All the royal props: the crowns, the robes, the thrones, the pavilion, are constant and venerable. They symbolize the picture of court for each of us, but there is one more part that does not stay the same, that does not always do what is expected, that does not even always fit into our personal picture. I refer, of course, to the Royalty.
Yes, Royalty are necessary, but it is odd that we promote someone for fighting skillfully and honorably and someone else for personal, one-to-one inspiration into positions that are mostly administrative and theatrical. It usually works out well (whether due to luck or some subtle mechanism, I don't know.) Nevertheless, it usually takes a new king or queen a few tries before they realize how much work and preparation goes into making a court that looks good and is less boring. Like most skills, the better a court is, the easier it looks.
Some might bristle at the suggestion that court is nothing more than a mere thespian exercise. Of course it is more, but it is more because of its effects, not its composition. A Crown cannot create an occasion that will move people and be important to them without working at it; if the Crown is the star of the program, It must be able to support its weight. Working out timing, clarity, and drama beforehand is not manipulative; it doesn't make the oaths any less meaningful. It is a way to let everyone at court see, hear, and participate. It is "theater" to let all of court enjoy the drama, commendation, honor, keen wit, clever asides, generous gifts, frenzied war-mongering, and other displays made at the thrones, but it is a service to the kingdom as well.
Such a service makes sure gifts are presented in ways that can be appreciated, if not enjoyed outright, by everyone, keeps private conversations to a minimum, shares the humor that finds its way to the Royal ear, values the patience (and hydration) of the populace more than whims, friends, or gifts to the Crown, and strives to make court an exciting gathering rather than an obligation of endurance.
We can re-create the romance and chivalry of Royalty. We can be part of a special place based on courtesy and honor. We can wait respectfully and eagerly upon the words of our Crown, but they have to remember their lines.
Richard of Seahaven, AS XXIII
Copyright © Richard C Haven 1989, All Rights Reserved