Great-great-grandfather of Richard the Lionheart
Born: (illegitimate by Herleva) in Falaise Castle, Normandy, France. 1028.
Parents: Duke Robert ‘the Devil’ of Normandy and Arlette of Conteville.
Dynasty: House of Normandy.
Married: Matilda of Flanders in Eu Cathedral, Normandy, France.
Succeeded: to the throne of England, October 14,1066.
Crowned: at Westminster Abbey, December 25, 1066.
Authority: King of England and Duke of Normandy.
Rule: 21 years.
Died: Priory of St Gervais, Rouen, France on September 9, 1087.
Buried: Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Caen, France.
9:00 a.m. September 28 1066, Duke William of Normandy lands on
English shores at Pevensey under an overcast sky. An ominous sign on
any day even though he had been given Pope Alexander’s blessing.
It is recorded that the invader lost his footing as he was disembarking.
Tumbling into the shoal, the embarrassed duke, pushed against the
sandy soil to stabilize himself. A quick witted subordinate called out
prophetically, "Comrade, you hold England, O future King."
The Saxons on the other hand, under the banner of King Harold, had
solidly reinforced the high ground with a shield wall. If it rained, that
would be the death knell for the invaders. They would be unable to
execute a mounted charge up a slippery slope. If it rained, the low
ground would become a quagmire trapping the Norman troops at the
base of the mound.
William was at a disadvantage. The battle had to be fought decisively
within the day and before Anglo-Saxon re-enfocements arrived to cut
them to ribbons from the flanks. It was already afternoon and defeat
meant certain death; for all Normans.
It could go either way ...
On his deathbed William the Conqueror declared "I appoint no one
my heir to the crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the
eternal Creator, whose I am, and who orders all things.
For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested It
from the perjured King Harold in a desperate battle, with much effusion
of human blood..."
William is ancestor of the Royal line leading to the present
Prince William in almost one thousand years of English Royalty.