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Monday, December 19, 2005

We are not amused...missed me!

While researching for the historical blogs post the other evening, I ...

Ahem...Yes, we do research at this blog. We're not amateurs, you know.

Well, we don't get paid either, but our mentality is very professional.

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, while researching for the historical blogs post, etc., etc., I was quite astonished to learn that Queen Victoria had survived a number of assassination attempts during her reign, all by pistol. (I always assumed royal assassination attempts prior to the Twentieth Century were by cannon or lance from upon horseback.)

This struck me as rather odd. It wasn't necessarily odd that someone would shoot at Her Royal Highness. Let's face it, monarchs are always the favorite targets of anarchist and other attention-seekers, and it didn't help that the monarchy was still very German in those days. The English locals were still of the mind that anyone with the surname Saxe-Coburg should be in Bavaria downing steins of lager and devouring bratwurst, rather that sitting on the throne, sipping tea and spitting out disdainful cries of "We are not amused" in-between cucumber sandwiches.

No, the feeling I had on learning that the longest reigning monarch in British history was an apparently impossible target was the same as the commander of the firing squad in the Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "The Cycling Tour" (known to aficionados of the program as Mr. Pither's Cycling Tour) after they lined up Pither and attempted to execute him:

"How could you miss?"

No offense meant to Her Royal Majesty Victoria Regina, but she was not a small woman.

I quickly grew to believe that the people attempting to shoot her were either the worst shots since the villians in the most recent Arnold Schwarzenegger action film, or the niece of William IV had a few tricks up her sleeve.

I did a little historical research and found a rather amazing early film that demonstrates why this particular queen was no easy target:

PS: There was an actual three frame image, but Blogger won't support this for some reason. Maybe they have something against gifs, one of the two bleedin' primary file formats for the WWW?


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