Queen Elizabeth II had 15 prime ministers in the course of her long reign; King Charles III is already preparing to receive his second premier next Friday, just 50 days after his accession. He may overtake his mother’s record sooner than expected, due to the emerging phenomenon of prime minister churn. Seasoned commentators claim there is no precedent for the current crisis in the Tory Party. That is true as regards recent history, but the party’s implosion over the Corn Laws in 1846 was a similar disaster. The closest precedent for today’s chaos was the party’s collapse in 1714, when despite two sweeping election victories and the ending of the War of the Spanish Succession with the Treaty of Utrecht (Europe again!), the rival Tory leaders Oxford and Bolingbroke, obsessed with hate-filled rivalry, were taken by surprise by the long-expected death of Queen Anne and their party lost power for 69 years.