No one, especially in adulthood, believes legends to be true. Of course, there are very well-known stories that inspire our imaginations — infantile or not — and have been handed down for generations. One example is the legend of Excalibur — the famous sword buried in the stone that could only be pulled free by the true king of England. That turned out to be Arthur. Legend also has it that years later the fatally injured king threw the sword into a pool where it was taken by the mysterious Lady of the Lake in what is now the English county of Cornwall…
It’s just a coincidence, but when seven-year-old Matilda Jones was on holiday in Cornwall and asked her father Paul if she could go for a paddle in Dozmary Pool, he had just told her about the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur moments before. Matilda had only been in the water a short time when she spotted something under the surface. The young girl was sure it was a sword.
“I told her not to be silly, and it was probably a bit of fencing,” her father Paul Jones explained. “But when I looked down, I realized it was a sword. It was just there lying flat on the bottom of the lake,” he added.
It didn’t take much for Matilda to reach down and draw it out of the water.
— Vincent Gonzalez (@religiousgames) September 6, 2017
Proud of her trophy, the little girl was immediately immortalized in several photos…
Her Royal Highness, Matilda Jones, Queen of the Britons!
This girl found a (movie prop) sword while swimming, so…
God Save the Queen! pic.twitter.com/HShXwtWyXx
— Daniel Davis (@AlabamaSamurai) September 5, 2017
— Mike Martin (@historiarex) September 4, 2017
The story was soon picked up by local newspapers, tapping into people’s curiosity about myths and legends, particularly given that — according to local folklore — Dozmary Pool was the lake where Arthur was supposed to have thrown away the sword.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) September 5, 2017
Could Matilda be a re-incarnation of the Lady of the Lake? Or perhaps a future Queen of England? She has the same name as Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, who was a potential heir to the throne back in the 12th Century. It seems unlikely. But even though the sword doesn’t seem to be all that old, and Matilda’s father has a theory that it’s a prop from a movie, why not give Matilda the chance to become part of King Arthur’s legend for a little while…