Some English monarchs have had a rotten deal in terms of their interment. Not all of them ended up in Westminster Abbey. The remains of Richard III were recently found under a Leicester City Council car park. Incidentally, I heard on the radio the other day that his surviving descendants are discussing where he should be more appropriately laid to his final rest and this sparked a thought.
If he has descendants who are still living then surely they must have a better claim to the English throne than the present occupant, as they’ll have John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, somewhere in their family tree, giving them the same claim as the houses of Lancaster and York in the Wars of the Roses. A family that only a few years ago changed its name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor can hardly be in the running at all, I’d have thought. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is high treason.
Boadicea, in contrast to her statue’s graceful and heroic stance alongside her two daughters at the western end of Westminster Bridge, was a short and fat warrior queen of the Iceni tribe. The Romans overran her East-Anglian kingdom following the death of her husband King Brasutagus, and undiplomatically raped her two daughters in front of her.
Boadicea, understandably upset, took her revenge by sacking St Albans, Colchester and London in an orgy of violence that left 70,000 Romans dead. These cities were however what we’d now call ‘soft targets’ and her army stood no chance at all when it came up against the legions of Seutoneus Paulinus, the Governor of Britain. At the end of the battle the Iceni dead outnumbered those of the Romans by two hundred to one and Boadicea and her daughters sensibly chose to gulp poison rather than be taken alive.
Queen Boadicea is buried somewhere under Platform 10 at King’s Cross Station. That means she must be very close to Platform 9 ¾, reached by running as fast as you can straight into the wall that stands between Platforms 9 and 10 to catch the Hogwarts Express. I wonder whether any young Harry Potter fans have brained themselves trying to do just that, and whether their parents would be able to sue the station. Just a pleasant thought. There’s a man within me that doesn’t like me…