I'm writing an historical fiction story involving a king at the time. Now, I've been told in English grammar that one does not capitalize 'the King' (as shown there - rather, it should be written 'the king') when referring to any king not currently in rule. (i.e. "according to the king," as opposed to "according to the King", or "the king said" versus "the King said"). But in the context of the story, the king IS in rule, even though I'm writing it now, and I've read some biographies (on kings) where the author DOES capitalize 'the King' and others where he/she does not, so it sometimes seems that this rule is being bent.
What sayeth thou?
Also, does it make any difference when the narrator says 'the king' and when a character says 'the king,' because if we were to get really anal *cough* I am the narrator and therefore when I write 'the king' I'm writing about a king ruling in the past and hence wouldn't capitalize, yet if one of my characters says 'the king,' they ARE referring to a currently ruling king (in the story, in their time) so would it suddenly be capitalized?! *dies*
As a real aside, what about referring to sides in a war? I.e. Royalists vs. Parliamentarians. Are those always capitalized or not? I've seen differing versions of this in biographies as well. Sometimes I hate English. I want to capitalize everything, put commas after everything and just be done with it!