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.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Another milestone for The Queen

Today The Queen becomes, one is told online, the third longest reigning monarch after King Louis XIV and King Rama IX ( Bhumipol ) of Thailand. Next month she is due to overtake him, and then become the second longest reigning monarch after Le Roi Soleil. The Mail Online has an article about this particular record and a bit about the sovereigns mentioned as well as about Prince Johann II of Lichtenstein whom Her Majesty has just out-reigned by a day, at Queen becomes third longest reigning monarch in history

This is a very considerable achievement on the part of all these monarchs, and it is in sense a wish to be grudging to point out that if you count those who might be deemed to have reigned in theory but not ruled in fact then three other recent monarchs have out reigned even King Louis - Emperor and King Otto of Austria-Hungary (1922 - 2011) with 89 years, King Michael I of Romania ( 1927-30, 1940-2017 ) with 80 years and the still living Tsar Simeon III of Bulgaria who acceded to his throne in 1943, and who has also served as Prime Minister of the modern republic …, who will celebrate 79 years as monarch in August.

On this basis, and thanks to modern longevity, Platinum Jubilees should be almost as frequent as Silver or Golden ones ( this year in Denmark, next year in Sweden ), and the King of the Hellenes is within two years of his sixtieth anniversary in 2024.

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