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As 2016 begins, the recent public interest in hunting for royal burials shows no sign of abating.
Hardly has the dust begun to settle on Richard III’s expensive new tomb in Leicester than work is starting on locating the resting place of another medieval monarch, Henry I (d.
He duly secured a relic, which he brought with him back to Edinburgh where it stayed for a century.
In 2008, this relic – apparently part of Margaret’s shoulder – was ceremonially handed back to St Margaret’s church in Dunfermline.
Oswald was a warlike leader of the northern kingdom of Northumbria, but adopted Christianity with all the zeal of the convert that he was.
Until Oswald’s bones are located, the oldest identified remains of any English – or British – royalty are those of a woman, Eadgyth, daughter of King Edward the Elder. Eadgyth’s brother King Aethelstan sent her and her sister Eadgifu to Germany to allow Duke Otto of Saxony to take his pick of the two for marriage.
Can we be quite sure that Edith could not have been mistaken?
Margaret was another victim of the Norman conquest, but one whose life took a happier turn than Harold’s.
He was probably buried at Cwmhir Abbey in central Wales.
But the archbishop of Canterbury at the time wasn’t entirely sure of this – and even wrote a letter to seek confirmation.
With the honourable exception of Alfred the Great (d.