Feb 8, 2008

Famous Swords: Curtana

Saint Edward the Confessor, son of Ethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was the last King of England from the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 until his death in 1066. Edward was canonised in 1161 and is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, which regards Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. Curtana was the name of his sword.

According to the mythological history of Curtana, its tip was broken off by an angel to prevent a wrongful killing. A more recent Curtana, or "Sword of Mercy", is believed to have been made for the coronation of Charles I of England and is included in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The blade is cut off short and square, indicating the mercy of the sovereign. It is used in cermonies to bestow knighthood, and is among the five swords used at coronation ceremonies.

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