Most of English medieval history is dominated by conflict with France, but we also find connections between Berkhamsted and the Holy Roman Empire, the huge territory that once covered Western and Central Europe.
From 1227, Richard, the brother of King Henry III was the first of a long line of Earls of Cornwall to have possession of Berkhamsted Castle. His influence extended far beyond English shores. In 1256, Richard was elected as King of Germany (Rex Romanorum), a symbolic title in the complex power structure of the Holy Roman Empire. As was customary, Richard was subsequently crowned King of the Romans (Romanorum Rex) on 27 May 1257 at Charlemagne’s throne in Aachen Cathedral by the Archbishop of Cologne. This title placed Richard just lower than the Holy Roman Emperor.