I've had the great good fortune to spend most of September in Spain. Having only arrived home a couple of days ago it meant that I've missed the first three weeks of autumnal weather, the first three weeks of the Rugby Premiership season as well as the opportunity to observe the progress of the world's longest queue.
Despite having been out of the UK I have not managed to escape the incessant feed of "news" headlines to my electronic devices along the lines of:
Body Language Expert Spots **** off Gesture made by Respectful Kate to that Sour-Faced American Bitch.
Lip Reader Spots William Saying to Harry, 'Come here bro and I'll give you a big hug.'
Yes, Lillibet has left us. No great surprise for a 96-year old who hasn't been in the greatest of health recently. Her departure has highlighted that our society has schisms in it, just like the Royal Family.
Republicans accused the BBC of being biased towards those who support the idea of the monarchy, whilst monarchists labelled those who suggested discussing the future of the institution as harsh and uncaring, stating that 'now is not the time'. Without really wishing to enter that debate, to my mind, surely the time between the departure of a monarch and the coronation of the next one seems a pretty good time to discuss it. But, hey ho!
Anyway, away in Andalusia, where vandalism at a cemetery which houses the remains of republican villagers summarily executed by Franco's forces in 1936 shows that the gulf between supporters of a monarchy and republicans can be rather long-lasting, I managed to escape the wall to wall TV coverage. However, the Spanish news did show Felipe, Lillibet's third cousin once removed, along with his wife and his father – simply her third cousin – in attendance at her funeral.
There were monarchs aplenty in London that day. In addition to Spain's Felipe there was: Harald of Norway (2nd cousin), Margrethe of Denmark (3rd cousin),Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands (5th cousin), Carl Gustav of Sweden (4th cousin), Phillipe of Belgium (5th cousin twice removed). Even Alois of Liechtenstein who, as an 8th cousin once removed, is possibly less closely related to the departed than I am, was there. Please take the quoted relationships with a pinch of salt. I've tried to work out the closest for each named individual, but with the amount of inbreeding that took place within the European royal families being greater than that which is used to produce a Norwegian Lundehund it was a tricky task and a few errors may have crept in. A bit like the Hapsburg Jaw and haemophilia did.
This post features a couple more monarchs.
The King and Queen used to stand at 105 Newington Butts, near the Elephant and Castle, in London. It's the lower of the two PHs shown on the map, the other being the George and Dragon, which at some point became simply the George. It too is a bygone.
Pubs bearing this name almost certainly adopted it to celebrate the arrival of the only joint monarchy that UK/Britain has had, viz. the reign of William and Mary, (Sorry, but I can't be arsed to work out their relationships to our recently departed head of state.) and whilst I can find no evidence of the pub existing in the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century PubWiki suggests that the London Metropolitan Archives has a record of a Peter Thorne being a victualler on the site from at least 1788.
At the start of the twentieth century, for a couple of decades, running up to the 1930s, it was operated by William and Blanche Kirby...
...and after their retirement it was run by Violet Wilkinson...
...and then Abraham Chapman.
Abraham died in April 1939 and then the trail goes cold. Whether the pub was lost to the Luftwaffe or to post-war regeneration I don't know, but the building certainly doesn't exist any more. In its place stands Sherston Court, home to a number of Newington Butts addresses, including number 105.
And if you fancy a bet on whether on not Charles III will be the UK's last monarch you just happen to be in luck, for 105 Newington Butts is home to a branch of the bookmaker, William Hill.
If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.