William, I landed in Pevensey in September 1066 with 7,000 men and a claim to the English throne. As Duke of Normandy he had earned a reputation as a formidable military opponent – and, as it turned out, he was much superior to King Harold, who he defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings. Further military success followed as William implemented the rest of his conquest strategy, culminating in his Christmas Day coronation as King of England.
It was declared – on William I’s succession to the throne – that all the land in England belonged to the King ‘in right of the Crown’. This transfer of ‘ownership’ would turn out to be the origin of ‘The Crown Estate’ portfolio as we know it today.