaded. He spent much of his reign fighting John Duke of Lancaster who married Pedro's daughter Constance and claimed the Castilian throne through her. When they couldn't beat Enrique, John and Constance married their daughter to his son. Both the royal lines of Aragon and Castile were descended from Enrique. Although his brother was called "The Cruel," it was actually Henry who started the official policy of persecuting Jews that evolved into The Inquisition.

8. William Longespee
An acknowledged son of King Henry II of England. When Henry's royal sons rebelled against him, Longespee remained loyal and was the only one of his numerous children to be with him when he died. Nevertheless, he continued his loyal service to the throne, first to his half-brother Richard the Lionheart who married him to the Countess of Salisbury and later to another half-brother King John, who faced many baronial revolts. Longespee finally broke ranks with John after Magna Carta but again supported the throne when John's son succeeded him as Henry III.

9. Gustav Gustavsson
As the natural son King Gustav Adolphus of Sweden, he was ennobled with the surname af Vasaborg. Much like Robert Earl of Gloucester, Gustav was a royal bastard who supported his royal half-sister. Unlike Gloucester, however, Gustav didn't have to fight for Queen Christina to maintain her throne (although she later gave it up). In recognition of his loyal service, she made him Count of Nystad and later named him Governor of Estonia. Gustav married and had children.

10. The Beauforts
Soon after John Duke of Lancaster married Constance of Castile (see above), he began an affair with one of the noblewomen who had served in the household of his mother and of his first wife Blanche. Katherine Swynford was the widowed sister-in-law of Geoffrey Chaucer, but it was her affair with John that made her notorious. She was labeled a great whore, but the relationship seems to have been a great love match. Four of their children lived to adulthood and were always acknowledged, not only by their father, but by the entire royal family, including their royal half-siblings. Given the surname Beaufort after one of their father's French holdings, they were initially barred from royal inheritances. After Constance died, however, their parents married and first the pope and then the king legitimized them in their adulthood. When their royal half-brother seized the throne as Henry IV, they supported him. Their descendants were loyal Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and it was through one of ther granddaughters, Margaret Beaufort, that her son, the future Henry VII claimed royal descent although he claimed the throne by right of conquest and married a daughter of the House of York. So the Beauforts helped start the wars and helped end them.

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