[sca-comments] Coronations during COVID-19 crisis

Steve Mesnick steve.mesnick at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 20:02:59 CDT 2020


To: the Directors, Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. 

From: Steven H. Mesnick

Greetings:

The Society, along with society (small-s) is struggling with the rapidly-changing crisis of the COVID-19 epidemic. I would address one aspect of the SCA’s current dilemmas, and offer a suggestion. 

I am aware of two kingdoms facing the imminent ends of their current reigns: my home realm of the East, and neighboring Æthelmearc. The former has cancelled the upcoming coronation. I have been commissioned to compose the service for the latter, and have developed a period-sourced authentic ceremony involving a large number of participants. Obviously, however, uncertainty abounds. Restrictions have already been imposed, and indeed, cancellations may be required due to future developments as the real-world crisis continues rapidly to evolve.  

Even if coronations are able to proceed, however, there is a strong likelihood that the new crowns will have no events over which to preside. Even their Crown Tournaments likely will not happen as scheduled, or at all. 

In all practical terms, the referee’s whistle has been blown on our “game” and the game has been effectively suspended. 

I therefore urge that the Board allow, on a kingdom option basis:

declaration of a suspension of the kingdom’s timeline, so that the current regime may continue until the current crisis has abated and restrictions lifted, or
an “interregnum” period with no royalty, and current heirs to accede at a later date, or 
the modern transfer of the office and the in-game declaration of the new reign, with the ceremony at a later date, if possible, during the reign. 

All to be decided in the best interest of the particular realm. 

As to the last option above, I would note that this is and has always been the real-world practice, as Royal inaugurals take considerable time to prepare and arrange. 

I note that Corpora does not specify the FORM of a coronation / royal investiture. I would suggest, at minimum, that it might be helpful to clarify that a formal ceremony may be delayed after a real-world transition, and indeed, is not required at all.  

Thank you for your consideration. 

Steven H. Mesnick
(Baron Steffan ap Kennydd, OP, OL)
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