Abdications And Such

Top 6 |  by Chris Scott

Premier Brad Wall’s last day on Saskatchewan’s figurative throne is Jan. 27. Though still popular, Wall leaves under a cloud as scandals and deficits swirl around the government he led for a decade. To mark the occasion, here are six other leaders who left.

1 Cincinnatus

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (513-430 BC) was a Roman patrician and leader of the early Republic who had become a symbol of Roman virtue by the time of the Empire. Cincinnatus was working on his farm in old age when citizens called upon him for leadership, and bam! after a swift victory he obtained total control over the state. Whereupon he dropped the mic and returned to his farm.

2 Queen Christina of Sweden

Queen Christina (1626–1698) was Queen of Sweden from 1654, ascending to the throne at age 18. One of the most educated women of her time, she embraced learning and wanted to turn Stockholm into the “Athens of the North”. She rejected the traditional subservient role of women  and caused a huge scandal when she decided not to marry. At age 28, she handed the throne over to her cousin and converted to Roman Catholicism. She’s remembered for her unconventional lifestyle and masculine dressing, and is the subject of countless plays, operas and films, including Ingmar Bergmann’s The Abdication.

3 Pope Benedict XVI

Most Popes die in the saddle but in 2013 Benedict, citing ill health and old age (and conspicuously NOT citing the scandal over cover-ups of priests abusing children), became the first to voluntarily leave under his own steam since 1294. See? Even Popes know when not to Pope.

4 Edward VII

Eddie caused the largest constitutional crisis in the modern world in 1936 because he wanted to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson and the Commonwealth clutched its pearls. As head of the Church of England, he wouldn’t be allowed to marry someone whose ex–spouse was still alive, so he bailed, married Simpson and became friendly with Nazis (but that’s another list).

5 Richard II

Richard (1367–1400), son of Edward The Black Prince, was invested at the age of 10 to prevent his Uncle, John of Gaunt, from seizing the throne. When Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Darby, also said it was his, Richard exiled him. After much squabbling over lineage, parliament sided with Bolingbroke and on Oct. 1, 1399 Dick II was deposed. LOL Richard, U suk.

6 Richard Nixon

The 20th Century’s big Dick wasn’t shy about making life difficult for his political enemies. Unfortunately for the second-term President, he’d secretly taped conversations that proved he’d tried to cover-up a June 17, 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate hotel. He would’ve gotten away with it too, if not for that meddling Supreme Court. Nixon resigned Aug. 9, 1974, and no U.S. President ever obstructed an investigation again. LOL.