Wally and Liz, The Rest Of the Story

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Last week I mentioned the affair between Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth the First. You may be surprised to learn historians are suggesting this scandalous coupling probably never happened, but of course it, did. After all Sir Walt was always hanging around the palace and this was long before television, I mean what else was a young couple to do once the sun went down? Granted he was married but when a queen is in need… well, what is a loyal subject supposed to do? A command is a command.

We know he was one of her favourites although they later had a breach and he ended up in gaol. I don’t know what a breach is, but I suspect it had something to with him falling asleep in the middle of it. Sir Walter eventually was pardoned and went on to do all kinds of marvelous things – so marvelous in fact that James the First had him executed. Kings didn’t fiddle about back in those days; cross His Majesty and you went home with your head in a bag.

I hate to bring this up when there are so few recent photographs of her but Her Majesty was not what I would call a looker. Well, think about it; she was called the Virgin Queen and that doesn’t suggest she was turning away suitors by the cartful. One article I read about her said she was quite beautiful, a tall redhead with a great hooked nose. I suppose a hairdresser or an anteater might get turned on but the average English suitor, I don’t think so. Plus she used a lot of face powder; the Estée Lauder wagon was there once a week which suggests her teenage acne hung around until she was 60.

She was also the head of The Church of England and that doesn’t suggest she was a holy terror in the four-poster. Of course I was brought up in the United Church and we don’t approve of shenanigans like that at any time. When a church doesn’t approve of playing cards for years you know that kinky stuff is out of the question.

Elizabeth was quite intelligent and could read and write several languages. And we all know there is nothing that turns a young man’s fancy to thoughts of love and romance as having some chick read the works of Homer to him in the original Greek, especially if there is wine involved.

There are pages and pages written about her expertise in political affairs and international diplomacy but precious little about Elizabeth’s personal life. Even my Grade 9 Britain’s Story is shy on any stuff a teenage boy would want to know.

That was the trouble with the history they taught in high school in the 50s and it probably still is today. Most teenage boys could care less about political intrigue, assassinations, and which kingdom waged war on which duchy. However, which princess was inclined to be a bit frisky and with which earl or knight did she frisk with was important. A mere mention of a passionate affair could, and probably still does, give a young lad something to think about long after his mommy tucks him in and turns the light out. Unless of course her lover is a Knight of the Garter, and well, I am afraid that is another matter altogether. I should explain that. If Sir Bruce kept his puce stockings up with a lace garter to be in style we didn’t want to hear about it. At least we didn’t back when I was a lad; I’m not sure about boys today. Since most of them walk around with the ass of their pants hanging around their knees you will have to ask them what is acceptable in the world of male fashion.

Can you imagine how reliable political news was in the 1500s and 1600s? Most royal gossip was whispered from one chambermaid to another and really kinky stuff would be all around the palace before the knight got his doubloons pulled back up, but important world-changing events took weeks or months to get from one country to another. The Battle of New Orleans was fought two months after the war was over and the treaty signed, but the news hadn’t got that far yet, a bit late if someone is chasing you with a bayonet.

(Photo by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)

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