Royal love, betrayal and scandal in Hertfordshire

HERTFORDSHIRE’S long and lascivious royal history has become the subject of a new book.

Royal Hertfordshire Murders and Misdemeanours is the latest book by Pamela Shields, a freelance journalist and history enthusiast, who has lived in Hitchin for the past 12 years.

It is Pamela’s seventh book to date, and details some of the extraordinary tales of love, betrayal, scandal and intrigue that have taken place within royal circles while inside the county boundaries.

Here you’ll find the story of King Edward II and his lover Piers Gaveston’s affair at Kings Langley; where in Hertfordshire King James I was when he first heard of the Gun Powder Plot and how a Frenchman’s coat of arms was adopted by St Albans-born Richard the Lionheart and became the Three Lions we see emblazoned on England football shirts today.

Pamela said she hoped the book would teach Hertfordshire residents a little bit more about the county they lived in.

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“Part of writing these books is about being proud of where you live, and a lot of people don’t have a clue about the history of where they live,” she said.

“But although people might call it local history, we’re talking about people who are known worldwide – it isn’t really local history at all.

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“I think some of the stories are absolutely wonderful. There’s lots of lovely gossip in the book.”

It is Pamela’s fifth book on the history of Hertfordshire, following previous titles the Little Book of Hitchin, Hertfordshire A-Z, The Private Lives of Hertfordshire Writers and Hertfordshire Secrets & Spies.

It all started when she moved from Islington to Hertfordshire in 1998.

“I wrote a history of Islington, and when I moved here, I asked the same publisher if they were looking for one on Hertfordshire,” she said.

“It was as I was writing that I realised how many spies, and royals lived here. That’s what set me on my way.”

Royal Hertfordshire Murders and Misdemeanours by Pamela Shields is published by Amberley priced �14.99.

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