Currently viewing the tag: "royalty"

The king died a little before nine o’clock on Thursday evening. His death was made a secret; but in the same hour a courier was galloping through the twilight to Hunsdon to bid Mary mount and fly. Her plans had been for some days prepared. She had been directed to remain quiet, but to hold herself ready to be up and away at a moment’s warning. –James Anthony Froude, The Reign of Mary Tudor

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a king or queen who is waiting for the current ruler to die.

Journaling Prompt: What are you waiting anxiously for and prepared for?

Art Prompt: Waiting

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of Mary Tudor’s rise to the throne of England.

Photo Credit: Maria Tudor on Wikimedia

Royal assent or sanction is the method by which a country’s monarch (possibly through a delegated official) formally approves an act of that nation’s parliament. In certain nations, such assent makes the act law (promulgation) while in other nations assent is distinct from promulgation. In the vast majority of contemporary monarchies, this act is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still permit their monarchs to withhold royal assent (such as the United Kingdom, Norway, and Liechtenstein), the monarch almost never does so, save in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to withhold royal assent was once exercised often in European monarchies, it is exceedingly rare in the modern, democratic political atmosphere that has developed there since the 18th century.

Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear personally in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is usually granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general merely signs the bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of his or her agreement to the bill. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict arises from the monarch withholding royal assent.

Journaling Prompt: If you could be King or Queen, what country would you like to rule over and why? 

Art Prompt: Royal Assent

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the tradition of royal assent and what it means in the modern age.

The woman was seated in a lofty chair of bright blue silk embroidered with dragons in a darker blue thread; these intense colors set off her gold headdress and the gown with its draperies that flowed around her. –Kate Elliott, Traitors’ Gate

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who comes before this woman for judgement.

Journaling Prompt: Who was the most fearsome person who ever judged you?

Art Prompt: She who must be obeyed

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the challenge of judgement. 

Photo Credit: Tom Simpson on Flickr

During his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Henry conducted an affair with Mary Boleyn, Catherine’s lady-in-waiting. There has been speculation that Mary’s two children, Henry and Catherine Carey, were fathered by Henry, but this has never been proved, and the King never acknowledged them as he did Henry FitzRoy.
In 1525, as Henry grew more impatient with Catherine’s inability to produce the male heir he desired, he became enamoured of Mary Boleyn’s sister, Anne, then a charismatic young woman of 25 in the Queen’s entourage. Anne, however, resisted his attempts to seduce her, and refused to become his mistress as her sister Mary Boleyn had. It was in this context that Henry considered his three options for finding a dynastic successor and hence resolving what came to be described at court as the King’s “great matter”. These options were legitimising Henry FitzRoy, which would take the intervention of the pope and would be open to challenge; marrying off Mary as soon as possible and hoping for a grandson to inherit directly, but Mary was considered unlikely to conceive before Henry’s death; or somehow rejecting Catherine and marrying someone else of child-bearing age. Probably seeing the possibility of marrying Anne, the third was ultimately the most attractive possibility to the 34-year-old Henry, and it soon became the King’s absorbing desire to annul his marriage to the now 40-year-old Catherine. It was a decision that would lead Henry to reject papal authority and initiate the English Reformation. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story based in a royal court full of intrigue.

Journaling Prompt: Do you believe that the church and the state should both be involved in marriage?

Art Prompt: Anne Boleyn

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of the King’s Great Matter and how it has affected the world to this day.

Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (born 18 December 1934; presumed dead), commonly known as Lord Lucan, was a British peer suspected of murder who disappeared in 1974. He was born into an Anglo-Irish aristocratic family in Marylebone, the eldest son of George Bingham, 6th Earl of Lucan, by his marriage to Kaitlin Dawson…. He developed a taste for gambling and, skilled at backgammon and bridge, became an early member of the Clermont Club. Although his losses often exceeded his winnings, he left his job at a London-based merchant bank and became a professional gambler…

Once considered for the role of James Bond, Lucan was noted for his expensive tastes; he raced power boats and drove an Aston Martin. In 1963 he married Veronica Duncan, with whom he had three children. When the marriage collapsed late in 1972, he moved out of the family home at 46 Lower Belgrave Street, in London’s Belgravia, to a property nearby. A bitter custody battle ensued, which Lucan lost. He began to spy on his wife and record their telephone conversations, apparently obsessed with regaining custody of the children. This fixation, combined with his gambling losses, had a dramatic effect on his life and personal finances.

On the evening of 7 November 1974, the children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was bludgeoned to death in the basement of the Lucan family home. Lady Lucan was also attacked; she later identified Lucan as her assailant. As the police began their murder investigation, Lucan telephoned his mother, asking her to collect the children, and then drove a borrowed Ford Corsair to a friend’s house in Uckfield, East Sussex. Hours later, he left the property and was never seen again. The car was found abandoned in Newhaven, its interior stained with blood and its boot containing a piece of bandaged lead pipe similar to one found at the crime scene. A warrant for Lucan’s arrest was issued a few days later, and in his absence the inquest into Rivett’s death named him as her murderer, the last occasion in Britain a coroner’s court was allowed to do so.

Lucan’s fate remains a fascinating mystery for the British public. Since Rivett’s murder, hundreds of reported sightings have been made in various countries around the world, although none have been substantiated. Despite a police investigation and huge press interest, Lucan has not been found and is presumed dead; a death certificate was issued in 2016. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a famous person who gets away with murder by disappearing.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel about royalty and their lifestyles.

Art Prompt: Mysterious disappearance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the disappearance of Lord Lucan.

Photo Credit: Lord and Lady Lucan on Wikipedia


The caper begins in the late 17th century, when Britain’s future King George I was still Georg Ludwig, prince elector of Hannover, Germany, and his primary residence was Leine Palace. In 1682, Georg married his cousin Sophia Dorothea of Celle. Like many marriages among nobility, theirs was motivated more by politics than by love.

Georg was not a faithful spouse, and neither was Sophia Dorothea. About a decade into her marriage, she began an affair with Philipp Christoph von Königsmark, a Swedish count…

In the summer of 1694, Sophia Dorothea and Königsmark made plans to run away together—but Georg became aware of their affair. On the day the lovers planned to escape, Königsmark mysteriously disappeared and wasn’t seen again. Georg then divorced Sophia Dorothea and imprisoned her miles away in another castle, where she died three decades later. –Skeleton Discovery Reignites 300-Year-Old Royal Murder Mystery By Becky Little

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a suspicious disappearance involving romance and royalty.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about highly publicized romantic triangles among celebrities?

Art Prompt: Romance and Murder

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of Georg, Sophie Dorothea, and Königsmark.

Photo Credit: Sophie Dorothea Prinzessin von Ahlden on Wikimedia


On 29 May 1842, Victoria was riding in a carriage along The Mall, London, when John Francis aimed a pistol at her but the gun did not fire; he escaped. The following day, Victoria drove the same route, though faster and with a greater escort, in a deliberate attempt to provoke Francis to take a second aim and catch him in the act. As expected, Francis shot at her, but he was seized by plain-clothes policemen, and convicted of high treason. On 3 July, two days after Francis’s death sentence was commuted to transportation for life, John William Bean also tried to fire a pistol at the Queen, but it was loaded only with paper and tobacco and had too little charge… In 1850, the Queen did sustain injury when she was assaulted by a possibly insane ex-army officer, Robert Pate. As Victoria was riding in a carriage, Pate struck her with his cane, crushing her bonnet and bruising her forehead. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a royal in peril.

Journaling Prompt: Would you enjoy being royalty? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Queen Victoria

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Queen Victoria’s reign.

Photo Credit: Queen Victoria 1843 on Wikimedia


See one coronation and you’ve seen them all. –Prince of Chaos by Roger Zelazny

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most important ceremony you’ve ever witnessed or participated in.

Art Prompt: Coronation

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the planning, process, and/or symbolism behind coronations.

Photo Credit: Charlie Dave on Flickr

tower of london

The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, amenagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.

The peak period of the castle’s use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower”. Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem inspired by the Tower of London.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your personal fortress – a place that feels safe and apart from the world.

Art Prompt: The Tower of London.

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story from the history of the Tower of London.

Photo Credit: Ian on Flickr

Princess Mary Tudor, Daughter of Henry VII, Sister of Henry VIII

…for a single woman to proclaim herself queen in the face of those who had the armed force of the kingdom in their hands, appeared like madness. Little confidence could be placed in her supposed friends, since they had wanted resolution to refuse their signatures to the instrument of her deposition. -James Anthony Froude, The Reign of Mary Tudor

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a woman’s struggle to assert her right to a throne.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you needed to take leadership even though you had no authority to do so.

Art Prompt: Mary Tudor

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the short and bloody reign of Mary Tudor with an emphasis on what today’s leaders can learn from her mistakes.

Photo Credit: lisby1 on Flickr