Well, Oxford has just about reached the end of her academic year. The confident accents of the New England upper classes, so delightfully dominant in the streets of Oxford during Full Term, have given place to the no less inscrutable whimperings of Japanese tourists. In the Old Days, last Saturday was the end of the last of the four terms into which the academic year was divided: commonly called Act Term. The University "Act" was a scurrilous occasion upon which a youth called Terrae Filius made a satirical attack on pretty well everything. Unfortunately, so edifying a custom could not survive the eighteenth century. It is not simply that such things fell foul of whiggish standards of propriety; in the aftermath of the Hannoverian Usurpation they were positively dangerous. Oxford had retained her loyalty to her King, and the young men liked nothing better than to drink toasts to the King over the water, duck Hannover Rats in the river, and give noisy manifestations of their political preferences. So, after the failed attempt by James III in 1715 to restore lawful authority, prudence ordained that the University Act had to be neutered. Not that anybody imagined that Oxford had changed her views; the Elector sent a detachment of troops to make their own point, while demonstrating his favour for the junior university, where Whiggery prevailed, by giving it a generous benefaction of books. Oxford wits observed that he had certainly noticed Oxford's lack of loyalty and had equally accurately discerned Cambridge's lack of learning.
I don't suppose there are many around this July to drink loyal toasts or drown Whigs. Certainly not the New Englanders and probably not the Japanese. But today is the Birthday of the Prince who, by the laws of primogeniture inherits the crowns of Henry IX, and last Wednesday was the Anniversary of his Accession de jure to the Thrones of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland; to the Dukedoms of Bavaria, Franconia, and Swabia; and to the County Palatine of the Rhine.
Vivat Rex. Church and State. Redeat. You know it makes sense.