Why King George III Can Encrypt

King George III set aside his quill, having completed secret orders to put down the rebellion. It was imperative that they remain secure, visible only to Generals Gage and Howe. The King opened a cabinet in the wall behind him, revealing hundreds of locks each labelled with the name of a British General. Selecting one with “Gage” engraved on the side, the King placed his orders for General Gage in an impregnable metal box and secured it shut with the lock. Since only General Gage possessed the corresponding key, the King knew that the orders were secure from prying eyes. After doing the same for General Howe, King George marked the boxes with his royal seal, whose imprint was known throughout the world. Anyone who received the message could now be sure it came from the King.  Several weeks later, two metal boxes arrived on the King’s desk, one bearing the unforgeable imprint of General Gage’s seal and the other of General Howe’s.  Both boxes were bound shut with locks engraved with “His Majesty King George III” on their sides. The King unlocked the boxes with his personal key, revealing two identical documents: “It is done.”

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