Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Royal engagement


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Image from Yahoo

As a loyal subject of the Crown I would want to join in with the congratulations to Prince William and Miss Middleton on the announcement of their engagement, and add my prayers and good wishes.

Several thoughts occur to me at this time.

Firstly this engagement again appears to confirm the trend not only in this country but also elsewhere amongst European royal houses away from dynastic marriages.

Secondly, from what I have managed to see and read, the Prince and his bride-to-be appeared more confident and assured than his parents did when they were interviewed in 1981 at the time of their engagement. It is surely something of an ordeal for any couple to be interviewed, however discreetly, about their choice of spouse.

Thirdly before the wedding some of the media coverage will be such as to make even the most
ardent monarchist like myself begin to cringe.

Fourthly, sooner or later the usual suspects will be whining and complaining about cost or whatever, and betraying their fundamentally mean spirited nature - but no surprise in that.

Fifthly, when the wedding takes place the overwhelming majority here, and in the Queen's other realm will rejoice with the happy couple and wish them well. There will be a national feeling of celebration and renewed hope in the future. It is something to look forward to, a real investment in a living and continuing tradition.



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