Archive for May 6th, 2023

Georges Rouault The Old King

Georges Rouault- The Old King, 1936

I don’t know in the world why anyone would consent to be a king, and never to be left to himself, but to be worried and wearied and interfered with from dark to daybreak and from morning to the fall of night.

–Augusta, Lady Gregory,  The Dragon: A Wonder Play in Three Acts, 1920

I somehow found myself awake and watching the coronation of King Charles III early this morning. Not planned, of course. I am not a royal watcher nor a fan of monarchies in general. I did admire Queen Elizabeth II for a number of reasons but that is an exception. The idea of someone believing that they are born to a divine right to rule over anyone kind of ruffles my feathers as I sit here– unkempt, unwashed, unshaven.

I think the idea of kings and crowns speaks more to a need and desire by the majority of people to be ruled over than any divine right that any monarch truly possesses.

But I do appreciate the history of the moment as well as the rituals that go along with the ceremonies of the day. The Brits certainly know how to put on a show. 

Watching the ceremony and trying to write this post took me to the passage above from Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory, the Irish playwright and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre with W.B. Yeats. While I don’t know the context in which it was written, the sentiment certainly matches up with my thoughts. For the life of me, I could never understand the desire to rule over others. If you are a good and caring person, the responsibility would be a giant and endless task

And if you go the other way, if you are an evil tyrant, you might not have the burden of caring weighing on your mind. You would instead be worrying day and night about who was trying to assassinate you or remove you from power. 

Either way sounds like a drag and who needs that? 

I don’t want to be ruled over nor do I want to rule over anything but my own little space in the world.

My own little kingdom.

Here’s my national anthem, You Can Have the Crown, from Sir Sturgill of Simpson.

Now get the hell out of here before I call out the palace guards. And stay off my royal lawn!

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