Today in History
On April 3, 1043 at Winchester Cathedral, Edward the Confessor is crowned as king.
His accession is a little bit of a complicated story (the relatively simple determination of who is to be the next heir to the throne in Britain is a modern creation). Edward was the seventh son of Æthelred the Unready. When Æthelred died, he was succeeded by Edward’s older half-brother, Edmund Ironside, who was fighting the Dane Cnut for control of England. When Edmund died, Cnut took the throne, exiled Edward and married his mother.
When Cnut died, Harthacnut — Edward’s mother’s son with Cnut — succeeded to the throne of Denmark, but couldn’t take that of England, which instead went to Harold Harefoot. When Edward and his brother Alfred came back to England, Harold had Alfred blinded by a red-hot poker (or, as the NHL calls it, “upper body injury”).
Eventually Harold died, Harthacnut became king and invited Edward back. The latter was proclaimed as successor, supported by the most powerful earls in the country and chosen by the people of Lond0n.
He would be the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
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