Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Fascinating Fridays (State Ceremonials)

What is the actual job of Royalty? That being a very comprehensive topic we will aim to answer the most important aspect of that question today. A famous Renaissance quote says; "A King must be seen to be believed." Thus the "visibility" of the King becomes the very primary purpose of Kingship. This has, as we know, turned into what is known as the theater of monarchy, the Royal Ceremony. As the visible face of a nation, so the Royal Ceremonial is always looking its best, dressed up and shiny and putting the best foot forward. Let us look at these public and symbolic appearances Royalty fulfill in representing their countries at home and abroad.

There are many such public appearances, some may seem mundane and others important while other, taken out of context may even be construed as absurd. The more historic roles of a monarch are just that, historic and the ceremonials surrounding those events could seem irrelevant or archaic. However it is thopse very archaic ceremonies that lend a monarchy its fairy tale mystique. To categorize all ceremonies would be difficult but for the sake of making it more palatable for our blog will will mention some, There are obviously Royal Parades which are never a ceremony in their own right but part of a bigger and normally very formal event normally celebrated on a national scale. There are Royal announcements and commemorations that aim to focus attention on particular historic happenings or to remember past important events. Their are religious services, like weddings, christenings, thanksgivings and the most sacred coronation all of which include parades and the like. Finally, events of state, like parliament and diplomatic State Visits are all done as representing the nation. These events sometimes end with the famous appearance of Royals on a palace balcony signing off on a magnificent event.Very often, the event may be a state, religious and family event all tied in one giving the Royal Family the unique ability to truly unify the varied aspects of a nation into a coherent unity.

More often we see Royals opening buildings, inducting memorials, launching ships or visiting charities. These are all parts of putting a face forward of the State of the Nation. In the photo above, Empress Crystobel was holding out a hand of forgiveness by laying a wreath at a commemorative statue.

What ceremonial evokes more memories of a Royal Family than the balcony appearance. It could be guessed that more people have physically seen a Royal this way than any of their other public appearances.

Official attendance as representing a government is a requirement of Royals in office. They are obliged to take trips and be present at certain events to show face on behalf of and perhaps even speak on behalf of their people. 

In this photo, an offended Wallachia was contesting damage to its coastal environment by a Syldavian power station. A summit was held and attended by the Princess of Wallachia and the King of Syldavia.

To strengthen diplomatic relations with Arcwhite for the purpose of increased trade, the Kingdom of Ophiri sent  their Crown Prince and Crown Princess to visit Lady Arcwhite officially. The visit was on par with a State Visit with the intent on the glamour drawing media attention.

Royals are also required and often welcome the obligatory State Portrait. As the face of the nation it is obvious that face is shown to all regularly. A State Portrait serves this purpose on a very permanent and intimate level. These portraits are often distributed free of charge with the originals hanging in prominent government buildings.

Official attendance as representing a charity is a very common and also important role fulfilled publicly by Royals. Accompanying glamour and ceremonial appearances help to focus much needed media attention on relevant charities.

The Duke of Swann enjoys to visit charities of his choice even in far flung countries.

In this photo we see Royals celebrating the opening of a new Opera House in Swann partly funded by a charity for music and music education.

Official State Visits happen quite regularly with the main purpose of establishing or strengthening diplomatic ties. These do not just deal with trade but with far more weighty agreements like military treaties and the like.

The ceremonial surrounding a State Visit may even include the transport, like official aeroplanes and cars. Depending on the importance of the visitor and the level of the visit often the very arrival will be surrounded by a ceremonial welcome and press conference.

State Visits also include official and glamorously formal photo shoots especially when Royals wear regalia and tiaras.

State Banquets and receptions play a big role as part of the State Visit but may also be held for official reasons like celebrating a birthday or other landmark event.

This photo is of the 2013 Banquet held in honour of the State Visit of Lady Arcwhite to Swann.

Knighthood Investitures is an official way for a constitutional monarchy to honour people for service to the nation. These may extend to citizens and foreigners. The event is normally very ceremonial and symbolic held in auspicious venues and requiring formal dress. The media coverage of these events helps share the recipients of the knighthoods happy day with the public.

The 2014 knighthood of the Grand Duke of Reichenthal by the Crown Prince Imperial was the first such honour bestowed by the Britanian and Scotney governments in almost two decades.

Royal do get engaged and married. These very private affairs are also considered great opportunities to celebrate in public. So these events are covered in news media and the wedding ceremonies are considered Sate occasions.

The engagement is normally considered more private but some media coverage may be given to newspapers who publish photos of  receptions or parties surrounding the occasion. In the photo above, Princess Marie-Elizabeth of Swann posed with her fiance Arch Duke Otto of Fulco D'Este for an official press photo. As a member of a ruling Dynasty, Princess Marie-Elizabeth was required to share her happy moment with her country and the world.

Royal church services and thanksgivings, birthdays, weddings and funerals are more "private" affairs that gain public media coverage. Church services especially focused on national events have high governmental sanction and are seen as full State Events. These may include the funeral of a previously reigning monarch and landmark birthdays or a wedding of an heir to the throne.

With these events especially, birthdays and weddings, we most associate the balcony appearance. For Crown Princess Delarese of Reichenthal's birthday she took center stage for the first time on the palace balcony.

The wedding of Queen Gloria solidified her new role as Queen and thanks to media coverage her popularity soared higher than any monarch before her in Normandia. The event was joined by Heads of State from all over the world.

The wedding of Princess Marie-Elizabeth and Arch Duke Otto was the first Royal wedding in Swann for decades and brought a much needed glitzy State Ceremonial to the otherwise more corporate climate of the Principality.

Funerals are a far more serious and somber event but public mourning along with the close family is a reality for people who live in the public glare like Royals. When a Head of State dies it considered a full State Event and every part of it is covered by the media and scripted like a theater production.

The biggest State Funeral of the new millennium has been that of the assassinated Empress Crystobel in 2012.

Opening of Parliament and the like, as Syldavia's Elector Council Meeting are not just ceremonies but also serve a practical function. These events open and close financial years officially and serve to gather relevant officials at particular times to hear and make speeches and to vote on important matters. they are however laden with historic tradition like the wearing of robes and crowns and do also sometimes include parades and coaches.

Since the restoration of the Syldavian Monarchy we have seen that country rebuild on the old foundations of their Royal history. Once a year the 5 Electors who make up the ruling council gather to open the financial year and to discuss and vote on issues.

This year saw the restored throne room of Syldavia serve for the first time in this annual glamorous ceremony in Syldavia.

 Finally we come to the most formal and most spectacular State Ceremonial that Royal afford their constitutional monarchies, those of the Jubilees, Investitures and Coronations. Jubilees celebrate milestone anniversaries on the throne for a monarch. Investitures are ceremonies where a new monarch is enthroned and a coronation is the same except that an actual crown is used to crown or to bless the new monarch. 

For her 40th jubilee, Queen Crystobel of Scotney was paraded through the streets of the capital in the coronation coach, then attended a thanksgiving service in the Cathedral of the Lionheart followed by a State Banquet.

When Syldavia restored its monarchy, the new King, Nikolas III and his wife Maximaq was received in State at the airport. A thanksgiving service was held in church and a banquet. A few days later a grand Investiture Ceremony was held in full view of the world media and visiting Royals and political dignitaries.

A set of commemorative stamps was issued for the Syldavian Investiture.

No occasion can come close to the state formality and official glamour or glitzy spectacle of a coronation. In Swann, the Dukes are crowned following a paraded coach drive through the capital and followed by a banquet. 

This photo of the coronation of Queen Crystobel of Scotney captures the austere glamour of the spectacular coronations of the pre-revolution Scotney. We will count ourselves truly lucky if we see the like of those days ever again. 

So this has defined for us what is entailed by the public and state appearances of Royalty and also gives some insight into what they actually do. 


  1. Fantastic post, your Royal Highness. I LOVE the pomp and ceremony of royalty - it is so symbolic in so many ways. Thanks for this very enlightening post.

  2. Cool post Daniel! You always have something new to teach us