This stinker from a Times article comparing the British and Japanese monarchies:
Elizabeth II is England’s fifth female monarch.
- Mary I (1553-58);
- Elizabeth I (1558-1603);
- Mary II (1689-94);
- Anne (1702-14);
- Victoria (1837-1901);
- Elizabeth II (1952-present)
That makes the present Queen our sixth female monarch, not including Lady Jane Grey or the Empress Matilda.
Unless of course they mean monarchs of The United Kingdom… but since the Act of Union was in 1707, that would mean the list only numbers three, which would be doubly wrong.
Don’t worry – I’ve already written in.
The Times makes no such embarrassing errors regarding the number of female monarchs in the Japanese monarchy – it correctly reminds us that woman are barred from succession to the Crysanthemum Throne, something I have complained about before. Then, I argued that this law, at the very heart of a country’s political system, served to demean women and should be abolished. Looking at the list above, I might also point out to the Japanese that the reign of a woman often co-incides with some of the most successful periods in British history. Why not give it a try?