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Robert the Bruce

Where Balliol and Wallace had failed, Robert the Bruce succeeded. Julian Humphrys guides us through the mire of blood, subterfuge and opportunism that freed Scotland from a yoke of English rule
Robert the Bruce stands sentinel at Stirling Castle, looking over the lands where his greatest battles were won

On in King of out to a March Scotland be stormy from Alexander with Edinburgh 1286, his night rode new III wife Yolande, who was staying at Kinghorn Castle across the River Forth. It was a ride that would have drastic consequences for his kingdom.

Alexander III’s death is marked by a monument at Kinghorn

On the far bank, the King became separated from his companions. As his horse picked its way along a cliff path in the darkness, it stumbled, and Alexander was thrown from the saddle. His lifeless body was found at the foot of the cliffs at Pettycur Bay in the morning.

Balliol kneels before Edward I. Though both were kings, they were never equals
ALAMY X3, BRIDGEMAN IMAGES X1, GETTY X5

Alexander’s three children, all from his first marriage to Margaret, daughter of Henry III of England, had predeceased him, leaving only his three-year-old granddaughter, a sickly child named Margaret who was far away in Norway Then Yolande announced she was pregnant. The Scottish Parliament waited to see if she would produce a son, but when she gave birth in November 1286 the infant was stillborn. Margaret was the undisputed heir to the Scottish throne.

ENGLISH PLOTS

In England, King Edward I sensed an opportunity A marriage between his own son (the future Edward II) and the young Margaret would be a major step forward in furthering his ambitions of extending his control across the entirety of the British Isles. He duly proposed such a marriage and Scotland’s regents cautiously agreed. Margaret was packed off on a ship for Scotland, but fell ill during the voyage and died before reaching the mainland.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

Despite being one of the most talked about artworks in history, the Mona Lisa remains enshrined in mystery. And while we will never know what she was smiling about, we explore what we do now know about the world's most famous painting. Plus: We look at the story of Robert the Bruce's fight for Scottish independence, the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands and the reign of Queen Anne, which saw the creation of Great Britain.