Monday, March 30, 2009

And Now for Your Monday Monarch Moment

I always intended to use Craig's idea, because it was good. So here is your first official Monday Monarch Moment, starting with William the Conqueror (I figure I'll try to go chronologically through all of them, but we'll see how it goes).

William the Conqueror (1066-1087)

I like to think that William was sitting around one day, thinking "Man, I hate being called William the Bastard. What could I do to get a really cool nickname? Hmm . . . ."

To be fair, he thought (or at least claimed) he was just taking what was his, since he insisted that Edward the Confessor had named him as his heir. So when Harold Godwineson (man, they had awesome names back in the day [Godwineson, obviously, since we still have Harold and it isn't all that awesome]) decided he was king after Edward died, William was all "Nuh uh." And he launched the last successful invasion of England and, as you probably surmised, conquered it.

Of course, no one can keep his youthful, trim, conquering figure forever. This wouldn't have been a problem per se, if only his funeral directors had designed his stone coffin in the appropriate proportions:

William then returned to France, where he died in 1087 after being seriously injured in a fall from his horse during an attack on Nantes as part of a campaign against Philip I. He was buried on 12 September in St Stephen's Abbey, Caen. His unfortunate mourners left the building gagging after the king's fat and decomposing body burst its sarcophagus, emitting a stench of rotting flesh.
Charles Phillips, Kings & Queens of Britain

It was probably less embarrassing than getting stuck in a bathtub, if only because William was no longer alive to be embarassed. And this has been your Monday Monarch Moment.

1 comment:

Craig said...

Gross. I suppose its a sad fact of the times that the period of England's greatness coincides with a period of low hygienic standards, from which stories such as this are prevalent. Of course, the period of US greatness coincides with _____ (fill in favored cultural example, e.g. disco).