Corsica once had its very own king, albeit briefly.
Theodore Von Neuhoff was elected King Theodore I of Corsica in March 1736. Despite issuing edicts, minting coins, forming a knighthood, "the Order of Deliverance" and freeing all these imprisoned by the Genoese his reign ended in November in the very same year it began. With a history of financial misdeeds he once again failed to raise funds and fled to Amsterdam and was jailed for not paying his debts.
He tried again to reclaim his throne in 1743 but to no avail. He died in 1756 and his body interred at St Anne's church in Soho, London. A plaque in the church building is inscribed, Theodore King of Corsica.
Well, the Platinum Jubilee is upon us and it got me wondering whether or not during her 70 year reign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had ever visited Corsica. A little research and I discovered that she and the Duke of Edinburgh did visit once way back in March 1956. They flew to Ajaccio, carried out a flower laying ceremony then took a launch from the port to join the Royal Yacht Britannia to start a brief Mediterranean holiday. Pathé News covered the visit and there is a super black and white newsreel here with excellent commentary and music - The Queen on Holiday 1956
Of course the relationship between Corsica and the United Kingdom goes back a long way. In 1795 the new Corsican constitution put Corsica in a 'personal union' with the United Kingdom which amongst other things meant that there was a common monarch, George III. Who knew - I certainly didn't.
So that's Corsica's link with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Next time, the King of Corsica.
For now, God Save the Queen, Dieu Sauve la Reine.
Post script - sadly, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022.
© M.Lund 2013-23