A French city that was the home of the Plantagenet line of English kings is demanding the Crown Jewels as compensation from the Queen for the execution of its last pretender to the throne.
The current Crown Jewels, which are considered priceless, only date back to the coronation of Charles II – long after Edward, the Plantagenet pretender, was killedPhoto: Geoff Pugh
By Peter Allen in Paris
5:25PM BST 15 Jul 2012
Angers, in the Loire valley, was the capital of Anjou province and the geographical base of the Plantagenets, who ruled England from 1154 until 1485, providing some of the most celebrated monarchs in British history, including Richard the Lionheart and Henry V.
But when Edward Plantagenet, the Earl of Warwick, was executed for treason in the Tower of London in 1499, the house’s legitimate male line came to an end. “As redress for the execution of Edward, Angers today demands that the Crown Jewels of England be transferred to Angers,” reads a petition posted on the city’s official website.
Recalling 25-year-old Edward’s “unfair and horrible death” at the hands of henchmen working for Henry VII, England’s first Tudor king, the city believes it is owed an apology and 513 years’ worth of compensation.
This would amount to billions in today’s currency, but Angers is prepared to accept the jewels to cover it all.
The petition, which has already been signed by hundreds of so-called Angevins, as well as sympathisers around France and other parts of the world, is directed at the Queen. It describes a “state crime” against a noble line that played a central role in making Britain great, and wants the jewels to be put on public display at the Saint Aubin tower in Angers.The Queen, who speaks good French, will be sent the official petition at the beginning of September, during the Accroche-Cœurs, an annual cultural festival in Angers in which street artists conjure up the city’s rich history. The current Crown Jewels, which are considered priceless, date back only to the coronation of Charles II – long after Edward, the Plantagenet pretender, was killed. Earlier Coronation jewels were melted down by Oliver Cromwell after the execution of Charles I in 1649.
A spokesman for Angers council admitted that the petition had “little chance of success” but said the “crime” against the Angevin monarchs was worth highlighting.