John Charles Duffy agrees with this and argues that the end of the story does not offer a repudiation of this transgressive sexuality but rather an enhancement of it. While the King turns from the aesthetic to the ethical, and thus from ‘languor to a manly determination’, he does not abandon his love of the male body but merely transforms it from a desire for his social inferiors into a desire for Christ’s body (335). Ellis Hanson’s reading of the tale supports that posited by Duffy and points out that in the final movement of the story the King does not abandon the aesthetic sensibility that encouraged his initial interests in figures from a gay history, but rather transfigures this aestheticism through a Ritualist prism. Just as Anglo-Catholic Ritualists in England were considered of suspect sexuality because of the intensity of their male friendships and the aesthetic inflection of their liturgy and spirituality, so the King’s sudden turn towards the costume of the Anglo-Catholic confers upon him both the uniform of decadence and the blessing of righteousness:

The King’s conversion is not about shifting his gaze from the bodies of young men, but rather focusing his gaze on a single gorgeous male body: that of Christ.