The Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot
Around that time, Queen Maesievere was with child. On occasion she would rest in her garden with only her serfs for companionship. The Queen was heavy with child and the titbits the serfs did bring the queen were received with grace as she favoured them with a benevolent look. The Queen did eat shoots of hawthorn, and leaves of hazel, and buds of rose, and sprouts of maple. Everything in the land was full and ripe.
In the time leading up to the royal birth, the heavens had opened. Deluge upon flood upon great walls of water had passed through the land and the ground was boggy. The delicate ankles of the ladies of the court, normally so clean, were muddied by their trips round the royal estate. The ladies of the court were mightly miffed at this and didst occupy their chambers next to the court yard for long spells.
Queen Maesievere was with child for a long time and the baby was due. But the baby did not wish to be born into mud so it didst hang on and wait till the weather was more clement. And Queen Maesievere told her serfs one Monday that on the Tuesday she would give birth. Her people had announced a break in the weather and Tuesday would be a good time to ‘get on with it’. Maesievere, attended by her ladies of the court, awaited the delivery of her royal child.
And, her people did sit with her. Queen Maesivere was keen to seek the solace of the serfs – she knew they would assist. She was less keen on the attentions of that noble knight Sir Brodivere who didst stroll a little too closely past her a rear and end with a full groats’s worth in the face. The young Prince Rollo was equally wanting in thoughtfulness and really shouldn’t have tried to nibble that ash leaf just nestling on the Queen’s noble rump. But the serfs were trusted, and though their over-enthusiastic ‘is she, isn’t she’s?’ did fray the nerves of the Queen, she smiled down on them kindly (if a little wearily) for she knew they couldn’t help themselves.
And the serfs did love their Queen and the Queen didst look fondly at her serfs. For she knew that it would be they who would tend to her during her confinement.
And Lo, the people did wait on their Queen and she displayed tolerance and great forbearance to her serfs. And yet whilst there was general commotion around the Queen, it was barely noticed that the chief lady-in-waiting, Lady Meg of the Long Lashes was herself with child. Presently, some did declare their belief that Lady Meg of the Long Lashes would give birth before her Queen. And so a twin birthing chamber was built by the serfs so Queen Maesievere and Lady Meg of the Long Lashes wouldst bring forth the offspring of King Ringsbury Pendragon (or so he thought) in comfort, and indoors in the dry. For at that time it rained so hard the water did run across the surface of the land. But the queen and her lady in waiting decreed that they would give birth where people had always done – in the field, with nothing more than the court, a couple of serfs, the Royal doctor and a medi-kit bag in attendance.
When the time came for the Queen’s confinement it was anything but a quiet and secluded affair. Indeed the confinement was a very public event with the entire court and serfs present.
The Queen’s fourth born was a princess. Her retinue pressed forward to greet the new arrival with so much excitement the young Princess was knocked to the floor. But Queen Maesievere was a wise queen and knew the court needed to see her daughter. She allowed the serfs to take her and her girl child to the stable where a fine bed had been prepared. There, the Queen would spend the night after the birth with her baby, with her retinue standing guard outside.
King Ringsbury Pendragon was proud to have such a fine new daughter and declared three days public holiday. The serfs were ordered to provide tasty morsels for the court (reserving the choicest and most select delicacies for Queen Maesievere and King Ringsbury themselves). Foodstuffs were prepared and exotic concoctions of fruits and berries and delicate shoots were brought forth. And King Ringsbury was pleased as he surveyed his people – the noble knights, the ladies of the court, and the young squires – enjoying the feast he had ordered.
And the King did issue a Proclamation. Behold, a Princess is born. And her name shall be Belas Knap.
And King Ringsbury didst issue a second proclamation. And the sister of his own female serf lived in the far off land of Somerset. The serf of Somerset required a Regal family of her own. And so it was decreed. Lord Ambrey and the Noble Sir Aves would travel to the far off land of Somerset and there they would establish the noble House of Heath
The wagons were prepared and soon it would be that Lord Ambrey and Noble Sir Aves wouldst direct their serfs to transport them to Somerset. The regal House of Heath would grow. It is now that Lord Ambrey and Noble Sir Aves leave our lands. But they may return to the Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot when the tale of the Pageant at the place they do call North Somerset will be told in May one year hence.
And there it would be that the noble Sir Aves would compete in the Trial of the Coat of Wondrous Magnificence. For he did possess a coat of most wondrous magnificence.
And the court was full of joy. Princess Belas Knap was loved by the gentle ladies and noble knights. The time for the confinement of Lady Meg of the Long Lashes was approaching, and the tale of this event shall be told.
A new chapter of the Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot shall be writ shortly