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.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Queen's Jubilee Lunch

Yesterday the Queen gave a luncheon party to celbrate her Diamond Jubilee for her fellow monarchs, their consorts or represntitives from around the world at Windsor Castle. Such a gathering is almost without precedent. In the evening the Prince of Wales was host for adinner for most of the guests at Buckingham Palace

Sovereign Monarchs Jubilee lunch

The Sovereign Monarchs Jubilee lunch, in the Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle.
Front row, from left The Emperor of Japan, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Queen of Denmark, the King of the Hellenes, the King of Romania, the Queen, the King of Bulgarians, the Sultan of Brunei, the King of Sweden, the King of Swaziland, and Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. Middle row, from left The Prince of Monaco, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the King of Lesotho, the King of the Belgians, the King of Norway, the Emir of Qatar, the King of Jordan, the King of Bahrain, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. Back row, from left Nasser Mohamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, the King of Tonga, the Crown Prince of Thailand, Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco and Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia  
Image: PA/Daily Telegraph

What I was particularly impressed by was the presence of the Kings of Romania, of the Bulgarians and of the Hellenes, and of the Crown Prince of Yugoslavia. Although such unfortunately exiled or dethroned Monarchs have been invited to Royal weddings and to private occasions as relatives it is virtually unprecedented for them to be accorded their rightful dignity as Sovereigns, and indeed the public precedence they enjoy by reason of their length of reign. In this respect the British Establishment has been less generous than other European monarchies in the past, and really ever since 1918. This is a very welcome change.

There were various absentees amongst the non-regnant dynasties, but the pattern does appear to have been adjusted.

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