BITS OF TRIVIA AND HISTORY
(This was written in the fall of A.S. XXXV.)
Unto all who come by these letters does Countess Aindrea MacCullaich, send greetings
In my enthusiasm for ceremony and relative youth in the College of Heralds, and in an effort to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Outlands tradition, I have been inspired to write my observations and collected facts about Outlands Coronation Ceremonies. I hope that in reading this your time will not have been wasted.
I address first the subject of Royal Regalia and its historic places within the Coronation Ceremony, and perhaps some little bits of interesting trivia.
Thunderhead, the Great Axe: It is the oldest piece of regalia the Outlands has. It was made by Kirby Wise during Prince Gunwaldt’s tenure, and carried by every Prince and King of the Outlands. In most Coronation Ceremonies, it is called the “Voice of Tradition and mighty in Lore.” Kings are directed to “Honour this Axe as you Honour the counsel of those who are steeped in the traditions of the Outlands.”
During the ceremony it is entrusted by the outgoing King to either a member of the Chivalry or the Warlord. When it is given to the new King, it represents the Chivalry when the three peerage orders are called.
Lightning, the Sword of State: Also made by Kirby Wise, with designs that match the original crowns, it is the symbol of the King’s might and justice. The Outgoing King’s Champion is often entrusted to give it to the rightful heir. The King’s Champion has the privilege to bear the sword in court for the King. In the Champion’s absence, the King often chooses a knight present to hold it.
Signet Rings: Made by Master Waltari (the Premier Laurel of the Outlands), the bag they are carried in was made by THL Etain of Durham, which is why there is a Drygestani blasted tree on one side. They traditionally are passed by the Pelican chosen by the outgoing Crown to give to the new Crown. Most times they are carried with the Great Seal. When they are handed off, the Crown has in the past been charged to “guard well the peace and foster unity throughout Your Realm,” and “Protect rights and distribute justice and mercy equally throughout Your lands.” In one ceremony (Johann III and Monika), they were referred to as “the symbol of (the Crown’s) Marriage to the Realm.”
The Great Seal: Made by Master Waltari and repaired by Master Tore. In some older ceremonies it has been entrusted to and passed by the Kingdom Seneschal. It is the symbol of justice, equality and the administration of the kingdom. The current Seal is the second one the Outlands has had. The original was given to Jarl Gunwaldt and Countess AElflaed by King Cameron and Queen AnneAliz after the new one was completed.
The Sceptre: It is passed by the Laurel, representing the Arts and Sciences. In the past, Crowns have been directed to “foster the growth of courtesy and chivalry throughout all Your lands.”
I will write now of traditions and what is requisite for Outlands Coronations.
Kings Crown Kings. Since Gunwaldt was crowned the first Prince of the Outlands by King Deaton of Atenveldt, every Prince and King was crowned by his predecessor, except when we became a kingdom and King Brion of Atenveldt crowned Gunwaldt King. We have never been a usurper kingdom. There is an unbroken chain of rulers, each crowned by his predecessor, passing on strength and continuing the unity of the realm. The king acknowledges the legitimacy of the heir’s claim to the throne by taking his oath, and crowning him with his own hand.
Fealty. As per Corpora, the only people required to swear fealty are landed Barons and Baronesses and Knights. Some think that it is not right for the Kingdom Seneschal to swear fealty, because their service is to the kingdom, above all other things. During the Coronation of Johann III and Monika, all peers of the realm were allowed, if they so chose, to reaffirm their oaths of peerage.
Service. Great Officers are required to swear Oaths of Service, which is not the same as Fealty. Lesser officers may also be called to swear, but it is not necessary as they are bound by their superior officer’s oath.
Acknowledgment of predecessors. If the Crown’s predecessors are not already Duke/Duchess, then the Crown must, per Corpora, acknowledge their attainment of the rank of Count/Countess or Duke/Duchess. Crowns don’t make Royal Peers, they recognize them for successfully completing their reigns. A Countess also has the privilege of becoming a Lady of the Rose, which is an honor that predates SCA Countesses and Duchesses. This could be done as a separate ceremony.
Here are other things which are expected and familiar to the populace.
Fealty of the Laurels, Pelicans, Royal Peers and Populace. People of varying rank and wisdom desire to swear fealty. It is a courtesy to those good people and valuable to the Crown to hear those oaths and return pledges of service to them.
Passing of the White Scarf. The White Scarf that the Queen wears is considered a minor piece of regalia, and is sometimes forgotten when passing on regalia in the Coronation Ceremony. The Outgoing Queen chooses a White Scarf (sometimes the Premier present) to keep the scarf until the new Queen calls for it.
This is just a small part of our Outlandish heritage, and it is my wish that these brief words will inspire a desire for further knowledge.