George Actually, by Ros Woolner

George actually

King George (the First – though actually, they didn’t call him that
till George the Second’s time, by when, of course, our George was dead)
came in fact from Hanover in Germany, which means
his name’s not George at all, but Georg.

This George (or Georg), followed Anne – though actually, they changed
the rules to stop Anne’s Catholic relatives becoming kings
and queens, so really there were several other cousins closer
to the throne when George pushed in.

Well anyway, Anne died and he was crowned – though actually,
it took six weeks (no telephones to break the news, no cars
or trains or planes, and when he reached the sea he had to wait
for winds and ships so he could sail).

Despite not speaking English well, George ruled for thirteen years –
with ministers to help him, naturally. In any case,
in Europe in those days, the language of diplomacy
was French. Not English. Actually.

Ros Woolner lives in Wolverhampton. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and journals, including Magma, The Cannon’s Mouth, The Interpreter’s House and Under the Radar, and she won the Guernsey International Poetry Competition in 2021. Her pamphlet On the Wing is available from Offa’s Press.


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