Countries, UK

The best mister at Westminster

So never mind that they got the date wrong and Charles will be crowned King Charles III on May 6, he won’t be the best mister at Westminster.

There goes my knighthood or MBE, CBE or OBE although I’ll live with that as I don’t want to be part of any empire anyway.

Westminster which pedants will remind you, but not me, is actually separate from London.

And it is familiar territory for kings and queens ever since Norman Willie.

Or William the Conqueror as he has come to be known, was the first English king to be crowned there.

Since then there have been 39.

And while the late Queen is buried next to her husband Philip in Windsor Castle 30 of her predecessors including Elizabeth I have Westminster as their final resting place.

Written in the tombs

Fawn over the poets: CS Lewis’s Narnia

So in terms of social oneupman or womanship and social mobility then get buried at Westminster.

And lie for eternity with all those royals would probably rank as the ultimate for monarchists.

Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone and Stephen Hawking are among the 3,000 dead people in the Abbey.

Now for all its royalty, the Abbey does reserve a special place for us scribblers.

And its Poets Corner is much revered and visited.

And boasts 100 of Britain’s greatest writers…

They’ve probably got a special place reserved for yours truly (sorry to disappoint).

Geoffrey Chaucer, him of Canterbury Tales fame was first to be laid to rest here.

And Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, CS Lewis, Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin.

Among others have all muscled their way in there too.

What the Dickens!

Whip around for Dickens’ funeral: Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens too though they’ll tell you down in his adopted Rochester in Kent that he wanted to rest for eternity there.

But that the media pushed for Westminster, and won.

It’s not all doom and gloom though with the Abbey witnessing 16 royal weddings.

Including the Queen and Prince Philip and Prince William and Princess Kate.

Although the least said about Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson the better.

Among all the pomp and grandeur and there are some serious attention-seeking tombs in the Abbey one stands out for me.

And he too didn’t really want the fuss either.

Wilberforce of nature

On a pedestal: Wilberforce

William Wilberforce who did more than any man to bring about the abolition of slavery from Britain and its colonial lands is buried in the Abbey.

But he had chosen a vault in Stoke Newington for his burial.

Before parliament interfered and ensured his body was laid to rest there in 1833.

Of course the once-republican Liz Truss and her appalling Dickensian cast of ministers will be doing their best to be seen at King Charles III’s coronation.

And of course he will be the man, though not my man…

That’s Wilberforce, the best mister at Westminster and one who deserves to be put on a pedestal.



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