In 1065 Harold supported Northumbrian rebels against his brother Tostig who replaced him with Morcar. This strengthened his acceptability as Edward's successor, but fatally divided his own family, driving Tostig into alliance with King Harald Hardrada ("Hard Reign") of Norway.
Upon Edward the Confessor's death
in ([[January 5]], 1066), Harold claimed that Edward had promised him the crown on his deathbed, and the Witenagemot (the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables) approved him for coronation as king, which took place the following day, [[January 6]].
However, the country was invaded, by both Harald of Norway and William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, who claimed that he had been promised the English crown by both Edward (probably in 1052) and Harold, who had been shipwrecked in Ponthieu, Normandy in 1064 or 1065. It was alleged that, on the latter occasion, William forced Harold to swear to support his claim to the throne, only revealing after the event that the box on which he had made his oath contained holy relics. After Harold's death, Normans were quick to point out that in accepting the crown of England, Harold had perjured himself of this oath.