On February 6th –
1665 Queen Anne was born. She was the last Stuart ruler and second daughter of James II. She bore Prince George of Denmark 17 children, but 16 died in infancy and the remaining child died when aged 12. Her desire for national unity led to the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707.
1685 Charles II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, died after several days of revelry with his concubines and his favorite mistresses. Charles acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses, but as illegitimate children were excluded from the succession, he was succeeded by his brother James. On his deathbed Charles asked his brother to look after his mistresses and told his courtiers: 'I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying.'
1952 King George VI died. The stress of World War II had taken its toll on the King's health, which was exacerbated by his heavy smoking and subsequent development of lung cancer among other ailments. On September 23, 1951, the King’s left lung was removed following the discovery of a malignant tumor. On January 31, 1952, despite advice from those close to him, he went to London Airport to see off Princess Elizabeth, who was going on her tour of Australia via Kenya. On the morning of February 6th, George VI was discovered dead in bed at Sandringham House in Norfolk. He had died from a coronary thrombosis in his sleep at the age of 56. His daughter Elizabeth flew back to Britain from Kenya, as Queen Elizabeth II. His funeral took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and he was interred initially in the Royal Vault until transferred to the King George VI Memorial Chapel inside St. George's. In 2002, the remains of his widow, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the ashes of his younger daughter Princess Margaret, who both died that year, were interred in the chapel alongside him.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Royal Tombs. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links: