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Who Died and Made you King?

In the early 90’s or so, this was a popular expression – Who died and made you king? It was obnoxious then as it is now, a way to cut down someone who is deemed to be lording it over you. 

Recently, the world saw the practical application of this expression on the event of King Charles’ Coronation. More accurately, the moment his mother died on September 8, 2022, Prince Charles became king. The Queen died and he became king –  so now you’ve got your answer, Cher. Yes, the Cher. I once heard her use that expression on TV and that’s when I realized how popular the expression was.  

Canada has already made some, seemingly, seamless changes to longstanding terms that many commonwealth countries use. In the legal profession, the term Queen’s Counsel has been in use for 70 years and 214 days – the length of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It came to an abrupt end upon her death. In other words, it changed to King’s Counsel once her male heir took over the throne.

You’ve probably seen it at the end of a lawyer’s name, Joan Brown, Q.C.  Now she would be addressed as, Joan Brown, K.C. This designation is conferred to select lawyers in recognition of the excellent skill and expertise they display in the legal profession and also attests to the strong personal contributions they have made to their communities.

Another such legal term that changed is The Court of Queen’s Bench which has been changed to the Court of King’s Bench. In Canada, this is the trial level court where civil and criminal matters are heard. 

When you come across these and other changes, just remember, “Who died and made him king?” The answer King Charles: Yo Mama!

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