Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Girl in Scotland

At Glasgow University, walking around their Hogwarts-like halls.

My daughter saw the stained glass and said, "Daddy, was James II king in 1451?" I don't think so, I said -- he was king in the mid-1600s. It's very strange.

Looking it up at home, I found that Scotland had its own kings, including some Jameses with their own numbers. In fact, the numbering has caused some contention in the 300 years they've been united.

I'm told, a monarch has to take whatever number is higher, so if a James were to become king of England again, he would be James VII, after James VI of Scotland, and England would just have to skip over Jameses III - VI.

In two weeks, in theory, Scotland could have its own kings again.


Katherine said...

It hasn't quite worked that way -- British monarchs may have different numbers for England and Scotland. For example, Elizabeth II is simply Elizabeth in Scotland (since they haven't had a reigning Queen Elizabeth before). NO 'II' on the postboxes.

James I of England was James VI of Scotland; James II of England was James VII of Scotland. If England and Scotland stay together, when Prince Charles becomes king, he will be Charles III in both realms, but Prince William would be William V in England and (I think) William III in Scotland ...

Brian Kaller said...


Fascinating -- I didn't know that Elizabeth II was simply known as Elizabeth there. I should have looked at the post-boxes more closely when we were up north.

I was told by a BBC programme that they would take the higher number, but I might have misunderstood; this isn't my area.