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Posts Tagged ‘British History’

Remembering the Tragic Death of a Princess

Princess Diana was perhaps the most famous, most popular woman in the world. She was a picture of grace and beauty. She was a role model to millions, as both a member of royalty and as an active contributor to many humanitarian efforts.

Princess Diana Research Topic

Princess Diana Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

And then, suddenly, she was gone. On August 31, 1997, she passed away after a car crash in a road tunnel in Paris, France.

She was born Diana Francis Spencer on July 1, 1961, and became Lady Diana Spencer after her father, John, inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She officially became a Princess after marrying Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, in 1981. Her two sons, William and Harry, were born in 1982 and 1984, respectively.

Prince William Research Topic

Prince William Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Prince Harry Research Topic

Prince Harry Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

So much of Diana’s life can be used to educate and inspire students, (i.e., her remarkable life and her ascension to British royalty.) But perhaps even more intriguing was her devotion to several humanitarian causes, such as her fight against the use of landmines.

Princess Diana also dedicated much time and energy to visiting AIDS patients, helping to remove the widespread fear of touching those who are HIV positive. She was also Patron of The Leprosy Mission for England and Wales, and was known to visit with the homeless.

Peruse eLibrary for all of the aforementioned topics, as well as material related to other facets of a life truly well-lived.

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Breaking News: King James I Assassination Plotters Executed!

On January 31, 1606, four men were dragged by horses (drawn) through the streets of London to the place of their execution. One by one, they were hanged by the neck until nearly dead and, while still alive, cut into four pieces (quartered). After having watched the three men before him suffer so horribly, Guy Fawkes was spared the agony by either falling or jumping from the scaffold and breaking his neck.

Fawkes, Robert Catsby, Thomas Percy, Thomas Wintour and John Wright, along with a number of others, had planned to blow up the House of Lords and King James I on the opening day of Parliament in November of 1605. They had hoped that the Gunpowder Plot, as it became known, would spur a revolt that would bring a Catholic monarch back to the throne and end a long period of persecution against Catholics.

Gunpowder Plot RT

Gunpowder Plot Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

The conspirators had managed to place 36 barrels of gunpowder in the basement of the House of Lords, but Fawkes was discovered guarding the powder and the assassination was foiled. Authorities had acted on an anonymous letter that tipped them off to the plan. Fawkes was tortured into giving up his associates, and all were tried and found guilty of treason. Somewhat ironically, the incident only spurred increased pressure on Catholics.

The foiling of the plot was celebrated with an official national holiday until 1859, and the tradition of Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night) on November 5 persists to this day. Traditionally, the revelry included the burning of a Guy Fawkes effigy made from old newspaper-stuffed clothes and a grotesque mask. Children would go through town asking for “a penny for the Guy” to pay for the effigy and for fireworks. The word “guy” eventually entered everyday language, coming to refer to any male person.

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