Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Day 2010 - Let the Play Begin

Tomorrow is the big day around here. Once I get over New Year’s Eve, I will head into Annapolis Royal to get myself decked out to be Queen Anne in public for the very first time. My fabulous costumiere, Millie has outdone herself this time. The gown is spectacular, the cape is glorious, the jewelry is glamorous, the wig (we’ll see, because although I’ve tried it on, Millie wouldn’t let me see what it looked like), and the crown (see above with Millie!). She wants the whole effect to be a surprise for everyone - including me.

This whole queen business has been quite a journey! I’ve learned so much about this largely forgotten queen. And the whole costuming part has been amazing. As soon as pictures are available – and there will be pictures – I’ll post the best of them over the weekend.

I will be seeing the Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island at her levée at St. Luke’s Church Hall around 11:15. I hope to see many of the area’s people at this wonderful beginning to both the renaming of Annapolis Royal anniversary and the 300th anniversary of the first Anglican service in Canada. And then I’m off to the Royal Canadian Legion in Annapolis Royal to greet them at the joint levée for the Town of Annapolis Royal and the Legion. That will be around noon or so.

My Royal Household will be accompanying me tomorrow – Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, my two handsome footmen and my official crier. I am really looking forward to the whole play. Join us if you can. And there will be music!

In the meantime, Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Eve of 2010


As the time grows short to the beginning of 2010 and “Queen Anne’s” reign for a year, I find myself sympathizing greatly about this brave and largely forgotten queen. As the second child of William and Mary, she didn’t expect to be queen. But when her older sister Mary died of smallpox in 1694, it was up to her. She married young in 1863 at 18 years of age, went through all those appalling 18 pregnancies, was widowed in 1708, had wars to deal with both on her side of the Atlantic and on our side as well, parliamentary intrigues, miserable ministers, fairweather friends and dreadful health problems.

In Great Britain there have only been four female monarchs who ruled on their own (with no king) – Queen Elizabeth I ruled from 1558 to 1603; Queen Anne from 1702 to 1714; Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901 and our present Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to now. We know much more about three of those queens than we do about Queen Anne. The first Elizabeth was a powerhouse, Victoria was very long-lived through more recent times and our present queen has seen such amazing social changes in her lifetime both inside her own family and in the world.

As we progress through 2010, I hope we all have learned a bit more about this largely forgotten historic figure.

My next post will have pictures of the new persona as she attends the Bishop’s Levee at St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall in Annapolis Royal on January 1, 2010 after the church service. I hope to meet many of you there or at the Royal Canadian Legion in Annapolis Royal that same day.

In the meantime, here is a glorious version of the Birthday Ode to Queen Anne called Eternal Source of Light Divine written by Handel in 1713 and performed by Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis – it’ll curl your hair and give you goose pimples -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MuCCbg0k_0

See you in 2010 with my dancing shoes on!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Appearances of Queen Anne in 2010

Appearances of Queen Anne in 2010

Friday, January 1
Bishop’s Levée: 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St Luke’s Anglican Church Hall
Levée: 12:00 p.m. on, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 21

Saturday, February 6
Queen Anne’s Birthday
Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club – 1710 Dinner Menu & Music

Sunday, May 16
Combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band at St. Luke’s Anglican Church - Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne – “Eternal Source of Light Divine”

Thursday & Friday, June 3 & 4
Nova Scotia Built Heritage Conference
- Presentations on historic Nova Scotia architecture, tours of Annapolis Royal properties.
- Barbeque at North Hills Museum when the building officially receives its plaque as a provincially registered heritage property.

Saturday, July 3 – 1 to 4 pm
1710 Military Pageant at Fort Anne

Sunday to Friday, July 4 to 9
Morin Family Reunion
Gathering at the Festival of Roses, Historic Gardens, July 8
King’s Theatre, afternoon of July 9 with genealogist(s)

Monday, August 2
Annapolis Royal Natal Day Parade

Sunday, August 8 – 1 to 4 pm
Queen Anne’s Picnic, Bishop Park on Highway 201
Clowns, dancing lessons, buskers, different foods for sale

Saturday & Sunday, August 21 & 22
Town Criers’ Gathering - Saturday
Sea Cadets’ March Past - Sunday

Saturday & Sunday, August 28 & 29
European Heritage Weekend
Lieutenant Governor in attendance
Queen Anne’s Tea at Queen Anne Inn
Musique 400
Music by Jeanne (Doucet) Currie and Wayne Currie
Scottish dances including the Sword Dance
Scotch tasting
Piper Andrew Kerr
Five Century House Tour

Saturday, September 25
1710 Academic Symposium at the Annapolis Royal Court House

Saturday, September 25
Sound and Light Show on Francis Nicholson at Fort Anne
Biography of Francis Nicholson
Tall Ships

Sunday, October 10
Commemoration of the First Anglican Church Service in Canada at St Luke’s Anglican Church – 3 p.m.
Use of silver communion vessels gifted by Queen Anne
Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis
Primate Fred Hiltz
Bishop Sue Moxley
Duchess of Marlborough
Nick Lash, Karsdale (piper)

Date to be Announced
Community Thanksgiving Dinner – 6 p.m.
Good Cheer Celebration
Thank you to all volunteers

Big party in Annapolis Royal - The Spectator

Big party in Annapolis Royal
Ottawa chips in $60,000 for AR 300th celebrations

By Lawrence Powell, Spectator

NovaNewsNow.com

When the bell tolls midnight December 31, 2009, Annapolis Royal will switch into party mode as it begins a year-long celebration of the 300th birthday of the renaming of the town from Port Royal in 1710 by Francis Nicholson -- the same man who renamed Providence, Maryland to Annapolis.

On Thursday, Nov. 12 the town celebrated a bit of good news as West Nova MP Greg Kerr stopped by King's Theatre to hand over $59,600 to help Team Annapolis, 300th anniversary festivities organizers, make the party just that much bigger and better.

"Our government is proud to support Team Annapolis," said Kerr on the King's Theatre stage, flanked by Mayor Phil Roberts in period costume and Team Annapolis's Linda Brown -- plus Town Crier Peter Davies who introduced Kerr. "By partnering with communities to support activities that celebrate our shared history and our rich cultural diversity, we are fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our communities and support arts, culture, and heritage.

"The funds were release through the federal government's Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.

Brown said 2010 will be a year of great excitement and described her team as an amazing group of dedicated people and noting that while most events will take place in Annapolis Royal, other events are scheduled for Granville Ferry, Bridgetown, and the nearby Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club.

Kerr described Annapolis Royal as a town of firsts, including the fact that it was the first capital of Nova Scotia. Roberts said the town has so much history that residents can wake up any morning and it's a day to celebrate the history of something.

It was also noted that the Anglican Church will celebrate a similar anniversary in 2010 with, among other events, the commeration of the first Anglican Church service in Canada.

SELLING THE TOWN

Those in attendance were also updated on a unique new fundraiser in which Team Annapolis sells the entire town at $10 per 20-metre-square blocks -- and there are 7,677 blocks, making it a potentially lucritive money-maker. Using the geograpic information system at the Annapolis District Planning Commission, the town was divided into the blocks with notional or virtual deeds correspoding with each block. Doug Dockrill bought the first deed -- the farmers' market. The Spectator bought part of King's Theatre. Professionally prepared deeds match each block.

Residents and business owners in the town will be given a chance to purchase the block or blocks that correspond with their own property up to December 31.

EVENTS ALREADY PLANNED

Team Annapolis has already nailed down a number of events:

-- A New Years Levee will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on January 1 at St. Luke's Anglican Church Hall with Bishop Sue Moxley, 'Queen Anne,' and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.

-- Queen Anne's birthday will be celebrated on February 6 at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club, and includes dinner and music.

-- Heritage Day is February 15 when the Heritage of Sport and Recreation in Annapolis Royal will be celebrated.

-- On April 18 will be the Dedication of St. Luke's Anglican Church Anniversary Garden with the planting of Bishop Pippin apple tree.

-- A combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band will be held at St. Luke's Anglican Church on May 16. Music includes Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne -- 'Eternal Source of Light Divine.'

-- On June 4 and 5 the Nova Scotia Built Heritage Conference will be held and includes presentations on historic Nova Scotia architecture and tours of Annapolis Royal properties. Also planned is a barbecue at North Hills Museum when the building officially receives its plaque as a provincially registered heritage property.

-- June is also the 300th anniversay of Sinclair Inn.

Other events include the Morin Family Reunion, Mi'kmaq Heritage Day, Queen Anne's Picnic at Bishop's Park on Highway 201, African Heritage Day, Town Criers' Performance in connection with Paint the Town, and a European Heritage Weekend with the Lieutenant Governor in attendance and a garden Party at O'Dell House. In September a delegation from Royan, France will arrive with dinner planned at Garrison House and celebrating 300 years of wine making. A biography of Francis Nicholson will be part of events at Fort Anne in September, and a community thanksgiving dinner is set for October. More events are in the works and will be unveiled as they are finalized.
And the caption under the picture above reads "Anne Crossman, Peter Davies, Greg Kerr, Phil Roberts, and Linda Brown pose behind this antique picture frame that by some time in 2010 will be filled with a portrait of Queen Anne. Rick Zenkner of Westside Studio volunteered to paint the portrait for anniversary celebrations of the renaming of Port Royal to Annapolis Royal." photo by Lawrence Powell

Becoming A Queen

So now that I have given you lots of information on my new alter ego Queen Anne, it’s time I told you about my transformation from an ordinary everyday person to an exalted personage.

Back in the summer of 2009, I was invited to a meeting in Annapolis Royal to possibly help out with ideas and volunteer work on events that would be taking place in 2010 in Annapolis Royal, the Municipality of the County of Annapolis and in the area of the Annapolis River. As we have learned, 2010 marks 300 years since Sir Francis Nicholson and his men came up from Massachusetts, attacked Port Royal which was occupied by the French. The French leader, Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, surrendered the fort to Nicholson and the community was renamed Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne.

First our small group had to find various events that were going to help commemorate this big anniversary. Then the committee had to find funding to help make these events happen. And my persona had to be created along with a schedule of events at which I would make an appearance. Let's go straight to the money - the federal Heritage department gave about $60,000. towards the planned events (the article in The Spectator - our weekly newspaper - of the great announcement will apear in the next post).

And then, because this blog is about me, there's the costume for Queen Anne. Millie Hawes is a miracle worker when it comes to costuming. She lives in Granville Ferry which is just across the Annapolis River from Annapolis Royal and she has a treasure trove of materials and bits and bobs which she gathers up from local folks, second hand stores and everywhere else. Millie is making my costume and has arranged for a crown and is making me look like a regal person. I'm not allowed to tell you very much because Millie would like my very first appearance on January 1 at the Bishop's Levee at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Annapolis Royal to be a grand surprise. I can tell you that the Royal Jewels are pretty spectacular as well. They came from Sapphire and Sage, a woman in Ohio who makes replica costume jewellry.

I will also put up the list of appreances of Queen Anne next year in a future post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Queen Anne Cities and Landmarks

Aside from furniture, there are places named for Queen Anne. Here is information from Wikipedia.

Cities
- Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada - originally Port-Royal, it became Annapolis Royal when the British took sovereignty of Nova Scotia from the French in 1710. Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Annapolis River, Nova Scotia and the Annapolis Valley take their names from the town of Annapolis Royal.
- Fort Anne, Nova Scotia - fortification in Annapolis Royal.
- Annapolis, Maryland, United States; the town of Princess Anne, Maryland, however, is named for Princess Anne of Great Britain, daughter of King George II.
- Fort Ann, New York - Both the town and its accompanying village are indirectly named after Anne.
- Queen Anne Town - Colonial port town established in 1706 near the tidal limit of the Patuxent River in Maryland, the town was later named Hardesty and never grew beyond the initial few houses and taverns.

City landmarks
- Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London - There is a statue in the square of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, but the square itself was built in 1708 and named for Anne.
- Queen Square, Bristol, UK - This was the first residential square built outside London, in 1702. Anne paid a visit to the site during construction.
- Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster, London, UK - a short street created by merging a square with an inn-yard. A bust of the Queen stands half way along.
- Queen Anne's Corner, Norwell, Massachusetts - a crossroads in the Accord section of the town.
- Queen Anne Square, a park in downtown Newport, Rhode Island.

The Arts Flourished

Here is another interesting excerpt from Edward Gregg’s book Queen Anne –

“Queen Anne’s England enjoyed a growing sense of wealth and power; its colonial system was flourishing and expanding, and the nation was on the verge of becoming one of the great powers of Europe. This sense of wealth and power was accompanied by growing literary and artistic freedom. The lapsing of the Licensing Act in 1695 brought an end to censorship of the press. Grub Street flourished, and in the ensuing years Swift, Defoe, Pope, Addison and Steele were to be the greatest of the notable authors of Queen Anne’s reign. In the arts, Sir Christopher Wren, Grinling Gibbons, Sir John Vanbrugh, and Sir Godfrey Kneller were to make their distinctive contributions to a recognizably English style, while George Frideric Handel was to precede the queen’s Hanoverian heirs into the kingdom. In the sciences, Isaac Newton was the father of modern physics, and was knighted by the queen. The vast palaces of Blenheim, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, and Petworth were being created. A whole style in decorative arts, including furniture and silver, which combined beauty, comfort, and practicality, was to be named after Queen Anne.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Much Loved Queen




Edward Gregg in his 1980 book, Queen Anne (first published by Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd and republished by Yale University Press in 2001), is another very sympathetic author. He says that the queen enjoyed “enormous popularity…until the last months of her life. She worked hard to maintain the most fervent and continuous public support enjoyed by any monarch since Elizabeth. A history of her reign published in 1721 described this popularity in recording the queen’s visit to Newmarket in October 1706:

Crouds of people from all parts of the Country came to see Her Majesty and wish her a long Life and Happy Reign; and, indeed, thus it was in whatever part of England she was pleased to appear amongst them. Nor was their sincerity, I believe, ever doubted…they ever looked upon her as their common parent. She found no necessity of following the Turkish Maxim of immuring her self for fear of being assassinated, the affections of the people were her surest Guard, and she was never safer then when she was surrounded by them. – (Abel Boyer, The Life and Reign of Queen Anne, London, 1735)

Gregg goes on the say that although most people didn’t actually see the queen in the flesh, the “propagandists of her reign” gave her a triumphant image. However, that image was in great contrast to the “pathetic invalid” that the queen actually was. Gregg says, “Surrounded by political rancour and personal sorrow, burdened by her deteriorating physical condition, subject to the unrelenting demands of daily business, the queen’s spirits were sustained by her personal popularity and by her sense of mission: ‘as long as I live’, she told Godolphin in 1705, ‘it shall be my endeavour to make my Country and my friends easy’. Her determination to succeed in this mission was to be among the greater glories of her reign.”



The picture of Queen Anne today is a Thornhill Engraving and that’s all I can tell you about it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birthday Ode for Queen Anne

I had to interupt my history lesson on Queen Anne because I was told by the leader of Annapolis Royal's A Royal Consort, Caroline Bosley, that "I" (or should that be "We") have an Ode - a Birthday Ode written by Handel. I was so excited! So Caroline told me where to find it online and you can read the lyrics below to "our" Ode. We believe that on May 16, 2010, this Ode will be performed in Annapolis Royal along with The Annapolis Royal Suite. A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band will hold a joint concert. Details later in this blog as things are nailed down.

So take a deep breath and read away. I'll be interested to hear comments.

Birthday Ode for Queen Anne
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Lyricist: Ambrose Philips
Published: 1713

Eternal source of light divine
with double warmth thy beams display,
and with distinguish'd glory shine,
to add a lustre to this day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let all the winged race with joy
their wonted homage sweetly pay,
whilst tow'ring in the azure sky
they celebrate this happy day:
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let flocks and herds their fear forget
lions and wolves refuse their prey
and all in friendly consort meet,
made glad by this propitious day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let rolling streams their gladness show
with gentle murmurs whilst they play,
and in their wild meanders flow,
rejoicing in this blessed day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Kind health descends on downy wings;
angels conduct her on the way.
T'our glorious Queen new life she brings,
and swells our joys upon this day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let envy then conceal her head,
and blasted faction glide away.
No more her hissing tongues we'll dread,
secure in this auspicious day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

United nations shall combine,
to distant climes the sound convey
that Anna's actions are divine,
and this the most important day!
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All about Anne - Part II

As I mentioned in a previous post, Anne had many pregnancies - most ending in tragedy. And the one child who lived past infancy – William – died when he was 11. Below are all the recorded series of births and miscarriages:

1684 May 12 Stillborn Daughter
1685 June 2 Mary or Marie (died February 8, 1687)
1686 May 12 Anne Sophia (died February 2, 1687)
1687 Miscarriage January 1687
1687 Stillborn Son October 22, 1687
1688 Miscarriage April 16, 1688
1689 William, Duke of Gloucester 24 July 1689 (died July 30, 1700)
1690 Mary October 14, 1690 (two months premature, lived two hours)
1692 George April 17, 1692 (born at Syon, lived a few minutes)
1693 Stillborn Daughter March 23, 1693
1694 Stillborn Child January 21, 1694
1696 Stillborn Daughter February 18, 1696
1696 Double Miscarriage September 20, 1696 (‘a son of 7 months growth, the other of 2 or 3 months’)
1697 Stillborn Daughter March 25, 1697
1697 Miscarriage December 1697
1698 Charles September 15, 1698
1700 Stillborn Son January 25, 1700

All of Anne's children bore the titles of Prince(ss) of Denmark and Prince(ss) of Norway.

I am reading a book called Queen Anne by David Green published in 1970 by Scribners. There is an appendix dealing with the health of Anne over the years. It’s pretty darn depressing. As a 5-year old child she developed some kind of eye ailment which troubled her for the rest of her life. When she was 12, she had smallpox. After marriage at 18 to Prince George of Denmark in 1684, she had the terrible list of pregnancies shown above.

Green says, “In 1698, when Anne was 33, we have the first mention of gout which, from then on, begins to affect various parts of the body: both hands, both feet, elbow, knees and eventually ( as then diagnosed) stomach and head. In 1701 she was ‘extremely afflicted with gout’, and the following year, at the age of 37, she had to be carried to her coronation.”

Later Green says, “The remedies prescribed for Queen Anne were typical of the time: ass’s milk, hiera picra, oil of millipedes, spa water, steel, quinine, Sir Walter Raleigh’s Cordial and for pain laudanum. She was quite often bled, but preferred cupping.”

Who knows what “hiera picra” is – sounds a bit nasty. Actually, this is what I was able to find (but who knows if it's accurate) – "Priestly bitters", a name given to many medicines in the Greek pharmacopoeia but especially to a purgative drug composed of aloes and canella bark, sometimes mixed with honey and other ingredients.

And as far as “oil of millipedes” goes, you wouldn’t get a drop of that past my lips, I can tell you! Don’t you love “Sir Walter Raleigh’s Cordial” – it probably had a wee drop of alcohol in it. But, for me, laudanum’s the ticket – just stay doped up for the whole time.

And then, this benighted lady lost her husband in 1708. More in the next post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All about Anne - Part I


I am, again, grateful for Wikipedia for the information below.

"Anne was born at St. James's Palace, London, the second daughter of James, Duke of York (afterwards James II), and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde. Her paternal uncle was King Charles II and her older sister was the future Mary II. Anne and Mary were the only children of the Duke and Duchess of York to survive into adulthood.

"Anne suffered as a child from an eye infection; for medical treatment, she was sent to France. She lived with her grandmother, Henrietta Maria of France, and with her aunt, Henrietta Anne, Duchess of Orléans, following her grandmother's death. Anne returned to England in 1670.

"In about 1673, Anne made the acquaintance of Sarah Jennings, who became her close friend and one of her most influential advisors. Jennings later married John Churchill (the future Duke of Marlborough), who was to become Anne's most important general.

"In 1673, Anne's father's conversion to Roman Catholicism became public. On the instructions of Charles II, however, Anne and her sister Mary were raised as Protestants.

"On 28 July 1683, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark-Norway, brother of King Christian V of Denmark-Norway (and her second cousin once removed through Frederick II), an unpopular union but one of great domestic happiness. Sarah Churchill became Anne's Lady of the Bedchamber, and, by Anne's desire to mark their mutual intimacy and affection, all deference due to her rank was abandoned and the two ladies called each other Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman."

Apparently, letter writing was a big thing in those days and women wrote letters to their best friends with amazing intimacy. I put this down to the fact that many were married for reasons of state and not love, so they had to have some kind of emotional outlet.

Sir Winston Churchill, apparently a big fan of Queen Anne, said of her relationship with Sarah Church (his ancestor, by the way) that it was "perfervid." I sure had to look that one up - "adjective - very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned".

I've included a picture of my business card - I love it. It was designed by Jim Todd of TODD graphics at www.toddgraphic.ns.ca.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning about Queen Anne


Since I was going to be this new personna in 2010, it seemed like a good idea to find out as much as I could about this queen across the sea. My first foray took me to Wikipedia. While internet information isn't always totally accurate, I thought the information below seemed pretty straight forward -

"Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her brother-in-law, William III of England and II of Scotland. Her Catholic father, James II and VII, was deemed by the English Parliament to have abdicated when he was forced to retreat to France during the Glorious Revolution of 1688/9; her brother-in-law and her sister then became joint monarchs as William III & II and Mary II, the only such case in British history. After Mary's death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until his own death in 1702.

"On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, England and Scotland were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became its first sovereign, while continuing to hold the separate crown of Queen of Ireland and the title of Queen of France. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death in August 1714. Anne was therefore the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.

"Anne's life was marked by many crises, both personally and relating to succession of the Crown and religious polarisation. Because she died without surviving issue, Anne was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by her second cousin, George I, of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James VI & I."

When they say Anne's life "was marked by many crises" they weren't kidding. For me, the most tragic was the fact that this poor woman "had been pregnant at least eighteen times; thirteen times, she miscarried or gave birth to stillborn children. Of the remaining five children, four died before reaching the age of two years. Her only son to survive infancy, William, Duke of Gloucester, died at the age of eleven on 29 July 1700, precipitating a succession crisis."

And last today, above is my favourite picture of the Lady Anne painted in 1683 when she was married.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Start

In early October 1710, the tiny French fort of Port Royal on the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia was surrendered to the British and was renamed Annapolis Royal. And while that may not seem like a big deal, especially given this tiny speck of European humanity in North America, it is a big deal to folks who live around here.

In the spring of 2009, I was asked if I wanted to participate in some fashion in the commemoration of the renaming of Port Royal to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia in 1710. I have been involved in various projects in and around this beautiful part of Nova Scotia for some time and went to a meeting.

My idea was to have a picnic dedicated to all those whose name was Anne or a derivative of Anne - E.G. - Ann, Anita, Anna, etc. And then my mind started churning and I thought it would be kind of fun to have the Queen herself be at the picnic. And then, and then...

So here I am - portraying Queen Anne for the year 2010 - 300 years after Her Majesty named this place. It helps that my name is Anne. It helps that my name is Anne with an E. However, I was named by my mother for Anne of Green Gables (written by L.M. Montgomery over in Prince Edward Island). But that's OK.

Right now, I'm in preparation mode. A wonderful "costumier royale" and great friend Millie Hawes is making my gown. It is going to be fabulous! The great unveiling will be on January 1, 2010 at a levee in Annapolis Royal kicking off lots of events taking palce throughout next year. I have my shoes and the jewels are on order. And then there's the wig - something drastic needs to happen to it before I appear in public - believe you me!

The events for 2010 will either be specifically 1710 events or they are regular goings-on that will take on a 1710 flavour. More about that as we move along.

I thought it might be fun to keep track of how it all turns out - hence this blog. More as we go along.