Trendy birthday gifts for late medieval English kings

So, I admit that I almost missed this birthday, so I’m doing that thing that the overworked middle class does when they don’t think of a birthday on time: rush out and buy an expensive gift and then bask in the recipient’s (sometimes feigned) appreciation of one’s thoughtlessness.

Salving my conscience with money, that’s how we absent-minded profs do it!

Yes, I’m getting Richard III an iPhone 5. This is really nice of me, because I don’t even have one. I still have a Nokia clamshell with no data, no photos, no nothing. A dumb phone, so to speak. So I really am sacrificing to make a truly regal gift!

And, yes, this post would be better with appropriate graphics, but that would verge onto the terrain of me having remembered the birthday in advance.

In other words: I’m grading today, Your Majesty!

I think Richard III is going to love this phone. In particular, he’ll be able to keep up with Richard Armitage very easily. They’ll be able to talk about when Mr. Armitage is going to be able to fulfill the terms of the charter and keep each other up-to-date about what’s going on with regard to Richard III’s mortal remains.

Now, with the iPhone, everyone knows, yeah, yeah, phone calls, but the real pleasure of the device lies in connectivity and getting the most useful apps. So I am equipping the device with the most generous data plan available and loading Richard Plantagenet’s iPhone 5 with the following ones that I think will be really useful.

iTunes: This app will make it easy for King Richard to keep up on the fifteenth-century English, French, and Burgundian Top Forty. He’ll thrill to the latest musical stylings, both secular and spiritual, of composers like John Dunstable, Josquin Desprez, and Robert Morton. And be able to crank his favorite versions of those fifteenth-century hits he just can’t forget, like “L’homme armé” (“The Man at Arms”), “Mille regretz” (“A Thousand Regrets”) and “Le souvenir de vous me tue” (“Your memory slays me”). I just learned that iTunes has a special extension app for fifteenth-century listeners that allows them to hear all the music that the Tudors destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries.

Infinity Blade, War of the Roses edition: This realistic medieval combat game will allow King Richard to practice hand-to-hand combat with Sir Wyllyam Gardynyr. Pointless, you say, since he’s already dead? Ah, but when the Apple Time Travel app finally goes live, Richard III will be ready to travel back in time. If he practices enough, he may be able to right the wrongs enacted upon him at Bosworth Field.

Instagram: I suppose King Richard can use this tool to take pictures of defensive fortifications, but really, I think it will be particularly useful for those times when King Richard and Anne Neville have to be separated. If they can’t be together, Richard and Anne can sustain their intimate relations and romantic interest in each other with sexting. I think that the ability to send erotic pictures is going to really spice up their marriage.

Dropbox: King Richard can use this to download bootleg versions of Mr. Armitage’s latest work and thus keep up to date on the career of his favorite actor. Let me know if you’d like his email so you can share with him.

Ancestry: This app allows you to identify and keep track of all of your relatives. Particularly useful is a reminder function that tells you where your nephews are at all times, so that you don’t get blamed for their murders when they get forgotten in the Tower of London.

I know there are some notable omissions here, but the phone and the data plan were expensive all by themselves, and so I thought maybe all y’all could chip in, if you liked this idea. When you buy him apps, though, please keep the following things in mind. I decided that encouraging him to play Words with Friends could only exacerbate political tensions around him. King Richard would probably want to play with his fellow nobles, but in an age of non-standardized English spelling and too many ambitious nobles with weapons and armies at the ready, the resulting disputes over spelling could make the Wars of the Roses look like child’s play. Finally, although I know this decision will be controversial, I decided against Angry Birds, since pigs take a real beating in that app, and because Richard III’s heraldic device includes the wild boar, I thought he might think it was an evil propaganda tool of his Lancastrian opponents.

Have I forgotten any really good apps? I wondered if Richard III would like to use pinterest to assemble creative ideas for improving his battle strategies, but I didn’t know if there was an app.

If you like this idea, you might want to consider getting one for your own favorite late medieval English king.

(Or your favorite slightly neurotic grading history professor. Who is going to stop procrastinating immediately!)


Speaking of ambitions: support those of Richard Armitage to act, direct, or produce a Richard III project here!

~ by Servetus on October 2, 2012.

26 Responses to “Trendy birthday gifts for late medieval English kings”

  1. […] his 560th birthday.   See what Servetus came up with at her blog Me + Richard Armitage:   Trendy birthday gifts for late medieval English kings         A present, we are sure would please King Richard III, is more […]


  2. Oh, so much more fun than grading! LOL Maybe I can find one of those portable charger thingies or a saint-of-the-day app. Or mayhap I’ll just have to go low-tech and light candles…


  3. My contribution to His Majesty’s gift: Weather 2X. Being the forethinking monarch he is, he may enjoy an innovative way to view weather conditions for locations that are of most import to him. Has rain muddied Bosworth Field? Is a cold front making the Tower of London unbearably chilled?

    Pinterest is indeed available for the regal iPhone5. And it’s free!

    CoPilot GPS may be of use when planning troop movement, so as to avoid the delays invariably caused by flocks of sheep across the roadways. (This too, is a free app!)

    Find My iPhone (another free one) for those inconvenient times when His Majesty leaves his iPhone in his other doublet.

    Happy 560th, Your Majesty!


  4. Reblogged this on Well, There You Go … and commented:
    It’s Good to be the King! Lots of Pressies!!! 🙂 What would you give a 560-year-old monarch?


  5. I have to say that whoever originally identified the location of Bosworth Battlefield must have been using Apple Maps…I assume the correct location was finally found using Google*

    *Other maps are available 😉

    And what about a Twitter app? We want to be kept fully appraised of what he’s up to 🙂


  6. I am so sucked into reading “The Sunne in Splendour” at the moment–already up to Ch. 9 for next week’s discussion. Ha!

    Anyway, Dickon might like an app that connects him with a skype like view of his dog (Irish wolf hound?)–Gareth’s 50th generation descendant. Ha!


  7. I need to get on your Birthday list Servetus 🙂


  8. You never know what direction you’re going to take on your blog. …always mixing it up and keeping it creative and interesting. I don’t own a cell phone much less an iphone, so I don’t have anything to add re apps.

    “Ya’ll” is one of my favorite southern expressions and I find it endearing despite the fact Paula Dean has practically run it into the ground. I also like “I reckon” which RA uses from time to time.


    • good for you for staying away from the cell phone. I only got one when my mom got sick — and I hate it.

      “Fixin’ to” was the one I picked up while living in TX that I really love. Also “all y’all.”


  9. You guys are so funny!!! Thanks for the laughs! But what the hell is PInterest? (I know, I should google it, LOL) Sometimes I really do feel like a dinosaur! The company I work for changed mobile phone providers so I had to give up my trusted “old” (2 yrs) Nokia for a Sony “smartphone”. I’m rather apprehensive about the new phone as I’ve always had Nokias and I don’t like it when the gadget itself is smarter than the owner (i.e., me)! 🙂


    • it’s a web app that allows you to easily collect links, pictures, ideas that you like in one place. You can also share your page with others. It was the latest hit thing this year. I have an account but I don’t have itme for yet another social medium.

      Know how you feel about the phone situation. Taht’s why I still have my old Nokia clamshell.


  10. Good luck with the grading, Professor! 🙂


    • Thanks. My plan actually worked — so I’m going to try to implement on a grander scale with the next wave. If this works out it may ahve saved my career.


  11. […] interest you, I know they’d appreciate help on their present to King Richard for his 560th. I got him an iPhone. However, he still hasn’t called to thank me! I guess being a deceased king means never […]


  12. Birthday gift for slightly deceased king: Retrieve Ritchie the horse from RH, after training him not to run away with his rider. Not trendy, perhaps. But he won’t have to barter his kingdom again…


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