Ldy-n-Waiting-art - 5/8/10
"Top 10 Tips for being a Lady-in-Waiting or a Guard to SCA Royalty" by Duchess Mary-Grace of Gatland.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
For more material by this author, see her household's website at: http://www.housefleurandermine.com
Top 10 Tips for being a Lady-in-Waiting or a Guard to SCA Royalty
by Duchess Mary-Grace of Gatland
You have been asked to be a Lady in Waiting or Guard to an SCA Royal Personage. Now what?
This can be a very fun and exciting experience which will allow you to make lots of new friends and see a whole new side to the SCA. Here are the top 10 tips to keep in mind, and some protocol that must be followed. Hopefully the following will help!
Remember that your main job is not only to assist the Royals being able to perform their tasks and unload their stuff, but you also play a very important role! You enhance the whole experience for everyone else around you by assisting the Royals in BEING Royal! Your presence as you attend the Royals adds to feeling that they are real Royalty! So, remember that your appearance and actions reflect on the Crown, you are standing next to the most watched people at SCA events….be mindful of that at all times!
Here are a few important tips.....
1. The "Royal Presence" is a 10 foot area around the Royal Person. Remember to respect that space and to bow/curtsey when approaching or passing by the Royal Presence. If you are within the Presence, you don’t need to bow constantly, but do remember to rise if you are seated when one of the Royals stand up, or if they approach you, you should rise and bow when they get within 10 feet of you.
2. The Royal Person should never be alone when in public, however be careful not to crowd them. If he or she wants you closer they will tell you, but also be aware if they seems like they need a bit of space. This is especially important on trips to the "facilities". Give your Royal some space in obviously private moments.
3. When escorting the Queen or Princess, you should offer to carry her mug or cup and she should never carry her own basket. If she carries a pouch instead, she may wish to carry that herself. Please be sure to position yourself to open the door for her when entering or exiting a room.
4. If the Royal(s) must have a conference with someone please remove yourself a few feet so that you are still in eye-shot if they need you. You should also politely prevent anyone from approaching her until she is finished. You might say something like, "Her Majesty is in conference at the moment. I can announce you when she is done, or might I take a message?" Also, remember you might become privy to confidential information during your time as a Lady in Waiting or guard. It is NEVER acceptable to share such information with anyone!!
5. Remember too, that one of your jobs is to keep the Royal on schedule and to run interference when necessary. Sometimes the Royal can get sidetracked or hijacked by someone. Sometimes your Queen/Princess might have a sign like playing with her ear ring or brushing her hair away. If so, you will know she is saying "get me outta here!!" It is okay for you to politely interrupt with, "I am so sorry your Highness, but you are due in a meeting".
6. Find out what "supplies" your Royal might need and have them with you at all times. Things like water or allergy meds can be a life saver.
7. Always have a pen and paper to write down notes or important info and always get the name and address of anyone who gives a gift to your Royal. She will want to write a thank you note for the gift.
8. Remember that sometimes you are getting to see the "behind the scenes" view of the SCA Royalty...and this sometimes means stress and craziness. As a member of the Royal Court, or entourage, it is up to you to keep those stressful moments where the Royals might not be at their best within this group. The Royals are counting on you to be their support system and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to. They are expecting that you will keep these private moments just that....private. It is a hard job to portray that "Royal" image 24X7 at events, and your Royals are going to want to be able to let their guard down in front of you. Make sure that they feel at ease and have confidence that they can do this with you around. Just keep in mind what it might feel like to live in a fish bowl in your SCA life and be respectful of what is obviously the "non-public" time of the Royals.
9. Be organized and respect the job of the Chancellor! The person who has been chosen to be the Lord or Lady Chancellor has signed on for a BIG JOB! They need their crew (that is you) to be positive, up-beat and organized! They need you to get your reservations in for events you are going to, they need you to coordinate the shifts you can work, but most of all, they need you to be a good TEAM! The Royals have enough to deal with running the Kingdom without having to deal with the politics of their entourage. The Chancellor needs you to let them know if you have any problems or issues and wants to make sure that they can help work out any issues among the team. The quality of a Chancellor can make or break a reign, and part of that is the team that they have to lead!!!
10. The most important thing is to HAVE FUN! Being on an entourage for an SCA Royal is a really fun experience. If you find you are not having fun, or it is not working out, never feel obligated to "stick it out" if it is not for you!
Hopefully these tips will help guide you. Remember that all Royals are different and will have some specific preferences. Also remember that the other members of the populace will take their cues from you and you will be a reminder for others on the proper protocol. There is a lot of hard work involved in being a member of the Royal Court, but the experiences you can have, the friends you will make, and the perspective you will gain on the SCA are all worth it!!!!
Copyright 2010 by Nancy-Ellen Martin. <duchessmarygrace at yahoo.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.