The Seeds of Kings — Mike Ogden — 14th September 2016

The title only gives a hint of the sub­ject. What we were offered was a learned and com­plex break­down of the British mon­archs, from the time of Alfred the Great 871 through the ages to our cur­rent royals, rep­res­en­ted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Mike Ogden per­formed an amaz­ing jour­ney in one hour or so, a remark­able per­form­ance.

The main theme he was stress­ing was the con­tinu­ation of Alfred’s blood line, from that point until now with occa­sional acknow­ledge­ments to actual his­tor­ical facts from par­tic­u­lar reigns. Beginning with the Normans, fol­lowed by the Plantagenets, Lancastrians, Yorkists, Tudors, Hanoverians and finally the Windsors. From William I, Battle of Hastings 1066, he didn’t do much to endear him­self and his fol­low­ers to the native English. Henry II, the law maker and organ­iser, murdered Archbishop Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, which was not a good move. King John, a cruel, vicious tyrant known for the Magna Carta. Richard III, uncle to the Princes in the Tower and killed at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry VII the first of the Tudors and father of Henry VIII with his six wives and the dis­sol­u­tion of the mon­as­ter­ies. Queen Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada. James I of England and VI of Scotland. Charles I who was beheaded during the Civil War. Protectorate Oliver Cromwell fol­lowed by Charles II whose reign was known for the Plague, the Fire of London, Samuel Pepys, Wren, and Newton. The Glorious Revolution which lead to William and Mary, then Queen Anne. The Georges and their prob­lems with Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender and the Battle of Culloden. Later the Napoleonic Wars finally settled at the Battle of Waterloo. Queen Victoria and her hus­band Albert over­see­ing the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition. Their chil­dren were mar­ried amongst the royal fam­il­ies of Europe, lead­ing us to the Royal House of Windsor, cre­ated during WW1 etc.

Mike Ogden referred to the lib­eral scat­ter­ing of ‘royal seed’ over the cen­tur­ies so that many of us may well be second cous­ins, so to speak.

From here on in the mon­archy is enter­ing unknown ter­rit­ory. Our Queen has adap­ted well to par­lia­ment­ary demo­cracy and has built up good rela­tions with gov­ern­ment and former mem­bers of the colon­ies as a recon­struc­ted inde­pend­ent Commonwealth of Nations under her lead­er­ship. These are volat­ile times and one won­ders what is to come.

On another matter, lists of Kings and royal houses reminds me of a dis­cus­sion I had with some teach­ers of his­tory. My grand­son was taking his GCSE exams a few years ago and the his­tory syl­labus was ‘The Romans in Britain’, ‘Scientists in the Georgian Period’ e.g. Jenner and the small­pox vac­cin­a­tion, and finally ‘Hitler and Germany.’ All you might think very laud­able study items. My point was, what went on in the inter­ven­ing years – noth­ing? I appre­ci­ate it is not pos­sible to cover all peri­ods but surely at least and under­stand­ing of royal dyn­asties would have provided some sort of frame­work to hang events upon. I didn’t get very far with the argu­ment, I’m afraid, but the point is still rel­ev­ant.