Sunday Life

Enough to turn Orangemen green

By Grainne McCarry
25 January 2004

KING Billy may be more myth than legend - according to a new TV show.

The programme - You Thought You Knew - is one of a three-part series on BBC Northern Ireland, which promises to "amaze, educate and entertain" Ulster viewers.

And that it certainly does!

For one of the revelations made will certainly cause Orangemen to feel a bit GREEN around the gills.

The show reveals that King Billy had to be CARRIED over the Boyne during his famous battle against King James, after he suffered an asthma attack when his horse got stuck.

Presenter Jim McDowell's description of King William is not quite the same as the image of the hero-worshipped legend sitting tall on his white horse.

Historians now believe William to have been a weak, sickly man, with a hunched back, rotten teeth and a hook nose.

Not only do they say Billy's horse was brown and not white, but that his army wore GREEN headgear, and featured the mainly CATHOLIC Dutch Blue Guards.

Most dramatic of all, is the claim that the Protestant hero was on the payroll of none other than the Pope!

lYou Thought You Knew: King Billy, BBC1 Northern Ireland, Wednesday, January 28, 10.35pm.

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