Friday, 12 February 2016

Sacredness of the King's person...

"The villainy of the Rebels proceeding now so far as to try, condemn, and murder our excellent King, the 30th of this month, struck me with such horror that I kept the day of his martyrdom a fast, and would not be present, at that execrable wickedness." (ed). E.S. de Beer, The Diary of John Evelyn, Oxford University Press, 1959, pp.275-6.

In my last post I thought I'd share something that occurred to me. It was the ontological sacredness of the King's person, violated both by Saruman, who plainly discovered Isildur's remains, and the regicides who dared to constrain King Charles with force of arms and ultimately to cut off his head. There are other vindications in Tolkien of the "Divine Right," as it were. That it is natural is seen most clearly in Frodo and Sam's chancing upon the defaced statue at the Crossroads. The decollated head was rolled aside by the soldiery of the Dark Tower but, as if in reverence for the fallen king, a trailing plant with flowers as of silver stars had bound itself across the brow of the king and in the light of the westering sun it seemed to the hobbits that the king had a crown again. That it is proper is seen most clearly in the Lord Denethor's remonstrance with the young Boromir, who complained that his father was not a king despite the fact that the true king did not return. "In other places of less royalty," said Denethor, custom might dictate that the kingship passed to a lesser lord. "But in Gondor, ten thousand years would not suffice!" On this point it is also noteworthy that both Boromir and Denethor only gainsaid the return of the King under the influence of Sauron; Boromir by his overmastering lust for the Ring; Denethor through the medium of the palantír. And finally, the most important vindication of the sacredness of the king's person is the Royal Touch, and this cannot be passed to a lesser man but is inextricably linked to the King's royal lineage. It's very clear to me that Tolkien thought of the King as both an English king and a Byzantine, or rather Roman, emperor. You just have to look at a map of Europe.

Nine Nazgûl put Eärnur, the last King of Gondor, cruelly to death. Fifty-nine reprobate men signed King Charles' death warrant. But as Frodo said at the Crossroads, "they cannot conquer forever!" In both cases, after long grief and a bitter trial, there was a godly restoration. For England, bewailing the tyranny of wicked men upon this black day, this restoration took place on the King's very birthday, upon the 29th Day of May, to which evening was by providence appointed the Psalm (126):
When the LORD turned again the captivity of Sion, then
were we like unto them that dream. Then was our mouth
filled with laughter, and our tongue with joy. Then said they
among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for
Yea, the LORD hath done great things for us already,
whereof we rejoice. Turn our captivity, O LORD, as the rivers
in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that now goeth
on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed, shall
doubtless come again with joy, and bring his sheaves with
As therefore we bewail our manifold sins upon Good Friday with ash and sackcloth, yet look forward to the joy of Easter morn, so let us upon this day remember that the shadow is a fleeting thing. There is joy, truth and justice forever beyond its reach!

Bl. King Charles, pray for us.
God Save The Queen!

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