Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult

Shortly after the release of Finding Freedom, the world was informed about the upcoming book Battle of Brothers by The Crown consultant Robert Lacey. His book was very often described as the next big reveal in the House of Windsor. No wonder, the name corresponds to the tabloid headlines.

However, would a historian have written a book about tabloid rumours? The answer is no, the only tabloid part of the Battle of brothers is the name itself.

Windsor Castle – the place of confidential discussion between an Eton student and his grandmother
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Ernst Hohenberg

The second son of Franz Ferdinand d’Este and his wife Sophie Chotek was born in Konopiště on 27th May 1904. Konopiště is a beautiful chateau near Prague in the Czech Republic.

Let’s go discover how the birth record of Ernst Hohenberg looks like.

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Matilda (Матильда, 2017)

The Russian historical movies are colourful with many fascinating costumes and perfect makeup and hairstyling. That’s the case with Matilda too. It tells the story of the relationship between Nicholas II of Russia and ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska.

When a Russian grand duke wanted a mistress, he usually found this woman among ballerinas.

When a Russian grand duke wanted a mistress, he usually found this woman among ballerinas.

Mathilde had many important lovers such as Nicholas or his cousin Andrey Vladimirovich.

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Historical Figures & Comics

Recently I’ve learned that a comic book about tsarevich Alexei will be released in Russia soon. Therefore I suppose it’s a good time to present historical figures in comics:

  • Tsarevich Alexei
  • Empress Elisabeth of Austria

It’s not a completed list but I’m going to update this article regularly.

Rudolf II lived in a magical time. Thanks to it he is a hero of many (children) books.

update 20. 11. 2020

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HRE Charles IV & Henry VIII of England

Charles IV was the grandson of some Henry VII. Henry VIII was the some of another Henry VII. Do they have anything else in common?

Charles IV in Prague

Henry VIII’s great-grandmother Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Charles IV came from the same house. Let’s see who is their common ancestor.

Jacquetta, the mother of fourteen was born in 1416. She gave birth to Elizabeth Woodville who later married King Edward IV. Their daughter Elizabeth (Jacquetta’s granddaughter) united the Houses of York and Lancaster as a result of her marriage to Henry VII. The offspring of this liaison is not needed to be presented as it is the younger hero of this article.

To see Henry’s connection with Charles IV we must briefly present his ancestors in the Jacquetta’s line:

Peter I of Luxembourg (1390 – 1433), Jacquetta’s father

John of Luxembourg (1370 – 1397), Jacquetta’s grandfather

Guy of Luxembourg (1337/1340 – 1371), John I of Luxembourg (1313 – 1364), Valeran/Walram II of Luxembourg(?1275 – po 1354), Valeran/Walram I of Luxembourg(? – 1288), Henry V of Luxembourg (1216 – 1281).

As we see, Jacquetta’s 5 x great- grandfather was Henry V of Luxembourg. He had four sons and two daughters. We already mentioned Walram, the ancestor of Jacquetta. Another son was Henry VI of Luxembourg (1252 – 1288). He was the father of emperor Henry VII (ca 1275 -1313). The next in line is John of Bohemia (1296 – 1346) who is in the Czech Republic known as of Luxembourg and finally HRE Charles IV (1316 – 1378).

All names are depicted in the below table.

To answer the initial question – Charles IV was the 2 x great-grandson of Henry V of Luxembourg whereas Henry VIII was his 8 x great-grandson.

Finding Freedom

Only some people didn’t hear about the recent book about Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. This biography by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was hugely advertised in the way of infamous articles about Harry and Meghan.

We read that William was terrified when Harry fall in love with Meghan so quickly or what the little Cambridges got from their uncle. So how this book looks like?

Windsor shortly after their wedding

First of all I don’t think it’s a bad book. It just received a bad publicity. However, it’s more than “Harry & Meghan are the only good whereas the Royal Family is bad”.

It’s a detailed description of their life as a couple. In fact I have never understood how books about the newlyweds can be published in the time of a wedding. In that time we know nothing about them, we know only the bride and the groom. Finding Freedom documents the time period from summer 2016 to March 2020 and it’s full of plenty events.

It’s a fact checking. A lot of was written about Harry and Meghan and thanks to their legal actions it is clear that not everything was correct. So this book is a review of all newspaper articles and tells the truth and events behind them. I was personally very attracted by their wedding – gown, tiara,… The tiara issue was exaggerated before. Why wasn’t Meghan supported when she needed to borrow a tiara of her choice for the wedding preparations?

However, some events weren’t explained enough. I still didn’t agree with the fact how the Sussexes travelled in summer 2019. When someone speaks for ecology, then he shouldn’t use a service of private jets 3 times in a few days… Or the pregnancy announcement at the wedding of Princess Eugenie wasn’t fair. On the other side it could have been a sweet revenge from Harry and Meghan because the authors claim that the world was informed about their relationship because of the information leak from the Duke of York and Eugenie’s staff.

To summarize this part I think it’s very worthy because the newspaper articles sometimes didn’t make sense. I remember how I wondered when their proposal was announced. As it had been “known” that Meghan should have been a vegetarian, so why did they bake a chicken when Harry proposed her?

Finding Freedom is a glorification of Harry and Meghan. It’s a book about them and from their point of view. If it’s true that the Palace denied the fake news about Kate (plastic surgery), why could not have been done the same for Meghan? As I mentioned the Sussexes deserve a channel that stands behind them.

The Czech version was published by Baronet in September 2020 ( 1 month after the original 👍🏻).

Few questions left – how is it possible that the private discussions are made public? There must be still a silent staff in each room in the Palace how we saw it in Victoria. I wouldn’t expect it. And how is it possible so high rate of information leakage in such a privileged environment?

Not to mention only pros I really didn’t like that the characters were mentioned with full name and position only when they appeared for the first time. Later only their first name was used. In the absence of index I didn’t know who they are. Or at least their list would solve my problem.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family worth reading. At least for the other view it served.

The King (2019)

The main hero in the Netflix King is Henry V. I met him only as a supporting character in historical fictions about his wife Catherine of Valois.

Henry V

Unfortunately, this movie is based on several Shakespeare’s plays, therefore we can’t count with historical accuracy. However, it is much worse than the usual inaccuracy in plays. Some non- exhaustive list is included in the Wikipedia article

I only mention here the time inaccuracy. It’s something what I dislike in this type of movies.

The first battle in a movie with Percy took place approximately 10 years earlier than it is depicted. Addition to it, Henry’s brother Thomas died approximately 10 years later than we see it in the movie.

Despite this, I don’t think it is a bad movie. We can imagine here how boring was the time before a battle. And what’s the most outstanding is the cast.

My favorite Timothée Chalamet looks like the real Henry V and Lili-Rose Depp resembles her mother Vanessa Paradis.

The most remarkable scene? Henry receives a gift from Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia. There were too many kings in Europe but the authors (or Shakespeare?) decided to choose the Bohemian Wenceslaus.