Culture

The House of Lancaster Has a Major Nepotism Problem


If you’re like me, you’d like to believe that Merry Old England is a meritocracy. You focus, for example, on the fact that the newly crowned Henry VI is the youngest king in several generations. “Wow,” you say. “He must be super precocious to get the job at such a tender age. He must have a real knack for diplomacy and look good in a big fluffy cape. There must be something undeniable about this kid, yeah?” Well, wait until you find out who Henry VI’s dad is—Henry V. Sorry to break the news, but your fave is a total nepotism baby.

One could argue that being the son of Henry V doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be successful in your chosen profession of King of England. But it gets your foot in the door in an industry where the barrier to entry is insanely high. When your last name is a Roman numeral, people are just more willing to take a chance on you in a way that they wouldn’t if your last name were “Mudshoveller.”

Maybe you’re thinking, Well, who cares if he’s not qualified. Henry V was a great king. He did that speech that time. Maybe it runs in the family! Gird your loins and guess who Henry V’s dad was. Just some guy, right? Wrong. It was Henry IV. I wish I could say that was the last of them, but there are some other people who got the throne through family connections. William the Conqueror? Conquering was an internship that didn’t exist until he applied! Edward the Confessor? Confess who pays your rent! Richard the Lionheart? Richard the legacy hire! His freaky lion heart had nothing to do with it! And, frankly, the list goes on and on.

It turns out that this has been happening for hundreds of years and for a bunch of Henrys. It’s like these people never once said to themselves, “Hey, I know a fantastic mud shoveller. Maybe he’d like a turn telling people what to do? Maybe he has a secret talent for receiving tribute from fiefdoms? Maybe he looks good in a big fluffy cape?”

And it’s been like that all the way back to the age of the Vikings—who may have conquered England without a letter of reference to help them out, but who are also (I’ll say it) a little problematic themselves. And, frankly, so are all the former Kings of England, so long as they continue to gain access to the corridors of power from their dads instead of from slitting someone’s throat like a regular person.

That’s why I’m very pumped for the House of York to ascend the throne instead. It would be a total one-eighty from the blatant cronyism that has marked the reign of the House of Lancaster. Go ahead—point out to me that they’re two different cadet houses of the same dynasty. The House of York is in touch with the common man in a way that the House of Lancaster could only dream of. Every time I see their coat of arms, something about all the quadrants and lions on it just screams, “These guys have my best interests at heart.” If I’m wrong, then my name isn’t Dylan Mudshoveller.



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