Edward the Confessor

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Edward the Confessor (Old English: Ēadƿeard se Andettere; French: Édouard le Confesseur; c. 1003 – 5 January 1066),[1] son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (technically the last was Edgar the Aetheling, who was proclaimed king briefly in late 1066, but was deposed after about eight weeks).[2] His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the advancement in power of the earls. It foreshadowed the country's domination by the Normans, whose Duke William of Normandy was to defeat Edward's successor, Harold Godwinson, and seize the crown.

Edward had succeeded Cnut the Great's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut had conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three men claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. He is regarded as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses.[3] From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348, he was considered the patron saint of England. During the reign of Edward III of England he was replaced in this role by Saint George, though Edward has remained the patron saint of the British Royal Family.

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