He should know that the correct answer to "where was the Magna Carta signed?" is "At the bottom". Boris Johnson reckons he pretended not to know what Magna Carta meant, which IMO is not impossible. I just cannot imagine that an Eton education leaves you not knowing that sort of thing.
The Alfred one. If people have vaguely retained that he led a renaissance in Anglo-Saxon culture and he was a great Anglo-Saxon king who resisted the Vikings then they've retained the important things, IMO, and it's kind of logical from that to conclude he was an early King of England. So I think Wessex is a bit of a tough answer.
Whereas with say the Becket one, I don't know that period at all but I know he was Archbishop of Canterbury and was murdered at the door of a cathedral, so Canterbury Cathedral follows. Equally, that would have been a trick question if he'd happened to get murdered in York Minster or something.
Ahh, right. No, I think Wessex is fair enough. If you don't know England wasn't unified then, you will get tut tutting from me. But then I am mostly chanelling Oliver Neil on the Vikings programme referring to 'national mindset' at around that time!
I think you're right a lot of people who say he was 'a king of England', and would not be incorrect. It comes down the definite/indefinite, I guess.
I reckon most of these are more obscure than the meaning of Magna Carta, though! We did that when we were 12!
Hmm, but you might retain all the important basics about Alfred and not know exactly when he reigned or what stage the unification process was at. It's less than a hundred years or so before there are actual "kings of England", and they were styling themselves "kings of the Anglo-Saxons" or similar for longer, I think? I think it would be possible to understand the basic significance of Alfred and not know where his exact title fitted in to the whole thing.
It bloody worked, the lying thing too. Colleague of DP's was ranting about it and saying it was ridiculous Cameron was expected to know these things (although he just meant the 1215 date!)
According to that Metro article he did know the context, in that he could say what the Magna Carta was about. He just didn't know what the Latin meant. Makes it even more suspicious IMO. A little sign must have gone on in his brain saying "Do not let the plebs know I understand Latin".
You'd have to be very rubbish, though, with the amount of Latin teaching he'd have had. Even if you teach someone something they have no interest in, if they're exposed to it for so long, they will pick up the very basic stuff.
DH got the Alfred one, but I didn't. Got 16, which I am happy with for a non Brit, and interested that most I knew I learnt from fiction, not in my MA in History. The only ones I actually knew from uni was the date of the exhibition and the PM question