Saturday, January 24, 2009

Of Castles and Kings, otherwise known as, You're Never too Old for Rhymes

We (hubby and I) took a drive to Kent today and visited Leeds Castle. It's about an hour and 20 minutes from our home and it's something I've wanted to do since we arrived in England. I'm starting to feel the pressure to see and do as much as I can before we move.

Leeds is often called the most beautiful castle in England but I must say Windsor Castle is still my fave. Leeds Castle was started on the sight of a Saxon Manor by a descendent of one of William the Conqueror's lords in 1119. It moved into royal hands in 1278 and over the course of about 150 years six medieval queens held the property. Henry VIII and wife number 1, Catherine of Aragon (see I have learned stuff and more about that later) visited from time to time and his son, Edward VI, gave the castle to one of Henry's courtiers for his services. Since then it has been in private ownership and was at one time the home of the Culpepper and Fairfax families. Yes, of Virginia fame...we do love hearing about American connections in our travels.

Anyway, the sun was shining (a real treat!), it was cold cold cold, but we enjoyed walking thru the castle and especially the grounds which include a duckery, (didn't even know that was a real word but apparently it is and, while I'm at it let me just mention that where there's a duckery you will also find plenty of duckery doo!), a very large aviary of exotic birds and, of all things, a dog collar museum. That's a first for us.

Now, back to things I've learned while living here....the kings and queens of England for starters. Not long after we moved here I was telling a British friend and her husband that I have trouble remembering the kings and queens of England in order. I mean, after all, they do all seem to be called William, Edward, George or Henry. I really did want to understand where each falls in history's timeline since this country is absolutely jam packed with about a billion interesting and important bits of the past and I think it's important to know who ruled what when.

Well, quick as you can say bobs your uncle my friend's husband reeled off the entire royal lineage with a rhyme that goes like this....

Willie, Willie, Harry, Steve,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry Three,
Edward One, Two, Three, Dick Two,
Henry Four, Five, Six, then who?
Edward Four, Five, Dick the Bad,
Harrys twain and Ned, the lad.
Mary, Lizzie, James the Vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again.
William and Mary, Anne o'Gloria,
Four Georges, William and Victoria.
Edward Seven, Georgie Five,
Edward, George and Liz (alive)

I think you'll agree with my previous statement that almost all are indeed named William, George, Edward, or Henry. And...that you really are never too old for rhymes.


1 comment:

  1. What fun!! Loved this little rhyme though I know I would never be able to memorize myself.