Thursday 23 January 2020

Twitter account of 'King Harold' falls silent after final tweet

Re-enactors arriving at Battle Abbey in Battle, near Hastings (English Heritage/PA)
Re-enactors arriving at Battle Abbey in Battle, near Hastings (English Heritage/PA)

The Twitter account of "King Harold" has fallen silent, after a final tweet marking the death of England's last Anglo-Saxon king at the Battle of Hastings 950 years ago.

Throughout the year, key players in the struggle for the throne in 1066 have posted on Twitter their version of events, as part of a social media campaign by English Heritage to tell the story of the most famous date in England's history.

The campaign has culminated in King Harold, Saxon farmers, William of Normandy and Norman knights tweeting their experiences of the battle's ebb and flow 950 years to the day after it was fought.

But at 4.03pm a final tweet from @King_Harold66 was sent out, marking his death 950 years ago through the very modern medium of emojis - a bow and arrow, crossed swords and a skull.

The twitter accounts of eight medieval characters who have been charting the year's events is just one of the ways charity English Heritage, which looks after the site at Battle, East Sussex, where the clash took place, is marking the anniversary.

A group of re-enactors have commemorated the dash south made by King Harold, after defeating a Viking army led by Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, to confront the Norman invaders.

Over the weekend English Heritage will stage a re-enactment of the battle.

There has also been a major £1.8 million conservation and re-presentation of the 1066 battlefield and abbey and creation of a sequel to the Bayeux Tapestry featuring the most important historic moments since 1066, as voted for by children across the country.

Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "Exactly 950 years ago today, two armies met on this very field in East Sussex, and the outcome defined England for centuries.

"It was arguably the single most important battle in our history. The legacy of 1066 can be seen across our country, in our castles, in our language and laws, even our food.

"Over this year, English Heritage has marked this anniversary in different ways, from opening up new spaces at the battlefield to engaging children in the story of 1066."

PA Media

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