Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Cousin Jane

Tell you what- I can recite the names of the Kings and Queens of England from Richard III to Elizabeth II without pause for thought

Richard III
Henry VII
Henry VIII
Edward VI
Elizabeth I
James I

Want me to go on? No, I thought not.

And I owe it all to my cousin Jane.

It was c. 1960; she was  turning out her toy cupboard because she was getting to be all grown up-  and I was being  given things. 

"Here Anthony, do you want this?"  (What long legs she had!) 

And one of the things I got given was an album of cigarette cards of The Kings and Queens of England from William the Conqueror through to George V and Queen Mary.

I never mastered the medieval period. Sorry about that . Too many Henrys.

My cousin Jane went on to be a dolly bird.  So much kohl!

She had tawny hair like a lion's mane.

She married a museum director and was friends with Sir John Betjeman and owned photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron.

I  know about the Camerons because I was at her house once. 

Just the  once.

But I got invited to her daughter's wedding.  It was like that first wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The groom was some sort of a Lord, I think, and in the diplomatic service.

 And after that I sent her a Christmas card, but she never sent one back. .

I would have liked to have been her friend.

But it's too late now. She's been dead for nearly twenty years. The funeral was in Worcester Cathedral.

Where King John is buried.

And I'm more grown up now than she ever got to be.
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