The Plantagenets by a thread

On this day of 28 October in 1216, Henry III was crowned king of England in Gloucester. His claim to the throne was disputed by rebellious barons who wanted the Capetians of France to replace the Plantagenets as their rulers. Loyalists had arranged the makeshift coronation of the nine-year-old boy in an attempt to bring the rebels to their senses. They sweetened the offer by reissuing Magna Carta, which Henry’s father King John had repudiated, but it took nearly a year to clear the French out. Given the almost desperate circumstances of the coronation, a more distinguished ceremony was held in Westminster abbey in 1220.

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