The Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot
One day, the wise and noble King Ringsbury Pendragon declared he would like to equip an expedition to a country far away. The King had heard tales of a wondrous Pageant to be held in the place people do call Somerset. He instructed his serfs to prepare the carriage so his young kin may travel in comfort, and one day in early May the serf and his woman trundled the carriage off the lands of the noble King Ringsbury.
In the carriage were The Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks, the Gentle Lady Tina, the Red Lady Sarah, the Not So Red Lady Flora, the Princess Ann of the Grey Saddle and Lady Hazel of the Woolly Neck. The young ladies of the court were so excited and the hum of conversation was audible. Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks and the Gentle Lady Tina had indeed attended the Pageant of Somerset once before and had been pleased to return wearing brocades of red and blue which they coyly wore so the young knights and squires could admire them in their finery.
‘What is a Pageant?’ enquired young Princess Ann of the Grey Saddle of her older sister, the Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks.
‘Why, ‘tis a wondrous spectacle – for all the ladies of the courts of Herefordshire and of Somersetshire and of Gloucestershire and of Monmouthshire and of Wiltshire do parade in their finery in the Trial by Walking in a Circle and the prettiest in the land is chosen to be the May Queen. The finest young squires and older knights do compete to be the Champion Knight. The May Queen and Champion Knight do parade and acknowledge the plaudits of the people and the serfs who do cheer and exclaim greatly.’
‘And what else is there at the Pageant?’ hummed the Not So Red Lady Flora excitedly.
‘Why, the Trial by Grooming,’ declared Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks. Truth be told, the Noble Princess (whilst of beautiful disposition and startling looks) had occasional problems with her Flowing Locks, which were so long she sometimes sat on her hair and crumpled it. (Verily, Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks didst need to apply Conditioner to her hair).
The gentle Lady Tina explained to her sister Lady Hazel of the Woolly Neck and the other Ladies of the Court that it was important they instruct the serfs to gently brush their long locks before the Pageant, for nobody would like to parade with hair that had not seen a comb for a fortnight!
The Princesses Bella of the Flowing Locks and Ann of the Grey Saddle selected especially soft brushes for they were the ladies with the most lustrous and crimped hair. The serfs brushed their hair carefully and soon it shone gloriously. In the early morning mist their hair was as the dew-laden gossamer of a spider’s web.
And so, the Pageant began. Princess Ann of the Grey Saddle led her slightly younger sister Lady Hazel of the Woolly Neck around the ring as all the people and serfs looked on. They walked demurely as young ladies of noble birth should and all who saw them delighted in their manner. Lady Hazel of the Woolly Neck was so pleased to be awarded a pretty blue brocade and together with Princess Ann of the Grey Saddle (now attired in a rich red brocade of her own) the two young ladies of the court promenaded to wondrous applause.
Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks next promenaded with the Gentle Lady Tina, the Red Lady Sarah, and the Not So Red Lady Flora. A marvellous spectacle it was on a day when the sun smiled on all gathered in the Field of Somerset. Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks was awarded beautiful blue brocades. The Not So Red Lady Flora was awarded beautiful red brocades. The Red Lady Sarah was awarded beautiful yellow brocades. There was much joy among the people.
The Pageant continued with the Trial by Grooming leading to the Acclamation of the Coat of Wondrous Magnificence. The ladies of the court again walked and showed off their glorious and shiny hair and raiments. All the ladies and squires of the land competed in this most dazzling of Trials. The Noble Sir Aves had grown up under the benevolent eye of King Ringsbury and with the King’s blessing had departed to lead a new house in the shire of Somerset. Twas he who carried off the pennant awarded to the knight attired in the most dazzling of hues. Princess Ann of the Grey Saddle was pleased to receive the award of more red brocades. Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks was awarded more beautiful brocades, this time in yellow. The Red Lady Sarah was awarded beautiful green brocades and the Lady Hazel of the Woolly Neck was awarded a blue brocade of the most delicate shade, twas as if the sky had fallen to earth and bedecked her neck in wreathes of light Spring azure.
And so to the pronouncement of the Champion – the May Queen and the Most Aspirational Knight. The Most Aspirational Knight was a very fine and noble fellow from lands in the Shire of Mon. Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks was announced to the throng as the Champion – the May Queen and she did lead a mighty procession for all to see. By now she was further bedecked in yet more brocades of red and of white and of blue as the Champion – the May Queen is wont to do. The people and serfs in the stands cheered as the Royal Party bestowed favours.
Serfs from far away came to present themselves to the ladies of the court of the wise and noble King Ringsbury Pendragon, and as is the way of these things, the ladies of the court over-excited themselves when they talked of the noble knights and squires from their own lands. They longed to be able to tell their mothers Queen Maesivere, Lady Meg of the Long Lashes, Lady Hetty and Princess Marden le Fay, of the Pageant. It was to be expected the young ladies of the court would parade in a slightly less than seemly manner in front of the noble Sir Brodivere and his squire Sir Prancealot, Sir Sten of the Good Heart, and the Princes Rollo and Mo when they returned to the domain of the noble King Ringsbury.
Princess Bella of the Flowing Locks was keen to return to her mother good Queen Maesivere, matron to no less than three Champions of the Field of Somerset.
Here endeth the tale of the Pageant at the place they do call Somerset contained in the Chronicle of the Land of Llamalot.