Royal notes on June 10

June 10 would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday. He fell two months short, somewhat like Bradman with his 99.94.

Queen Elizabeth II is now past her 95th birthday and is the longest-lived British monarch. It should be remembered that her mother (known in later years as Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) missed reaching 102 by a few months. As she lived from 1900 to 2002, she saw the entire 20th century.

After some years we can expect to hear this after a long gap:

As is well known the line of succession is Prince Charles followed by Prince William. But it does not follow that they would be known as Charles III or William V.

(Footnote: a line of succession running into several hundreds is on record. Prince Philip was about #220 on this list, by virtue of being a descendant of Queen Victoria)

Like the Pope, the monarch has some freedom in choosing his/her name. The tradition seems to be to choose from the set of given names.

Thus, the current heir apparent to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, whose full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, may elect not to be known as “King Charles III” out of concern about comparisons with Charles II of England (who was known for his Catholic sympathies), Charles I of England (who was executed after the English Civil War) and the Jacobite “Young Pretender” Charles Edward Stuart (who claimed the title “Charles III”).

So he may choose to be Philip 1 or Arthur 1 or George VII. The earlier King Arthur is too far back to count. Perhaps he did not even exist.

Similarly, Prince William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis and he could choose any of these. Arthur, Philip and Louis would all be numbered 1, though William would be 5 (Queen Victoria’s predecessor was #4).

There has been talk that Prince Charles (b.1948) may choose not to become monarch, thus clearing the way for Prince William (b.1982). (And of course his mother may outlive him, as in the case of his grandfather George VI)

It would be nice to see a headline “King Charles III meets King Kim III in Pyongyang”. Though it may well be Queen Kim I:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Yo-jong

Events on April 21

Many people in India an elsewhere will be celebrating the birthday of someone born in Austria on Apr 20, 1889. Instead, we now look at April 21.

April 21 is “Civil Service Day” in India.

Births:

1864: Max Weber, sociologist

1882: Percy Bridgman, physicist

1915: Anthony Quinn, actor

1922: Alistair Maclean, writer.

1926: Queen Elizabeth II

1945: S. Venkataraghavan, cricketer

Deaths:

1910: Mark Twain, writer

1946: John Maynard Keynes, economist

1971: Francois Duvalier, dictator of Haiti

2013: Shakuntala Devi, show business

2015: J. B. Patnaik, politician

Note: There was some speculation as to whether Queen Elizabeth would abdicate on her birthday following the death of Prince Philip. April 21 is her actual birthday, while it is an official celebration in June to make it a more convenient public holiday.

The importance of February 6

On February 6, 1952 King George VI died in London. His daughter Elizabeth, who was than on an official visit to Kenya ascended the throne (though the coronation took place over a year later). 69 years later, she is still going strong….

In 2021, Queen Elizabeth will turn 95, Prince Philip will turn 100 and their marriage will complete 74 years. They were married a few months after India’s independence.

Closer home, Feb 6, 1952 was the first day of the 5th Test between India and England at Madras. England led 1-0 at that point.

In those days there used to be a rest day after 3 days of play. However Feb 7 was made the rest day instead because of the King’s demise. The English players wore black armbands.

On Feb 10th (the 4th day of play) India won by an innings and 8 runs. This was India’s first Test victory and they drew the series 1-1. This was the only Test when England was captained by DB Carr, while Vijay Hazare was India’s captain.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/england-tour-of-india-1951-52-61800/india-vs-england-5th-test-62729/full-scorecard

On February 6, 2021 another Test between India and England will be in progress at Chennai.

Important people born on Feb 6:

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890)

Ronald Reagan (1911)

Eva Braun Hitler (1912)

Fred Trueman (1931)

Bob Marley (1945)

S Sreesanth (1983)

Important people who died on Feb 6:

Motilal Nehru (1931)

King George VI (1952)

Ritwik Ghatak (1976)

James Hadley Chase (1985)

Arthur Ashe (1993)

besides several football players of Manchester United in a plane crash in 1958.

The longest-lived US President and other obscure facts

On October 1, James Earl Carter Jr (born October 1, 1924) becomes the first US President to celebrate his 95th birthday. On March 22 this year he became the longest-living US President when he crossed the mark set by George Herbert Walker Bush.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter#Longevity

More about George Bush Sr here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_and_state_funeral_of_George_H._W._Bush

He passes one more landmark on October 17, when his marriage to Rosalynn will become the longest-lasting of Presidential unions. (See update at end). They were married on July 7, 1946. They will cross the record of 73+ years of George Bush Sr (again!) which ended with Barbara’s death on April 17, 2018.

However, Rosalynn Carter (born August 18, 1927) is now 92+ and has some time to go before she can overtake Bessie Truman (97, 1885-1982) as the longest-lived First Lady. She also has to overtake others such as “Lady Bird” Johnson (94), Betty Ford (93) and Nancy Reagan (94).

There are, however two Vice-Presidents who have lived longer than any President. They are Levi Morton (96, 1824-1920 and VP to Benjamin Harrison in 1889-93), John N Garner (98, 1868-1967, VP to Franklin Roosevelt in 1933-41). Walter Mondale (91+, VP to Carter in 1977-81) is still in the fray.

An interesting thought: If either Bernie Sanders (born 8 Sep, 1941) or Joseph Biden (20 Nov, 1942) succeeds in the 2020 elections,  the winner will be the oldest person to become President surpassing Ronald Reagan’s 73+ at the start of his second term in 1985. Donald Trump (born Jun 14, 1946) is so far the oldest to become President for the first time at 70+, just edging out Reagan’s accession in 1981.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II (born April 21, 1926) continues to break longevity records as the longest-lived British monarch (93+) with the longest reign (67+ years). It only remains to be seen if Prince Philip (born 10 June, 1921) scores a century. They were married on 20 Nov 1947 and thus trail the Carters by 16 months.

As pointed out earlier here, Queen Elizabeth’s reign has seen 13 US presidents and 15 British PMs (including Harold Wilson twice). It is very likely that she will see the successors of the present incumbents.

Also: “Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world’s longest-serving female head of state, oldest living monarch, longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state. ”

English cricket fans will remember major Ashes victories at home in the Coronation year (1953) as well as the Silver Jubilee (1977).

Update on Oct 18: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/18/politics/jimmy-rosalynn-carter-longest-married-presidential-couple-trnd/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0p1wv5QHBMvldYhpeLIOQyY1iZycCwu_pzGDWLMDeOph7pLxf8uEXmlhE

More Queen Elizabethian trivia

If you live (or reign) long enough, you get to set many records.

Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926 and became monarch in 1952.

Her reign has seen many US Presidents:

Truman (-1953)

Eisenhower (1953-61)

Kennedy (1961-63).

LB Johnson (1963-69)

Nixon (1969-74)

Ford (1974-77)

Carter (1977-81)

Reagan (1981-89)_

Bush Sr (1989-93)

Clinton (1993-2001)

Bush Jr (2001-09)

Obama (2009-17)

Trump (2017-?)

Or, every Indian PM from Nehru onward. And every Indian president since Prasad.

She also outlived Emperor Hirohito who ruled since 1926 (when she was born!) up to 1989. Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe made determined efforts to outlast her, but did not succeed.

And a long list of UK Prime Ministers:

Churchill (-1955)

Eden (1955-57)

Macmillan (1957-63)

Douglas-Home (1963-64); (arguably the most obscure of these PMs, but often figures in trivia quizzes as he is the only British PM to play first-class cricket. A puny record compared to that of Imran Khan, but he achieved more than Nawaz Sharif in his 1-match career).

Wilson (1964-70)

Heath (1970-74)

Wilson (1974-76)

Callaghan (1976-79)

Thatcher (1979-90)

Major (1990-97)

Blair (1997-2007)

Brown (2007-10)

Cameron (2010-16)

May (2016-19)

Johnson (2019-?)

Want to bet that the Queen will still be around after Trump and Johnson depart?

Tail piece: Britain now has a PM with Russian as well as French traces in his name:

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

Also born in New York City in 1964, like Trump (1946).

He is older than one of his predecessors (Cameron) who was born in 1966.