My Wild Ricardian Weekend

I’m off this weekend to the Richard III Society American Branch’s annual general meeting, held this year in Orlando, Florida. Since I diss the man so much on this blog, you might be surprised to hear that I’m a member, but it’s a great organization for anyone interested in Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. The publications in particular are a treasure trove for anyone doing research into the period.

Anyway, the meeting includes a Saturday night banquet, for which members are encouraged to don medieval garb. My fourteenth-century-style gown is a little out of period, but if anyone calls me on it I’ll tell them the Nasty Woodvilles stole all of my newer ones. (See? I’m getting into the spirit of things already.) My head at least will be in the right era, because I bought a nifty hennin last weekend, complete with veil. This led to a spirited exchange with my daughter, who told me that it looked like a dunce cap. (Teenagers. You’ve got to love them. Or at least they say you do.)

Speaking of Richard III, I was on my way to fetch said daughter from school the day before yesterday (I should have worn my hennin and really embarrassed her) when I spotted a mini-bus with the name “King Richard Transportation Service” on it. My first thought was that America had turned into a monarchy without anyone informing me, which would certainly explain a few things about the past eight years. My second thought was no, someone just liked King Richard, but which King Richard? I don’t really associate any of the three with transportation, but let’s face it, there’s something a little sinister about Richard III transporting people, given his tendency to, er, lose them. Especially if they’re children, which I assumed were the intended passengers here, since this was the time of day for taking them to and from school. In this I turned out to be wrong, however, for when I got home I Googled and discovered that the company is in the business of transporting the elderly. Which is even more odd, since none of the Richards lived to a ripe old age. So the mystery lives on: which King Richard gave his name to these buses?

While you’re pondering this, I’m off to Florida, hennin and all. If I come back and start pontificating on how everything in England would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for those upstart Woodvilles, you’ll know someone slipped something into my drink down there.

16 thoughts on “My Wild Ricardian Weekend”

  1. That is rather ominous! Reminds me of the sign I saw once on the sanitary disposal unit in a country town public toilet:

    “Sweeney Todd Disposal Services”.

    Really doesn’t bear thinking about!

  2. They would probably be safest with Richard II (although unlikely a bus company would have named itself after him). Richard I would send them off to war.

  3. Have a great time!
    Re the mini-bus, how about writing to the company and asking them nicely how they came by their name? Maybe it was set up by a guy called Richard King who thought it sounded cuter the other way round.

  4. Christy K Robinson

    So what kind of family vehicle do you drive, that has head room for a hennin? Would a sun roof help?

  5. Lynn Irwin Stewart

    Susan, I thought seriously about going to Florida this weekend (since it’s only an 8 hour drive to Orlando from where I am) but, for various reasons, I decided not to go. To be honest, I really don’t feel smart or serious enough so figured I’d better stay home and just read more!! Hope you have a great time — look forward to hearing about your adventure.

  6. Hope you had a wonderful time – how many people were there? Do I take it you are an anti-Ricardian? or rather, do you subscribe to the traditional view? I do!

  7. btw, I don’t mean the ‘hunchback’ tradition Richard – just that he was responsible for the deaths of the princes.

  8. Susan Higginbotham

    Thanks, all!

    Christy, I drive a mini-van, which accommodates my hennin quite well. (I tried it on the other day when we were coming home from the hennin store.)

    Andante, great suggestion! (Non-US posters: Richard Petty races cars.)

    Lynn, you should have come! Some people there did have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, but there were things to learn even for them. Everyone is welcome.

    Anerje, I do take a traditionalist view in that I believe that Richard was the most likely killer of the Princes, though I don’t believe that his guilt has been conclusively proven. I’m with those who believe that the most telling factor for his guilt is the fact that he never produced the boys alive when it would have been to his greatest advantage to do so.

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