The East Kingdom joined Æthelmearc and four other kingdoms (Ansteorra, Caid, Trimaris and Atlantia) in signing the Treaty of the Golden Lance, which recognizes Equestrian prowess and service in the East Kingdom. (Æthelmearc signed the Treaty in 2013 at the Pennsic War.) Until this time, the East was the only kingdom which did not have an award specifically to recognize its equestrians. On March 28, in the Barony of Settmour Swamp, TRM held their Curia and the matter of creating an equestrian award was discussed.
When asked what caused him to consider creating an equestrian award in the East Kingdom, His Majesty Edward replied:
“Her Majesty and I have long recognized the contributions of our equestrian community, and the East has maintained King’s and Queen’s Equestrian Champions as determined by an annual tournament. While the investments of the community are significant and the results are impressive, there has been concern (even among the equestrians) about providing a unique award for such a small community. The East has approximately 35 authorized riders. As it happened, we were sitting the thrones as the equestrian community united in their support for an award, and Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick gathered data on what the other kingdoms have done. This provided us with a great deal of context for our program. While we don’t have many authorized riders, our numbers are consistent with the median kingdom numbers, and every other kingdom had an award which recognizes equestrian martial prowess. The East should do no less.”
According to the information posted about the Curia on the East Gazette, His Majesty “also remarked that he felt creating this award will create an environment that will encourage the community to grow and will give recognition to members of the Order when they travel, as part of an Order that is recognized in several kingdoms.” (The full article can be found here.)
After discussing the matter with the populace, TRM decided to sign the Golden Lance Treaty and created the Order of the Golden Lance of the East. The Order will be a polling Order of High Merit similar to and equivalent to the Silver Crescent (Service), Maunche (A&S), Tygers Combatant (Rattan) and Golden Rapier (Rapier). In accordance with the Treaty, the award will be the highest award for Equestrian prowess and service in the Kingdom.
TRM explained that several factors made him decide to join the Treaty of the Golden Lance as opposed to creating an East-specific award, as noted in his response:
“One of the concerns that Her Majesty and I (and prior crowns) struggled with is the size of our equestrian community. We feel that being a member of this treaty, particularly one that includes our neighbors Æthelmearc and Atlantia, would help our riders think of themselves as part of a larger community. We hope this will build social bridges across the Society, and increase the pool of candidates that our riders measure themselves against as they strive for excellence.”
In anticipation of possibly signing the Treaty, TRM requested Duchess Katherine Stanhope prepare a document that could be signed by the other signatory Royalty when TRM attended Gulf Wars. His Majesty Edward commented that Duchess Katherine “is an active rider and an excellent scribe. I would add that she did us a tremendous service with very little notice, as it became clear to us that the treaty would have to be signed at Gulf Wars if we wished to pass it into law. The treaty text is quite long, and we asked her only a few days before the event.”
The Treaty was signed at the royal reception on Thursday evening at Gulf Wars. His Majesty Edward remarked, “Both the king and queen [of each of the signatory kingdoms] were asked to sign (with a dip pen in dim lighting!), in the order in which their kingdom joined the treaty. We were lucky that all of the signatories were present at the War, and it was a pleasure to discuss with each of them as they signed the document.”
His Majesty Edward commented that he did not ask the other royalty to keep this signing a secret as he had been open in his communication, with the equestrian community and his royal cousins “that we intended to establish an equestrian award in the East. However, we did not intend to make our final decision as to whether that would be the Golden Lance or a kingdom specific award until our Curia. With that in mind, we asked our royal cousins Ansteorra, Trimaris, Caid, Atlantia and Æthelmearc to sign the treaty at Gulf Wars and we, with our heirs, reserved our signatures until after our Curia. It was not a secret in the East that we were considering joining the treaty, but we were clear with our cousins that the treaty might not be signed by us in the end.”
The document was returned to the East Kingdom and after making their decision at Curia, TRM Edward and Thrya signed it. Their heirs, Prince Darius, called Omega, and Princess Etheldreda, signed the Treaty indicating their support of the Treaty. And thus, the East Kingdom became the sixth kingdom to join in the Treaty of the Golden Lance!
[I would like to thank His Majesty Edward for his time and assistance in writing this article by responding to my questions and granting me permission to use them and the photos of himself and Her Majesty Thrya. Also thank you to the photographers, Duchess Kiena Stewart and Barbarossa, who granted permission to use their work —- Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen.]
The East heirs, Prince Darius Aurelius Serpentius, called Omega, and Princess Etheldreda Ivelchyldalso, as well as a photobombing Æthelmearc King! (Photo from The East Kingdom Website.)