Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do
Performance of Kings and Queens
Ælflæd of Duckford
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- Look good, wear nice costumes; smile; stay at the head table; sit in the
- 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
- 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)