Later this month the Queen will become the longest serving monarch in British history, overtaking Queen Victoria.
That might sound like an incredible achievement but it’s not really that interesting. Old Liz has simply lived longer than someone who had no access to antibiotics.
The monarchs we find interesting are the mad ones and the bad ones. And now Henry VIII has been officially voted the worst of the lot.
In a survey conducted by the Historical Writers Association the wife-murdering glutton took 20 per cent of the vote. Robert Wilton, author of The Spider of Sarajevo, described the king “a gross man-child, wilfully and capriciously dangerous to everything around him including the country”.
Interestingly, the Queen’s uncle Edward VIII came in second worst with 14% of the vote ahead of John I and Charles I, who both got 8 per cent.
That seems a little harsh considering Edward was king for about ten minutes and John murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury and lost Normandy and Charles I was so bad that he had his head chopped off.
The other Elizabeth came out as the best monarch in history receiving 62 writers’ votes, whereas our queen received just one.
That writer definitely has his eye on a knighthood.