I’ve been brushing up on my Shakespeare [nod to Cole Porter], as it were. I’ve been trying to write very short synopses of all the plays and got through the comedies, the tragedies and a few of the histories before I burned out. I just listed the rest of the histories and the late romances on separate index cards.
In piecing together The Bard’s Henries and Richards, I realized I needed to get a handle on the British monarchy. So, I made index cards for each royal house and listed the members. It was a fascinating exercise that made me wish I had taken European History instead of Comparative Governments in college. Oh well. At any rate, my research led me to this mnemonic verse of monarchs in England:
Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry three;
One, two, three Neds; Richard two;
Harrys four, five, six . . . then who?
Edwards four, five; Dick, the bad;
Harrys twain, Ned six (the lad);
Mary, Bessie, James you ken;
Then Charlie, Charlie, James (again);
William and Mary, Anna Gloria;
Georges four, Will four, Victoria;
Edward seven, next and then
Came George the fifth in 1910;
Ned the eighth soon abdicated,
Then George the sixth was coronated;
After which, Elizabeth.
And that’s all folks until her death.
Pretty cute, huh? FYI: Willie=William; Harry=Henry; Stee=Stephen; Ned=Edward; Dick=Richard; Bessie=Elizabeth; Charlie=Charles; Anna Gloria=Anne. If the Prince of Wales ever accedes to the throne, he’ll be Charles III. When Prince William takes the throne, he’ll be William V. If, by chance, Prince Harry becomes king, he will be Henry IX. I could even tell you whom the verse omitted, but then I’d have to shoot myself for knowing entirely too much detail.