6 Interesting Facts About King Richard I — The Lionheart
History tells the story of a chivalrous medieval king, crusader warrior, and rebel human with a heart brave as a lion’s.
Richard I, born on September 8, 1157, was the King of England, Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, and Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes. Thanks to his bravery on the battlefield, he is known as Richard the Lionheart.
His knightly manner, bravery, and fearlessness in the Third Crusade (1189–92) made him a popular monarch not only in his own time but for centuries after his death.
Being a history fanatic, I’ve put up six interesting facts from Richard’s life that make him one of the most unusual monarchs of world history.
1. “War Without Love”
Richard grew up torn between his parents, King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Son of divorced parents — it is believed that he was closer to his mother. She was the one who helped him to get to rule the Aquitaine and Poitiers.
In 1170, Richard and his brothers rebelled against their father, planning to dethrone him and place the oldest of brothers — Henry the Young King — on the throne. Henry II responded with attacks, which led the brothers to stop the conflict — but not temperamental Richard.
Later on, Richard rebelled against his brothers too and refused to recognize Prince Henry as heir to the throne. After Henry’s death, Richard became the eldest, which meant he had the right to the crown, but he still had to fight his father, Henry II, to take the throne. This resulted in, him allying with King Philip II Augustus of France, which finally made him overthrow his father.
Jordan Fantosme, a famous historian and poet, described this family fight as a “war without love”.
2. Spent less than 6 months in England
Richard ruled England for more than ten years from 1189 until his death in 1199. The irony is that out of these ten years, he spent less than six months actually living in England and he barely spoke English.