It Takes A Village

Helping Empress Twinkle get ready.

Lady in Waiting Misty helps Empress Anne Tique get Empress Twinkle Montgomery ready for a photo. Emperor Tony looks on.

Reigning in New York City isn’t always easy, and certainly, there are lots of opportunities for people to volunteer and help the Emperor and Empress do their task more efficiently:  today, I’m thinking specifically of Ladies in Waiting and Aides de Camp.

This category of folks start out as some of your best friends, and they end up as your lifeline to sanity.

Helping Monarchs Enter and Exit

Lady in Waiting Viagra Falls and Emperor JP of CT help Empress Farrah Moans and Emperor Jack leave the stage at NOATG 25

Need someone to help write thank you notes?  Keep track of certificates at Investitures?  Drive you to Connecticut for coronation?  Remind that so and so hasn’t gotten an elevation (See Investitures)?  Help dress and undress and dress you again at Night of a Thousand Gowns?  Serve as a general factotum or whipping post?  These tasks and more can be accomplished if you build a good team!

Below, I’m pictured toward the end of my reign in 2013 with the fabulous Princess Royale La Diva, who served as my Mistress of the Robes (as I had for Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl), and (then future) Empress XXIX Madison Mansfield.  We were working at the Gay Life Expo at the Jacob Javits Center.  They helped ensure that our booth looked great, that our volunteers were working the room and that all I had to do was smile and look pretty. (Whoops, ladies, you failed…oh, wait, I painted myself that day.)

Empress Witti is assisted by Mistress of the Robes La Diva and Lady in Waiting (and future Empress) Madison Mansfield

Empress Witti is assisted by Mistress of the Robes La Diva and Lady in Waiting (and future Empress) Madison Mansfield

Sometimes, Ladies in Waiting and Aides de Camp serve another purpose:  they’re your conscience.  Monarchs can too easily live in a bubble and forget that they’re just playing a game and that their ‘ladies’ are actually their friends…who are volunteering. They can serve an important function and remind a monarch of their humanity, point out (gently) where they’ve gotten ahead of themselves, and help correct.  I spent the last 3/4 of my reign thanking people immediately and on the spot because one of my ladies suggested (in a three page email that I still have) that I had been neglectful.  That kind of stuff really helps, and it’s a poorer monarch who doesn’t listen to the advice of those he or she has chosen to keep closest to them.

Helping Madison

Aide de Camp (and incoming Emperor) Harrington jumps in front of Empress Madison Mansfield as the shutter clicks

I believe that any successful monarch has served as a Lady or an Aide.  It’s truly the best place to see where the work gets done:  how much, what kind, what details, and is an amazing training ground.  I was happy to serve in that role unofficially for Empress XXIV Farrah Moans, and then officially as Mistress of the Robes for Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl:  I learned more walking half a step behind those ladies than anyone could have watching from the front.


Empress Pepperica Swirl surrounded by her NOATG prep team: Joey, Izzy and Liz.

At Night of a Thousand Gowns, you’ll see Ladies in Waiting and Aides de Camp standing next to or behind the thrones, serving the monarchs.  They collect gifts and tributes, help hand out reign pins, help to present awards and certificates and serve as a pair of legs and hands to help where monarchs stationed at the thrones can’t.  Make sure you thank them:  they’re responsible for a lot of what’s going right around the Emperor and Empress!

Join us on March 11, 2017 to see some truly fabulous volunteers in action as Lady in Waiting and Aide de Camp to Emperor Tree and Empress Sugar B. Real!



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