Sometimes my lessons come out of conversations I have with friends. Today’s lesson comes out of the fact that a sportswriter friend of mine in the Texas capital watched The Queen today and started the conversation — as conversations between us are wont to do — practically in the middle of it. “The fact about Charles at the bottom blows my mind.”
He sent me the wiki link to the list of monarchs by age. Elizabeth is the oldest monarch in British history. Well, in modern British history, but the likelihood that she was outlived by some medieval king is pretty low.
Anyway, this got us on to the length of time for which a monarch has ruled.*And the next thing I know, we’re reading about who is in line for the throne. King Olav V of Norway is 63rd in line. We decided it would be kind of awesome (though probably a conflict of interest) to be King of both Norway and the UK. The King of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustav, is 195th in line. Queen Margarethe of Denmark is 224th.
Best of all was the discovery that Russia still has royalty. His comment, “I knew some of them had gotten out of that basement.”** The Russian royalty, Her Imperial Highness The Grand Duchess of Russia and her son His Imperial and Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Russia (who is also, apparently the Prince of Prussia), are 112 and 113th in line to the throne. Apparently their claim to royalty is disputed (understandably, one feels), but for some reason it all strikes me as pretty awesome. But take that with a grain of salt…I have a weird fascination with Russia.
All told, Wiki lists 1500 people as heirs.
*Victoria wins that one for the next five years.
**That comment pretty much sums up why we’re friends.