"So, Mum.. who's actually in charge of the country, then? The Queen, or the Prime Minister?"
We talked about revolutions, and the civil war. King Charles getting his head cut off. The French, cutting nearly everyone's heads off. The Russians, just shooting theirs.
The Battle of Hastings. Oliver Cromwell and the interregnum. Charles II and the Restoration. Republics and monarchies. Constitutional monarchies.
We went through a rough history of suffrage, and when she asked again: "But which one is really in charge?" I explained about Royal assent, Reserve power and we discussed the relative merits of balancing power in this way. I was amazed that I knew so much, and that she responded so well. (Maybe she was amazed that I responded so well too.)
She got very interested in the practical reality of war, both civil and otherwise. Was I alive in the French Revolution? The Russian one? The First World War? The Second? (Stop sniggering at the back there!) She wanted to know what it was like to have your country invaded, and what did people do about aeroplane bombers, and how did anti-aircraft guns work (I don't know! "Um.. they're big, and they point at the sky..? We'll look at some books about it later." :-) )
And what was it like to live in the blackout? I could tell her about this - my dad was about the age she is now when the blackout here ended and can remember very well the lights coming back on. They lived in the valley below our house, and his dad brought him up our hill to see the illumination. There were a tenth as many lights as there are down there now, and they were a tenth as bright, but he still remembers it 65 years later, so incredible an experience it was.
So, that's history [check] and politics [check] and wow, she asks such brilliant questions and I love love love engaging with her in the answers [check] and it's ok that I don't know all the answers [check] and yes, home education ROCKS. [check]
Anyway, we got out of bed then, and made breakfast.