The town of Angers in France is petitioning Queen Elizabeth II to turn over the Crown Jewels of England because they say that crowns were basically stolen from them about 500 years ago. Angers is the ancestral home of the Plantagenet family that rule England during the War of the Roses back in the 1400s. After that war ended with Richard III's death, the only one legitimate male that remained in the line of succession was his nephew, Edward. The new Tudor King, Henry VII, would later have Edward executed, solidifying his own claim to the throne and ending the Plantagenet line forever.
Naturally, the people of Angers are still a little ticked about that and started an online campaign for justice. They say in their petition (started on Facebook, of course) that the Crown Jewels should have reverted to them all those years ago, after the "state crime" that robbed the world of the "only one who can legitimately claim to the British throne." Being reasonable people, they aren't demanding that the current monarch be paraded through the streets in chains — they just want her stuff. To make up for 513 years worth of pain and suffering.
Everyone in the UK is having a nice laugh about, bu the other problem is that her Crown Jewels didn't belong to Edward either. Most of Britain's royal regalia and vestments were sold in the 17th century, when the monarchy was briefly outlawed and the country needed the cash. (The Tudor Crown went for about $1.7 million in today's money.) The current treasure chest had to be rebuilt over the years and (depending on who you ask) half of France used to belong to England anyway, so maybe for the sake of friendship they could just play a soccer match and call it even?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.