The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Once and Postmortem Queen

    There have been several cases where the dead have voted, and more than a few where a dead man has won an election. Portugal can go one better though. That nation is unique in having crowned a corpse Queen. Therein hangs a tale of forbidden love, political intrigue, and sweet revenge.

    Prince Pedro was the son King Alfonso IV and heir apparent to the throne. He was married to Constanca, but had the hots for one of her ladies in waiting, one Ines de Castro,  who was of noble blood from the royal house of Castile although her line bore the sinister bar. Constanca however died in childbirth and soon decorum was thrown to the wind. Alfonso did not approve, especially after young Ines began to bear children. He no doubt feared that quicker than you could say "fratricide" the sole legitimate offspring of Prince Pedro would have an unfortunate accident.

   He decided to strike first. He had her beheaded with the collaboration of three of his counselors in a monastery in front of her and Pedro's children. Pedro bided his time and nursed, one presumes, a royal grudge. In the fullness of time, after about five years, the King went on to whatever reward awaited him in the next life and Pedro inherited the throne.

   His first act as King was to announce that he and Ines had been secretly wed unbeknownst to his late father and thus all of their children were born on the proper side of the blanket after all. He then had her body, which was doubtless thoroughly ripened by then disinterred and crowned Queen in a formal ceremony, or so the macabre legend has it.

     There is one more detail, although this part of the legend is somewhat apocryphal, it is said that he required the court of his late father to kiss the withered lips of the Queen as a gesture of fealty...and, no doubt, revenge.

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   Be seeing you.

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