The Royalist

01.30.13

A Brief History of Long Lived English Monarchs

As the Royalist noted yesterday, the chances of the Queen of England following the example of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and abdicating are zero.

Author Harry Mount, writing in today's Telegraph, presses that point home, and also uses the abdication as an excuse for a quick romp through the Kings and Queens of British history.

Britain hasn’t just had a monarchy that’s lasted more than a millennium, it’s also had monarchs who keep ruling right to the end.

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Netherlands' Queen Beatrix, left, and Crown Prince Willem Alexander, right, are seen on stage during Queen's Day celebrations in Rhenen, Netherlands on April 30, 2012. (Pool Photo by Robin Utrecht)

That might be a sticky end – whether it’s Charles I losing his head in 1649; or William Rufus, with an arrow through his lung in the New Forest in 1100; or Richard III, killed on Bosworth battlefield in 1485 and thought to be buried beneath a municipal car park in Leicester.

British monarchs are allowed to go mad, like George III. They can turn hermit, like Queen Victoria, dubbed the Widow of Windsor after her self-enforced seclusion in Windsor Castle on Prince Albert’s death. But one thing runs through their blue bloodline – they keep hanging on, until death parts them from the throne.