I'm basically writing an AU fic, with princes and princesses. So does anyone know any good places to look for information on how royalty would treat each other, particularly those of different countries?
Also, if a younger princess (no not the heir to the throne) was to visit the royal court of another country, who would she be most likely greeted by, where would she be greeted (as in outside the palace, inside the palace, or even at the borders of the country), and what would be the expectations of how she spent her time?
How would the rest of the court be likely to treat them?
I know that I'm asking for a lot, so if any of you guys have anything that you think might help, such as websites or other information, even if I haven't specifically asked for it, that would be great!
I think it would depend on the period of time in which your story was set. I've been reading a lot of biographies on the Tudor monarchs lately, so I've learned a little about being recieved at court in that period of time.
First of all, the Princess would not be allowed to be recieved by just men. When Henry VIII first married Anne Boleyn (or it could have been during the time he was trying to divorce Katherine of Aragon), he went to France to visit King Francis or something . However, the Queen of France at the time didn't approve of the way Katherine had been treated, and refused to accept or recieve Anne at Court in France. Therefore, Anne couldn't go as there was no female of equal or greater rank to recieve her formally.
Your Princess would most likely be greeted near the boarder of the country she was visiting by a deligation from the Court (made up of people like Dukes and Earls and stuff; members of the nobility, basically, and their wives), and escorted to Court by them. She would probably stay at various houses belonging to either the Royal Family, the nobility, or high-ranking clergymen if the journey would have taken more than one day. It would likely be a very slow procession because of the retinue the Princess would bring, even if she's not the heir, the people travelling with her would number roughly 100 people. Then there would be the retinue of the delegation, also perhaps numbering around 100 people.
As for where she would be recieved, I'm not too sure. The number of people at Court would perhaps be about 1000 people in number, so I think that having the entire household recieve her outside wouldn't be possible. I also think that the Princess would have been rather travel-worn and would want to refresh herself. If I were writing it, I'd have her being recieved by a representative for the King (Cardinal Wolsey, or Cromwell in Henry VIII's time, for example). Then she'd be conducted to her apartments to refresh herself and then be taken to be formally recieved by the King and Queen.
She would spend most of her time being entertained by her guests. Dinner back in the Tudor times was a huge affair and lasted from many hours, from about ten in the morning to one or two in the afternoon. There would be many, many courses offered, but there was ettiquete that governed what one ate. The Princess would have to limit herself to just two or three dishes from the hundreds that could be on offer as not to appear greedy, and she would eat sparingly as there would be perhaps seven courses or so. The Princess would, of course, sit at the High Table, but there could be many more lower tables in the hall seating the courtiers and their wives, and the lower ranks ate later than the people of the highest rank.
When she was not at dinner, she would perhaps be taken hunting and riding by her hosts (in Tudor times women participated in the blood sports too), visit the palace gardens, be entertained with dances and masques and plays which would be put on in her honour, and spend time among the Queen and her ladies. Her stay would be like a festival for the Court. The key here would be to impress. Different Royal houses like to show off to other Royal families about their wealth and how stylish they are. If you want an example of this, look up the Field of the Cloth of Gold, when Henry VIII with Katherine of Aragon went to France to visit Francis I. It cost a huge amount of money on both sides, but actually achieved nothing.
She would be treated with the utmost respect by the courtiers, and not all of them would be able to talk to her. Only those of the highest rank would be granted that honour. They would all be trying to impress her with their manners, courtesy and gentlemanlike ways.
However, your princess wouldn't go to visit this other Royal family willy-nilly. It's doubtful she would go unacompanied by her brother or parents, unless she was visiting a family member. A princess, no matter if she is the heir or not, would be very valuable on the marriage market, and so she would want no word of scandal attaching herself to her name. Women were not classed as being able to go on diplomatic missions or negotiations, so your reason for sending her aboroad must be very specific.
I can't really think of anything more to add, so I hope this has helped.
Wonderful avvie by psijupiter. Totally brilliant and amazing banner by Julia/the opaleye!
Thank you so much!
This is just the kind of information I was looking for! It's probably a good thing I decided to get information before writing very much, because in my head the princess was simply travelling with four guards and the reason for her visit was unknown and open to speculation by the general public... This will help so much!!