Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why
Royalty

Performance of Kings and Queens
Ælflæd of Duckford

Poor

  • careless, rude and inconsiderate
  • no regard for law or tradition
  • brags, makes promises that can't/won't be kept, shoots mouth off
  • doesn't recognize the names of peers well into the reign
  • does things to benefit himself and his friends

Fair

  • fails to learn names of subjects but knows the names of groups
  • located the crown's copy of laws and corpora but hasn't read them yet
  • answers half of the mail eventually
  • asks the officers for advice but forgets to tell them what's decided
  • shows up to events without regalia

Good

  • studies before an event to know the names of autocrat, officers, etc.
  • reads all the mail and answers most
  • knows the names of all the peers and the seneschals
  • asks for advice before making major decisions
  • willing to learn more about laws and history of the group

Better

  • tries to learn and use the names of everyone in contact with the crown
  • reads mail carefully, answers responsibly, files letters
  • talks with as many peers as possible during the reign, to learn concerns
  • acts with the good of the people in mind rather than selfishly
  • knows where to look in law and corpora to find information

Best

  • not only answers mail, writes first to autocrats, officers-thank-you notes. . .
  • knows the names of more than one officer in each group; reads their newsletters
  • makes careful decisions after advice from more than one person
  • has studied corpora and kingdom law and knows why the laws are there
  • has regard for the needs and feelings of those he/she works with and for

Other Ideas

Look good, wear nice costumes; smile; stay at the head table; sit in the thrones;
if you don't want to do those things, stay away from Crown Tournaments. Be royalty for other people's benefit, not yours. (Benefiting them will benefit you in the long run, but immaturity prevents some people from understanding that.)
 
Give stuff other than awards
gifts, public praise, special food, share a toast - make people proud and create some memories for them without making work for the heralds or risking displeasure of others.
 
Make awards carefully and flamboyantly.
Know who and why. Speak loudly. Have a scroll; know who made it. Avoid saying "people tell me you're great"; say "you are great" and say "Our realm has been made greater by your works," rather than "you come highly recommended." For the sake of theatre and the recipient's ego, present it as your idea, your personal knowledge and observation. [1]
 
Go to groups that haven't had a royal visit for a while.
Learn names before you get there. Have a discreet local-person sit nearby to prompt you and give you a play-by-play.
 
Meet officers and peers and up-and-coming hot-shots
and make them feel important while letting them know they met royalty. [Make the exchanges mutually impressive. Avoid intimidation either way.]
 
Don't shower your friends with gifts or awards.
If they're only helping you for reward, they aren't your friends; dump the slobs. Rewards to strangers and acquaintances go over better. Awards given to your own squires, sweethearts, householders or buddies, need to be extremely justified and overwhelmingly deserved, else you and the recipient look bad and the populace satisfaction ratings drop.
 
Don't depend on a single advisor.
 
Ask advice of different people, making clear that you will make your own decision based on many factors but that you appreciate the input.
Don't say what you absolutely will do. You might change your mind for good reasons and not be able to retrace your steps and take back your "campaign promises." Avoid even saying what you might do - people might 1) gossip, 2) misconstrue, 3) bug you about when and why. (This holds true for non-royalty, too. If you brag that if you ever become king you'll knight so-and-so and dump all the kingdom officers, what will happen if you become king and find that the officers are better people than your so-and-so? Better to brag that if you're king you'll do as good a job as you can and leave it at that.)
 
Be straight with officers.
If you've told an officer what you plan to do and then change your mind, go to the officer soon and explain. Otherwise you risk making your supporters feel betrayed, or they might look foolish, which makes the Crown and Kingdom look and feel bad. Same with other matters and anyone who might say "the king said he will be here" or "... will help us" or "... it's taken care of." Don't let them down. Sometimes the difference between lying and changing your mind is in how you made the first statement and how and whether you announce the mind change.

"The only thing worse than a king who has no idea what he is going to do is a king who knows exactly what he's going to do."
- (Popular phrase in Atenveldt, ca. A.S. VIII; furnished for this chapter by Baron Mark Lasie of Westminster, a Master of the Pelican, and an Outlander who, many years ago, lived in downtown Barony of Atenveldt)

 


Footnote:
[1] Someone whose opinion I respect greatly disagreed with this section. Having been king he had done just the thing I'm recommending against, and considered that it was dishonest to say "You are great" if he didn't know the person well enough to have seen it himself. I've been embarrassed for people getting an award, though, when royalty make it clear that they don't know the guy, but they hear he's good, but they're not saying they saw it, just that they're taking other people's word for it. It's awkward when done very broadly, and deflates the effect of the award. If the governor gives an award to a child who has saved someone's life, he doesn't say "I heard you saved some woman's life." He has his facts and presents them as facts. That's all I'm saying. If a person has done enough work to get an award, if you trust the sources who told you so, treat it as fact rather than rumor or theory. Say "Your work has made our kingdom better" and believe it. If you don't believe it, hold off on the award until you do.



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