Oops, I missed yesterday’s post. On the plus side, I did finish preparing for next week’s first week back at school. I’m excited to get back to teaching, even if it’s not going to be a “normal” situation.
So let’s see what should be the next picture from my gallery?
This wonderful graphic shows all the kings and queens regnant of England since the Norman Conquest in 1066. Each monarch has a pillar, the height of which indicates how long they reigned.
Seeing this information graphically, as opposed to the typical list of years, is that you can really see those monarchs who dominated an age, monarchs like Queen Victoria (the big pillar on the right) and Henry III (first tall pillar on the left). I guarantee you’ve heard of Victoria and you might even know a few things about her life and her prime ministers, but you can’t think of a single thing Henry III is famous for.
(Henry III was the son of King John — yes, that King John of Robin Hood fame. I find it fascinating that in life, John was in constant conflict with his father, Henry II, and his older brother Richard (the Lionheart) who would become King Richard I. Yet he named his sons Henry and Richard. What kind of twisty emotional coil led to that?)
A funny thing that this chart reveals is that, except for Victoria, all the really big pillars belong to “III”s: Henry III, Edward III, and George III. I bet at one time, this would have made Prince Charles feel good (as he will most likely chose King Charles III for his regnal name) but since his mother’s pillar is off the charts, it’s hard to imagine he’ll get much of a pillar on a newer version of this chart.
That brings up an interesting observation: the pillar for Elizabeth II — which by rights would be the largest of all — is relatively small and is not capped. The lack of that top frill is because she still lives and reigns, and the small size suggests how old this chart is.
Actually, if you compare the size of Victoria’s pillar, you can imagine that Queen Elizabeth’s would explode out the top of the chart, maybe even out of the frame!
If you switch your attention to the smallest pillars, those belong to Edward V and Richard III. They were Yorkist monarchs at the tail end of the Wars of the Roses, the time period I have studied my whole life. My first book, FINDING KATE, is set during the final months of Richard III’s reign, and my second book, LOVING BEATRICE, picks up after he was defeated by Henry Tudor who became the first of the Tudor monarchs, Henry VII.
Are there any other pillars that strike your interest? Let me know. I’ve probably got a story or two about them.