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Lady Gudrun

Swede could be heir to English throne

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Someone in Sweden could have a claim to the throne of England, and an international search has been launched to find out who.

 

The quest has been started by English Heritage, which believes that the descendants of King Harold (Harold Godwinson), defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, could be living in Scandinavia.

 

The state-run organization, which maintains historic English buildings, has placed adverts looking for descendants in newspapers in Britain, Norway, Australia, Germany and the United States, but says that there could also be potential claimants to the throne in Sweden.

 

"If William had not taken the throne in 1066, the entire course of English history would have been very different," said Dr Nick Barratt, who presents BBC ancestry programme Who Do You Think You Are?

 

"We'd probably be speaking a different language, consider our closest allies to be Scandinavian and have a completely different system of government. Who knows? We may even be a republic by now."

 

In fact, many of those who were vying for the crown in 1066 had Scandinavian links, although Harold's were among the strongest. His mother was Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, granddaughter of Swedish Viking Styrbjörn the Strong.

 

The strong links between England and Scandinavia at the time are demonstrated by the Scandinavian-sounding name of Harold's common law wife, Ealdgyth Swanneshals, known in English as Edith Swanneck.

 

The researchers are also looking for people of the lineage of Edgar the Aetheling, who was chosen as king but never crowned.

 

Simon Judges, who is promoting English Heritage's ancestor search, says there are no plans to throw Elizabeth II off the throne.

 

"This is a what if scenario. We're not into sedition or treason or anything," he said. He also points out that the throne in that period was less likely than today to pass down through generations of the same family.

 

"There were many challenges to the throne at the time. In a sense, it was more democratic."

 

People who think that they might be descended from one of the English kings are encouraged to visit a special website, where they can find out how to stake their claim.

 

The search for Harold's descendants is part of efforts to promote a new visitors centre at the site of the Battle of Hastings in southern England.

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There are MANY times in English history that, had they happened differently, someone else would now sit on Elizabeth II's throne.

 

IF Richard I's brother John hadn't gotten the throne himself, with the support of the barons, who didn't want his young nephew Arthur to succeed...

 

IF Richard III hadn't been killed at Bosworth...

 

IF Henry VIII had had a legitimate son survive to adulthood...

 

IF Mary I had born a child as Queen...

 

IF Elizabeth I had married and produced an heir...

 

IF the Catholic descendants of James II had inherited the throne...(The Duke of Bavaria could now be King)

 

IF male-line descent had been followed instead of allowing women or female lines to succeed...(we could have Ernst August of Hannover as the current British king)

 

IF Edward VIII hadn't abdicated, and/or IF Edward VIII had married someone suitable...

 

And there are many more instances of WHAT IF that could be applied to British monarchical history...or indeed, to any historical dynasty or event...fun to speculate, but...some Swede being heir to Harold II has no monopoly on "what if".

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And there are many more instances of WHAT IF that could be applied to British monarchical history...or indeed, to any historical dynasty or event...fun to speculate, but...some Swede being heir to Harold II has no monopoly on "what if".

Reasoning this way there are countless people who can stake a claim to the throne of England.

 

What about you, Crown Prince Thorfinn? wink.gif

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