C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength contains the following passage:

“Look out! Look out!” said a dozen voices at once as a splintering of glass became audible and a shower of stones fell onto the Common Room floor. A moment later several of the Fellows had made a rush for the windows and put up the shutters: and then they were all standing staring at one another, and silent but for the noise of their heavy breathing. Glossop had a cut on the forehead, and on the floor lay the fragments of that famous east window on which Henrietta Maria had once cut her name with a diamond.

Although this is clearly a minor device in a fictional location, the blogger "A Pilgrim in Narnia" points out that the novel makes references to real places in Britain, and speculates here that the fictional Bracton College, where the above scene takes place, is a representation of Malvern College in Worcestershire, which Lewis attended.

This brings up whether such acts of petty vandalism by bored monarchs are historically verifiable.

Henrietta Maria herself was vilified as a proxy to her husband Charles I, and because she would not give up her Catholic faith. So this characterization by Lewis could be a faint echo of that.

Is there a "Henrietta Maria Window" or anything like it in Malvern College, or some other institution associated with C. S. Lewis? Alternatively, was HM known to perform acts of petty vandalism like this?

  • 1
    I’m sure Her Majesty would never perform any petty vandalism. – Fivesideddice Apr 14 at 5:59
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    @Fivesideddice Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say. – Spencer Apr 14 at 10:15
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    @Spencer Does scratching initials in a window pane count as petty vandalism? – MAGolding Apr 14 at 19:41
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    @MAGolding Unless you consider it a major felony. – Spencer Apr 14 at 23:40

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