Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My kingdom for a horse

With a little mitochondrial help from a distant Canadian relative, the remains of Richard the III — recently found under a paved parking lot in Leicester — have been positively identified as those belonging to the late king who died in battle in 1485.

King Richard was immortalized in several mid-millenium writings, the most famous of which is Richard III by Shakespeare. One of the most famous lines spoken by Richard in this play is “A horse, a horse . . . my kingdom for a horse.”

I’ll admit, I didn’t know the phrase came from Shakespeare nor quoted from the character of Richard the III. I do, however, recall hearing “my kingdom for a horse” innumerable times while listening to Lily of the Valley.

Was Freddie trying to quote Shakespeare or is the reference more about King Richard? I don’t know. Whatever the case, with the kingdom for a horse phrase making the news this past week, Queen and the king have crossed paths as far as I’m concerned. 

Will the remains of the King of Queen be found in some obscure resting place 500 years from now? According to the news coverage of his funeral, Freddie was cremated (which is actually against traditional Zoroastrian burial practices) so unless his cremains are kept in an urn of some kind and the container is rediscovered in the future lying under some olive green shag carpet from the 1970s, his mortal remains are gone forever; presumably cast over Lake Geneva near Montreux, but Mary Austin is keeping his whereabouts under wraps for the time being.



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