one in the eye for Harold

A European Union, Norman Style

And after the battle were over, they found 'Arold so stately and grand,
Sitting there with an eye-full of arrow, on his 'orse with his 'awk in his 'and.


On the 14th October 1066 the Anglo Saxon King Harold II looked down from Senlac Hill near Hastings on the invading army of Duke William of Normandy - William the Bastard.  Harold's force is reckoned to have been 7,000 strong, William's around 10,000.  The Saxons held the high ground, and it could all have ended very differently. Just three weeks earlier Harold had  defeated another invasion - by his brother Tostig and the Norwegian King Hardrada - at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.


The fighting began around nine in the morning and lasted until dusk. Slowly but steadily, the invader's cavalry and archers overwhelmed the English. Towards the end of the day Harold was slain, according to most accounts, mortally wounded with a Norman arrow in his eye.


The following morning Harold's personal standard was surrendered and presented to the Duke. William the Bastard had become William the Conqueror.


After some further marching and skirmishes the English nobles were subjugated; William was crowned King on Christmas Day. 


He then distributed the spoils of war.  Guillaume de Cahaignes, one of the French knights who'd fought at Hastings (and Lord of the Manor of what is now Cahagnes) was given Milton in Buckinghamshire and the Sussex village of Horstede (The Place of Horses in Saxon) which became Horstede de Cahaignes and in time Horsted Keynes.

"The Queen, our Duke!"

In the Channel Islandsthe Queen is known as the Duke of Normandy. The Channel Islands are the last remaining part of the former Duchy of Normandy to remain under the rule of the British monarch. Although the British monarchy relinquished claims to continental Normandy and other French claims in 1801, the Channel Islands (except for Chausey under French sovereignty) remain dependencies of the British Crown to this day. The British Historian Ben Pimlott noted that while on a visit to the actual region of Normandy, French onlookers began to doff their hats and shout "Vive la Duchesse!", to which the Queen supposedly replied "Well, I am the Duke of Normandy!". Channel Island legislatures refers to Elizabeth II in writing as "the Queen in the right of Jersey" or the "Queen in the right of Guernsey" respectively. However the traditional and conventional title of Duke of Normandy is used by the islanders, especially during their loyal toast, where they refer to "The Queen, our Duke" or "La Reine, notre Duc" in French (or when the monarch is male, "The King, our Duke"), rather than "Her Majesty, The Queen" as it goes in the United Kingdom.


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