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Wednesday, 4 November 2015


Charles the Fat, Charles the Bald and Charles the Simple were all ninth century kings of France. Louis the Stammerer was the son of Charles the Bald and father of Charles the Simple.

David I of Scotland (reigned 1124-1153) gave tax rebates to subjects with good table manners.

David I of Scotland, detail of an illuminated initial on the Kelso Abbey charter of 1159

Henry II (reigned 1154-1189) was the first monarch to be called "King of England" rather than "King of the English".

King Charles VII, who was assassinated in 1167, was the first Swedish king with the name of Charles. Charles I, II, III, IV, V, never existed. No one knows why.

King Tamar (1160-1213) was the first woman king in Georgia’s history. The Georgians didn’t have a word for queen by the time this female became a monarch, so they dubbed her king instead.

A 10-year-old Hungarian girl called Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland on October 16, 1384. Her title either reflected the Polish lords' attempt to hinder her future husband from adopting the same title without further act or only emphasized that she was a queen regnant. She reigned for 15 years until her death on July 17, 1399.

Jadwiga by Bacciarelli

In France the declaration "the king is dead-long live the king!" was declared for the first time on the passing of King Charles VII on July 22, 1461 .The king's death was announced by the captain of the bodyguard from a window of the state department. He raised his truncheon above his head, broke it and threw the pieces into the crowd exclaiming loudly "Le Roi est mort!" Then he seized another staff and flourished it in the air and shouted "Vive le Roi!"

The tallest English king was Edward IV (1442-1483), whose skeleton measures 6 feet 4½ inches.

Oliver Cromwell abolished the position of King of England on March 17, 1649.

King Augustus II of Saxony and Poland (1670-1733) was known as "Augustus The Strong" and used his ten stone valet as a weight in his daily exercises on his palace balcony. He would lift the man over the parapet and stretch and bend his arms back and forth- suspending his "weight" over a 750ft drop.

Augustus II by Marcello Bacciarelli Wikipedia Commons

After the abdication of Charles X on August 2, 1830, his son Louis XIX became King of France. He abdicated about 20 minutes later.

King Alfonso XIII 1of Spain (1886-1931), was so tone-deaf that he had one man in his employ known as the Anthem Man. This man's duty was to tell the king to stand up whenever the Spanish national anthem was played, because the monarch couldn't recognize it.

Despite his wealth, King Farouk of Egypt (1920-65) was a kleptomaniac, going so far as to steal a pocket watch from Winston Churchill.

After King Ananda Mahidol was assassinated, Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne of Thailand on June 9, 1946. He was the world's longest-serving head of state until his death on October 13, 2016 and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Kingdom of Thailand,

Source Dictionary of Phrase & Fable by Nigel Rees

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