You are the one-day queen...

Monarchistic fate.

A couple years ago, when I came to the the UK, I looked back at my personal interests in sport, cultural differences and other funny oddities, and I realised one little thing that could be turned into a mantra. If you happen to be French, you can one day conquer Great Britain, but to do so you have to be a King, not an Emperor. Think of King William or King Eric. Think also of the Napoleon's mishaps... These three examples conquer the hypothesis, if I may say.

So the UK can be a blossoming country for French monarchs with great ambitions. Except that you are probably aware that King and Queen stories in France tend to be cut short. Let's say a head shorter than on this side of the Channel. Would that mean that our good fortune in England is now over? That our chances to succeed in this country have been beheaded? You wish...

We have a plan. We always have.

It is not a novelty to say the French are an arrogant lot. Yes, we are indeed. We are the best arrogant people in the entire world, I dare say, not to mention the Universe!!! We stand by our beliefs whatever it takes, and don't really bother about our own contradictions. Our national team emblem is a rooster, and that is for a good reason. The legend says that it has been selected as our mascot because it is "the only animal that continues singing even with both feet in the shit". I know, I know, I know... France, the country of the Enlightment, of the Human Rights, of the great Philosophers... Always up for a good old metaphor.

Anyway, you can imagine that if our fellow citizens have managed to invade the UK, pulling London to the top of the charts as the 6th French city in the world, they would not surrender their chances to conquer the whole country. But how to ensure that the French monarchistic lineage is maintained? Fortunately, we have in France an old tradition that can reveal quite useful for that matter.

As a matter of fact, every year, France celebrates Epiphany with a "Galette des Rois", or a King Cake. This is a cake in which a trinket, usually a porcelain figurine of a king or more traditionally a bean, is hidden when prepared. When desert comes, the youngest member of the assembly, and I assume the purest, will allocate randomly each slice of the cake to the attendees. If you happen to be the lucky person to break a tooth on the figurine, you will officially become king for the day.

Drawing the Queens & Kings

This is an ancient custom and it would find its roots in the early days of our civilisation. Not sure how popular it had been across the ages though. Imagine for instance a medieval king accepting to capitulate (for one day) in favour of his buffoon because the later found a bean in his cake. Not sure that the monarch's ego necessarily fully appreciated the situation and a few of the "lucky" winners must have lost their life for claiming the throne. I can even picture a few of them swallowing the bean to keep their head on, running the risk to choke in the process.

Nowadays, the tradition perpetuates with less risks, except for your newly whitened teeth maybe. The old-fashion bean has been replaced by marketing figurines of the latest Disney feature, pagan golden coins or some porcelain figurines from the crib... But the coronations persists. Cohorts of French children (and older gluttons) wear proudly their crown for the day.

So beware British citizens, on January 6th, French Kings and Queens might populate your streets on a quest for glory and conquest.

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