The answer to that question? Everything.
By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
During one such flight of fancy, I found myself somehow on the Wikepedia page dedicated to Elizabeth I. A very natural progression led me to click on multiple links that led me to a variety of different pages. Eventually I happened upon the definition page for "Queen Consort", something totally cool.
In a nutshell it simply refers to the wife of the reigning king/emperor/grand duke/head-honcho. The consort is not queen by birth right and does not have the same pull as a Queen Regnant (i.e. Queen Elizabeth II has got the power)
(I'm not going to try and pretend that I didn't absolutely obssess over the Unimpressed Queen meme[source] )
Now, as a history buff, I was already aware of all of this information. In middle school I created a badass presentation covering all aspects of the life of Henry VIII (adorably cliche diorama and fact-plastered posterboard included). "Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived" was definitely my 8th grade mantra, although I'm not sure what that says about my mental well being. In literary terms, I have read books and books and books detailing and dramatizing the lives of queens long gone.
But what I wasn't aware of was the fact that there are actually quite a few royal families left in the world.
(This isn't really that relevant but I'd never pass up a chance to express my love of Mika)
Royalty worship in modern times hit its peak in 2011 with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I myself took part, squinting at my television at 5 in the morning over a bowl of cereal, preparing to go to school but preferring, instead, to watch the glitz and the glamor of the fairytale on the screen.
I've always loved the representation of royalty in entertainment. What is my go to example? Definitely The King and I.
(Can you believe Yul Brynner performed this role for 4,625 stage performances?)
But honestly - how cool would it be to be part of a "royal family"? I have always loved that particular possibility in story telling. There is something so beautiful about royalty in the fact that it is, paradoxically, both timeless and time sensitive; after all, it is not as though many monarchies still exist to this day.
In building a story, rich historical context can be a major creative boon. Whether it is the focal point or the indicator of a particular period for setting purposes, royalty contributes a lot. There is always a higher value placed in royalty, and the hierarchic structure of monarchical society lends itself for parallels in literary structure and character development. You get the opportunity to present such visual aspects of human nature as nobility, pompousness, pride, valor, chivalry, virtue, ambition, greed - the list goes on.
To exist within this small pocket in the fabric of history, hidden away from the yellowing effects of time and modernity. To be held somewhat constant amidst the broiling changes of an ever progressing and turbulent world.....
Yeah. I'd be down for that.
So let this post serve as my application to any royal families out there interested in adopting a young, female, college-aged writer. Credentials include love of European art, knowledge of European history, and an almost religious interest in Brit TV (will quote Doctor Who and Sherlock on demand). Also willing to enter royal family by marriage.
I'm looking at you, prince of Luxembourg!
(This will do nicely [source] )
And now it is time for the long over-due next installment in the our recurring series of:
Close Encounters of a Patron Kind
It is intermission during a performance of the Addams Family musical. This is a family event and there are babies and children galore, running up and down the aisles, ducking behind seats, and wreaking general youthful havoc among the other patrons. Observing this mayhem, I stand guard by the stage door at the base of the stage. My superiors seem to think my 5'1" frame is imposing enough to ward off potential stage bandits.
From my post I see two young girls of about 6 years old in frilly dresses and bright pink tights careening down the aisle. Suddenly one trips and falls, her sister's foot connecting with fallen twin's sprawled legs as she, too, flies forward in a spectacular faceplant.
I rush over to see if they are ok. The first twin climbs haughtily to her feet while the other remains in a tangled heap. The standing sister looks down and reprimands her twin with all of the superciliousness and superiority of princess reprimanding her slave. Then she crosses her tiny arms and addresses me.
Princess: How can you just stand there and let us run around?
Me: Well you were running very fast and you were far awa -
Princess: You watched us fall!
Me: I'm sorry, are you -
Princess: Grown ups aren't supposed to let kids fall.
Wounded Serf: [from position on the floor] But Becca, that girl isn't a grown up.
Princess: Be quiet, Melanie. She's older, she's a grown up.
Wounded Serf: [points little finger at me] Escuse me, but are you in middle school?
Me: No, I'm actually in college -
Princess: SEE?! I told you, she's OLD.
Me: [crosses apparently decrepit arms] Would you like me to help you find your parents?
Wounded Serf: Yes please, I'm hurt. [throws back of hand against brow with a practiced theatrical air and sighs]
Princess: [kicks sister] Oh get up, I don't see blood on the floor.
is currently a college student and eternally a writer. An old movie aficionado, her interests include show tunes, singing loudly, and singing show tunes loudly. She also provides a (dramatic) running commentary on the life of a young writer.
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