Lewis Hulatt, Consultant Solicitor for Major Family Law, the divorce and family law specialists, who is based in Surrey, comments:
St George’s Day 2016, flicking on the television, I saw HRH Prince Charles uttering perhaps the most famous line in drama “To be, or not to be? That is the question!”
Whether in the week of his mother’s 90th birthday, HRH was deciding on whether to give up on ever becoming King Charles III – to never play the King after decades of being the understudy – we can never know, but to utter those words in the theatre celebrating the life of the most renowned English playwright after 400 years would have been a right royal jest.
One comedian unable to share that was the late Victoria Wood. Queen (of comedy) Victoria reigned as the pre-eminent female stand-up of her era and with her engaging characters, such as separated dinner-lady Brenda, we felt an unjustified familiarity with her. That sad announcement was followed by news of the death of the artist formerly known as Prince. What with BB King and ‘Ace of Spades’ Lemmy going, court cards have been disappearing like courts. Perhaps Jack Bruce started the run of cards, but we have lost entertainers from A to Z in a short period. From Alan Rickman to Pete Zorn, the world is a duller place without them, but we have recordings, so they are not truly lost. With Shakespeare, we have plays and poems.
Facts about William Shakespeare are few compared to those celebrities – records show he came from Warwickshire, lived in Stratford-Upon-Avon, worked in the theatre in London and was credited as author of a number of plays – many containing the first recorded use of everyday words and phrases. He died on St George’s Day, survived by his older wife of many years.
Shakespeare wrote with some knowledge of the law and may have worked as a law clerk during his undocumented ‘lost years’ before becoming a professional entertainer. Scholars still look for new ways to extract the ‘Shakespeare-DNA’ from works of that period. After four centuries, that is quite an artistic legacy.
The loss of a spousal relationship is a bereavement – what could have been, will not be, but people can still celebrate what they had, rather than only mourn – four hundred years after the death of Shakespeare, the Heir-Apparent of England stood on stage and did just that.
At MFL we try to avoid “the law’s delays” that troubled Hamlet.
“Let’s Do It!”