home . index

Tower of London

July 6, 2005

< < previous | next > >

What joy, what a mecca ... for an English history nerd like me to tour the Tower of London! And show off to his kids, who have long suffered through the stories -- Where did they put the murdered princes into the wall, Daddy?

How I tried to hold back, in the crowd of 50 or so, when the Yeoman Guard would ask questions of the crowd -- when did London burn? (1666, of course.) Who was the woman who kept Henry VIII waiting at the Traitors Gate? (His soon-to-be second wife, Anne Boleyn, of course.) I kept mum, even though Jen was nudging me. I was waiting for something good.

Finally, in the chapel at the end, the Yeoman asked us, if Prince William keeps the name when he becomes king, what number would he be? Ellie shouted out, "Four!" No! I hushed her, remembering England's sailor king (Victoria's uncle), William IV (1830-37), and flashing five fingers at her. "William the Fifth!" she shouted.

"Nice work ... Dad!" the Yeoman answered. Then he asked, if Prince Charles uses one of his other names, as he has a right to do, and becomes King Arthur, what number King Arthur would he be? A trick question.

Em raised her hand as I flashed one finger at her. The Yeoman pointed to her. "King Arthur the First!"

"Also, nicely done ... Dad!" the Yeoman smiled.