Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Swan Song for the 300th Anniversary Celebrations

While this will be the swan song for the 300th anniversary celebrations on this blog, I thought you’d like to know that the Queen has been invited to a few other events both later this year and into next year. She has been very popular.

People have been very kind and wished her well at all turns. From the lovely little girls at Upper Clements Park who whispered so quietly that they liked my dress to all the people along the parade routes and the visitors who just happened by and wanted a photo with the Queen, it has been a delight. Our charming and gracious Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis took it all in stride and I understand she had a wonderful time at the two events she was able to attend.

I would like to thank the 300 team members who come to meetings, give of their ideas and their hands, laugh and work very hard – all for the delight we see on people’s faces. Linda Brown, our Prime Minister; Amery Boyer, our Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough; Grace Butland, our Marketing Manager; Caroline Bosley, our Music Advisor and Abigail, Baroness Masham; Millie Hawes, the Royal Costumière; Heather LeBlanc and Kathie Fearon, General Factotums all make working together a delight for me, Anne Crossman, Queen Anne. There were all the folks at the Annapolis Royal Town Hall who put up with all our antics and changing routines and helped us in many ways – always with a smile. Thanks to our funders and sponsors who helped us in so many ways.

So here are some candid photos from our lovely volunteer celebratory evening at the Annapolis Royal Legion. Because you MUST remember that this whole year’s events had NO paid staff. This was done for the love of area in which we live.

Long Live Our Queen and All Her Household!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

300 Years of Anglican Services in Annapolis Royal

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, there was a special service at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Annapolis Royal. Here is a great website where my friend Trish Fry has captured the event in pictures - Trish is a terrific photographer and has docmented many places and events around her town over the years.

Monday, October 11, 2010

European Heritage Day at Fort Anne - August 29, 2010

It was a big day today in Annapolis Royal. Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, The Honourable Mayann E. Francis was able to be with us as we celebrated our various backgrounds which make up this wonderful community. There was a fashion show of costumed folks from down through the years assisted ably by Millie Hawes. Alan Melanson was the Master of Ceremonies and we had the Honourable Ramona Jennex of the Nova Scotia government on hand as well.

The queen and her entourage arrived in her carriage and then the carriage brought our Lt. Governor to the stand.

Here are some of the photos taken of the day - a very hot and humid day I might add - but an excellent event. I should add that the Lt. Governor had a wonderful time making a poker with Brad Hall, a local sculptor and sometime blacksmith.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Queen Anne in the Annapolis Valley Exhibition Parade

August 16, 2010 - It was amazing. It was very long. There were huge crowds lining the parade route in Lawrencetown. All the dignitaries were there - MP, MLA, Mayors, etc. And we were float number 106. This appearance was for Raymond Longley, our trusted coachman. He requested our appearance to help him celebrate his 54th year in the parade and at the Ex. How could we resist.

So the Duchess, Amery Boyer; a new jester, Mike Fearon; Jon Percy and Michael McCarty, the footmen and I (the queen) started at 6:50 pm and made our way down the main road in the beautiful carriage pulled by our favourite mare Bonnie through Lawrencetown to the exhibition grandstand.

We arrived around 8:30 and were greeted by a full house and a beautiful red ribbon with Judge's Choice First Prize. How about that! We were quite thrilled! Here are a couple of photos taken by a friend and neighbour Philip Hyam and Larry Powell of The Spectator.

By the way, the lady in the blue shirt with the miniature horse was not part of our entourage. It was interesting that Bonnie didn't like those little horses. But the kids along the way just loved them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meeting My Loyal Subjects at Upper Clements Park

August 15, 2010 - The day was beautiful, the Royal Household was in attendance, the Juggler juggled amazingly, the English Country Dancers were a real treat, the Cake was spectacular and the beautiful small subjects (and the larger ones too, of course) were delightful. Here are some photos of the Sunday afternoon at the park.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Queen Anne's Picnic

August 8, 2010 - Bishop Park, Round Hill, Nova Scotia - An excellent time was had by all at the Queen's Picnic. The people who probably enjoyed the afternoon the most were all the children and the Royal Coachman, Raymond Longley with his lovely mare Bonnie and the beautiful Carriage. A visitor from Vancouver posted a video overnight on the event. You can see it at It certainly gives a good sense of the afternoon. Thanks to all who came.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Canada Day at Fort Anne

On a beautiful Canada Day, there was a grand assemblage at the town hall in Annapolis Royal. We had a trumpeter to play O Canada which was accompanied by many voices. The Queen and her household then strolled over to the Officers' quarters at Fort Anne for a cake cutting and a "walk about". She met tourists and townsfolk alike. Below are some of the photographs taken on this grand occasion.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sinclair Inn 300th Anniversary - June 5, 2010

This event marked the first time the queen and the duchess used the Royal Carriage. It was an adventure! Getting in and getting out required some tricky manoueuvring to get the queen with the crown in under the carriage's hood. It was drizzling on the day so we needed to protect the costumes and the carriage. Our Royal Driver was magnificent - Raymond Longley had almost more fun than anyone on the day! Thanks to Raymond, his daughter Mary Longley Pecharsky and their friends who made the day wonderful with the carriage and Bonnie the lovely old horse who didn't turn a hair with all the goings-on. If you go to Ryan Scranton's Annapolis Heritage Society's terrific blog, you'll see all the correct information on the Sinclair Inn - see the left side of this blog for the link.

We started at the Town Hall, went down St. George Street past the Farmer's and Trader's Market, along Drury Lane to St. Anthony Street and then back along St. George to the Sinclair Inn. The queen and the duchess were greeted with posies given by a lovely young girl named Sona. The footmen were most attentive in helping us get in and out of the carriage. We visited with the artisans, saw the bagpipers, heard the lovely Acadian music from Wayne and Jeanne Doucet Currie and cut the terrific cake with the Royal Herald and his sword. Then back to town hall and a torrential downpour just as everything ended. Below are a series of photos from the day - a great day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nova Scotia Heritage Conference 2010 - June 3 & 4/10

The heritage conference was held in Annapolis Royal this year with major help from the Annapolis County Heritage Advisory Committee's chair Marilyn Wilkins and staff at the county office. Annapolis Heritage Society's Ryan Scranton and Bridgetown's Steve Raftery were also involved. This was a group effort. Team 300 was also involved as was Queen Anne and her retinue.

The Queen, her lady-in-waiting, her herald and her footman were invited to lunch at the Royal Canadian legion's Community Hall on the first day. Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough read parts of letters they had written to each other. Here is that script which was introduced by the Royal Herald, Peter Davies.

In 1673, Princess Anne, the second daughter of James, Duke of York (afterwards James II), and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde, began a long-lasting deep relationship with Sarah Jennings, the future wife of Lord John Marlborough. Sarah was a most influential advisor to the princes and later when Anne became queen. 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.

We invite you to listen in on some of their correspondence – First, from Sarah who said that the perfect friendship, once made, had to be cemented. Anne, Sarah remembered -

Lady Marlborough:

…grew uneasy to be treated by me with the ceremony due to her rank and with the sound of words that implied superiority. It was this turn of mind which made her one day propose to me that when ever I should happen to be absent from her we might in all our letters write ourselves by feigned names such as would import nothing of distinction by rank between us. Morley and Freeman were the names her fancy hit upon and she left me to choose by which of them I would be called. My frank open temper naturally led me to pitch upon Freeman, and so the Princess took the other; and from this time Mistress Morley and Mistress Freeman began to converse as equals, made so by affection and friendship. Mistress Morley’s discourse had nothing of brightness or wit but rather an insipid heaviness turning chiefly upon fashions and rules of precedence or observations upon the weather.

Queen Anne: I know that I am morose and need to be entertained but… Lady Howard and Mistress Griffith have been with me today. The first goes out of town tomorrow and says she loves the country mightily but yet looks very melancholy when she speaks of it. My other visitor at my request mimicked you and several others. Lady Frescheville she does much the best, but for yourself she does overact you.

Lady Marlborough: I would caution you mightily, Mistress Morley, not to refer to William – the king – in a negative manner. Should our letters fall into the wrong hands there could be much trouble. I beg that you burn my letters to you, dear friend and know that I am scratching out all those expletives in yours. In these times, it is best to be very careful.

Queen Anne: I kissed your dear kind letter over and over and burnt it much against my will.

Lady Marlborough: I remember one day I told the Queen, when she was easy with me, that I thought there was nothing in the world so good for her as well as for England as to desire of her own accord to have the young Prince of Hanover and breed him as her own son, which would in the first place secure her own line against the Roman Catholics and make the young man acquainted with the law and customs of a country that one day (though I hoped it was a long way off) he would govern; to which she answered, not being very well pleased, that she believed nobody of her age and who might have children would do that; which was very vain of thought and I believe proceeded more from her pride or fear of having anybody here to be courted than that she really could expect children, though she was not forty, because she had had before seventeen dead ones.

And here is a photo of our small procession out of the conference.

Planting an "Anne" Magnolia Tree

The other grand event that took place on May 16, was the planting of a magnolia in the churchyard at St. Luke's Anglican Church. Queen Anne and her royal household trooped around the side of the church and, with the assistance of the Royal Gardener, a lovely tree was planted.

In this photo, you will see l. to r. - Jon Percy, the Royal Footman; Peter Davies, the Royal Herald; Anne Crossman, Queen Anne; Amery Boyer, Sarah Churchill; Angelika Waldow, the Royal Gardener; and Reverend Ken Vaughan.

A Grand Anniversary 1710 - 2010 Concert - Part III - Photos

Below are some of the pictures which were taken inside St. Luke's Anglican Church. I know there are more out there and I will post them as they come in. The first two are taken in the Royal Robing Room (aka the Town of Annapolis Royal's CAO's office) as we are getting dressed to attend A Grand Anniversary Concert. As you can see, the CAO always works even when "en costume".

Below is The Queen looking at her Royal Portrait painted by local artist Rick Zenkner which was unveiled at this concert. And a look from the back of the church toward the altar where A Royal Consort is performing.

The Annapolis Basin Community Band led by Jolene Buchholz.

A Royal Consort directed by Caroline Bosley.

A Grand Anniversary 1710 - 2010 Concert - Part II

There are many, many people to thank for making this concert a success. All the people at St. Luke’s Anglican Church – and there are many, including Rev. Ken Vaughn and Judy Dickinson – made this a great place to hold such a concert.

The musicians and their leaders – all 40 of the Annapolis Basin Community Band and all 22 choir members of A Royal Consort and Elizabeth Harwood, their accompanist – were spectacular. The rehearsing that must have taken place to produce such marvellous music is amazing.

And please remember all the sponsors who helped bring this concert to the community –

Annapolis 300 Team
Annapolis Basin Conference Centre
Destination Southwest Nova
Nova Scotia Power
Brown Bros.
Westside Studio
The Annapolis County Spectator
Canadian Heritage
Integrity Printing
Habitation Realties
Hutchins Pharmasave
Re/Max Banner Real Estate
Annapolis Home Hardware
Kaulbach Family Funeral Home
Bainton’s Tannery Outlet
Royal LePage
Stephen McNeil, MLA
Greg Kerr, MP

A Grand Anniversary 1710 - 2010 Concert - Part I

It’s been some time since I updated this blog – mea culpa! Let’s go back a few weeks to get caught up. I’ll start with the Grand Anniversary 1710 – 2010 concert on May 16. It was Grand indeed! The music was presented by A Royal Consort with Caroline M. Bosley as musical director and the Annapolis Basin Community Band conducted by Jolene Buchholz. More on the people who made this wonderful concert happen in the next post. I will also add pictures in another post as this post is rather longer than usual.

Here is the program from the event at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Annapolis Royal –

A Grand Anniversary
1710 – 2010

The year 2010 marks three anniversaries which have significance for Annapolis Royal and for all of Canada.

The most obvious of these is that in 1710 what is now Annapolis Royal changed hands between England/Britain and France for the last time. It was then that the town received its present name, Annapolis Royal – the Royal City of Anne. It was not the first North American settlement to be named after Anne, Annapolis in Maryland enjoys that honour. However, Annapolis Maryland was named in 1694 while Anne was still just a Princess.

The establishment of a stable British presence in Annapolis Royal gave rise to another significant event. The Church of England set down the roots of what was to become the Anglican church in Canada. The services which were held in the military settlement led eventually to the formation of the Parish of Annapolis and thus to the building of the church in which these anniversaries are being celebrated.

Two hundred years after these events came the founding of the Royal Canadian Navy. While this can hardly be claimed as a Nova Scotia event there has been an abiding link between the Navy and Nova Scotia as each has shaped the other over the past century.

The music presented today is chosen to represent these themes. It is old and new, sacred and secular, light and serious. We hope you enjoy this music and that it brings to life the history of this place.

In a Consort of Voices Henry Purcell

Themes from Music for the Royal Fireworks
Overture George Frideric Handel

Magnificat Orlando Gibbons

Eternal Father Strong to Save - Naval Hymn
Common Praise: 567

Our Director Frederick E. Bigelow

Annapolis Royal Suite Ron MacKay
To the New Land
L'Ordre de Bon Temps
The Siege of Fort Anne 1744
Celebration 2005


Alleluja Henry Purcell

Birthday Ode for Queen Anne:
Eternal Source of Light Divine
George Frideric Handel

I. Eternal source of light divine
II. The day that gave great Anna birth
III. Let all the winger race with joy
Solo: Caroline Bosley
IV. Let flocks and herds
V. Let rolling streams
VI. Kind health descends
Duet: Caroline Bosley
Mary Lou Rockwell
VII. The day that gave great Anna birth
VIII. Let envy then conceal her head
IX. United Nations shall combine
Solo: Mary Lou Rockwell

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Purcell was an organist and composer of secular and sacred music who used Italian and French stylistic elements in his compositions but who defined a uniquely English form of Baroque music. Purcell showed musical talent early in life and despite an early death left us many operas, anthems and other works. He was favoured by Queen Mary, the elder sister of Queen Anne.

In a Consort of Voices is taken from the larger work Welcome to all the pleasures - Ode for St Cecilia's Day 1683. The extended work is a beautiful homage to Saint Cecilia – the patron saint of music. The work presented illustrates well Purcell's outstanding capabilities as a choral composer. The use of simple, repeated phrases in a fugue like form creates a delightful piece of music praising music.

Alleluja is a superb example of Purcell's polyphonic writing. Using just a single word “Alleluja” — from the Hebrew, “Praise God” — he creates a work in which each part is interesting in itself and the whole is sublime harmony. Truly, this praises God.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Although born in Germany and given his musical finishing in Italy, Handel became English to the core and he is regarded as one of Britain's foremost composers and the musical successor to Purcell. His music was popular when it was first written and much of it has continued to be played and sung to this day.

Handel's first employer, in 1710, was George, Elector of Hanover, who became George I of Britain after the death of Queen Anne. In 1712, Handel moved to London where he soon received commissions and, in 1713, an annuity from Queen Anne. When George succeeded Anne, relations between Handel and the King were rather cool until Handel created the Water Music Suite for the King.

Thereafter success followed upon success. The variety of his works was considerable, comprising operas, oratorios, orchestral suites, concerti, anthems and other works. The sheer volume of output was overwhelming with many works being still widely known. Handel died a wealthy and highly regarded man. More than three thousand mourners attended his funeral, which was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

The music for the Royal Fireworks was composed in 1749 when Handel was at the height of his musical powers and popular appeal. He was a super star in his day as indicated by the fact that the first performance of the suite had an audience of 12,000 people.

The original version of the work was scored entirely for winds and percussion so it is most appropriate as a work for concert band. Because instruments have changed so much in the 250 years since the suite was written, the arrangement of the work is quite different from the original setting. Moreover, only part of the suite is presented. The full suite comprises five movements and several of the movements have more parts. Despite these differences, the character of the music is faithful to Handel’s intentions. Another difference which could not be avoided is the lack of fireworks.

The Birthday Ode for Queen Anne is a work by the young Handel. Composed in 1713 when he was only 27, it was a major success – especially financially. Not long after it was written Handel received a generous pension from Queen Anne.

The libretto, written by Ambrose Philips, is filled with historical allusions and not a few ironic comments. Above all, it is almost fawning in its gracious comments about Queen Anne. After all, she paid for it.

Queen Anne did not have an easy life and she reigned in a difficult time. The younger daughter of James II, the last Roman Catholic English monarch, both she and her sister Mary were raised as Protestants. Mary married William of Orange. Anne married Prince George of Denmark-Norway. In 1688, William invaded England, James fled to France and, in due course, Parliament made William and Mary joint monarchs. Mary died in 1694 and William ruled alone.

Throughout Anne's life, royal succession was a major issue. William and Mary had no children. Anne and her husband attempted to produce an heir but of her 17 known pregnancies, only one produced a child who lived past the age of two and he died at the age of 11.

By the time Anne assumed the throne in 1702, it was clear she was the last of her line. Anne inherited a war and a hostile political environment from her brother-in-law. By the time of her death in 1714, most of the problems had been put behind her. It is this which is reflected in the libretto.

I. Eternal source of light divine with double warmth thy beams display, and with distinguish'd glory shine, to add a lustre to this day.
II. The day that gave great Anna birth who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.
III. Let all the winged race with joy their wonted homage sweetly pay, whilst tow'ring in the azure sky they celebrate this happy day:
IV. 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.
V. Let rolling streams their gladness show with gentle murmurs whilst they play, and in their wild meanders flow, rejoicing in this blessed day.
VI. 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.
VII. Repeat III.
VIII. Let envy then conceal her head, and blasted faction glide away. No more her hissing tongues we'll dread, secure in this auspicious day.
IX. United nations shall combine, to distant climes the sound convey that Anna's actions are divine, and this the most important day!

The recurring theme of “lasting peace” refers to the Treaty of Utrecht which concluded the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713. Britain did rather well in the war, helping to keep France and Spain from coming together under a single monarch and picking up a few French possessions in the process, notably Port-Royal. The banished “blasted factions” and “hissing tongues” in VIII refer to several Whigs who were a thorn in Anne's side for many years. The “United Nations” in IX refer to the 1707 Act of Union which combined England and Scotland into Great Britain so as to forestall French meddling in Scotland. Finally, the notion that “kind health descends” expressed in movement VI speaks more to hope than about Anne's true condition. That it also says “angels conduct her on her way” speaks with prescience to her imminent death.

Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625) was one of the most versatile English composers of his time. He wrote keyboard works, fantasias for viols, madrigals, and popular verse anthems. His choral music is distinguished by his mastery of counterpoint, combined with his wonderful gift for melody.

Most people now encounter Gibbons music through his hymn tunes which have interesting melodies with unexpected rhythmic elements. The harmony parts are charming to the listener and quite exciting to the singer. The text of the Magnificat is Luke 1:46-55.

Frederick E. Bigelow (1873-1929) was a professional pharmacist and amateur musician who spent his entire life in Massachusetts. He studied both the clarinet and saxophone but for most of his years in a band he played the saxophone.

He is noted for two marches. The NC-4 march honours the first airplane to cross the Atlantic. However, his best known march is Our Director.

Ron MacKay (1928-2008) received his formal music education at Canadian Forces School of Music, St. Xavier University and Dalhousie University. He made a great impact on music, both in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada, through teaching, playing, conducting, adjudicating, arranging and composing. In particular, he championed wind bands. He had a special attachment to the Annapolis Basin Community Band.

Ron’s contributions were widely recognized as he was honoured with life membership in the Nova Scotia Music Educators Association, the Nova Scotia Band Association, the Music Industry Association Nova Scotia. He was also an International Honorary member of the Band Masters Fraternity Phi Beta Mu. He received the highest award of the Canadian Band Association in 1997.

In 2005 the ABCB commissioned Ron to compose a work as part of the celebration of 400th anniversary of the founding of a European settlement in the Annapolis Basin. The work he produced was the Annapolis Royal Suite. It was premiered on 17 July 2005 in Fort Anne as part of the 2005 BandFest.

The Annapolis Royal Suite is a four-movement work for concert band. The composition reflects various events in history, from the Landing of the French through to the Celebrations of 2005.

To The New Land describes the voyage from France to Canada, in particular nova Scotia. The music reflects the excitement as the travelers leave France, cross the Atlantic, and reach the shores of the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Basin. The movement culminates in the celebration of their arrival in the “New Land”.

Order of Good Cheer is a miniature suite within the suite. Each dance (Basse Dance, Rondeau Menuett and Dance “Bransle”) musically describes the events as they happened in this famous social club.

The Siege of Fort Anne relates an attack on Fort Anne in 1744. The music describes the peaceful beauty of the land surrounding Fort Anne, then the approach of the French Fifes and Drums with the order to attack, “Marches des Mousquetaires”, followed by a cannon shot, then “la Retraite”, the order to retreat, and finally the “Grenadiers’ Song”, indicating that the British had repelled the attack, and the tranquility of the land returns.

Celebration 2005 describes Annapolis Royal today: the hustle and bustle of this thriving community, and the beautiful Historic Gardens. The Historic Gardens theme provides a fitting finale for the Annapolis Royal Suite.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Queen Anne's Appearances - 2010

This is a very busy year for our Queen and her household. The next appearance will be spectacular and I am really looking forward to it. On Sunday, May 16 at 3 pm at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Annapolis Royal is grand musical afternoon. There's a combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band. If the weather permits, I will be walking from the Town Hall to the church with my household to listen to the Annapolis Royal Suite and The Ode to Queen Anne which was written to celebrate her birthday.

Along with the glorious music in a grand setting will be the unveiling of the Queen's Portrait painted by local artist Rick Zenkner. I have not been allowed to see this painting so it will be a surprise for me too.

After the concert, the Queen will direct the planting of an 'Anne' Magnolia on the church grounds by the Queen's Gardener Angelika. This is Magnolia Festival time after all.

So be sure to get your ticket for the grand event - Westside Studio certainly has tickets for sale.

June 3 and 4, Thursday & Friday - Nova Scotia Heritage Conference 2010 "Back to Basics" - Pre-registration required. Annapolis Royal Legion Community Hall - The Queen will be there for Lunch on Thursday

June 5, Saturday - 12 to 4 pm - Sinclair Inn's 300th Anniversary, 1710 Marketplace with food and artisans - The Queen will arrive to open the event

July 1, Thursday - 12 to 3 pm - Canada Day at Fort Anne - The Queen will be in attendance

And when we get closer to more summer events in and around Annapolis Royal, I will post those happenings. As we have pictures, I'll be posting them as well.

Queen Anne’s Royal Household - Then and Now

by Amery Boyer (Lady Sarah Churchill)

As part of Annapolis Royal’s 300th anniversary year, we have the 2010 Royal Household consisting of Her Majesty Queen Anne (Anne Crossman), her Lady in Waiting Sarah Churchill (Amery Boyer), Privy-Counselor Ken Nye, Chief Herald Peter Davies, Court Jester John Coker, and Footmen Wayne Currie, David Stairs, and Jon Percy. Most of these people made an appearance at the Queen’s birthday at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club on February 6, 2010, and are expected to appear again at other events this spring, summer and fall.

Thanks to Google and Wikipedia, it is possible to get a glimpse of who the members of the Royal Household would have been back in 1710 when Queen Anne reigned over Annapolis Royal and other places.

Princess Anne was the youngest daughter of the Duke of York who was heir to the throne back in the 1600s. Sarah Churchill became her lady-in waiting. On July 28, 1683, Princess Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark-Norway. Sarah Churchill became Anne’s Lady of the Bedchamber. Friends since childhood, the two ladies called each other Mrs. Morley (Anne) and Mrs. Freeman (Sarah). On March 8, 1702, Anne was crowned Queen of England and on May 1, 1707, Anne became the first sovereign of the Kingdom of Great Britain, the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.

Soon after her accession, Anne appointed her husband Lord High Admiral and gave control of the army to Lord Marlborough, whom she appointed Captain-General and later on 1st Duke of Marlborough. Lord Marlborough was the husband of Sarah Churchill, who became Mistress of the Robes, the highest office a lady could attain.

A lady-in-waiting (also called waiting maid) is a female personal assistant at a noble court, attending to a queen, a princess or other noblewoman. A lady-in-waiting is often a noblewoman of lower rank (i.e., a lesser noble) than the one she attends to, and is not considered a servant.

Privy-counselors are made “by the King’s nomination without patent or grant” and apparently advised the King (or in our case, the Queen).

A Herald of Arms is an officer of arms who handles cases of heraldic or genealogical importance. Full time employees of the sovereign can be Heralds in Arms in Ordinary, or Heralds in Arms in Extraordinary for things like coronations, etc. This tradition dates back to 1364 when a “pursuivant” (or follower) of Edward 111, on bringing the news of a victory at Auray, was rewarded by promotion to the rank of herald with the title Windsor.

A jester was a person employed to tell jokes and provide general entertainment, typically by a European monarch. Jesters are stereotypically thought to have worn brightly colored clothes and eccentric hats in a “motley” pattern. Their hats were especially distinctive; made of cloth, they were floppy with three points, each of which had a jingle bell at the end. The three points of the hat represent the donkey's ears and tail worn by jesters in earlier times. Other things distinctive about the jester were his laughter and his mock scepter known as a bauble or “marotte.”.

The name footman derives from the attendants who ran beside or behind the carriages of aristocrats, many of whom were chosen for their physical attributes. They ran along with side of the coach to make sure it was not overturned by such obstacles as ditches or tree roots. They would also run ahead to prepare the destination place for the lord's arrival. Originally the term, also called running footman, applied to a non-mounted soldier, or foot soldier. Later, just as demobilized officers frequently kept on a good batman as private servant, the word got applied to a household servant, who usually serves—standing—at meals while the master and guests remain seated.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Queen Anne's Birthday - February 6, 2010

My very good friend and fellow pageant participant, Amery Boyer has written an excellent account of the Queen's birthday event which I include here today. Today's picture is of the head table - the Lord Counsellor, the Queen's Herald, the Queen and Lady Glazebrook, the lady-in-waiting.

How to Celebrate a 300th Birthday

Forty-three people attended the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club on February 6 to experience Queen Anne’s 1710 royal birthday party. They came from Halifax, Dartmouth, Yarmouth, Paradise, Lawrencetown, and some from the area.

Harry Shepherd was “volunteered” for the job. “It happened at the Golf Course. This time of year, there’s not a lot going on. Coming from England, people thought we would have some inside knowledge, especially being in the catering trade. We were approached by the 300th Committee, would be we be interested in putting something together for an experiential event? It seemed like a fun thing to do, out of the ordinary from what we normally do. Five years, ago, we were involved with the dinner for the 400th at Fort Anne, so this seemed like a logical next step.”

Harry did a lot of research on the internet. He started to rediscover things he had learned at college years ago. “Like just how sophisticated the food was in the 16th and 17th century – like the meringue we did for the Queen’s pudding dessert that was first recorded in English cookbooks in 1706. It was a recipe brought over from France. You realize that things like Yorkshire pudding, methods of preserving foods, and food inventions were being developed.” The sophisticated foods were so important because of the French connection during the reign of Queen Anne and became the fashion from the mid 1600’s to the 17th and 18th centuries. For example, although everyone knew what egg whites were, no one really did anything with them until the French started cooking with them in the mid 1600s in the French Court. The first reference to cooking with egg whites in England was in 1706.

He also consulted a traditional French cook book, La Gastronomie by Larousse which is like a cookery bible, containing many recipes of older origin, some of which have evolved, and some that are no longer used in our health conscious society (like marrow puddings). Desserts were always made with beef suet, something we don’t do now because it would probably be bad for any cholesterol test.

There was also a lot of thought that went into the set up. The set up at court could involve up to 180 dishes and meals could last 5 and 6 hours. “So we tried to create a bit of the atmosphere with silver, gold, and glassware at the court table and the use of the Habitation pewter tankards for the tables. With 43 people, we laid out a formal arrangement with the Queen, Lord Counsellor, lady in waiting, Town Crier, the Jester and the footmen at the head table.”

The room was adorned with candles and candelabra, flags of the realm, Scotland, England and Nova Scotia. “We also had an original royal navy fleet flag which would be similar to the flag that would have been flown by any of the British frigates that would have been anchored in the Annapolis Basin, donated by Peter Davies”.

Many people came in costume, ladies in beautiful long dresses with wigs, some of the guys in kilts or tuxedos, they took it to heart. For the people who came, it was all about the experience. When people arrived, Harry and his wife Jaqui took their cloaks. The Queen was in the front parlour in a receiving line. Everyone was formally introduced to the Queen as though being received at court. The Queen was seated with the Lord Counsellor and the lady in waiting at her side. The Town Crier announced each person formally, very much like being presented at court in 1710. This still happens to day at court banquets, according to Harry.

The menu was carefully selected so that everyone could eat the food rather than deal with obscure dishes like quail and pike at this time of year. The roast beef was very traditional, the duck was popular and the dessert went down really well. The music matched the period and added a touch of sophistication to the evening.

It was all about the Queen, said Harry. She looked like a 17th century queen would look. The costumes at the top table, from the Court Jester, John Coker, to the Queen, Anne Crossman, the Lord Counsellor, Ken Nye, the Town Crier and his escort, Peter & Val Davies – it was like stepping back in time as near as can be done in the 21st century.

“It worked very well for us in the kitchen because we had the speeches of the jester in between the courses. That gave us time to do all the clearing. It was hectic between the main course and the dessert because we were doing the meringue straight from the oven.”

Annapolis Highlands wine was the feature for the toast to the Queen. Their very rich red wine seemed to fit in with the period – more of a port wine, and lots of people were asking about it. Ale was the really big thing in those days – they didn’t drink water very much because of the problems with sanitary water – so they drank milk, ale and wine.
Everyone seemed to get into the spirit of the event and enjoyed quite a bit of red wine. It was like stepping back in time and getting a little taste of how things may have been 300 years ago.

Harry thought that the event was pretty spectacular for a small venue. There has been nothing but positive feedback. “Most certainly, we would do it again” said Harry. “It’s something that tourists and local people could enjoy. If you were doing this once a month or every 3 or 4 months, it would just go like clockwork. For example, you would gather up the candlesticks, the tankards, and all of the other accessories that people contributed to make this such a successful event just the once.

At the end of the evening, it was quite an adrenalin buzz for us and we were on high. We were as worried about it as Linda Brown, though she probably started worrying a lot earlier than us. I would like to think we exceeded people’s expectations. We were pretty elated at the end of the night.”

What made it successful? Harry said that the first thing was good planning. “It was a combined effort. Linda Brown and her 300th team did 90% of the planning creating the event, and Jacqui and Harry Shepherd planned 90% of the food service and venue. They each have 40 years of experience in the catering trade. Grace Butland and her team handled promotion. The group effort involved different people at different stages like making the costumes, dressing the Queen, with the Queen Anne experience having been launched earlier in the year. The second thing was experience. The Shepherds have been in the catering business for 40 years and they have done similar events. Third was the willingness of people to participate in this sort of event.

They could have got more ornate crockery or china, but this was not as important as the ambience of gold and silver on the top table, and candles and candelabra in the room. They could have done it on a grander scale but not at the Golf Course. But in a hall, you wouldn’t have the right atmosphere with the high ceilings – it was more intimate at the Golf Course. This was consistent with the feedback. “When people come and look for you to shake your hand at the end of the evening, you can tell, and we received follow-up e-mails” People want that experience. B&Bs could sell it as a little weekend package. There could be a Dine with Royalty Weekend just like they do the murder mysteries elsewhere.

But did the Shepherds get the bug? “The Queen was most appreciative of what we did for her. Her Majesty even asked for the recipe for the Queen of Puddings that we made for dessert. It is also referred to as Queen Anne’s Guts, probably due to the fact that it is a swirl of white meringue with browns and reds in it.” Harry subsequently used the same pudding for another dinner. “Some of them were asking for the recipe, it may become a favourite!”

And now, a word from two of Queen Anne’s guests: “I can usually find something that could have been improved any event we have attended, no matter how trivial (which, I hasten to add, is not meant to be critical in any way of any particular event) but not this time. Perfection! Well, perhaps if we had had period costumes. But Joyce has already contacted the local person in that regards. Please express our congratulations to your other colleagues who put in the enormous effort involved to bring on such success. We look forward to further events this year.”

Writer’s Postscript: As with any event, there is always news that isn’t fit to print. However, you would have had to have attended the event to have witnessed the pièce de résistance. Only those who were there will ever know!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Big Launch!

What a day it’s been! January 1st started off with my husband Bill driving me to Annapolis Royal to our good friends Lillian and John who very kindly lent us their van for the next few hours so the queen could be transported without damage to the gown. Then it was off to St. Luke’s Church Hall to get gowned and crowned up. Linda, our team leader was there making sure things were moving as they aught to. Millie had all the costumes in order and every safety pin in Annapolis Royal to hand – we needed most of them. And the gown was magnificent.

Amery was there getting dressed in her wonderful gown – she looked like a million bucks.

Jon and Wayne got into their duds and wigs. Ken was there with his camera as was Bill with ours – he took today’s pictures. Peter was there in his Town Crier’s costume.

This was the first time I was allowed to see the wig and crown. I needed to sit down and we needed a mirror so Millie and I commandeered the women’s washroom and there it was in all its splendour! Millie worked with our local sculptor Brad to get the crown she wanted and her partner Jon (one of my footmen) did the gilding and the jewelry. Millie did the fur and the velvet cap inside. It is truly an amazing work. And it wasn’t heavy. The wig was something else - thanks to Ken. The royal jewels looked fantastic – thanks to Rhonda.

The time came and my crier got out his bell and rang us into the hall where Bishop Sue Moxley was holding her levée. He hollered “Make way for our Queen! Make way for our Queen!” Then there was me, then there was the Duchess of Marlborough, and then the footmen Jon and Wayne. People applauded as we came in. We went through the Bishop’s receiving line and they were all most gracious. Remember this marks the 300th anniversary of the first Anglican service held in Canada. The Queen sent a box of her chocolates to the Bishop and the Mayor. There were lots of pictures taken including one by a little girl in pink who – I think – got a camera for Christmas and wanted a picture of the Queen. People were very kind and said nice things and there were curtseys and bows and nods and smiles.

Then we were “cried out” of the hall, the crown was removed and we headed for the Legion. What a rigamarole getting me into the van! One of the footmen was sent to get a footstool and then there were three people holding the gown, holding the cape and me falling into the back seat. Off we went to the Legion where the back doorway stairs were pretty slippery. So with a footmen on either side and the duchess holding bits of the gown and Millie carrying the crown in its wonderful box, made our way into the hall. Millie got the crown back on and my hair tucked in again to the wig. We set sail once again with Peter ringing the bell and doing his “Make way for our Queen! Make way for our Queen!” piece, we entered the Legion proper. There were a few speeches by the mayor of Annapolis Royal, the deputy warden of Annapolis County, the new lady president of the Legion and our MLA, the leader of the opposition, Stephen McNeil. It was lovely seeing everyone.

And it was off to Westside Studio for official photos for the Queen’s portrait. Rick took oodles of pictures and then Larry from The Spectator (our weekly newspaper) came in and took oodles more pictures. Amery did a piece on the Queen’s gown and he will have accompanying photos now. We’ll have to watch for that.

Then it was “fall” back in the van and back to the church hall to be divested of all the finery and take the van back and then home for a long nap! Fortunately the snow storm held off long enough for all today’s events to go off without a hitch.

The next big appearance will be on February 6 when we celebrate the Queen’s birthday with a dinner and music at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club.

Happy New Year All!