In the Fall of 2014 I learned that I was to be honored by a royal visit. No, not Prince Harry and Princess Catherine; they were already here last May for a wedding. This time the royal personage involved was none other than my grandson, Prince Micah, making his first visit to Memphis, accompanied by his royal attendants and parents, Lady Cameron and Sir Eric.
Since they would not be bringing a full accoutrement of Court members, I feared I would have to scramble around for some ladies in waiting, squires and the like. But as soon as word of their visit got out, I was fairly besieged with offers for royal duty. In fact, I feared we would have a surfeit of hangers on at the Memphis Court. In the end however, since in the South we would rather have too much of a thing than not enough, all who offered were given tasks to perform. And now, according to Prince Micah’s decree, the following pictures are to be shared with all his subjects, as he was unable to grant an audience to all.
Immediately upon arrival the Prince suffered a bout of very pink cheeks, brought about by the Arctic air. Someone forgot to order balmy temperatures.
Luckily, heads did not roll. Here, Lady Cameron allows him to gnaw on a blanket.
The diminutive Prince took quickly to allowing others to wait upon him. Here, the Matron Emmy receives a welcome opportunity. Early the first evening of the visit, two more matronly Ladies in Waiting arrived: Great Aunts Lady Ann and Lady Mare. They were suitably impressed with the Prince’s advanced growling and drooling skills.
State visits occurred on Saturday and Sunday with young Prince Ollie, approximately eight months of age, who made the trip over from Arkansas with his attendants. Ladies Ann and Mare were able to serve both royal households. No pictures of the state visits are available at the moment, but Prince Micah was deemed the more bellicose of the two young rulers.
By Sunday evening, freezing rain and sleet covered the Memphis area. The frigid temperatures caused Prince Micah’s Court to be held largely in front of the fireplace. At this point, and I do lower my voice here, the two major female Court attendants began a daring task which was distinctly unrelated to the Prince – that of cleaning out an entire craft room. Lady Cameron felt that going through her high school detritus DURING A ROYAL VISIT was worth the risk. I bowed to her judgment.
The entire Court tacitly withheld knowledge of the craft room project from the minor monarch, fearing his wrath. Lady Cameron knew from experience that her young highness would nix such a project here just as he would at home. There were close calls, yes, but the swift interventions of the Jester Grandaddy and Sir Eric prevented certain disaster. I don’t believe the Prince noticed anything amiss,
but by Tuesday he was plagued with a runny nose which may have diverted his attention. Upstairs the cleaning out moved apace, with hefty bag after hefty age of trash lined up in the hall. Downstairs the menfolk labored unsuccessfully to wipe their charge’s nose. As the Prince protested such treatment , suddenly we heard – DING DONG!
And the next installment of Courtiers arrived – Sir Eric’s parents, who had driven through the ice and snow all the way from Illinois just to be able to see their grandson, the Prince.
We were all glad for the influx of fresh attendants who knew more songs and silly games and who were willing to spend their days on the floor in front of the fireplace. I was mostly upstairs in knitting needle hell, for the project, once begun, could not be abandoned, and with new Court members on hand , my services would not be missed for the nonce.
Through the week either the temperature or frozen precipitation kept the young Master indoors. Efforts were made to keep the Prince’s routine unchanged from that of his California home. The Prince’s expectation is that his work continue unimpeded, no matter his location. Just when the Illinois contingent had to depart, Great Aunt Lady Ellen appeared upon the scene, and after a brief introduction to our local Princess Lillian, was eager to participate in Court life and intrigue. Since the craft room had been the only intrigue, we made do with a sociological experiment about whether a cardboard box can rightfully be considered a throne. Too soon it was Saturday, and the last full day of the royal visit. The weather had improved enough for the Prince to hold an impromptu audience, which greatly cheered the throngs who had been denied a viewing. The Court members struggled to complete the rest of the scheduled events. First, there was the royal photo shoot, which had to be held indoors. Four attendants were required for the grueling session. And there was a last afternoon coffee, served with cookies, at which two more Court ladies, Great Aunt Lady Carla and Lady Alexis, and a fellow royal, Princess Cee Austin were able to pay Court to the Prince. The last night of the visit was rather glum, for every single member of the Court was sad and plumb worn out. This writer, for example, was unable to move from her own bed after 8:00 P.M. Sometime in the early morning the Prince and his small contingent were conveyed to the airport from which they returned to California.
We have had no negative feedback from the visit, so we must conclude that his Highness was pleased with the level of service that can be provided by a minimum of eleven volunteer attendants. I wonder if Prince Harry and Princess Catherine had such a well functioning temporary Court for their Memphis visit?