Thanks to a holiday romance the question of succession to the French and English thrones would become a complicated web for the next 800 years.

When the Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor died childless in 1066, the two lines of succession, Harold King of England and William the Duke of Normandy fought for the English crown. Everybody knows that Harold was killed and William won making Harold the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, but you have to give the chap his due. Poor old Harold had only been King for ten months and in the last three weeks before his death had fought of an invasion from the Norse pretender Harald Hadrada at Stamford Bridge 300 miles North of Hastings. No excuses you understand, I’m just saying.

William I was not called ‘Conqueror’ without good reason. Unlike the Romans who subjugated occupied peoples and the Vikings who assimilated the cultures of occupied lands, William determined to make England an extension of Normandy.