The Coronation of the Queen of Hearts | E. Christopher Clark

The Coronation of the Queen of Hearts

The Coronation of the Queen of Hearts is a lavish ceremony which formally bestows the power and privileges of the office upon the new monarch. Though the queen’s reign technically begins at the moment of the previous queen’s death, the peoples of Wonderland are never truly satisfied until they see the Crown of Hearts placed upon a new head. Because of this, little time is wasted in organizing the ceremony. In fact, since the ascension of the second queen in the year 314, it has been customary to combine the coronation ceremony for the new queen with the funerary services for her predecessor.

History

In the year 263, when Frieda Jacobs sought to unite the seven kingdoms of the Edenian South, she already had her grandmother’s work on their family tree and the public’s love of a good story to back her up. She probably could have just walked into the Crimson Keep, slapped a tiara upon her head, said “Listen to me,” and they would have. And yet, she knew that the people she meant to rule loved nothing more than a good parade and a bit of pomp and circumstance. And so, she called for a coronation ceremony the likes of which the South had never seen.

 

This ceremony was so instrumental in winning over any lingering doubters that, together with the release of the so-called Coronation Deck, elaborate celebrations of new monarchs and chief executives became de rigueur—not only in Wonderland but across the whole of Eden.

Execution

The ceremony begins at the Saltgate, the arched rock formation which gave The City of Hearts its original name. The new queen walks beneath the gate and begins a march toward Stone Square, where the Sword of the River is encased in block of enchanted granite.

 

Upon reaching the square, the new queen pauses to prove that she can pull the sword from the stone—and is therefore the descendant of Frieda Jacobs and her ancestor Arthur Pendragon. This is but a matter of tradition, of course. She has already been genetically tested to determine the strength of her connection, or else she wouldn’t have been eligible for the office. And yet, the people would probably revolt if she didn’t do as has always been done.

 

Next, with the Sword of the River in hand, the new queen marches toward the front steps of the Crimson Keep. There, waiting for her, is the body of the previous queen—who, in most cases, is also her mother or grandmother. After a moment of quiet contemplation at the foot of the body, the new queen ascends the first few steps leading up to the palace. There she is met by The Sage, who will be her most trusted advisor.

 

Repeating the words of a pledge spoken aloud by The Sage, the new queen promises all sorts of things to her subjects and to the world. Then she falls to her knees to allow The Sage to place the Crown of Hearts upon her head. The kneeling is an old tradition and one that several of the more pompous queens have sought to abolish, but old timers love it. Yes, the first queen knelt out of necessity—her Sage being a bipedal white rabbit, after all—but Wonderlandians like a little humility in their rulers, and so kneeling continues to be an important part of the whole shebang.

 

Finally, once crowned, the new Queen of Hearts descends the steps of the palace and returns to the body of her predecessor. After placing a kiss upon the body's forehead, the new queen holds the Sword of the River aloft, cries out, “Off with her head!,” and decapitates the corpse.

 

The head is magically preserved and placed alongside the heads of the other queens in Noggin Hall. The rest of the body is then burned upon an elaborate pyre. And then, once the cremation is done, the kingdom throws the biggest party they can muster.

Title Bestowed
Queen of Hearts
 
Officiant of the Ceremony
Sage of Saltgate
   
Sacred Relics Involved
Crown of Hearts
Sword of the River

Comments

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Jul 21, 2023 19:02 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

That ending took me by surprise, lmao. Nice touch. I like the detail you've gone into.

Jul 21, 2023 22:47 by E. Christopher Clark

Thank you! It totally took me by surprise too, but then I thought about it and decided to leave it in.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Jul 22, 2023 13:17 by Chris L

It ends with a good old, "Orf wiv' 'er 'ead!" Holy moley! And Noggin Hall? What an unserious name for such a grim place! I love it.


Learn about the World of Wizard's Peak and check out my award winning article about the Ghost Boy of Kirinal!

Jul 22, 2023 13:37 by E. Christopher Clark

Thanks, man! And I'm especially glad you liked "Noggin Hall." Needed a bit of levity thrown in there to balance the grimness.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Aug 17, 2023 21:13 by Haly the Moonlight Bard

I'll just say...I was dressed as the Queen of Hearts when I first met my husband, LOL!

Aug 18, 2023 23:22 by E. Christopher Clark

That's awesome! Was he dressed up too?

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Aug 19, 2023 13:10 by Haly the Moonlight Bard

Yes. The theme of the party was CEOs and Office Hoes. Clearly, I was dressed as both, LOL! (I enjoy twisting challenges.) He was dressed like casual Friday meets Mardi Gras. Beads. All the beads.

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