Why King Harold's Rapid Coronation Sparked Outrage (Video)
In a remarkable turn of events on the 6th of January 1066, England bore witness to a swift and controversial transition of power. King Harold's hasty coronation, occurring mere hours after the burial of King Edward, ignited widespread outrage. Breaking from centuries-old traditions, Harold ascended to the throne without the customary months of delay. Anointed in close proximity to Edward's fresh grave, the shockwaves of his rapid ascent reached as far as Norway and Normandy, where his rivals remained unaware of Edward’s demise and Harold's sudden rise.
As Harold's footsteps echoed in the Norwegian Highlands, he established a royal camp, revealing himself as a seasoned war veteran. His reign, characterized by a brutal rule that relied on intimidation and violence, served to solidify his position. One of his chief enemies was Viking warlord Harald Hardrada. For Hardrada, the English crown symbolized not only power and prestige but also the opportunity to etch his name into the annals of Viking legend. The days of Harold's newfound peace were fleeting, as the specter of assassination loomed, threatening to snatch the crown from his head. The only question that remained was when and from which direction this peril would materialize.
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Top image: King Harold’s coronation sparked outrage. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock.