This week – 18/19 March 1286

During the night of 18/19 March, King Alexander III was killed falling from his horse in Fife. He had met with his councillors at Edinburgh Castle on 18 March and following this meeting, he set out for Fife where his new wife, Yolande, daughter of the count of Dreux was waiting. After having crossed the Forth with his companions, he became separate from them during stormy weather. His body was found the next day near Kinghorn. Having been preceded in death by his three children, his heir was his granddaughter, Margaret, at this time in Norway. His death would throw the kingdom into turmoil with the Bruce and Balliol-Comyn families quickly making arrangements to secure their claims to the throne, despite pledging to recognise the Maid as heir. Her death four years later would further divide the kingdom since there was no clear successor.

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