The year is 1051. Edward the Confessor is the Saxon King of England, but has no children. To solve the problem, Edward promises the Duke of Normandy, William, that he will become the next King of England. The English nobles however are not happy with the idea of having a French king.
Harold, Harald and William
Edward the Confessor dies on 5th January 1066. However, on his deathbed Edward had had a change of heart and decided to offer Harold Godwinson, England's most powerful noble, the throne. Harold jumped at the chance and is crowned king the day after Edward dies.
The Battle of Hastings
William hears the news that Harold has been crowned King of England. He is especially angry because Harold had sworn an oath to William that he would do everything to support William in becoming the next King of England. Harold claims he was forced into saying the oath, making it invalid.
King William the Conqueror
William gathers an army to invade England. The winds are not favourable, and so he has to wait. Meanwhile, Harold has had to march north to fight off a Viking invasion led by Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway. Harold wins, but his army is very tired. The winds change and 3 days later William lands.
The Saxons and Normans meet at Hastings. The Saxons form a shield wall at the top of Senlac Hill. Struggling to break through, William orders a feigned retreat. The Saxons chase after, breaking formation and opening themselves to the Norman cavalry. Harold is killed and William is the victor.
William is crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066. The Normans are tough rulers and change England forever: land is taken from the English and given to Normans, castles are built all over England, and in 1086 carry out the Domesday Survey to find out who owns what land and what it is worth.