Thank you for your comments and emails last week on Part 1 of my Canterbury Tales! So, we are now at Part 2. One of the things that I really wanted to see while at Canterbury Cathedral was The Black Prince's tomb. Its bronze cast of chain mail, helmet and gauntlets beautifully designed pulled me to it, you can imagine my excitement of standing right next to this and at last seeing this for myself.
The Black Prince aka, Edward, Prince of Wales (Edward of Woodstock, Earl of Chester and Duke of Cornwall - the first English Duke) was born in 1330 and the oldest son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault (an outstanding woman!). He never made it to the throne but was remembered as a great warrior and if the records are true, the Prince of Wales feathers were acquired after the Prince discovered the body of King John I of Bohemia after battle. He took his helmet which was lined with ostrich feathers and also took the King John's motto 'Ich dien' (I serve). The ostrich feathers and motto have been continued by each Prince of Wales since that time.
Edward continued his numerous campaigns and in 1367 was victorious at the Battle of Najera in Northern Castile and declared the deposed King Pedro of Castile as once again in power. Pedro, in thanks and gratitude gave him a huge ruby which today adorns the Imperial State Crown. Unfortunately for Edward, due to the Spanish summer, he began to show a fatal disease which is possibly amoebic dysentery although there are other theories of the type of disease he may have caught.
He returned to England when he realised that he was dying and at 45 he passed away at Westminster. He wanted to be buried in the crypt at Canterbury Cathedral but this was overruled and instead he was buried by the shrine of Thomas Becket.
It would seem that the name "Black Prince" was never used during his lifetime and probably took hold either by his black shield, his black armour or his reputation which was more than likely brutal. Above his tomb are replicas of his achievements and nearby, shortly, the actual garments, shield etc will be reinstated after being on loan in London.
Unfortunately, light for my camera was against me, so not that many photos of his tomb, but I will be back to look once again at this beautiful area of the Cathedral.
Now sifting through my Dover Castle captures, so until next time dear Readers!