Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and his family were speaking at the table the other night. Conversation turned to the marriage of Prince William (of Wales) to Catherine Middleton. Neither of your Maximum Leader’s daughters seemed to be terribly interested in marrying into royalty, but as the conversation flowed we started to discuss precedence. Namely who follows whom or is seated next to whom at important state functions. While realizing that the wedding of William & Kate is not going to be a state function, there will be lots of important personages who will have to be seated and that there must be some official order to everything.

Your Maximum Leader, who knows a little bit about protoccol, speculated that royals (or other heads of state) would be given precedence according to the age of their nation and royal line. So he speculated that the Emperor of Japan would naturally be first in terms of precedence. Emperor Akihito is the latest of a long (and to your Maximum Leader’s knowledge largely unbroken) line of succession. Your Maximum Leader further speculated that by that standard if you are mixing royals and other heads of state you would likely put the Pope second.

Well… A quick googling of this item shows just how wrong your Maximum Leader was. Assuming that Wikipedia is correct, precedence is given according to longevity as head of state. Thus the King of Thailand is first in order of precedence and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain (etc. etc.) is second. (Emperor Akihito looks to be 19th. Right behind Robert Mugabe! NB to Mrs P - is that Ghoul Pool still going? Has anyone cashed out yet?)

So, tonight at the dinner table your Maximum Leader will have to set the record straight with his family on precedence.

Carry on.

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