History on the Screen 3.1: Victoria and The Crown Pt. 2

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Below you’ll find the doppelganger chart I mentioned the day before yesterday, that shows the tele-cinematic counterparts of the historical people of the British royal family appearing in the first two seasons of both shows, Victoria (PBS & WGBH Materpiece) and The Crown (Netflix).

From George to shining George.

King_George_III_of_England_by_Johann_ZoffanyEr, from old King George III–who lost the American colonies and later went crazy–down to his 7th-great-grandson, the wee Prince sd-aspect-1461114471-prince-george-800George, who, somewhat coincidentally, if and when he becomes king anywhere from like the year 2033 to the 2070s (!!!) will be King George VII.

Incidentally, in the course of scouring the web for pictures of both the real Victoria and Elizabeth II when they were young, I found two of particular interest, one of each.E n M 1

Here’s the one of Elizabeth II. It’s awesome. Because in it she looks like she’s being just absolutely real, her real self (whoever that is) and though that isn’t *necessarily* any of our business, in the same spirit that The Crown brilliantly humanizes her, so too does this picture. All the more interesting and charming because she’s with her sister, who is known (from real life for those who’ve been alive longer, u-hem) and the show to have been the more animated, lively, apt to be found tossing one back and guffawing. And yet here, ’tis Her Majesty doing just that. Plus, it’s a hoot, that checked-out expression on Tony’s face.

V 1The particular one I found of Victoria is just a bit below. But why it caught my attention so sharply warrants a short explanation and some other pix. Ok, so I V 3found some genuinely charming pictures of young and younger Victoria from the era that the show so far has covered. Like these, to the right and the left.

And, ok, we all sort of know that tele-cinematic depictions of people–no matter who–are going to involve casting actors who generally speaking have physical looks that conform more to the telegenic norms. Ya with me? In other words, literally on the face of it, although they’ve done clever and appropriate things to Jenna Coleman’s hair and face to give the impression of Victoria, Jenna is just cute as a button, conventionally speaking, doesn’t have that proud and tremendous nose Victoria had, or the lovely and ample rounded cheeks.

Victoria_sketch_1835But then this picture caught my eye. (Wasn’t hiding anywhere esoteric, either; it’s on the Wikipedia page.) This picture is a self-portrait that Victoria drew about the time she took the throne. This is how the young Victoria saw herself. I think it looks so much like Jenna Coleman that I’m fairly if not fully convinced that the geniuses making the show intentionally cast an actress who resembled this picture, because that’s the point of the show: we’re seeing the world as she saw it, so by God why should we see the woman any way but how she saw herself?

Genius move.

And I think my somewhat wacky idea, here, gains Her_Majesty's_Gracious_Smile_by_Charles_Knightcredence with this other picture, taken of the old Victoria. But it’s different in that–look at that smile! Her face is transformed! She doesn’t even, to me anyway, resemble the stolid, stoic Victoria that we’re all quite used to seeing. This smiling woman looks so sweet, so loving, so warm and present and…just the way Jenna portrays her, as she’s written and directed in the show.

So, to keeping the public at bay if ya need to.

And to warmth. At least on that level, the monarch gets to have their cake and share it with whom they please.

Here’s the tree w/ the actors next to their historical characters.



History on the Screen 3: Victoria & The Crown

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Having recently gotten into the two excellent, deeply enjoyable and artistically elite mini-series The Crown (from Netflix) and Victoria (from WGBH’s Masterpiece and ITV from the UK) it seemed only natural to make a family tree of the British monarchs showing how the crown indeed made its way between the two longest serving sovereigns–Queens, both–from HRM Victoria to HRM Elizabeth II.

It appears below. But since these shows, especially The Crown, are so popular, I feel obliged to confess that I’m a bit of a later comer to it.


After months of seeing the gently lit silouhette of actress Clarie Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth II as my Netflix wallpaper, actively avoiding even checking it out—hilariously sort of Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 1.44.23 PM.pngpathetic pattern I seem to repeat throughout my life when first confronted with an item that not only ends up being of interest to me, but crawls right in there with the marrow, I even generate “logical” excuses as to why I don’t need that thing: Sgt. Pepper’s, “too sensitive“; Paul’s Boutique, “too frivolous”—I finally got on board with The Crown, thanks to watching an episode with my mom over Christmas, blasting my way through the BS excuse this time of “too irrelevant to politics”. ROFLOL


I didn’t really binge it. Well, not all of it, not all at once.

The episode I’d watched over Xmas was the Jackie Kennedy one. And after it was over, a near total convert I eagerly shared how I couldn’t wait to indulge in watching the next, and the next etc. And THEN she tells me, “Sorry, buddy, this is from season 2, and it’s almost over.” The cruelty.

After returning home from the Xmas visit, full with the painful knowledge that there was very little of this precious show *after* the bit I’d seen, I solemnly went back to start the show from its beginning; even if I knew the end of being with it was coming, and when!– at least, I told myself, I can enjoy season 1 and the run-up to where I’d entered.

Episode 1 was a great intro and re-entry. But Episode 2 “Hyde Park Corner”, which follows the events around George VI’s death blew my mind. It made me realize just how awesome this show is. It achieves that special thing that is what the cinematic arts are all about. Later, reading about the show, Claire Foy shared that that, the death of Elizabeth’s dad, was the central fact for getting to her character. Watch it if you haven’t, and if you have, enjoy it again! It’s profound and masterfully done. Anyway! And, in the unexpected turn that my experience of this show is a microcosm of life, being aware of just how Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.04.29 PMawesome it indeed is, just how little of it there was, I decided to savor it and didn’t want to use up all the episodes, so I started pacing myself.

I’m still saving the last episode. 🙂


I didn’t prop any such fortitude in watching Victoria, though, although I haven’t seen most of season 1 of it because my PBS (what is UP, KQED?!?) for some reason doesn’t offer the streaming episodes where I live. But I was able to find two from season 1 and all of King_George_III_of_England_by_Johann_Zoffanyseason 2 and binged away. Great, great stuff.

Anyway, being the geek for charts that I am, I put together this one below showing the relational line from Queen Victoria to her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. Actually, it includes back to Victoria’s grandfather, George III, who of course lost America (and is infamous here as some tyrant from whom we freed ourselves, even though it was Parlaiment and not George behind the laws our Founders represented as oppressive).

ERNST VICT SHOWSo on the chart at the bottom it’s easy to follow the line of the throne from George III and how the crown bounced from Victoria’s head and landed on Elizabeth’s and not that of the heads of George’s surviving eldest male line of Ernest_Augustus_I_of_Hanoverdescendants. They descend from Victoria’s digruntled uncle, Ernst, the Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover, who appears in “Victoria” (real to the left, show on the right). He was the younger brother of Victoria’s dad, but the senior son to have a son; they stayed in Germany, as Kings of Hanover, and when WW-I broke out they remained loyal to Germany. As a result, they were stripped of their British titles and such. Then when the war ended, the Germans had a revolution and stripped them (along with all the other German nobility) of their German titles. Don’t worry about them too much, though, they’re still filthy, filthy rich.

Anyway, what’s amazing, is that between the two shows not a generation is missed, since Elizabeth II’s grandmother, Mary of Teck, appears in The Crown, and she was married to George V, who, though he’s not in the show, was the son of Edward VII, who appears as a baby and then child inV to MT.png Victoria. Neat! The excerpted chart to the right shows from Victoria, along with their TV counterparts, to her grandson’s wife Mary of Teck, whose show counterpart, remember, appears in The Crown.

The full chart below then extends down from E2 to William and Catherine’s kids because, well…kids are cute and George (the VII, someday far in the future) and his sister Charlotte are cute kids, and of course, Harry and his soon-to-be-wife, in whom the Royals come full circle since 1776 and now marrying American royalty from tinseltown itself. Nice one, Harry!


Tomorrow I’ll post the doppelganger of this full chart that has everyone’s counterparts from the two shows. Enjoy! And remember to click the charts so you can see them big and up close.

Senior Descendants of Edward III Pt.3

KWIK1Above is a little recap showing the folks descending in the senior line from King Edward III through not his second eldest son Lionel, but through Lionel’s older sister Isabella. It takes us down to Jeanne of Bar, and it is with her we then continue this next chart, (which is below, just after this brief intro). Jeanne (“Joan” in English) was a great-great-granddaughter of Edward III, and the chart below which picks up where the last one left off takes it to her most senior 4th-great-grandchild, Philippe-Charles de Ligne of Arenberg, 6th Duke of Aarschott via her oldest reproducing child Jacqueline of Luxembourg. Philippe-Charles’ many descendants in the House of Croy, of Arenberg and many others represent the most senior of Edward III’s progeny.

However, Jacqueline’s niece, daughter of her next younger sibling, Pierre II of Luxembourg was grand matron to both the Houses of Bourbon (France, now in Spain) and of Stuart (Hanover–>Windsor; i.e., the UK) as well as of the Habsburgs post-1600s. But that’s another chart for another time.

For now, the main line chart:

Plantagenet descendants through Isabella of England, de Coucy, de Bar, de Luxembourg, de Croÿ, Arenberg, Aarschot

Campbell of Cawdor


In my previous post (and the 1st one) showing the images I’ve made of various historic, chiefly coats of arms of the Clan Campbell, anything from the Cawdor branch was notably absent.

So today I’ve fixed that.

Each of these happens to be about a hundred years apart: 1561, 1672, and then the last, commonly seen Cawdor arms are from 1772.

37 copy.pngThis first one on the left is based on the description of a seal which didn’t specify the tinctures or metals (ie, colors) of the stars and buckle or of the field they’ve over in the top part (the chief). To the right you’ll see the bit from the invaluable Heraldry of the Campbells, Vol. 1 by G. Harvey Johnston, that is one of the sources I use for this stuff. So if anyone happens to have any info or advice on that one, please don’t be shy. 😉 Let me know!  As ever, enjoy! More TK!


And here’s a mini chart to show and/or remind how and when the Cawdors branched off.


Senior Descendants of Edward III Pt. 2

Following up on the 1st post on Edward III’s seemingly largely unknown descendants through his oldest child who *has* a line of descent, his daughter Isabella.

Below is the chart showing the beginning of her line. Next post will have info and explanations of the why’s and wherefor’s.

(And as ever, remember to click the image so you get the big version in another tab.)

Edward III de Coucy de Bar Family Tree, Isabella of England, Engeurrard VII de coucy, Marie de Coucy, Robert of Bar, Jeanne of Bar, senior Plantagenets,

More Campbell Armorial Art

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Below you’ll find a handful of further armorial bearings I created of several of the known, historical branches of Clan Campbell.

Hopefully they look like actual shields, but of course they’re just composites of tons of separate photographic elements. Hover the cursor over each  one to see its caption.

They’re chronologically organized, roughly. And in this first batch, the first three (going left to right) form pairs with the ones they’re above: ie, Sir Arthur Cambel’s arms evolved into the arms of Strachur; Sir Colin Mor’s into those of Loch Awe; Sir Donald’s into Loudoun. The last two on the right of this batch are just among the earliest cadet branches with attested arms, Craignish and Inverawe. Enjoy!

Among the sources I used to learn and/or confirm these designs were the various descriptions provided in the legit, straight from the source rolls from Scotland.

Here’s a little bit of the context for when some of these armorial bearings branched off the “main” line, the Argyll line that has been the chiefly line since the 13- or 1400s, and thus at what point they were differenced with the various marks of cadency.



Senior Descendants of Edward III

Edward III grandchildren chart, Plantagenet family tree, black prince, richard ii, isabella, marie de coucy, robert of bar, lionel of antwerp, philippa, roger mortimer, john of gaunt, elizabeth of lancaster, john de holland 2nd duke of exeter, henry bolingbroke, lancaster, henry iv, john beaufort 1st earl of somerset, 1st duke of somerset, joan beaufort, edmund beaufort, joan beaufort, eleanor neville, cecily neville, edmund of langley, york, edward 2nd duke of york, constance, isabel despencer, richard of conisburgh, 3rd earl of cambridge, 3rd duke of york, anne, humphrey stafford 1st duke of buckingham, anne stafford

Hello all.

This is the first installment of my rolling out of what I’ve learned about the most senior line of descent from England’s King Edward III. Why? It’s an intellectual exercise, a fascinating one that’s turned out to be quite fruitful, too!

From aScreen Shot 2017-11-08 at 11.10.50 AM surprisingly revealing ladder by which to get a hold of T0013185755--497318making sense of the intricate pecking order of Continental European aristocracy over the past 700 years, to both a tidy tale of how down to earth and normal some are today due in no small part to actual changes in the world’s rulership and wealth, as well as succinct lessons in the opposite: how some of them still cling to the money & power.

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on “Alternate Successions” to 6thDukeWestminsterthe throne of Britain/England (& the hilarious tidbit that the most senior line, for instance, of Queen Victoria, was through her daughter to Kaiser Wilhelm II!) and my limited American understanding of the rules of succession, I determined several months back to find out if I could what the senior line was and if there were any descendants. Indeed there are! And you can see her above, next to her royal ancestor, a widely forgotten daughter of Edward III.

So, I’ll start today with the wayback:

Black Prince effigy
Edward the Black Prince 1330-1376
Richard II 1367-1400

Edward III’s eldest son, Edward, gets a lot of press since, well, he was the most apparent heir…whoooo, didn’t quite make it to the throne, as he died a year before his dad. He also gets attention, not only due to his snazzy black armor and “all that” attitude, but because it was his son who inherited the crown and became king after Edward III: Richard II.


Richard II, however, had no children. He selected his cousin, Roger Mortimer to inherit the crown from him.



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Roger Mortimer 1374-139
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Lionel, Duke of Clarence 1338-1368

Roger Mortimer was a great-grandson of Edward III through the next son after Edward, namely Lionel (called “of Antwerp” and also Duke of Clarence). Lionel’s daughter Philippa had married a Mortimer, and they’d had two kids, Roger being the boy. His older sister married Henry “Hotspur” Percy, and you’d think would have a claim to the throne, too; more on that later.




John, Duke of Lancaster 1340-1399


Henry IV 1367-1413

Cousin Roger died before Richard II, so being the heir passed to his 7-year-old son Edmund. But wee Edmund didn’t get to be king since his and Richard’s cousin Henry, who was the son of Edward III’s third son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, up and took the throne for himself, becoming King Henry IV.




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Edmund, Duke of York 1341-1402

And as we know, Henry IV’s son, grandson et al (aka: the House of Lancaster) arm-wrestled (ie, battled in most bloody fashion) with the sons etc of Edward III’s fourth son, only a year younger than John, Edmund of Langley (aka, the House of York) for the throne over the next 200 years, this civil war known now as Game of Thrones–er, War of the Roses.

So Edward the Black Prince and his brothers Lionel, John and Edmund all get press. So does their baby brother Thomas, since he was murdered.




Joan Plantagenet 1334-1348
Thomas, Duke of Gloucester 1355-1397


And you even hear about poor, young Joan, Edward III’s daughter, because she actually died of the Black Death at age 15 on her way to Spain to marry the prince there.


But you never hear about the couple of other daughters, mostly, it would seem, because they had no kids. But to me it’s very curious why we don’t hear more about the 2nd oldest kid of the bunch. Between Edward and Lionel was–apparently Edward III’s favorite child: Isabella, named for his mother, the French princess whose blood allowed/led Edward III to make war on France, claiming the throne (and by which he added the snazzy blue field with gold fleur-de-lys to the Plantagenet/English royal coat of arms).

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Isabella turned down various marriages, and finally wed a nobleman in France. Perhaps it was because her dad has launched that ongoing war with France that she got written off, history-wise. Not sure about that yet. What I am sure of, and am here sharing, is her line of descent to the present. It’s funny to me that they counted descent from Lionel’s daughter Philippa but not a generation up from Isabella.

Here’s a chart showing the great-grandkids (work-in-progress) of Edward III & Philippa of Hainault:



Part II soon…in which we meet the next few generations of Edward III’s most senior descendants, some of the most famous, most powerful, most wealthy noble folks of the Continent….