Claiming his right to the English throne, William, Duke of Normandy, begins his invasion of England at Pevensey. William was the cousin of Edward the Confessor, the king of England who died without children in 1066. Fifteen years earlier, Edward had allegedly designated William his heir, but the royal council elected the powerful noble Harold Godwin to be king upon Edward’s death. On October 14, 1066, William met Harold at the Battle of Hastings, where the king was killed and his forces defeated. On Christmas Day, William the Conqueror was crowned the first Norman king of England, and English language and culture were changed forever.