Saturday, September 10, 2005

It's Good to Not Be the King

From The (Melbourne, Australia) Age:

Aussie Mike the true King of England

September 11, 2005

The man named by historians as the rightful heir to the English throne has a republican's disdain for the big job. Matthew Benns enjoyed tea with the reluctant monarch.

BUCKINGHAM Palace would be run differently if Australian rice farmer Michael Hastings successfully pursued his claim to the English throne. "Well, I'd put a keg on for the palace garden parties and some party pies instead of cucumber sandwiches for a start," he says.

"And I'm thinking of sending Lizzie a bill for 500 years of back rent on the palace, too."

It has been more than 18 months since a team of British historians led by Tony Robinson — Baldrick in the Blackadder TV series — turned up on the doorstep of his modest weatherboard home in the southern NSW town of Jerilderie and told the 63-year-old widower he was the real King of England.


"They arrived here and filmed my surprise as they put the family tree down on the table," recalls Mr Hastings.


"Who would bloody well want it, anyway?" asks the man who should be known as King Mike I.

"I feel sorry for poor old Liz. I think she has a very hard life because it is so regimented. I do what I want, but if Liz wants to sit in and watch Fawlty Towers on TV, she can't."


[Read the whole story]

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