Royal Weddings – postponed

Update 25 March 2020: this talk has been postponed to a later date due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Booked attendees will be contacted in the next few days to organise a full refund of ticket monies. If you have not heard from us by 27 March, please check your SPAM box and then email . We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  

A light-hearted talk which is packed with royal history. Discover the reluctant brides and bridegrooms, the weddings which went wrong and the disastrous unions. Spanning almost a thousand years of royal history, and mostly set in a time when marriages were critical to cementing political and economic allegiances, this talk is packed with stories of intrigue, secret ceremonies and scandal. Richly illustrated.  

This is the third in a series of five talks on the theme of “Royalty”. The other talks take place on: 9th and 23rd April, 21st May, and 6th June. You may purchase tickets for individual events or for all five talks in the series for the reduced price of four. Most talks are on a Thursday afternoon, the final being on a Saturday and starting at the slightly earlier time of 12 noon. 

The talk will last approximately one hour after which tea/coffee and cake are served (included in the price). Advance booking is highly recommended but you can pay on the door, subject to availability.

Image: wikimedia commons.


07 May 2020


14:00 - 16:00


The Centre for Heritage & Family History


The Centre for Heritage & Family History
2nd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BQ


  • Catherine Sampson MSc
    Catherine Sampson MSc

    Catherine is a veteran family historian. Her own family history research is mainly concentrated in East Anglia and the North-East.

    Catherine read Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in the 1980s, and more recently gained a distinction in a Masters in English Local History at Oxford University. She is a keen social historian, specialising in the Early Modern period and chairs Berkshire Family History Society and also Project Purley, Purley’s local history society. She has published several histories of her own family and in 2010 edited “Purley in Old Images”.

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Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire.  You do not need to be a member to benefit.

The society offers:

  • Research Zone in central Reading that is free to use and open to all

  • Free access at The Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like FindMyPast, the 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (the worldwide edition)

  • Regular free help and advice sessions

  • Meetings in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to everyone

  • Online discussion list for members  informed answers to research queries and advice from experienced researchers

  • Members’ Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere

  • Indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire’s historic records on CD — parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more

  • Quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members

  • a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records

  • Links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide

  • Opportunities to volunteer and so help others with their family history