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.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Accession Day

Title: Her Majesty The Queen Size: 102 x 81 cm Medium: Oil Year Painted: 2003 Collection: Private

HM The Queen
Portrait in Oriel Hall by Jeff Stultiens 2003
Image: Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Today is the 59th anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty the Queen.

In recent years she has overtaken nearly all of her long-reigning predecessors - Queen Elizabeth I (44.5 years), King Edward III (50.5 years), King Henry III (56 years), King James VI (58 years, and this summer will overtake King George III (59.25). So we are now in 60 Elizabeth II, and next year she will join Queen Victoria (63.5 years) in celebrating a Diamond Jubilee. Of course if you are a Jacobite you may well not recognise her, and cite the longevity of King James III and VIII (65 years).

In addition she has been since December 2007 our longest lived monarch.

I have used this portrait as it celebrates Her Majesty's connection with Oriel. As Sovereign she is Visitor of the College, founded by King Edward II in 1326. It was from Oriel that, as Princess Elizabeth, she went to the Sheldonian Theatre to receive the degree of D.C.L. , and I am given to understand she has been known to refer to Oriel as "my college." The portrait was commissioned by the Provost and Fellows to mark her Golden Jubilee. The choice of asking her to sit wearing the Garter robes was a conscious one by Oriel to stress the fourteenth century origins of both the college and the Order.

The Queen has been a remarkable figure of stability and continuity over almost six decades of change and uncertainty, and exercised her role as Sovereign with skill and sureness of touch.

Long May She Reign!


the wycliffe wolverine said...

Accession Day is 8th July. Humouring HRH Princess Philip of Greece and Denmark's delusions to the contrary is both uncharitable and unsound.

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

How does Jacobitism go down in such a self-consciously Protestant foundation? I mean, it would be like imagining a Jacobite Orangeman - and who would believe in such a being?

the wycliffe wolverine said...

At Wycliffe we have learned to find comfort in contradiction. When not advancing the cause of Jacobite Orangeism (in which we receive the support of our dear friends at Cuddesdon), we proclaim the Gospel according to Br Martin - simul iustus et peccator!