Saturday was the Coronation of Their Royal Majesties Agrippa and Bridget, Undoubted King and Queen of the Sovereign Realm of Caid. Their Majesties had indicated that They would be having a 5th Century Romano-British reign, as befits Their personas, so my talented lady wife made Roman garb for us to wear.
You might notice some shiny things hanging from our necks. Therein lies a tale.
I had been thinking for some time that I needed to make sure I got more pictures of the two of us in all of the different garb that Gwen has made for us. This was in part because her parents want to see them, but also because I wanted to recommend her for the Harp Argent — the Award-of-Arms level Arts & Sciences award in Caid — and I wanted photographic documentation of what she’s done. When we arrived on site, I kept thinking that I needed to get someone to take a picture of the two us, but I also kept forgetting. Then I ran into Their Majesties’ Chamberlain, who said hello to me, and then asked if my lady was there. There was something about that question that struck me as a little… odd. I began to get the feeling that Gwen might get called up in court that day.
The final court of Their Majesties Conrad and A’isha was lovely, and the Coronation of Agrippa and Bridget was just as a much of spectacle as we hoped it would be. (Any Coronation that involves a savage British chieftain in chains is worth seeing.) I went up to swear fealty as a Lesser Officer of State, and I then went back to sit with the rest of my Shire, as awards were given and presentations were made. When I saw Their Excellencies Angels move to the back of the hall, to get ready for their Barony to make a presentation, I got up to join them — since as their Bard and Thrown Weapons Champion I am part of their court, even if I’m not resident of the Barony. As I got to the back, I heard the beginning of the Harp Argent text being read (which, because I’m herald, I recognize in about four words). I froze and thought, “Are they going to call Gwen up?” Sure enough, out came the words, “Therefore do Their Majesties call before them Lady Gwen Hir.”
Remember that picture at the top of this post? How I was wearing Roman garb? You can’t see them in the picture, but I was also wearing Roman shoes. Caligae. Hobnailed caligae. Now, if you’ve never worn hobnailed shoes, you might not realize that while they have fantastic traction on the field (think baseball or golf spikes), they turn just about any polished surface into ice. I had told the story earlier in the day about the account from Roman history of a troupe of Praetorian Guards charging across a marble floor and wiping out. So when I attempted to hustle up the aisle so that I could escort my lady to Their Majesties, let us say that it was less than graceful. Gwen had no idea where I was, so when she was called, she stood up from her seat (halfway up the aisle) and began to approach the Thrones. I doubled-timed it up the aisle, attempting to not look like I was about to rush Their Majesties. I caught up with her near the front and put on the brakes… at which point, according to witnesses, I slid about five feet. I somehow stayed upright, took my rather surprised lady’s arm, regained my composure, and escorted her the rest of the way.
At which point Their Majesties called me up onto the dias, bade me kneel, and gave me a Dolphin, the Award-of-Arms level service award in Caid. I was taken completely by surprise… but that, I think is different post.