The Queen’s Court: A Game of Tradition

The Queen’s Court describes a particular ‘game of tradition’, i.e. a game that anyone can start playing at any time, and end at any time. It only requires a few particulars.

The Particulars

Of course, the game requires at least two people, with no upper limit, except that determined by the players.

Firstly, the one beginning it must see an opportunity to lay claim to a Queen’s Court. The Queen’s Court can take place in any situation, whether in your home, at a restaurant, at a park, at a coffee shop, anywhere. What does it mean to ‘lay claim to a Queen’s Court’?

It means that you own that space, as a caretaker. It doesn’t necessarily belong to you in the sense of a possession, but the responsibility to care for it and the people in that space does. You have entered a specific imaginary realm, and you announce your decision to do so by saying, “Welcome to my Table!”* If the others present reply, “Hats off!”, and form a circle, they become Nobles, and everyone has consented to the formation of the Queen’s Court. If someone present doesn’t reply with “Hats off!”, because they do not consent, then the Court may allow them to stay as a ‘Page’, or must relocate. In any case, a Court must contain only consenting Nobles. ‘Pages’ stay at the permission of the Nobles, with non-Noble status, no responsibilities, and must leave the circle at any time a Noble announces “Nobles alone!”. This does not require consensus.

The Space

Once you’ve created the Queen’s Court, the one leading it can play all kinds of eloquence games in that space. As the Host of the Queen’s Court, they have the option of setting and determining roles for certain supporting games, such as Host’s team and Guest’s team.

The consent of the players to rise to the status of ‘Nobles’, means they agree to play any eloquence game within the space, comporting themselves if not with total dignity, then at least with panache and florid speech.

One can announce one’s disengagement from the space and from Noble status by saying nothing more than, “I offer up my seat!”, waiting for those present to affirm this with, “We accept!”. To enter vacated space, or to enter as a new player, you can say “I ask for a seat!”. If those present consent, they’ll respond with “The Queen accepts it!” Everyone in the circle must consent in order to invite players from outside the space. They can also spontaneously offer a seat to one who has not yet requested to participate.

If those present refuse a returning or new player by not arriving at consensus, they can answer any inquiries with “The Queen denies it.”

Adjourning the Queen’s Court

To close the space, the Host has but to say, ‘I offer up this Table!”. In acknowledgement, the others playing say “Hats on!”, affirming the closing of the space, and the game. At this time, anyone else can lay claim to the space as a Queen’s Court.

Written by Willem