I met a very interesting chap in a Suffolk pub last night, but more of that later. I'd been listening to a talk in the local church by an expert on Heraldry. It has a language all of it's own for sure. Heraldry really brings it home that, in those days of yore, it wasn't about what you were, but who you were, that got you up the ladder of wealth, power and respectability in the world. You could be a total duffer but providing you came from the right family you'd have respect, political clout and a long line of suitors wanting to marry you. Thank goodness it's all changed nowadays because now, if you have too much power and wealth, all you end up with is a news empire and an invitation to give evidence at the Leveson Enquiry.
However, there was a downside. When I got home I got out the computer and a calculator and worked out that if Richard the Third had won the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and all his descendants had behaved themselves, there was a good chance that today, I'd be Queen.
As for the chap I met in the pub, he was an ex met police officer who joined about ten years before me but served on my old division. He was in the mounted branch but only served seven years before changing career. His father, however, did make a full career out of the Met. He featured prominently in this book. We'll be keeping in touch. Amazing who you can end up chatting to in a small pub in an even smaller village, when all you expected was to learn a bit about Heraldic symbology. It was a fortuitous meeting for sure.