Emperor enthroned: Who'd be a king?

Emperor enthroned: Who'd be a king?

It’s a while since Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair held sway as Ireland’s last high king. He died in 1198 and is buried at Clonmacnoise. In the interim, we played host to a litany of suzerains happy to rule us without the bother of securing a democratic mandate.

Though it is unlikely that Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair will be remembered in the Pine Room in Tokyo’s imperial palace today as Emperor Naruhito is enthroned, he and Naruhito represent the ancient tradition of monarchy — even if we were never so over-impressed as to imagine one of our high kings a god.

Naruhito became his dynasty’s 126th monarch last May after his father Akihito abdicated. Though the idea of inherited authority is not as unusual as we pretend, it may be a stretch to argue for the restoration of monarchies.

They, no matter how preposterous — King Bono I anyone? — could hardly be worse than Trump or Johnson. And the restoration process would make great reality TV. It might also renew the guillotine business when we decide to start all over again.

More in this Section

'If you want to feel good — okay smug — about yourself, buy or sell stuff secondhand''If you want to feel good — okay smug — about yourself, buy or sell stuff secondhand'

Being fat is hard, so I amputated my stomachBeing fat is hard, so I amputated my stomach

No denying there is a new era of hatredNo denying there is a new era of hatred

Ending racism must be a priority but it must always be seen in its proper context Ending racism must be a priority but it must always be seen in its proper context


Lifestyle

NAYA, a female wolf, arrived in Belgium in January last year.Naya’s ‘death’ leaves August a lone wolf

Adrian went to Scoil Oilibheir, Dublin Hill, for primary school and then on to St Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, for secondary school.School Daze with Adrian Russell: I was a good sport in class

Colm Murphy, of a renowned Cork arts family, used to travel the world as bodhrán player with Dé Dannan, but these days he’s happiest fishing and observing bird life, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Art of Affection: Colm Murphy on his love of painting

Antonia Smyth is wedding co-ordinator at the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore.You've Been Served: Antonia Smyth, Bridge House Hotel

More From The Irish Examiner