Philip II’s royal straightforwardness, a relief from labyrinthine bureaucracies

June 2, 2011

After several months of working with Philip II’s ministers on an important business transaction, an Aragonese man resolved to discuss the matter with the king directly. Having heard him explain the issue, the king replied: “I’m sorry, but what you are requesting is impossible.”

“Oh, I’m immensely grateful to Your Majesty for this favorable reply.”

“I trust you understood my response. It is impossible to do what you are asking for.”

“That is exactly why I’m so grateful. Your Majesty’s ministers gave me the runaround for months, making me waste time and money. Your Majesty cleared everything up with one simple word.”


Celnart, Choix d’anecdotes (Paris: Roret, 1828), Vol. 3, p. 182. ( translation.)


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 80


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