[Ansteorra] Crown heirs--historical/philosophical questions

Chris Zakes dontivar at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 18:42:39 PST 2007

At 11:07 AM 11/9/2007, Elizabeth wrote:


>I believe that NO ONE should enter Crown Tourney
>unless they really want to be crown for the upcoming reign, but it
>happens anyway.  Some might say it's because they love fighting in
>that tourney, against all the really good fighters.  Some might just
>want to make sure so and so doesn't get it, the fact is it is done.
>But as this "political" side of the SCA is fairly new to me, I am sure
>there are reasons that Dukes can do this and others
>can't/shouldn't/won't whichever is the case.  It would be interesting
>to know the history behind it, but for now I will accept it as fact
>and go on.

As I understand things, back in the earliest days of the SCA (like AS 
3 or 4) it was expected that *all* Knights would enter Crown Tourney. 
Dukes, having already served twice, were exempt from that 
expectation. That was the beginning of "Ducal Prerogative."

Around the time I joined (AS 10) I was told that Dukes could *enter* 
Crown Tourney at any point during the tournament. I don't know if 
that was true, or just a garbled version of the actual policy; in 
those days Atenveldt stretched from Arizona north to the Canadian 
border and eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. It included the lands that 
are now Artemesia, the Outlands, Ansteorra, Gleann Abhann, Meridies 
and Trimaris. Crown Tourneys were almost always held in central 
Atenveldt (i.e. Phoenix or Tucson) and there wasn't a lot of 
communication between central Atenveldt and the outlying regions. 
(This was well before email was invented--if you wanted to talk to 
someone you had to call them on the phone, write a letter or catch 
them at an event.) Much of what we knew about how the SCA worked was, 
at best, third or fourth hand.

These days, Ducal Prerogative means "Any Duke or Duchess entered in 
the Crown Lists has the right to withdraw from the Crown lists at any 
time." That's what Kingdom Law says.

For the record, I don't see anything in Kingdom Law that says other 
fighters *can't* withdraw from Crown Tourney at any time. I've never 
fought in Crown, so I don't know if there's a custom or unwritten 
rule that says you shouldn't do so. But on the other hand, I agree 
with Elizabeth. If you're not willing to do the job, why enter the 
tourney at all? (And that's *why* I've never fought in Crown: I don't 
want to be King.)

         -Tivar Moondragon

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