Merry Christmas? It Is Now!

I just wanted to offer everyone a quick update regarding my son. It is good news, so bear with me! The messages of support and prayer after my last blog about him were so touching and meant a great deal to all my family.

We found out a few weeks ago that he had not in fact had viral meningitis. The lumbar puncture test showed no sign of the infection. We were then in the distressing position of learning from his consultant that they were looking at either a condition so rare that it only affects about 20 people in the world and which they have never treated, or tumour re-occurrence with talk of biopsy and treatment if that were the case.

Needless to say, it was terrifying news. Nick was due to have a more detailed than usual MRI scan early in December, but the scanner broke down in the morning and it had to be moved on a week. His consultant’s appointment also had to be moved on to yesterday, 23rd December. All of that put a bit of a dampener on Christmas preparations. He spent two and a half hours in the MRI scanner and we, along with the friends we are blessed with, have been praying (in our case frantically) for a good result.

We saw the consultant yesterday and it was the best news we could have hoped for. The scan was much improved. The areas of concern from the November scan had returned to normal. They now believe he has a condition called SMART – Stroke-like Migraine Attacks after Radio Therapy – a late effect of radiotherapy which is so rare that there isn’t really a treatment regime. Given the alternative to this, it was a relief and the best we could have wished for. Nick has once again faced all of this with his now customary strength and bravery.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to all of our friends, and to two in particular again. To everyone who sent messages of support and prayer through this blog and on social media, we cannot thank you enough. If anyone is looking for a demonstration of the power of prayer, you have it here. When Nick was originally poorly we used to joke (although how funny it is I don’t know) that God would save him just to get everyone that was praying for him to quiet down, such was the powerful response to his illness.

Thank you too to all of the amazing doctors, nurses and staff at the hospitals where he has been looked after. Their care has been faultless and I have nothing but praise for every single individual and the team of care and dedication that they make up.

I also need to say a huge thank you to the man upstairs. I have begged him for this outcome, one voice amongst many, and I believe that He has heard our prayers and answered them. My debt to Him increases and I still have no notion of how to pay it back beyond thanks, love and trying to live my life in a way that would make Him proud.

Well, it’s Christmas Eve. I hope that this is a positive message for you as we all hold our breath for the main event tomorrow. I wish every single one of you a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. Enjoy the festive season. Forget the presents for a moment and enjoy the time and the company. Raise a glass over dinner to the real reason we celebrate. It’s Jesus’s 2014th birthday and he’s still going strong. Maybe take a mince pie to a neighbour or pick the phone up to a relative you haven’t spoken to for a while. If you know someone who’s on their own, give them ten minutes of your day. It just might mean the world to them.

As Tiny Tim says ‘God bless us, every one’.

And He will, you know. Just believe, and ask.

Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you.

The Lewis family

Richard III’s Remains Rumble On

So, there’s more news and more debate on Richard III’s remains, two years after they were discovered. It seems his story, as well as his bones, cannot be laid to rest. At least I welcome the first of these two things.

We are now to be 99.999% certain that the remains found under the Leicester car park are Richard’s. We can also be quite confident that he had blue eyes and that, at least as a child, he had blonde hair. I have to confess that this changes my mental picture of him a little, but it’s at least news.

The fact that there are two breaks in the paternal line is also news. Of a sort. Someone, somewhere (well, okay, two people), in the course of four centuries was unfaithful. I’m not sure that’s really news. That rate is beaten on a daily basis on Jeremy Kyle. It’s interesting, but the report can’t point to which branch of the family has the break, whether it was before or after Richard III, and it could run into the 18th century as easily as date back to the 14th.

What does this mean for the current royal family? Nothing.

What does it mean for previous monarchs? Nothing.

What does it mean for the Tudor’s legitimacy? Nothing.

It’s no more questionable than before!

What is being overlooked at every step is that no monarch has ever been illegitimate. The current Queen is selected and ratified by Parliament, not by her father or the blood in her veins. This has been true for several hundred years now.

More importantly, the coronation ceremony, in which the monarch is anointed with holy oil, appointed before God and swears their oath, corrects any flaw in a monarchs title. If I was anointed King, it would be beyond doubt that I would be the rightful king. The action of anointing has created a monarch for centuries.

Henry Tudor claimed the throne of England thanks to his defeating of the reigning king. His blood meant nothing. The same was true of Edward IV, who deposed an anointed king. And Henry IV, who was the first to break the Plantagenet line of descent. Even William the Conqueror became king in this manner, yet we doubt none of them as monarchs. In each case, the coronation ceremony corrected any flaw in their right, title or blood.

Had Richard III decided to allow his nephew Edward V to be crowned and anointed, he would, in the eyes of canon and common law, have been the legitimate king. The marking of the cross on his forehead with holy oil would have driven any fault and any doubt away.

The same is true of the Queen today. It is sensationalism for sensationalism’s sake to question this.

There have been several rumours about illegitimate medieval royals. John of Gaunt, third son of Edward III used to fly into rages at the contemporary rumour that he was a butcher’s son. The fact that Edward III did not attend his birth is cited as evidence that something was amiss.

Edward IV was rumoured in the French court, and later in England, to have been the son of an archer named Bleyborne, a huge man whose frame matched that of the tallest king in English and British history. Edward’s father’s departure on campaign eleven months before his birth is also suspicious, if no chance of his return were possible. Edward was christened in a quite ceremony in a side chapel. Yet Edward’s coronation corrected any flaw that may have existed. That is probably part of the reason Richard III switched his allegations from questioning Edward’s paternity to challenging the legitimacy of his children. Edward IV had been anointed. Edward V had not. His flaw was raw, uncorrected.

What does this mean?

At the most, it suggests that every castle had a tradesman’s entrance.

What does it mean for the Queen’s position?

Nothing.

Nothing at all.