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Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom (Topic)

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The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom is an honorary position appointed by the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently on the advice of the Prime Minister. The role does not entail any specific duties, but there is an expectation that the holder will write verse for significant national occasions. The origins of the laureateship date back to 1616 when a pension was provided to Ben Jonson, but the first official holder of the position was John Dryden, appointed in 1668 by Charles II. On the death of Alfred Lord Tennyson, who held the post between November 1850 and October 1892, there was a break of four years as a mark of respect; Tennyson's laureate poems "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" were particularly cherished by the Victorian public. Four poets, Philip Larkin, Thomas Gray, Samuel Rogers and Walter Scott, turned down the laureateship. The holder of the position as at 2019 is Simon Armitage who succeeded Carol Ann Duffy in May 2019.

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